Multi purpose park

Bryant Park is in the heart of the city, and the daily activities organized may justify me calling it if not the heart, then at least some other important organ of the city.

There are free to read newspapers and books, book readings and discussions, language courses and much more in the literature area. Juggling lessons, yoga and tai chi are some of the weekly activities. Then there is live music, as well as snapshots of Broadway plays during lunchtime.

Not to mention this.

Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean’s most famous film, in Bryant Park

Every Monday night HBO and Pepsi offer screenings of classic films. The lawn area opens at 5 pm, when queuing people race to spread their blankets and try to get the best spots. Then, 4 hours later, the film begins. After a ritual.

Dancing before the movie

The movies are screened after a cartoon and -of course- movie trailers. Since the park was filled yesterday, my rough estimate is that there was easily over 1,000 people. Therefore, it was the biggest movie screening I’ve ever been to, in the most interesting location (you can hear the sounds of the city around you), with the most interesting waiting time (picnic blankets side by side). I had a good spot right in the middle front, where the sound was so loud I wish I had brought earplugs.

There are other movie screenings going on almost every night in other parks around the city and in Brooklyn, too, but I think this will be sufficient for me, for now. It is a good alternative to spending the night in your own couch, though!

Advertisements

Weekend activities

Mostly thanks to couchsurfing.org, I have been rather active (and social) the past few days.

On Friday, I went to a pole dancing lesson held by a fellow CS member. I met new people (random enough, there was one Finnish girl who happens to be classmates with one of my oldest friends, in another city where I lived), had fun, and learned that I do not have much muscular strength. I knew that already, but it is odd how easy it looks to be upside down hanging on a pole. The class definitely helped me loosen up. Don’t know, if me and the pole will have many encounters any time soon, but it was fun to try!

Saturday I went to Moma ps1 and 5 points in Long Island city. After that, I defied the laws of nature and walked 48 blocks north and 8 avenues east, in heels, to the biggest house party I have ever been. Rough estimate of attendants is around 500. I was in my element behind the bar counter making drinks. Got nice tip (that paid for the cab ride home!), met a lot of new people – win, win! I also wanted to go to a party on the Manhattan bridge, but since the weather was bad, I had the aforementioned uncomfortable shoes (and a mini skirt), the party was good, and I had no clue how to get from Upper East Side to the bridge fairly easily, I decided to hang out with the people I already was with.

Since there is no picture of the rooftop party, here’s the view from Webster’s rooftop.

Not bad for a view, eh?

Sunday activities: picnic in Central Park, followed by coffee and baguettes in a nice cafe, then to home and to NyQuil-spiked sleep at 8.30.

PS1

PS one not meaning Playstation.

Spin-off of the Museum of Modern Art

Moma ps1 is located in Long Island city (not IN Long Island, though). This summer, every Saturday they have Moma Ps1 warmup events with dj’s, beer tents and partying. So, for the price of the admission (15$) you get to see the modern art exhibition, and chill, dance, eat and drink (for extra price) in a cool, artsy environment.

This is art.

No pictures allowed, of course I took some. It’s a habit!

More art.

The building is apparently and old school. To me, it looked more like a mental institution.

This is not art, really.

The party was not wild at 3 pm, but I heard that around 8 the dance floor was packed.

Dance dance revolution.

Homesickness

Some time cliches are true, like in the case of New York being a melting pot for different cultures. Cultural diversity brings extra spice to life in the city, from the vast variety of restaurants to the different looks of passers by.

In here it is ridiculously easy to try out new things, such as Japanese inspired hot dogs, or Korean infused tacos. But what happens when you want to feel like home, not like you’re in the promised land of happy hour oysters? Homesickness can be easily cured in a place like New York, even if you’re not from China.

If I was from Alaska, maybe this store would help me when feeling low

 

The British have their pubs, but also a cute store with a nice tea corner, perfect for eating shepherd’s pie and reading about the Royal Family.

God bless America, or how was it?
A cup of silver tea with some biscuits, and the world seems brighter again

 

There are of course restaurants dedicated to almost every possible cuisine, and some cultures have their homely pubs with their local selection of drinks. Sometimes feeling like home takes more than a pint of beer, though (sometimes the pint is not even necessary).

Probably the strongest Finnish fashion brand, Marimekko, can be found in few locations

New York has the H&M and Ikea we Finns are so fond of, even though they are Swedish brands. Sometimes Sweden is close enough, though.

 

Sockerbit – piece of sugar – brings the sweet side of Sweden (and some Finnish Fazer treats, too) to New Yorkeans

I have seen “salty licorice” in few candy stores, but have not dared to try it. Now, as my Turkinpippuri (Turkish pepper) stock has run out, I might have to turn to some of the more hard core treats in here.

If my chocolate stash runs out, I can stock up in Sockerbit

 

Tasting salmiakki candy results in faces of disgust with most Americans, but the other Finnish pride, rye bread, has received more enthusiastic attention.

New Amsterdam market on Sunday. Rye bread is sold (and tasted) in Union Square on Fri&Sat, other locations and times are unknown

Real Finnish rye can be also purchased in Dean&DeLuca and Whole Foods.

Ruis meaning rye

Finnish rye vs. American rye.

American “rye” bread

Yes, this is probably the only thing I am truly proud about in Finland. We have real rye bread. Thank god we are trying to tell you about the greatness of it, too.