NYC Trip

I went to NYC last week.  I arrived Wednesday and took the AirTrain to the subway into Manhattan.

JFK Airport

I got off the subway at 40th Street, and walked to Bryant Park.

Bryant Park

then I walked to…


I then walked to the hotel on 56th between Broadway and 8th.

Hotel Room

Then I met a friend for dinner at Vanessa’s Dumplings (we had Peking duck sesame pancakes and pork dumplings!  YUMMY!).  This was when I realized there is no escaping the people!  There are people everywhere!  We then went to a trivia night at People’s Lounge, which was fundraiser for the New York Women’s Foundation.  In the raffle, I won a bracelet and earrings, my friend won 2 bracelets!  I took the subway back to the hotel  and slept.

Thursday morning, I woke up early and bought a muffin and coffee from a newsstand, then walked to Columbus Circle and sat at the southern edge of Central Park to eat breakfast.

Columbus Circle

Central Park

I then went to MoMA to see the Tim Burton exhibit (FABULOUS!!) and other art.

MoMA Art

I then met one of my bosses from my research job for lunch at Good Burger (think Five Guys but better).

Subway to Battery Park to see the Harbor,

NY Harbor

And the first National Park on my tour, Castle Clinton.

Castle Clinton

Then I walked up to Wall Street!

NY Stock Exchange

To the next National Park – Federal Hall (where George Washington was sworn in).

Balcony that GW was sworn in on

Inside Federal Hall

I then walked to City Hall Park to see the Peter Coffin exhibit “Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes)” – silhouettes of famous sculptures.  Very interesting!

City Hall Park

Then I walked another few blocks to the next National Park – African Burial Ground.  Amazing.  The museum portion is housed at the street level of the federal building, the burial area around back.  If you don’t know about this, please look it up!  It still gives me chills thinking about it.

I went back to the hotel and rested for an hour or so before taking the subway to Strand Books.  I walked around Union Square and the shops for a bit, before catching the subway to Greenwich Village.  I walked around there a bit, then ate dinner at Caliente Cab – really good Mexican food, if a bit pricey.  Then I took the subway back to 42nd Street to walk and sit around Times Square.

Times Square

Times Square

Then back to the hotel.

Friday, I got up, grabbed a bagel and coffee from the street cart, and went to my final National Park of the trip – the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace.

TR Birthplace

I then ran back to the hotel to check out, then took the subway back to Greenwich Village to have a slice of pizza at Famous Joe’s.  Then off to the airport and back to PGH.

I had a great time!  I loved the food and subway.  I got used to being around so many people all the time.  I loved the big, tall buildings.  And the go, go, go of the city was great.  I’m already planning my return trip to NYC!


Wordless Wednesday

Misc. Monday -The Bugs!

Yes folks, we have a bug problem!  Not as freaky as you would think.  The cats like playing with these, and so I decided to see what they were.  A friend called them “Albert Beetles” but they’re really “Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs“!!

Lily’s fascination with the crack underneath the counters has now been explained as watching for the bugs to come out on “warm” winter days.  Apparently, this pest is a growing problem for gardens from New Jersey to Florida to Oregon!  Wow!

No, I don’t have pictures of this, I’m not sure you’d want to see them anyway!  The links do have pictures though!


New Blogging Schedule

So, I’ve been lax in blogging this year, so I’m gonna set up a new blogging schedule:

  • Misc. Mondays – just something random
  • Wordless Wednesdays – a picture or 2
  • Caturday! – Cat pictures on Saturday

Of course, if anything exciting happens, I’ll add it in between!

Figo’s Big Adventure

My roommate left yesterday, and accidentally left the apartment door open (the apartment door is on the 3rd floor, and my apartment is on the 4th floor, so there’s a staircase in the apartment the cats like to play on).  Well, Figo, the little brat, left the apartment and I didn’t notice for about 3 hours until I was getting ready to go to work, and feeding them dinner.  I asked Lily (the 9 pound calico) “where’s your brother?” and she cried and cried.  Poor thing!  So I check all his hiding spots – not there.  I check the stairs and see the door is open.  I start calling his name in earnest and go down the stairs.  Now the stairs in the building aren’t a typical staircase; they wind in different directions.  I check all the hidey holes, and he’s not there.  I didn’t bring my keys, so before I run up to the apartment to get them to start checking outside, I check the cubby hole/alcove under the first flight of stairs!

And there he is, cowering in the corner, eyes as big as saucers!  Oh my baby!  He was so scared, he let me pick him up and carry him up 4 flights of stairs!  He hates to be held, so he was super scared!  He only jumped out of my arms when we got up to the apartment.  Poor fella. He hasn’t left the bedroom or couch since!!

Figo, My Main Man!

Figo, My Main Man!

I love the snow, don’t get me wrong, but there are some definite winners and losers in how this blizzard and aftermath have been handled!


City of Pittsburgh – they ran out of salt (they’re now using sand which is not as great), they have failed to plow all of the major arterials in the city, leaving an ankle-high mucky and muddy and street to cross.  Get it together!  I would expect this if there were 2 feet of snow dumped in Seattle – they aren’t used to that, but here we do get snow!  Learn to plan!

University of Pittsburgh – Snow closures on Saturday, with no announcement on the website or to employees until mid-day.  Open on Sunday (WTF?), and closed on Monday, only with the announcement a small sidebar on the main web page after 10 pm – no notice via social media, email, or even a flashing banner across the web page!  Grrr..  And what was with that being open on Sunday?  What, support staff who work then can trudge in, but when the bosses might have to come in, well they’re too good to trudge through the snow?  Give me a break and get a contingency plan in place for snow storms and other emergencies!


CLP – The library was fabulous in that they announcements for closings was across the top of the main website and reported to the media!  I’m so proud of you, but next time, also include it in your twitter feed, okay?

Port Authority – THANK YOU!!  Announcements on the main webpage, press releases to the media outlets, and a twitter feed with a direct link to a mobile-readable website of bus routes up and running!!  All date and time stamped so you knew if it had been updated since you saw it last!!  And they did get some buses running limited schedules on Saturday!  Amazing drivers – next time you want a pay raise, I’m raising hell and reminding Burghers that you were the ones who got us moving first during the aftermath of this storm!

Neighbors and Neighborhoods – Saturday was magical as we were all out trouncing and playing around in the snow in the middle of the block.  we worried about the trees/power-lines situation, we took pictures, we commiserated over how awful yet wonderful it was!  Thank you, it could have been horrible or boring, but we made it fun!