So, my second weekend here in DC, and I decided to take the 4.5 hour bus ride up to New York City! I've never been there, so when my friend Luisa said she was going up for "Brazillian Day," I couldn't say no... Luisa was born in Brazil, but moved to Iowa when she was around 10. I studied with her in Spain the year before last.
We took the infamous "Chinatown bus" because that was the cheapest option. $35 round trip will get you a somewhat clean bus without a working bathroom, and a very nice bus driver though! His name was Muhammad and he was from Egypt originally, and Luisa and I enjoyed good conversation (mainly about the upcoming election-he wanted to know everything about Sarah Palin that I knew...) since we were sitting in the front two seats :)
We were dropped off practically right in the middle of Times Square-and what a thing to see at night! So many lights and people! Although Luisa had been to NYC before, we were both getting dizzy looking up at all the skyscrapers.
We stayed with some of her friends from high school in Iowa who are now living the typical NY lifestyle; i.e. aspiring dancers, actors, singers... They had a great apartment in Queens though and I would love to see them again.
Sunday was Brazillian Day- and when they say "day," they mean it. It started at 10 am and went until 6 pm. And we were there for all of it (wearing green and yellow of course to match the flag!) They shut down 25 city blocks and I guess they estimated there were around 1.5 million people there. It was crazy- and got increasingly more crowded and dirty and sweaty as the hot day went on... There were famous bands/presenters from Brazil there, and every type of fried food you could imagine. I couldn't resist getting an Acai smoothie bowl (the Brazillian "superfruit"). It was bright purple and cold. Perfect for that weather.
Luisa and I took a couple breaks from the Brazillian "locura" a few times; walking around Central Park and Times Square a bit, and we even tried (unsuccessfully to get tickets to RENT). By the end of the day we were exhausted and sweaty-but that didn't stop us from hanging out with her friends from Iowa a bit- I got to hear some well-told stories from her theater friends, see some clips of their work on "As the World Turns", and some music from her aspiring musicians, and her friend Tony Chem gave me one of his cd's he came out with a couple years ago...
A few observations about NYC that I saw; the DC metro is much cleaner than the NYC one, there is diversity everywhere, and everyone seemed to be a little stressed out...haha
Back in DC now, and it felt nice coming back to my new "home" and seeing the familiar faces of my roommates. This coming weekend there are plenty of things going on in DC though to keep me busy. Last night my roommates and I watched Sarah Palin speak at the RNC. For once, I feel like I know a little more about politics than these east coast people being from Alaska :) I feel like I picked the best semester ever to come here to DC. This election is really turning out to be something for the history books- or then again maybe the tabloids.
I'm already thinking about when I can go back to NYC again...