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{Thursday, March 08, 2007}

Far Above Cayuga's Waters...

A and I travelled by car from NYC up to Ithaca to visit my alma mater, Cornell University, for Homecoming weekend. I had not been to campus for something like twelve or thirteen years. We got into Ithaca Thursday afternoon in time for me to go with the Lightweight Crew Coach in his launch for practice. That was a fantastic experience. We were evenable to get well out into Cayuga Lake and the pracitice even turned into some rather intense seat racing. What a blast for Crew Coach on sabbatical such as I am. Especially since this squad won the Eastern Sprints, IRA's and lost a close final at Henley to a much bigger heavyweight crew from England (and that was after beating the dominating Cal Frosh heavies in the semis). It was clear and cool out on the lake:

On our way up to Ithaca, it being mid-October, we stopped at a rural pumpkin farm and bought some yummy fresh apple cider:

On Friday we hit the wineries along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake (one finger lake to the west of Cayuga). We hit a couple of great wineries and a couple of basically mediocre ones. Here is a shot of Seneca Lake and then a shot including the vineyards in the foreground:

I took A up to the campus and we wandered spent too much money in the bookstore including an acquisition by me of a Cornell Hockey sweater (Go Big Red!!!). Then wandered over to Straight Hall. this picture captures a part of Straight that reminds you that this is an Ivy League campus:

On Saturday after I attended the Crew homecoming activities which included sitting my fat ass back into a coxswain's seat for an alumni boat, we hiked with my old roommate from senior year, Veg, and his lovely significant other, Erin, for hike up through Cascadila Gorge. I had an unfortunate up close encounter with this gorge situated back in 1987. Our fraternity house is situated along the north edge of this beautiful trench gouged out by Cascadilla Creek:

We stayed with Veg & Erin in their beatiful house located on the south side of Cascadilla Gorge. On Saturday we got dressed up and went over to the fraternity house (Lambda Chi Alpha for those who are curious) for the homecoming dinner. Here's a shot of A and I before we headed over:

Fun was had by all. We headed back to NYC on Sunday so that we could fly out of LaGuardia on Monday morning. We stayed at a former rower's teeny, tiny apartment and he took us out to the Upright Citizen's Brigade, of which he is a member and employee, for an amazing Sunday night improv comedy show. I got to drive through Manhattan and Queens again and we safely made it home. We loved the trip and will most definitely go back to The City again in the future.

posted by The Brooklynite 6:42 PM

{Wednesday, March 07, 2007}

Picking up from where I left off, a trip to NYC

So I've obviously neglected this poor blog for months. I recently got an email from a college buddy that I visited in New York back in October prodding me to update this blog. Well just I began editing digital photos from that trip and planning on doing the same with more and later photos my computer went kaput. I finally figured out that it was a harware issue and took it to a local computer geek store/repair shop (Belmont Computers on SE Belmont and 45th). I had fried my memory because I had let dust and crap build up in the system. A few blasts of compressed air and a new bank of RAM later I'm back up and running.

The rest of this post will be pics and comments from A & I's first part of our October trip to New York dealing with NYC. My next post will have the Ithaca leg of our journey.

We flew out to LaGuardia on a Monday getting into the city late that night. We stayed in cool little hotel out in Flushing at Queens Crossings just a couple of blocks from the end of the number 7 subway line. On Tuesday morning we rode the subway into Manhattan with plans to visit the Guggenheim and otherwise walk around. After we got off the subway we started to wander around mid/upper East Side Manhattan when we stumbled past this curious doorway:

After some coffee and light breakfast we cruised around (and I mean around) the Guggenheim which had a cool exhibit from an Iraqi-born British feamle architect who designed cools stuff like a BMW plant in Germany:

Later that evening I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of my fraternity brothers and a guy I coached in rowing when he was in high school way back when. We met at this cool bar not far from the Guggenheim and it was warm enough (70+ that day in NYC) to sit at the outside tables. These guys and I were part of a faction within the fraternity that was called either the "farmer faction" or "fart faction" depending on the situation. Of course they have all gone on to great success. One of them works for financial giant UBS and another is a Ph.d in medicine and is in the midst of conducting various medical trials. Oh well, we used to sit around and smoke way too much pot and fart a lot:

Damn it was good to see those guys again. I feel pretty isolated from my college crowd out here in the Pacific NW.

The next day, with the handy help of two member passes from my former rower Eli, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). With his handy passes we were able to visit a members-only showing of modern pop-art. After that we spent most of our time on just a single floor. Here's a shot of A viewing Van Gogh's "Starry Night":

Here's an arty shot of the crowd in MOMA:

And here is a cool Picasso:

The MOMA building itself is a cool bit of architecture. Here is a shot that tries to capture some of it:

So after all that excitement, I was able to acquire tickets to Game 1 of the Mets-Cardinals NLCS at Shea Stadium through connections via my Father. The problem was that it started raining, hard, at about 4 pm and did not stop until much later that night. Alas, my plans were thwarted as the game was postponed and we were due to leave NYC the following morning for Ithaca. Our hotel was only one subway stop from Shea, but pretty dang far from Manhattan. We got dressed up and went back to Manhattan anyway and had dinner down in Greenwich Village. Here is a shot from the subway platform at Grand Central (cool, huh?):

We eventually ended up at this historic Irish pub, McSorley's. Here's a shot of my wonderful Irish lass A outside the pub and then a shot from within:

Finally, on the way back to Queens on the subway we asked a fellow rider to snap this shot of us:

New York City was way cool and we both want to go back for another vacation trip. We will sometime in the next few years.

posted by The Brooklynite 9:24 PM

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