Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New York: The City

Since Blogger hates me (CURSE YOU, BLOGGLODITES!), instead of a well-ordered post, I'm just going to share some observations with you. And some stories. And some other third thing, since lists are better when they come in threes.

The People
One thing I've frequently heard is that New Yorkers are rude. I found this to be categorically untrue. People were helpful, polite, and downright friendly. This may have had something to do with the fact that we were carting around one of the cutest babies in existence. Everyone--and I do mean everyone, from people on the subway to random old men on the street--stopped to give him a smile and comment on what a cute baby he is. Maybe New Yorkers just aren't as baby fatigued, but my sister said no one acts like that in Utah.

Some New Yorkers are so nice they dress up just to make me happy:

The best part? He was like 50! So cool.

On our way to the airport we had some subway issues; someone at one of the stops saw our luggage and told us we were on the wrong train and to get off quick. He was right, and there was no other reason for him to tell us than the fact that he was just a nice person. New Yorkers, you rock. Check this out:

Even the signs are polite!

The Food
One thing everyone was very concerned with was that I take advantage of the great food New York has to offer. We had people sending us pages of places to try. And they weren't wrong--from the lunch with Editor Erica and dinner with Agent Michelle, to the breakfast I had with a certain lunar rat (who, by the way, is rather less furry in real life than her icon would lead you to believe, and who can also tell you the types of food on any block in the entire city)--everything was yummy.

And talk about variety! Anything you could possibly want was there. Behold:

It was like a taste of heaven.

The Celebrities
As Saturday was winding down we all kind of wondered why the closest we had come to seeing a celebrity was hearing a nanny talking about running into A-Rod again in the hallway. It's New York, after all. Celebrities should be easier to spot than rats on the subway rails, right? So when we were walking in the rain past Trump "Way too fancy for peasants like us to even look in the windows" Tower, I noticed a rag-tag group gathered around someone by the stairs. Since the group's clothes weren't made of spun gold, I didn't think they were checking in. Which could only mean one thing: FAMOUS PERSON. Sure enough, they were all asking for signatures from and pictures with this guy:

I know! Amazing, huh?

Wait, you mean you can't tell who that is? Really? It's not like it was raining, I was embarrassed to be taking pictures of the poor guy, and I accidentally had my camera on the landscape setting or anything.

How about now, can you guess this time?

Seriously, it's so obvious! How can you not tell?

Okay, okay, fine. How about I just tell you in the form of our conversation.

"Hey, look, it's The Rock!" I said.
He looked up, chiseled features shifting from a blindingly white smile to a scowl. "What did you just call me?"
"Umm, The Rock?"
He sighed. "Look, girl, I'm not a wrestler anymore. I'm an actor. A thespian. And I'd appreciate it if you'd show a little respect by addressing me properly."
I shrugged, uncomfortable. "I'm sorry. What should I call you?"
"Mister The Rock."
So Mister The Rock and I went to dinner. He's a super nice guy in real life. Also, a soprano--turns out all of his movies are dubbed.

In further celebrity news, if you ever go to The Museum of Natural History, I will tell you right now: Ben Stiller is NOT a security guard there. You can't believe everything you see in the movies.

"Don't I know it!"

The Park
Walking around the city was fun, especially when we got to see random, iconic stores or buildings. But skyscrapers get a little old. And sadly a lot of things in New York look really cool from far away:
But when you get closer, they're just kind of...dirty.

Oh, the humiliation.

My favorite part by far was Central Park. We timed our visit just right--most of the trees were still green, but the leaves were starting to change. It was gorgeous. We didn't even mind the drizzle.

But I should warn you, there are some very scary parts to Central Park. First of all, watch out for the squirrels. We were walking down a path, minding our own business, when we heard a cracking sound in the tree above us. My sister had the presence of mind to stop pushing the stroller, and just in time as SPLAT! a squirrel fell straight out of the tree and landed on the sidewalk in front of us. How often do squirrels fall? I have several theories. One: It was actually a hit job gone wrong, and we only narrowly escaped death by bushy-tailed rodent. Two: Even the squirrel appreciated how cute my nephew is and wanted to hang out with him, but sadly missed the stroller. And Three: The dang thing was drunk.

The other scary part of Central Park? This:

Mother Goose? TERRIFYING.

But really, even though we walked across what felt like half the city, it was worth it.

Fall: Not something San Diego knows how to do

Central Park, or the entrance to Rivendell?

To sum up: New York is awesome. And I'll leave you with a final photo as proof.

Until next time, Kind New Yorkers and Lunatic Squirrels


Rick Daley said...

In a past job, I had the chance to visit Chanel's headquarters on the 45th floor of a building on the south side of Central Park. The lobby wall is all window, looking right out over the park. It was about 8:30 am on a cloudless spring morning and it was one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen...this forest entombed in concrete.

Kiersten White said...

Exactly, Rick. Elsewhere I don't think it'd be so amazing, but in the middle of that city...definitely breathtaking.

Alex Bracken said...

I'm still so sad I wasn't in the office when you came to visit! Also jealous of the fact that the T-Rex was out when you visited the Natural History Museum. I went this summer, and without him there it was little more than a dead animal zoo. :(

Valerie Geary said...

"Mister The Rock" ahahahahahahaha! Thank you for a delightfully hilarious wrap up of your trip. My Wednesday needed a good chuckle! :)

Kiersten White said...

Alex--Yes, bummer. Next time you'll have to schedule your life around ME.

And Valerie--Glad to be of service : )

CKHB said...

NYers are in fact among the nicest, most welcoming people around, and I'm thrilled that you got treated well during your visit! We like to take care of visitors, since it's so easy to get overwhelmed...

Also, depending on where the squirrel fell, he may have been (4) narrowly escaping winged death. My old neighborhood has red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons.

heidikins said...

Sigh...I love New York. Swoon!


Stephanie L. McGee said...

I love New York. I'm so glad you had such a fabulous time!

I love the part about the squirrel. And I agree that the NY stereotype seems to be based in a very narrow part of reality. I've never met an unfriendly New Yorker.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

How cool you met Moonrat!!

Andrea Cremer said...

Great photos, Kiersten! I've seen squirrels fall out of trees and look around like "did anyone see that? god, I hope no one saw that," etc.

CMOM Productions said...

Great pictures! Maybe the squirrel was hoping to get your attention so he could be written into your next book.

Jessie Oliveros said...

No pictures of the cutest baby on earth? And dinner with Mr. The Rock? I hope he was sufficiently impressed with your publishing contract.

DebraLSchubert said...

See, I told you you'd love my native city! I'm so glad you got to see NYC, and especially Central Park, in the fall. There really are no words to describe it. Sorry about the squirrels.

Rebecca Knight said...

Drunk squirrels, older gentleman in fantastic goth boots, and MOONRAT?? Best. Trip. Ever!

Thanks for sharing it with us! :D

Marsha Sigman said...

That was awesome. I cannot believe you saw The Rock aka Dewayne Johnson.

I have squirrel issues myself. I think they are plotting against me. I tried to tell my son but he doesn't believe me. A few weeks ago I came out of the house and there must have been 10 in my front yard...staring at me. The other day one was throwing nuts at me from a me.

cindy said...

love the post! were you so excited you were shaky for rock fotos? haha! it looks like autumn for sure. beautiful!

Whirlochre said...

So glad you filled me in on The Rock.

If ever he visits my local mall, I need fear the onslaught of no fists should I inadvertently grace his bared torso with mayo from an exuberantly chomped burger...

Mariah Irvin said...

There are oak trees all over my campus, so I'm frequently attacked by squirrels. Once, I walked toward one, thinking it would scurry away, but it stayed there. I had to swerve to avoid stepping on it. Squirrels don't fear college students.

Renee Collins said...

Ha! That Mother Goose is creepy, indeed.

Also, I love your stylish pashmina. It's so New York. :)

sraasch said...

Squirrels are evil everywhere.

AM said...

It is incredible how much you managed to cram into a two-day trip.

I gotta respect a guy who can walk in those boots!

So, when do we go back?

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks. I think I'm going to have nightmares about Mother Goose.

Carrie Harris said...

Yep. Add me to the Mother Goose nightmare list too.

Donna Gambale said...

I've been to New York at least 20 times, but NYC a la Kiersten White is so entertaining. Thanks for such a funny post!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Love the pictures of The Rock! Glad your trip was fun and it makes me want to move back to the city-almost. Although, I lived in Chicago, but I still think it was cool.

Keith Popely said...

What a terrific post, Kiersten. I feel like I've just been to New York. Thanks.

J.J. Bennett said...

Did somebody say squirrel?...