Posted by: bkropf | October 31, 2007

Typing In Terror

I arrived in Penn Station in New York city totally confused about where I was and where the subway lines were. After I gathered myself, I quickly found the line I needed and stood at the platform. I was waiting for the #1 but the #2 and #3 trains kept going by yet no #1. A couple of other New Yorker natives and myself all banded together and went searching for the #1. We eventually found it, the transit authority had moved it and failed to alert anyone. Upon arrival at my hotel and checking in, I was pleasantly surprised to see my roommates were a German with broken English and a New Zealander. The German was really nice and has been in NYC for about 2 weeks traveling by himself. He drums for a heavy metal band called Black Unicorn. He showed me his cd and they looked pretty intense yet he is really nice and quiet. Goes to show, looks are deceiving. He said he loves America and how people are so friendly. In Germany he says people are really aggressive. The guy from New Zealand really fit into the Ozzie/Kiwi stereotype: large, foul mouth, really nice, pretty intense, plays rugby. He has been traveling in Europe and living in England about 2 years and is on his way home.

The hostel is pretty nice for the most part with one main problem, given it is Halloween they are playing horror movies 24/7 in the lobby. It isn’t the biggest problem, I could just avoid the lobby, but that is the only place to get internet service. So my only option is to now sit in terror as I type and get information on the internet. Also, I don’t really like it that they have movies on all the time, it really doesn’t help people to meet and talk.

Monday morning I slept in and relaxed. I walked through Central Park down to Times Square and bought a Bus Tour Pass. I did this my previous trip to NYC. I really love them because you get to see the whole city, learn the history, and see the places you want to return to visit later. I hopped on the bus at Times Square and headed through the city and ended up down at the Woolworth building and Ground Zero. The Woolworth building had an amazing lobby I heard so I walked in and looked around. I promptly got kicked out. I then walked over to the first church in NYC and the place George Washington worshipped for a while. I looked at Ground Zero a bit. Then my buddy Mary called and had just gotten done with an interview in the city. I jumped on the subway and went back up to Midtown and we met and had some pizza and caught up on life. She has just gotten married and recently moved to NYC. After we split up, I decided to walk the 4 or 5 miles back to my hostel which ended up being alot of fun. I think I overdosed on Swedish Fish though.

I got up early on Tuesday morning and grabbed breakfast a local dinner. I spent most of the day touring around by bus. I did the whole downtown loop and then took a tour of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn tour was really awesome and I think I’ll be going back to see some more. I met a really nice lady from Atlanta on the bus. We had a nice time chatting because out tour guide was from Japan and we couldn’t understand her English. I ended up walking back through Central Park again and then went to a Jewish Film Festival. I’m now back at the hostel about ready for bed.

I cannot even start to relay all of the funny things I have seen. There have been so many. One of the weirder things I saw was a normal looking guy hunched over with a video camera videoing this rock and singing some song. I though, “Weird, but maybe he is trying to coax out some squirl or something.” Nope, he was videoing this little demon looking doll sitting on the rock. I also saw this lady who had a cart selling pretzels yelling at this homeless guy for about 10 mintues. That can not be good for business.

I had Chinese food for lunch today even though I always say I’m never going to have it again. It is so deceptive! Why is it every time I see some place selling Chinese food I think, “Mmm, Chinese food…That sounds really good,” and then when I’m taking my last bite my stomach groans, “That was the worst idea ever, I shouldn’t ever eat Chinese again!” Same thing happened today, I had Chinese for lunch and then I pasted a place with Dim Sum this evening and I thought, “That looks tasty” but I refrained learning my lesson from lunch, and got pizza instead.

Did you know the term ‘Jewing them down’ is a racial slur? Seems obvious one would think but I really never realized it until 2 years ago and have subsequently stopped using the term. To me, I thought it meant something good, like negotiating a good deal. Regardless, I love Jews and decided to attend a Jewish Film Festival. Little did I know I would be a little out of my demographic. I would say the average age was about 50 and everyone was really hardcore Jewish, excluding me. It was fun hearing the converstaions around me because I guess it gives the term ‘Jewing them down’ some validity. The one man brags to the other:

“I was in one of the perfume shops the other day waiting for my wife. I asked the clerk what he would recommend for a cologne. He said this one specific cologne is highly sought after. Regularly it is $80, but he would give it to me for $54. I really didn’t want it that badly so I said I would think about it. Then the clerk said he was closing shop and wanted to sell it and would give it to him for $40. (I will leave out the entire story relating to the negotiation) …So I got it for $20”

I’m sorry if this post seems really a simple chronical of my time here so far and may contain spelling an other errors.  I’m in a huge rush to get downtown to meet a buddy of mine for a parade.  I do have much more to write but many pictures of the places I went are online.  I’ll try to write tomorrow morning or later tonight.  Thanks for all the comments guys, I really love hearing what you have to say. 



  1. Seems to me that you’ve been eating a lot of pizza.

  2. I can’t believe how you get around so easily and always make your connections with people at random restaurants and cafes. I mean, how did you know where to jump on a train and meet Mary (was that her name?) You should go on Amazing Race.

  3. Janna’s right, you are an amazing traveler!

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