Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 1: NYC and the Cousins

After only semi-frantically packing and searching for my missing rain coat, I was on the way to DIA. Mom had decided she wanted to walk me into the airport and get me checked in, but Departures doesn’t have a short-term parking lot so we had to circle back around and go to Arrivals. We had a mini freakout when my backpack was too fat to fit in the carryon sizing thingy, but soon remedied that by stuffing my check-in even more.

As per the plan, I was an hour and a half earlier than I needed to be, giving me time to play some fiddle tunes on the DIA train. My brother and I had been hugely successful last summer, raking in over a dollar per minute – slightly better than a good night on Pearl Street. This time, however, I thought it would be more fruitful to play in the train boarding room. Then every single person flying through Denver would have to pass by me (unless they decided to be boring and take the walkway to Term A. Who wouldn’t take the train???). I had been playing, to the varied satisfaction of travelers, for close to 45 minutes when I saw two menacing looking security guards aimed at me. Shit. I stopped playing and asked if there was a problem, to which their response was along the lines of "move or the cops will have to escort you out". So on to Plan B – Ye Old Train. I figured they wouldn't really care about me playing in the train, and hey, it's better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Soon I was boarded and soon after that I was board: The pilot was taking his pretty little time ambling around the airport and didn't board the plane until 15 minutes after takeoff time. Well, he eventually arrived, and we took off. I slept through the beverages which always makes me really pissed. If I'm paying to a plane ticket I sure as hell want that half-can of Sprite. With an hour left of flight time I started watching Divergent – an epic movie, especially in 1080p on my new ThinkPad Yoga.

Soon we arrived in Wilmington, which has now become my new definition of Ghetto. The airport was literally a large-house-sized building with flaps in the walls for the luggage to be dumped through. You then walk 20 feet and your standing in the road. I'm not even sure if they have Security. Soon I was in a taxi, chatting it up with the driver about what size violin he should get for his 12 year old daughter, and then after parting with enough money to buy 6 Subways I was at what the driver called "the Chinese bus station". If there is any question as to what this "bus station" is like, the name pretty much says it all - It's what appears to be a vacated Chinese restaurant (yes, there is still a Chinese food menu in the window) with a tiny checkout counter in the back corner. When I showed the assistant my emailed receipt, she illegibly hand wrote a note with my confirmation number and departure time and told me that it was my ticket.

I finished Divergent on the bus ride. Really good movie, watch it if you have a chance. (Also, side note, but if you’ve seen The Fault in Our Stars, Shailene Woodley plays the main characters in both movies and Ansel Elgort plays her brother in Divergent and her lover in Fault. Interesting relationship twist). The seat was pretty comfortable, and there were little adjustable foot rests hanging from the seat ahead of me. The bus was operated by a Chinese couple, the man driving and the woman carrying her purse around and collecting tickets. When the bus had finally pulled up, half an hour late, I was surprised to see that it was bright pink and had no markings whatsoever. Or maybe I wasn’t surprised, looking back on what the “bus station” was.

Once in NYC, I bought a weeklong Metro card and hopped on the N. Unfortunately Angela and Adaire live in the middle of the West side where the closest subway station is a 15 minute walk. Not too bad on a normal day, but I was loaded down with a massive duffle bag, backpack, and violin. Add to that my sprained ankle and it was quite a long walk. Adaire met me at the door and an hour later Angela came home. It was great seeing them again, I think the last time I saw them was five or six years ago at a family reunion.

We ate spaghetti, I napped, we went shopping, ate dinner, watched Man of Steel (throughout which I kept dozing off… probably missed about half the movie), and went to sleep on bright green silk sheets with a glowing face next to me. Goodnight NYC.

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