June 29, 2014 by Caroline Leland
Weekend 4: Parks and Bars Galore
What a weekend!!!
Friday, I more or less had the day off. I need to get some work for Slow Food done over the next week or so, but I didn’t need to do it on Friday so I mostly took the day for myself. I went to Queens to put up posters in my grocery store and to meet with a woman at a nonprofit financial advising agency that works towards economic equality. The woman seemed to like the idea of the nutrition tours, and agreed to talk to her clients about signing up for one.
After running, I met up with Joanna at Bryant Park where we watched a couple of dance troupes rehearse for a performance that evening. At 5:30 I went to a free open rooftop bar at the Empire Hotel — no catch! You only had to RSVP online in advance. I met up with some of the friends I made at the 21st birthday party last weekend and really enjoyed hanging out with them more. We went to a different bar when the open bar ended, and then I headed out to find Emily celebrating her 21st.
|with Joanna in Bryant Park|
|“Do you ever dream you’re flying? I wish I could dance like that because then I could know what flying felt like.” -Joanna|
|red carpet photos at the rooftop bar|
[photo belongs to Yasamin Haghshenas]
|the view from the bar|
My phone had already died by 7 p.m., so I looked up directions on a friend’s phone and wrote it down on a piece of paper. Despite having had three drinks without eating, I managed to navigate myself to the bar where Emily and her friends were supposed to be — but they had left just five minutes before I got there. So then I borrowed the bartender’s phone to look up directions to the restaurant where we were supposed to go next. I was proud of myself for finding that one, too (having gone from the upper west side to the lower east side back up to somewhere between those two). A couple of circuits through the tables and bar area determined that the group definitely wasn’t there. I waited by the door for half an hour before deciding they definitely weren’t coming. The kind host, though he was clearly very busy seating people, took pity on me and let me borrow his phone to log on Facebook. I saw that Emily had messaged the group saying there wasn’t space at that restaurant so they were eating somewhere else. A semi-desperate message (“hi I’m stranded with no phone please tell me where you are!”) and a few minutes later, I got a response the name of the restaurant where they had gone instead. I looked up directions for that place (still on the restaurant host’s phone) and then sent a quick reply: “Okay I’m walking there now please don’t leave before I get there!!!”
After a 15 minute walk I was finally united with the group I had chased all over lower Manhattan. After some great Spanish tapas, we walked to a different bar before all going home. I love meeting all these friends-of-friends because everyone I talk to is super friendly and interesting! I’ve also been lucky to meet several Duke and UNC students who I know I’ll be able to see/hang out with in the future.
|with Ellie at Emily’s 21st birthday dinner|
I slept in Saturday, went running then worked on my online class for a couple of hours. Then I met up with Sagar (the one who turned 21 last weekend) for some Frisbee in the park. We ended up walking the entire length of the park, including one super fun pit stop to sail a remote-controlled sailboat on a pond! Then we made dinner together — mostly he made dinner, a delicious tomato-chickpea dish.
|Central Park Sailing Club|
|delicious chole dinner|
That night I met up with Ellie at a different free open bar, this one much more club-like with neon lights and loud music. Then Ellie and I went to her friend’s apartment for a little while. It wasn’t a big night but I was still out super late just because it takes so long to get around the city.
|Liberty Theater: free open bar #2|
This morning I went to the Pride March downtown. So fun. I love all the bright colors and high energy and glitter and music and dancing! I know a lot of my family and friends are opposed to homosexuality on a biblical basis, but I think the most important thing to remember is that people are people are people. The Bible’s key message above all else is love, and so I think respect for people who choose a different lifestyle than you is mandated simply by our shared humanity both from a Christian perspective and a secular one. I was happy to be there supporting acceptance of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.