The day begins with much work through a slow internet connection (appears to have been resolved now thankfully), and a lack of breakfast items in the apartment.
The obvious solution - go out and get something is delayed due to the need to finish some items at work - who wants to get back from a day out and go back to 1/2 finished work???? Ok it wouldn't be the first time but this day - my foot was down. Work complete (well, that part of it anyway) and we head into Manhattan on a mission - Smoked ham hocks (I will make my lentil soup here if it kills me!!!), lego (for a stop motion project) and a sketch pad (because need to put ideas down on paper).
The subway ride seems normal but quickly descends into an express service to an existential crisis (we are running a strict don't ask - don't tell policy on this one folks - suffice to say it happened). Head spins kicked in when exiting the train - not the most ideal moment. Not so funny when people think you're drunk or drugged. Fortunately, it was a mild one, but it did restrict my ability to take photos for a couple of hours.
Subway overshot, our stop so much walking back - who wants to wait for a local? Surely it would be quicker to walk? What were we thinking? Bought a coffee for a homeless man - his face lit up, breaks my heart, but I'm glad I could make his day a little better.
Lego store at the Rock on Black Friday is not a good idea - queues - serious queues. We'll go to Target later we think. We end up strolling 5th Avenue on the Upper East Side, see the best Salvation Army Bell ringer EVER across from Saks and head to St Patricks Cathedral - a beautiful place to shoot or just sit and enjoy some quiet reflection. Deanna drops her camera on my left hand whilst in the front pew of the cathedral - God must have been with me because I did not swear, I did not scream, I took the pain (and the crippled hand) in my stride - may have been my penance for not paying for those candles I lit back in primary school. Karma's a bitch.
Too much time in a Japanese grocery store. Really? We travel to New York and spend a chunk of time in a store that could have been in Melbourne? Sheesh! Sushi and Japanese treats enjoyed in Central Park. Saw our first rat (the rodent variety) and went in search of a ladies room. Having crossed the park twice in search of the facilities - we give up and decide to continue outside the park to Schaller & Weber which, as luck would have it, was back across the park. First bus ride to cross back to E86th Street - why do I have to scan my met card to get a ticket when it's included?? More on the delightful met card another day. Bus overshoots 2nd avenue and we walk back.
We secure what I can only assume is one of the only 2 smoked ham hocks in New York, in the German speciality store (although - they do Italian charcuterie also) celebratory dancing, singing, woot woot and then a catchy tune starts on the stores pa. Deanna and I start singing enthusuastically, the lady we pass at the deli counter at the back joins in, another lady further up adds her voice. The guys behind the counter are smiling. I guess this doesn't happen often, why don't people sing more in public? Get your groove on people!!!!
We head 5 blocks up 2nd avenue before we realise we should have gone west instead of north, back to W86th & Lexington it is. Quick side note - Many thanks to the great people at the Midnight Express Cafe for allowing me to use their restroom. May be because I looked like Violet Beauregard when she turned into a blueberry (thanks Mr Wonka!), or could just be that they were really nice.
On to the subway and the train is delayed due to an incident at Nevins - NEVINS!!!!!! It's taken it's name back. This is not the end Nevins! We will not yield!!!
Home, to put the precious hocks in the fridge and unload the camera then out to Target to get the lego - $165 later, no lego but at least we secured the sketch pad. Is this where I mention I found one already in Deanna's room when tidying this morning? Nah, best not to say anything. the trip, however was worth it to see trolley escalators - yes, your trolley rides next to your escalator - not the travelators we have back home where you take your trolley with you. This literally has its own. Mind blown!!
Home by 10.30pm, sleep, wake, repeat.