i "met" my friend ms. j seven years ago through nervousness.org and finally, finally, we got to squeeze each other in person as she was our hostess for our weekend in NJ. and we had a blast!
we arrived on a friday evening and headed out for a delightful dinner of indian food and a jaunt over to princeton for some ridiculously good vegan ice cream. ms. j, what was the name of that place again? seriously tasty! we didn't stay up too late chatting away as the next day was gonna be a dilly of a day. we were gonna trek into the city to gawk away at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
up bright and early the next morning we piled into our vehicle for the day and headed out to the Holland Tunnel. is it okay for me to mention that driving in NJ is not for us west coasters? i mean US us as in we a-go-gos...our home stomping ground was developed pretty late in the new world so we have wide wide roads that go all ways while the narrow highways in jersey made us feel like hamsters in a maze. so many turns and confusing round-abouts and fast, fast, fast speedsters. gosh i feel fogey-like. many thank yous over to ms. j for her mad chauffering skills. plus, she knew the pretty routes and they were P R E T T Y !
once through the tunnel we got a windshield tour of the small corner of Manhattan we were driving though. luck was on our side as we pulled into a streetside spot free of parking fees and time constraints. our next stop would be brunch and then the subway journey to Coney Island. we noshed on our pancakes and latkes and moseyed on down to the subway. i always imagined it to be more chaotic and loud and was delighted that i was able to grasp the how-tos involved (i'm not a well seasoned transit traveler or a traveler of any sort). the train came, we hopped on and after one transfer we settled into orange plastic seats for the rest of the ride amongst various paraders in pirate gear.
we lucked out and got a decent viewing spot behind to women who appeared to be in good spirits but ultimately snarked out at me when i got jostled up against them...i got a major earful from the one in a lime green tank top and tiger tattoo as my apology got carried away in the wind and glitter of the parade.
the mermaid parade reminded us a-go-gos of our own southern california doo-dah parade only with more glitter and fins. the best parts were when the paraders got into their roles and camped it all up. we were disappointed when the group of marie antionette marchers we passed before the parade began simply walked by as if they were shopping at the mall. their costumes were really pretty but their lack of enthusiasm kinda killed it for all three of us.
after a couple of hours we maneuvered our way to the cyclone, handed over $16 and went clackity clack all over the tracks. it was a wild ride and great fun but we still favor the giant dipper in santa cruz. did i mention i feel old fogey-like?
we subwayed ourselves back towards the car and then did some city wandering. ms. j guided us to another fabulous eatery and we wandered some more hitting up washington square park and the lomo store. i think i could wander the city for a week if not more simply to gaze about and snap photos of all the interesting bits i see. just drop me off and let me wander...