I had so much fun writing about my nap experience that I've decided I need to continue my series of weird things in New York City. And by "weird" I mean awesome. I have fun reminding myself why I live here, so allow me to indulge. Because I am me, I will focus on things that are cheap or free. My bizarre New York thing for today is something I discovered while my Mom and Aunt were visiting this weekend, and we just happened upon it. No Google involved. Ready?
We were walking on Mulberry Street in a part of town called Nolita. Wait. Do you know that certain (usually trendy) neighborhoods are named in New York with geographical short cuts? For example. Soho=South of Houston Street. Tribeca=Triangle Below Canal Street. Dumbo=Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Nolita, which I had to Google, stands for North Of Little Italy. And this completes the geography portion of today's blog. It will absolutely be on your final exam, so be sure to print this out and highlight it. Flashcards are suggested. Study groups should form.
What in the world was I talking about?
Oh! I know! What we found on Mulberry Street! We were Christmas shopping along, sending picture messages to Santa Clause for the things Beatrix wanted.
Beatrix wants monkey underwear. Yes. Charlotte, on the other hand, wants a computer (which she's not getting, but she might get some monkey underwear and a "nap experience"). Welcome to a 13 and 3 Christmas.
Anyhoo, the store next to the underwear store was odd looking--it kind of looked like an art gallery or a temporary art instillation--but it was full of astro turf, and there was a vendor selling lemonade. Weirdly, Beatrix had been begging me for lemonade (in December), and suddenly here it was. We walked in and I saw a sign that said:
POP UP PARK
Okay, I'll bite. What's a pop up park?
It is an indoor park.
Set design company American Foliage designed the peaceful retreat, which is free and open to the public from noon to eight everyday. The faux-park has everything you dream of during the icy winter months: a lawn, trees, a pond, park benches, a see-saw, even sunshine (courtesy of the Seasonal Affective Disorder lightboxes) and singing birds (piped in through speakers)! Plus, the gallery is offering all your favorite park activities. There’s croquet, bocce ball, movie nights, yoga and pilates classes, and local food vendors like Luke’s Lobster and Mexicue.
The Sharon Wheatley review is this: It's hilarious and kind of weird and really great and totally free. There is astro turf, but the fake blades of grass are long, so it doesn't hurt to sit on it. There are several rooms. It has that game Corn Hole (I don't know what it's really called) but it's this game where you throw the pillows stuffed with corn and try to get it in the hole. They sell lemonade mixed with fruit, and cannolis. There are red and white table cloths on the fake grass, and there are park benches and giant bean bag chairs. (Important) there is a nice bathroom. (More important) It has wi-fi. We stayed for probably 30 minutes and the kids played corn hole and we watched. It wasn't crowded and it was completely free. Pop up park? I'm a believer. Please pop up in the WaHeNeWheat neighborhood (Washington Heights Near Wheatley).
End of commercial.
Let's fly over to Singapore! I left off with Rob finally arriving to join the company as a keyboard sub. We'd been a bit strained from being apart for so long, I'd been a little flirty-flirty with another guy, but we were so excited to see each other. He got off the plane, made it through the giant customs line, walked over to me with a dreamy look in his eye and said....
"Those stewardesses are BEAUTIFUL."
Seriously? THAT is what he wanted to say to me?
Okay, now let me explain something. When you are me and so many of the men you've dated were gay, there is something so unbelievably refreshing about a guy being so stereotypically straight. I had to laugh and couldn't be bothered with one second of jealousy. He was right. They're beautiful. He was glad to see me, too, so that helped, although we did have our normal "It's weird to see you, it's weird to touch you, I think you're bugging me, you're really invading my space, quit bossing me around, and finally oh! I like you I remember now!" progression. It happens every time, even now, after we've been married for 437 years. It's normal.
For his first week, I was like a puppy showing off her new toys. I ran him all over the country in his jet lagged state.
We went to the botanical gardens (one word. Monkeys. Another word. Everywhere. And the last word. Terrifying.) we went to Little India for food. We went shopping. We went to the Zoo, called the "Open Zoo" which actually has a PARADE of animals (think DisneyWorld, but substitute in live animals) and photo ops with animals, and basically the most dangerous place you can think of. It's like a monorail exhibit without the monorail. It was terrifying. It was fantastic. People have died there. We ate at the extremely expensive and brand new TGI Fridays. Yes. That's right. I dragged Rob to a $75 dinner at TGIFridays because the dog meat they served at the Hawker Stalls grossed me out completely. I know, I know, it wasn't really dog meat, but it WAS all fish and it had suction cup things and tentacles and was ultra gross. I think Long John Silver's is exotic, so you can imagine me in Singapore. Rob, on the other hand, will eat anything. In fact, a few years later he went to Taiwan and was proud that he ate blood. Blood. BLOOD. Like a vampire. I wouldn't kiss that mouth for a month, dirty vampire. The point is, I was really bumming him out in the whole food arena. He made his way to the Hawker stalls plenty, so stop worrying about him.
Worry about me! My left hand was STILL ringless, despite pointing out every jewelry store in Singapore. I tried on just about every ring to be found in the country before Rob got there, so you can imagine how T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D he was when every excursion ended with a diet coke and a trip to a jewelry store. DEE lighted. Ugh, I was a colossal pain in the ass. I know this now. I knew it at the time, It didn't stop me.
We booked a trip to Batam, Indonesia for our next day off. We reserved expensive seats on a top speed boat to get us there, and an exclusive hotel room/hut. We were psyched. And then....
Rob got sick. Really sick. A huge temperature, he couldn't hold his head up, sick as a dog. We went to the doctor and they couldn't figure out what it was. Sick.
It was scary.
The day off was the next day and we were either going to Batam, Indonesia, or a hospital.