Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Did Zero Work Today

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the subway crossing
the Manhattan Bridge
The weekend is supposed to be your chance to sleep in, not sleep less. Last night (Friday night), though, we all got a little carried away playing cards, and I got started on my blog much much later than I normally would. By carried away, I mean that 2 of the RAs, 3 other kids on our floor and I stayed up until 2:30 AM playing some heated rounds of a team card game. The team of my roommate and I ended up winning in the end, and by the time I sat down to start my blog, it was 3 AM. Getting a late start was bad enough, but working at a computer at around 3-4 AM isn't very easy either.
Rather than sleep in like I should, though, I instead got up at around 9:30 AM to go to Coney Island in Southern Brooklyn. I could always catch up on sleep the next night, right? (Of course not.) The subway ride there was a little over an hour, which, while long, was shorter than we expected (we had unknowingly boarded an express train). The highlight of the subway ride, though, was when 3 street performers boarded our subway car with some music and began to do all these dance moves and acrobatics while we crossed the Manhattan Bridge. I really cannot describe exactly what they were doing; I've never seen it before, but they were doing everything from dancing to flipping their hats and their shoes and catching them without their hands, and spinning upside down around the poles, and literally hanging from the ceiling of the subway car. They definitely entertained me, so I gave them a bit of money as a thank you for making an otherwise routine subway trip much more fun.

Coney Island from the subway - the Cyclone is there on the left.
We arrived at Coney Island a bit before 12, and while it was still the late morning, it was hot. And crowded, although I've definitely seen worse. There were a lot of people, but not too many people; apparently the crowds get bad later in the summer. The heat was fantastic, too, as I spent no more than a full minute sitting in the sand before I couldn't resist the urge to get in the water. Of the group of about 30 kids at the beach, I stuck with a group of about 12 kids, some of whom I've gotten to know well the past few days, and while I didn't spend the most time in the water, I like to go in the water about every 20 minutes to cool off, so I'd say I went in the water the most times. The heat, like I said, was fantastic, it was very easy to get into the water, although the sand may well have been hot coals (I had never experienced sand as hot as the sand I felt today).
The Boardwalk was not crowded at all; it was the beach that
was crowded.
Before getting into the water, though, we went to get food, and I was able to get myself two of Nathan's famous hot dogs. And while yes, pretty much all hot dogs look the same and many even taste the same, Nathan's hot dogs ARE the best hot dogs I've ever had. There is a difference; I don't know, maybe it's extra grease or something, but there is a very noticeable difference in taste. After lunch, our group didn't do anything special; we just stayed on the beach, going in the water, talking, and playing frisbee. (In other words, we just enjoyed summer by relaxing.)

Hope this gives you a better idea of what we were watching
At about 4 PM, we left Coney Island on the subway (we took the Q to Times Square, and from there, the 1 north). Once again, we encountered the street performers we had encountered on the way to Coney Island, this time with two performers instead of three, and a similar but not identical routine. This routine was shorter, but was flawless, and I once again gave some money in return for being entertained. I really have no idea where on Earth these guys taught themselves this act, but I thought it was super cool.

When we returned to our rooms, I stretched out and took a nice nap. There is nothing so sweet as a nap when you need one. When we woke up, my roommate, Jack and I went out with one of our friends from the room next door to a place called "The Heights" a few blocks down Broadway from campus. We would later find that the place is locally famous, although we had no idea at the time when we asked Siri (tool on an iPhone which, when asked certain questions, will respond with an answer) for a good place to get a burger nearby. Siri and I are kind of enemies, because I feel Siri is just making humans less and less capable of helping themselves. Anyone who has seen the commercial of the old man having conversations with Siri like she is his best friend may be able to attest to this. In this case, though, she came through for us with some delicious burgers. After dinner we returned to the dorms, where we played some cards before going up to the 13th floor (we sleep on the 9th floor) to meet some friends.

We have some things in common - although preferred room cleanliness is
not one of them (I am on the right)
We hung out for about an hour and a half until curfew before returning to our floor. I'll use this as sort of a (I don't know how effective) segway into how easy it has been to make friends here at Colombia. It was easy from Day 1; my roommate, Jack turned out to be a super chill guy who, by coincidence has a lot in common with me. Most of the things I've done so far while here at Columbia have been with him and one of my suitemates, Alex, who is in the room next door. Coming to Colombia not knowing anybody was exciting, but also a little intimidating; however, I've become friends with some pretty cool guys (in addition to tons of other friends from class, down the hall, random situations) so that basically, everything is going great in my social life here at Colombia.
After curfew, we played cards again until 1:45 AM; I had to call it quits so that I could work on my blog. Here I am again, up early in the morning writing, but at the same time, I'm perfectly fine with it. Also, the reason for my title was that I was extremely occupied doing fun things in New York today, so that I didn't even take a look at my work. I will tomorrow, though; tomorrow will involve more work.

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