Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

More Coney Island Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28, 2005

Saturday at the beach

Monday = blog day?
It has truly become a ritual ;-)
After an enjoyable footing in Central Park, saturday was our visit to another part of Brooklyn, very different from last week: Coney Island and Brighton Beach, linked together by a long beach. We went there with Danny, remember my Sapnish friend who made me drink Bubble tea...

Coney Island is characterized by its old fashioned theme park, from the beginning of the 20th century. The beach is really huge, and used to be very frequented by New Yorkers, more than 100 years ago. I wonder if they're still coming there in summer.

Brighton Beach is also called Little Odessa, it's full of Russians, including old people who sit on the benches next to the beach and can't speak a word of English. Lunch was a beef Stroganoff for Danny and me, tasty and cheap, and also quite exotic... It felt like we were playing in the Godfather movie, except everything was Russian... By the way, Romania lost live to Holland in soccer World Cup qualifiers (Du foot quoi...). Yes, soccer is exotic here...

Before coming home, we made a stop in Prospect park, yet another part of Brooklyn. The park is supposed to be 4 times small than Central Park, but we got completely lost... It also felt much more quiet than in CP becase no road is going through. Might be a good idea to come back in summer.
But beware of the dangerous ice!!!

Ma, Danny, che fai? Posted by Hello

Brighton beach -- aerial subway Posted by Hello

Welcome to Little Odessa Posted by Hello

Les mouettes!! De l'espace!!! La mer!!!! On respire!!!!! Posted by Hello

... Posted by Hello

Pier in Coney Island Posted by Hello

Thin Ice in Prospect park Posted by Hello

Coney Island (which is not an island) Posted by Hello

World financial center, picture by Antoine... Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Fire alert!

Today I had to escape the office at 4ish because of a fire alert!
It was really scary: everyone was running away as soon as we heard the message "Everyone on the 14th floor, you have to get out of the building, Please don't waste any time and go out as soon as possible"
We could smell smoke in the staircase and I didn't feel very comfortable with all this crowd while descening to the 1st floor and exit. When stuck in a skyscraper in New York you're always thinking about terrible things...

There were some firemen on the site already, with their usual huge trucks and deafening horns and sirens. This time they triggered a big mess at the crossroad of 42nd st ans 3rd ave when they came to rescue us from the burning flames... Don't get me wrong, I don't want to criticize their jobs, I just think they always make too much noise in the streets. It's even part of the New York atmosphere...

Tomorrow, Elise and I are going to the beach, Danny is joining. Promising pictures??

Monday, March 21, 2005

The ultimate view?

Saturday night was a party at Abdel's place.
We were treated like kings (great food and drinks) in his Moroccan meets Buddha decorated apartment, and we actually felt rewarded by a unique view of Midtown Manhattan, directly out of his place's window. AWESOME!

Midtown from Abdel's place, Weehawken, NJ Posted by Hello

Times Square neighborhood Posted by Hello

A bridge too far

As anticipated, it has been a busy week, not a work, but in the evenings.
Babeth and Antoine finally showed up late on Tueday evening, arriving from Atlanta.
They had planned a very organized visit of Manhattan for the week... and they did it. Congratulations!
As for us, it was the opportunity to show them the places we knew and liked, and try to share a part of of New York life style.
Sushi restaurant, small lively jazz club, cheap chinese food to go, happy hour in trad pubs, this has been our daily evenings this week. And we all enjoyed!
See Antoine's pictures at http://sky.myblog.fr/
On Thursday it was St Patrick, but we prefered drinking Irish the day before, joining the masses in smelly and packed bars on this very day looked like non sense... Who said French are snobs? ;-)) As you can see between Washington square ark, the Empire State building turned green that night.

On Saturday, we headed up to Brooklyn, crossing the East River on the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

Tourist crowd on Brooklyn bridge Posted by Hello

We then visited two very different neigborhoods : Dumbo (like the new yet-to-become hype area) which still looks like Starsky and Hutch, and Brookyn Heights, a much more conservative area, with quiet streets lined with trees and brownstones, one subway stop away from Wall Street, ie boasting rent in the same range as Manhattan.

View on downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn heights Posted by Hello

Manhattan bridge Posted by Hello

Rock bands CD covers

A new rock band is born : Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Overpass Bridge), starring Antoine, Elise, Babeth Posted by Hello

Reminds me of another rock band CD cover (long time ago) ;-)) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

iTunes in my MiND

I forgot to tell this story...
This morning... walking to my job
I was watching at the Chrysler building, and was listening to a very cool jazz tune in my iPod.

I thought.. mmh, this is really appropriate, it must be one of these New Yok jazz songs, like 'Grand Central', 'Take the A train', 'Harlem' or 'Autumn in New York'...
I check the iPod :

it was 'April in Paris'. Had a good laugh and came to my job similing thinking about it...

Monday, March 14, 2005

A week has passed...

You think It has been hectic week at work and I haven't had time to update? ==> wrong, it has been very quiet at work, and busy in the eveings... Anyway, same consequence, no news on the blog.
So, on the professional side, I have been learning learning and learning in the past week, which means reading tons of lines on a computer screen all day long... Not that interesting I have to admit. The good side is that it left me a lot a free time, they kicked me out of the office everyday between 5 and 5.30pm!! Du jamais vu!

Tuesday, a trip to the East village, Elise bought a rusty bike with a flat tire to a Chinese guy in a dodgy corner of Avenue A. Bringing back the bike home in the subway was funny : everybody looked at us and made comments abou the bike. We had a nice dinner at Mini Thai Café (Avenue A and St Mark's place) and a drink at an adjacent Mexican place.
On the way back home, it was like treasure hunting, we just figured out tuesday evening is the day when everybody is throwing away stuff in the street. This time we picked up some brand new plastic cases and a nice metal chair, which will join the nice armchair (also found in the street) in our living room... Can't wait until next tuesday ;-)

Thursday, rock climbing at Chelsea piers with Elise, Richard my usual climbing buddy and June, a new acquaintance... Easy routes, but a very high quality wall with nice overhangs, with rather stupid staff. I think they had almost no experience in climing at all ;-))) Anyway, we ended up at the pub...

Friday was the monthly VoilaNewYork French meeting at Sutton Place, Upper East Side. We came a bit too late for this afterwork party but still had a good time with Anne from Québec, Daniel from Romania, Helen from Taiwan and of course Laurent the New York night life expert from... my workplace...

Saturday was the day we expected : the housewarming party, with Richard, Laurent, Abdel, Vincent, Juliette, June and her 3 friends, Elise and her magical quiches and ... exclusively, DJ Jn and his incredible iPod!!
My old roommate Kevin didn't show up... It's a long story....
We had a really good party, everyone appreciated the place I think and want to come back to the terrace for BBQ... Thanks to June for offering us a subscription to TimeOut!

Sunday... Of course I couldn' t do anything.... Walking 10 blocks to Turkuaz for a nice all you can eat Turkish delight brunch was already a big effort! By the way, I ate so much there the walk back home was even harder... Really good food, nice décor, it which reminded Elise and me of last September in Turkey.

And today is monday night, I'm getting ready for our first guests from France, namely Babeth & Marco (aka Antoine) ;-). Are they going to bring us saucisson??
Planning for this week: to be specified, we'll try to make themn discover a little bit of what we know in the city ;-)

My favorite pic... Posted by Hello

Getting blurry Posted by Hello

DJ Jn! Posted by Hello

Richard, Abdel, Laurent & June --- dim light Posted by Hello

Juliette, Richard & ... (one of June's francophone friends) Posted by Hello

Juliette&Vincent Posted by Hello

the next day... Posted by Hello