My Last Weekend in NYC

Thursday

I went to Manhattan Samba rehearsal, my last.  We sang Inaye again.  There were tacos at El Ídolo afterward, I got some tamales.  P gave me a sopranino ukulele, which was totally unnecessary but also totally awesome.  I stayed up late that night looking up ukulele chords, and fantasizing about buying tenor and baritone ukuleles.

Friday

Met L, L, B, and Cuicaman at Brazil Brazil Restaurant.   I didn’t see them at first, they were around the corner at the end.  But once I did find them we played all the toys we brought to watch the Brazil vs. Portugal game.  On our end of the restaurant, we were watching the Univision broadcast, but all the other TVs were watching the Brazilian channel, which was delayed by a few seconds… we’d scream at a big play, and a few seconds later everyone else in the restaurant would scream as well.   The game ended in a tie.

There was pandeiro, tamborim, agogo, ganza, cuica, and the restaurant had a surdo.   During halftime we did a rather significant samba performance in the entry of the restaurant.  Here’s video, if you’re FB friends with the Cuicastan.

After the game, we went to Drummer’s World, where I bought a brush.

Later, I met A, a SpanishPod listener!  We watched the Chile vs. Spain game at Mudville 9 Saloon, and talked about soccer, accents (he’s Welsh!), and travel over chicken wings and firehouse fries.  Later we walked to Battery Park and then up the Hudson to the Marina, where he took sailing lessons.

Afterward, I met S and O for dinner at Congee.  We ordered a clam soup, steamed chicken and mushrooms with acai berries, pea leaves, and seafood chow mein with crispy noodles (not too much sauce!).  Nothing fancy.

We went to Whiskey Tavern after that–my favorite bar in NYC.  Rob the Bartender asked me why I was leaving,  and bought us a round of picklebacks.  A showed up, as did S.  We sat on the back patio until they closed it, and then left for the Watering Hole for karaoke.  There we met roomie J, A, Broadway J, and Tribeca J.  It was pretty hopping, and we got our songs in, but the closed at 2am!  So we moved to Karaoke One 7, and took over the place.  Cabbed home.

Saturday

So this woman responded to my ad about the bike; her and her husband showed up bright and early at 10am to come pick it up.  They were aussie J and kiwi M, and they were both very beautiful and bright and happy and a little giggly about meeting me, and very enthusiastic about speaking Spanish to me.  Later they told me they had listened to SpanishPod during their extended travels in South America.  So here are these happy, beautiful people in my messy moving-out bedroom they morning after a very late and slightly boozy evening, telling me they enjoyed my podcasts!  I threw in the bike related items like the lock, the chain, the pump, and the light/reflector set and immediately facebooked them.  I spent all year with no Commonwealth friends in New York, and on my last weekend here I meet three people!  And two of them live in my building!  Oh well.

At 2pm, roomie J and I went to Boss Tweed Saloon in the Lower East Side to watch the USA vs. Ghana.  We ordered Mikey Burgers, which are topped with corned beef hash, onions, and pickled mustard seed.

I had to duck out early to get ready for Brazilia Grill.   I went home, where I saw the rest of the game, and then changed into my samba colors and met L and Maracuja at the PATH train.   When we got to Newark, me and Maracuja made a bee-line to the salad bar.   When it was time to play, I played much, much better than the first time.  Afterward we trained back home with G and YUC.

Sunday

I bought a lox bagel for breakfast, and on the way to the train, I bought a clippy water bottle and a peanut butter bar cookie for later.  I trained up to Penn Station and then walked to the NYC Pride Parade rendez-vous at 6th Ave and West 38th.  By now, I’ve already sweatted through my shirt.  When I got there, Maracuja told us that the van was way up at West 45th and 5th Ave.  So we walked up to get the drums, and then walked back to the line up and then waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I took some video of the hurry up and wait period; there were drag queens, drumlines, activists, and revelers.  When we finally got onto the street hours later, I saw a few conservative Christians holding ironic signs about sin.  Along the route, two churches had water stations, which was awesome.

I just want to note that o Mestre and his buddies refer to this parade as “The Gay Parade.”  And they love it and have plenty of wild stories.

After the parade, we walked the drums to West Street to wait for o Mestre to bring the van around.  We waited quite a long time.  S, P, and I ended up sitting on the sidewalk, and S ended up lying down on the pavement and taking a siesta.   Then hoards and hoards of people started passing by, and P commented that first they’d look down at S crashed out on the pavement, and then they’d look at me.  Many people assumed S was passed out drunk, and I was his drinking buddy.  Because of the way he was lying, people usually looked down at S’s crotch.  S seemed to enjoy that; I suggested that he sell some advertising.  Down there.

Finally o Mestre showed up with the van and we loaded it up and said goodbye.  P, L, Maracuja, F, and I went to the Corner Bistro for some delicious burgers and not very much ice water at all.  It was perfect, because Corner Bistro was the first place I went with my new NYC coworkers almost exactly a year ago.   Bookends.

Tomorrow I will pack.  Doctor’s appointment.  Last Samba New York!  rehearsal.  Tuesday I fly out to Vegas.

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