Checking out the new Highline extension

It’s so nice to sleep in. Plans to meet my friend Ryland for breakfast at 9 were a little too optimistic. Thankfully he hadn’t made the trek down and was in fact struggling to wake up as well. We postponed plans until the afternoon, the only downside being that Glen doesn’t get to see him.

Eventually Glen and I got out of bed, got dressed and head out to the Chelsea Highline. Glen said there was an extension to it, but didn’t say at which end, so there was a bit of disagreement along the way, each thinking the other should have been responsible for finding this out. In the end it was at the end I thought it would be, and there was no drama.

We went into Chelsea Markets so Glen could get a coffee and we could find something small to eat. I bought a fruit scone while Glen had this delicious pain du matin thing that was like croissant bread but down in a muffin shape. We then emerged back onto the cold street, and found the entrance (back down a few streets to the Highline).

It’s a very different place in winter, considering that the cold sends all the plants into hibernation. It’s still busy with people as it’s a much nicer way of getting through this part of the city than along the sidewalk with the rush of cars. We stopped and ate our pastries then set a cracking pace to get up to the new part which was at the northern end.

It’s a temporary extension apparently, or at least it hasn’t had as much effort put into it as the rest of the highline. It curves around a development and the holding yard for the trains. I pulled Glen’s suitcase (lucky he packs light) while he took a bunch of photos. We talked about apartment prices in New York, how the poorest people always used to live by the water but now it’s the richest, whether rising sea levels would wipe us out first or if it would be the lack of resources, and all around just enjoyed our last hour together before he headed off to Chicago.

I’ve noticed it more on this trip that we’ve seen a lot of iconic landmarks, and often quite by chance. For instance, Glen and I found ourselves outside Madison Square Garden where we located a taxi rank. I thought that was pretty neat.

I won’t see my sister in New York

After saying farewell to my husband, I caught the train back to Aaron’s. It was here, when I got back in, that I learned some bad news. Through a miscommunication or a few misplaced strokes of a keyboard, my sister does not arrive on Sunday morning as I originally thought. The whole reason I’m still in New York a few extra days was because I thought we’d have Sunday together to explore. Turns out she doesn’t arrive until 4:30am on MONDAY. My flight leaves at 7:30am and probably from a different airport to hers. Bang goes that plan. It also means there’s a chance her hostel booking will have to be altered as she was originally going to come and see me. How annoying!

I did investigate how much a flight on Monday evening would cost but it’s ridiculous ($288) so looks like Donna and I will miss each other after all.

An awful brunch

In the afternoon, Ryland, a friend from Australia, came over so we could head out to brunch (at 2:30pm!!!) with Julian and his friends. The last time I saw Ryland was in Banff in March/April, and before that was in Toronto in September 2013. He’s been working the ski and summer seasons in Banff…along with a bunch of side travel here, there and everywhere. It’s just happened to work out that he and I are in the same city at the same time.

We caught up on what’s been happening, and then walked down to a place called Libation where Julian and his friends met us. I’m sorry to say that this was probably one of the most unpleasant places I’ve ever been. Ryland and I arrived to what is pretty much a nightclub that’s open for brunch on the weekend that serves endless mimosas and bloody Mary’s. Sounds good in theory but with the music at nightclub level blaring out in the six speakers above your table, I didn’t exactly feel in the party mood. Especially when I’d rather spend time talking to the new people I’d met. As it was, I could only really talk to Ryland on my left and Julian on my right, and hardly ever both at the same time.

The food was ok, except my chicken penne pasta was a bit on the salty side. The mimosas were made with not very nice champagne (but for $29 what can you expect). There was plenty of spectacle to watch, and I found it amazing that people were really dressed up for this. I’m talking nightclub clothes with jewellery and low-cut dresses or really dapper suits. None of us had been there before so we weren’t exactly expecting this. Brunch = chilled out food after (usually) a big night. We won’t be going back and I don’t think I know anyone I’d recommend this place to.

Ice-cream, dinner and drinks

Afterwards, Julian, Ryland and I got ice-cream at Laboratorio del Gelato which served some delicious flavours. I had pomegranate sorbet and salted caramel. Julian and Ryland both had black sesame with a different second flavour each. The good quality ice-cream wiped away the bad taste of Libations. We then walked through a bit of West Village so I could buy a wallet for Glen that he wanted. We then went back to Aaron’s place for a bit of a rest before heading out again.

We had dinner at Riviera Cafe down the road, one of the cheaper places in this part of town, something we were all a bit thankful for. We spent a good couple of hours there chatting up a storm before bidding farewell to Ryland. Julian and I then walked across town, going through Washington Square, and meeting Julian’s friends at a gay bar called The Boiler Room. This is another place that doesn’t believe in standardised shot sizes for mixed drinks…not that I’m complaining.

After a while we decided to go to Marie’s Crisis, thinking that this time I might actually get to go, but there was a long queue out the door and inside was heaving with people. It would have been good to be inside, but not if we had to wait. We went across the road to Duplex. I decided I didn’t need a drink (the effects of the one from The Boiler Room having worn off), and then soon thought I needed to go to bed. I left them at 12:30, feeling bad that I was abandoning them, but also glad to be going home for some sleep. It had been a long day.

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