Wednesday, September 07, 2005

'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, BABY'

what a way to kick off a vacay! friday i flew out for an extended weekend of Sempre Primavera-style raucous relaxation. though that may sound like an oxymoron, i can't think of a better way to describe such a fabulous time. this is what i learned:

day 1: welcome to the jungle, we got what you need

* lack of sleep cannot stand in the way of a grand vacay
* the best hostesses know the first thing to get for a guest is a drink
* a crowded intersection off Times Square is peoplewatching paradise
* it pays to have friends with a good sense of direction
* there are few places in the world where you can: have a beer in a down-home openwindow joint, walk a ways for shi-shi wine at a marbletopped bar, stop a little farther for a chardonnay by a fountain venus, stuff your face with tapas (excellente) sangria (no tan buena) and find yourself at nostalgic, delicious dinner in good company followed by an evening of bootyshaking to some seriously rocking old skool beats. all by way of walking.
* rolling luggage is not so fun in subways plentiful with stairways
* most people's gut reaction to seeing the statue of liberty from a boat: 'that's it? it's so tiny!' no exceptions here
* real friends don't mind driving while their passenger is sleeping with her head back and her mouth open

day 2: it's like sand in your shorts

* cadiz brings good luck in the state of n.y. (but sadly, not to the workplace)
* kindness toward strangers can lead to discounts (!)
* bringing a book to the beach only results in getting pages wrinkly and gritty
* seafood tastes infinitely better when you're not landlocked
* there are surprisingly many places sand can hide in a bikini
* spicy pineapple in rice can be very tasty
* there are swans at the brooklyn boardwalk
* a neighborhood becomes amazingly interesting when a native is your guide
* almond and pistachio gelati = yum
* leaving brooklyn? fuhggedaboutit
* cruising home on a curvy road with minimal traffic, singing to old favorites at the top of your lungs ROCKS
* it is physically possible for the nocturnal to be asleep on her feet at 8 p.m., given the right kind of itinerary

day 3: blackened catfish -- but on the beach, not the bayou

* waking up isn't so hard when you know you're going somewhere fun
* even if you get up and haul your booty out to a tourist spot at the dawn's early light, 500 people will have already beaten you to all the parking spots
* you can judge the caliber of a town by the number of coffeeshops it has (according to sempreprimavera rules, that is)
* sleepy diners often offer the best in food and atmosphere; plus you feel like you're in 'Gilmore Girls' but without that alien sense of conversational timing
* ferries are fun
* women in relationships take up their deathrays (often for no reason at all) when a certain iceblue-eyed, ringleted primavera girl enters the room. happened before my eyes-- twice
* everything's more fun on an island
* in the quest for fun and beach umbrellas, do not settle for the first overpriced specimen in the window; continue on and you will find a deal -- in the back corner of the hardware store
* a good way to make culture junkies trip in the sand is when the beach volleybolistas happen to mention Bra-siylll as they pass by
* pretending to be statuesque and confident is all good -- that is until you find yourself directly under a breaking wave, unable to avoid the impending wholloping that will leave you facefirst in the pebbles, limbs askew, hair plastered to cheeks, clutching your suit and praying it hasn't malfunctioned
* after such a thrashing occurs twice, it is time to adjust your gear, gather what's left of your dignity and stride back to the sand to lick your wounds
* nothing beats a good multipurpose pareo
* the first time you eat lobster, it should be with an ice bucket for the wine and a glorious view of the ocean -- even if it's only reflected in someone's sunglasses
* no matter how much you hide under an umbrella and slather on spf 60, you will emerge from two days on the beach thoroughly charred
* motorcycle boys sometimes have powwows at the little triangle between the highway and the turn off. one can only imagine they're discussing the latest in fashion and politics, but the question is how
* staten island is peaceful
* interest in watching 'short circuit' has nothing to do with ability to stay awake

day 4: dim sum, a-dim sum, shoobeedoowaaaah

* even jaded newyorkers can be shocked and awed by the sheer lack of human beings in the city the morning of a national holiday; tumbleweed may even have been spotted on broome street
* the asian lady on the corner may look sweet, but she's really propositioning you to come purchase some scandalously priced designer knockoff bags
* its possible to have a lot in common with someone save for your taste in diamond settings
* you can feel like a princess sitting at a palatial pink table and choosing items on a whim off a rolling menu -- until you realize you're so full they'll have to roll you out the door
* the day you come armed with plenty of credit and cash is precisely the day that nothing in the store will look even remotely appealing for purchase
* graffiti is wrong -- but it looks damn cool
* sipping pop out of a glass bottle while sitting at a counter facing the street, commentating on couples, cars, culottes, cuties and the like is the perfect way to relax your toes and bring a vacay to a close
* the last few hours are always the most bittersweet
* especially the journey to the airport
* the plane ride home is exactly the perfect time to start plotting your next excursion

much love and appreciation to the hostess with the mostest. Ale, you are golden, girl.

5 comments:

Guyana-Gyal said...

Perhaps because of books, movies, tv, I've had this niggling fear of New York.

This delish post has dispelled some of the fears.

Lovely, Cadiz, it sounds lovely!

jazz said...

i've gotta let ale take me around more!!!

Ale said...

ohhhhh miisssss you! come back we'll do another round!!!!

Lou (a.k.a. rainpuddles) said...

Glad you were able to have an enjoyable vacation! Sounds like it was a blast!

Jon said...

Hmmm… I went to New York for 10 straight days, and I don’t remember doing anything like that… I’m going to have to have a chat with my travel agent…