I spent my day in three boroughs – and that was too much, because after I came home at about half past five, I was not able to go out again. I had planned to go out for dinner, but my feet simply said NO.
The day started with a homemade breakfast. Then I sat on the roofdeck for a while and planned my day.
The forecast had promised a warm and sunny day. Williamsburg Farmers‘ Market, buying shoes for comfortable city walking and look after Strand Books were the essentials.
Nichole and Micah came down just before I left, so I could ask where to go for shoes. Nichole recommended some places around Union Square.
I took the G train one stop to Nassau. From there I walked to McCarren Park where the Farmers‘ Market is. On my way I came across what I forgot to mention yesterday: there is a public piano in McCarren Park. Yesterday a young man was practising on it, today a little asian boy was frantically playing whatever. The market is small but I came across something that rang a bell and reminded me that I wanted to learn something new every day. Yesterday I had learned – by eating a salad – that there are not only red beets but golden ones as well. That they are called golden beets I learned at the market, where I saw them and recognized what i had in my salad yesterday.
Behind the market I came across that orthodox Cathedral I had already seen on my Williamsburg walk in 2007. Still there and still the same.
Walking down Bedford Avenue my impression was that either Williamsburg has changed or my perception. Or both. When I walked there six years ago, my perception was that it was shabby but absolutely busy – hip. Now I thought it is still hip and still busy but around Bedford Avenue there are cosy side streets and a lot of brand new buildings next to well maintained old ones. The run down Chinese Takeaway I photographed then is still there and doesn’t look any better.
Other sites I didn’t find any more. For example the café where I had that zucchini cake.
My time schedule was bad. I would have liked to have a street food lunch right here in Williamsburg, but it was too early. So I took the L Train to Manhattan to visit the Strand and buy shoes and thought I could come back afterwards to eat something.
Strand Books is still there and still great. Unfortunately they did not have the book I need for my writing class. So I just bought a 5 boroughs map and left for hunting shoes. Buying shoes is a hard task for me, but finally – as I returned to the very first store I had been to – I got a pair. Not really fancy but really comfortable.
It was too late to go back to Williamsburg for lunch then, but too early to go home. So I decided to make a stop in Long Island City, Queens. I got off the R Train at Queens Plaza. Don’t even think there is a Plaza! After getting out of the subway I found myself beneath an elevated train with just nothing around me. It took me a while to find out in which direction I had to go. I wanted to find some street food and I wanted to see Gantry Plaza State Park. Long Island City seemed to have died out however on a Saturday afternoon. I decided to give it another chance on a weekday and walked straight to Gantry Plaza. I passed that former factory the City had given to graffiti artists.
On my way I picked up a Cajun Turkey Wrap and a Snapple in a Deli. And then: Wow! Gantry Plaza State Park was definitely worth the way.
It is breathtaking. The view is even better than from my roofdeck. You can see Midtown, you can see wonderful Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island. You can lie on the lawn or on wooden sunbeds or sit in benches along piers beyond the gantries labeled „Long Island“. To your back there are newly built luxury apartment towers and the Pepsi Cola sign where the bottling plant once stood. I sat there, had my wrap and my drink and tried to find out what is what across the East River. I decided to spend one of my 180 days lying on one of these wooden sunbeds. I was overwhelmed by the beauty oft hat place.
What I learned today: Limit your day, days are not really limited.
I’m not on vacation and I do have a job to be done. At least write this blog.
And while I was writing this blog post a stunning firework went up at the Manhattan waterfront, next to the Empire State Building. Great view from our roofdeck! It is not New Year’s Eve and not July 4th. So did Gatsby have a party over there?
By the way: I became childishly fond of my Smartphone. It is amazing what you can do with such a thing. I downloaded tons of apps already and now I discovered that I even can connect it to any WiFi , so I don’t need to stress my 500 MB limit when I‘m at home.