First of all, Happy Father's Day!
My sister Michelle and I with our daddy!
Today, Alivia and I went into the city. After taking two days off from traveling into Manhattan, we decided we had one last chance to mess it up before having to get to Ailey Monday morning.
We've been doing lots of research on bus schedules, times, routes and other nonsense. We marched down to Park Ave. (only a block from our apartment) and waited at the bus stop. When we saw the sign, it said:
Board here for:
156 New York
That's our bus number! Woohoo! We waited for about 10 minutes before the NJ Transit bus pulled up. Like we've been doing since we got here, we asked the driver if he was going to NYC and he answered "Yes" in English! The bus was air conditioned which was so refreshing to our sweaty, sticky skin (today it was 90 degrees). The whole way there we contemplated the alternative to the "big bus" as we call it, as oppose to the "mini bus." Even though it is $3.20 instead of $2.00 or $2.50, we came to the conclusion that if we take the mini bus we will end up paying more because we will probably go to far and have to get on another one.
We acted like tourists today. Which was fine because we were totally surrounded by them. Unlike we are in Union City. We try real hard not to look like tourists around our apartment. We walked through Times Square to 51st and Broadway to the Capezio store. We are finding our way around Manhattan with such ease. (Maybe if Union City had street signs we wouldn't have such a problem). I bought a black leotard and Alivia bought ballet shoes that she set aside yesterday over the phone. It was a nice store, however really really expensive. I think I might go back in a few weeks if we find out that we can wear more than just black. Blahh it's so depressing and hot!
When I asked Alivia what she wanted to do next, it was like she read my mind. "I don't wanna go back to Jersey!" So we wandered through Times Square a bit, weaving in and out of the people who suddenly stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take random pictures. Uhh. At least we moved out of the way. The only other store we went into was the M&M store. I've been there before, but Alivia hasn't. It's pretty awesome - I would have bought something, but a key chain was $4.00 so you can imagine how much a bag of candy would be.
Here are some other interesting sights to see in the heart of the city..
The Naked Cowboy
The Parsons School of Design
(Where the design contestants on Project Runway do their work)
(This is where Fashion Week takes place sometimes. I'm not sure if it's every year though.)
On Wednesday night, this is where we met Alivia's friend Blair and her boyfriend for dinner. There are lots of chairs and tables set up. And past the tall thing on the right (maybe a screen for movies??) there is a large grassy area with some trees around it where we saw people sun bathing today. In the far back you can see part of the New York City Public Library, which, by the way, you can't take books out of!
Alivia and I got lunch at a little Wholesome foods place on the corner of this park. We sat and watched people sleeping, walking, chatting, as well as cars and pigeons. It was very yummy and entertaining at the same time.
And now for the most exciting part of the entire day. Walking into the Port Authority, asking a man where we could find the 156 bus to Union City and hearing him say, "Upstairs, gate 200."
It exists! We bought our one way tickets, after realizing we couldn't pay in cash, went up the escalator, and got in line for the bus without a second to spare! Talk about perfect timing. All the signs affirmed we were going to make it back without having to squint at street signs or question what our bus driver was saying. We high fived each other like we were ten year old boys and boarded bus 156 with the biggest smiles I think I've ever seen.
It is so worth it to pay a little extra to not have to guess where we're going to stop, or walk 15 blocks to our apartment. Finally.
The only thing left to do is to find a time-sheet of how often the bus stops so we know exactly when we're going to have to get down there. Especially since there are two different buses and bus stops that will take us to NYC. Both are only a block from our apartment : )
(Sorry if this bus brouhaha has completely confused you, or driven you insane. I truly apologize. But at least you don't have to figure it out like we've been struggling to do.)
Tomorrow we start Ailey! We have orientation at 9:00 then placement classes during the day. We have to take a Ballet, Horton and Graham-based dance classes. Horton and Graham-based are both types of Modern dance. I think it is going to be a very long day. And of course it is going to be almost 90 degrees again tomorrow. Yuck.