Week 13 provided the perfect contrast between old life and new. Saturday I parallel parked, hopped on a train, then rushed to a subway all to eat dinner near Times Square and visit a whimsically small gangster museum. Sunday I returned to New Paltz for the annual Ragatta, an equally whimsical bit of culture surrounded by the gorgeous Hudson Valley
To prepare myself for a day of tall buildings I visited the Alley Pond Environmental Center. That side of the park is actually quite fantastic and I added a number of new bird species to my list.
I did not take my camera to the city, but Carmines was excellent. The Museum of the American Gangster is the last minute undergraduate version of a proper museum – vaguely spurious information, tacky photocopied exhibit descriptions, inconsistent tone and depth – but really quite fun. I mistakenly perhaps got myself the student rate and for $12 the two or three room museum with accompanying tour is charming. I can’t say I learned anything too specific and even the premise – a museum about American organized crime – feels thin, but it made for a lovely walk around the East Village. One of the nicer parts of town for sure and easily visited.
I don’t have my sealegs about town yet, but I’ve got an ever-improving mental map of NYC. On returning home I was almost able to recollect everywhere I was. Progress!
The New Paltz Ragatta is the happiest day of the year and not even overcast weather can change that. Sadly I didn’t take all that many photos – too busy enjoying New Paltz being its weird happy paltz self – but before hand I took a stroll around the Nyquist Reserve. I also took what is becoming my favorite photo of Skytop.
Veranda – lovely italian place in Bayside. Bit pricey.
Halal on Wheels – small food truck near Hofstra. Food was excellent but too slow to make consistent use of.
BKNY – decent but unexceptional Thai place in Bayside. Luckily even average Thai is fantastic.
I miss New Paltz. No other way around it. It’s a truly gorgeous place and far more attuned to my particular sense of things. The city goes well enough and I’ve carved a lovely niche around myself – I certainly can’t complain financially or professionally. One does await a return though – perhaps to New Paltz – or perhaps to somewhere else entirely. Each turn of the wheel has brought something new. I have no idea when that might be and I’ll keep up with grand metropolitan adventures as long as necessary, but it’ll be nice to return home someday…wherever that might turn out to be.