A month and a half ago, we got to Princeton… and that is how far behind we are on our blog. Woops! We’ve got to be better about writing more frequently. It’s kind of hard to write about something that happened over a month ago, but here goes nothing!
I thought that going home to New Jersey would mean that we would have a ton of time to relax, catch up on sleep, cook a bunch, and enjoy doing nothing. I was wrong. Of course I was also really looking forward to seeing friends and taking some day trips, but I had no idea how little time there would be left for the art of doing nothing. I always think that there will be significantly more time to do things than there really is. Yes Kevin, I am finally admitting it. This is why I am usually a few minutes late for everything. Sorry guys. (Note to potential future employers: I promise I’ve learned my lesson. The first step is admitting the problem, right?)
After a 5 hour (or so) drive from DC (we took the scenic route) we arrived in Princeton, only to leave 20 minutes later to catch a train into New York City where we met up with Kevin’s friend Jake and his family, who were visiting the city for the weekend. We found them at a bar called Tonic in Times Square. As a native New Jerseyan (I looked it up… it’s a legit term), I grew up going to the city frequently, and so, I do not consider myself to be a tourist there. Because I am not a tourist, I have only been to Times Square when I absolutely have to walk through it to get somewhere else. So, going to a bar on a Friday night right in the middle of all of the madness was quite the shocker. If you are planning a trip into New York, skip Times Square. It’s dumb. Once Tonic made the transition from sports bar to nightclub, we quickly high-tailed it off the beaten path to a lovely Scottish pub a couple blocks away. At the pub we met a Scotsman who said to Kevin, “You stole my seat, but I’m going to let you stay because you’ve got the best beard I’ve seen in this whole city.” And then he bought him an Irn Bru, supposedly the most popular soda in Scotland… it was gross.
It was wonderful getting to see a lot of my Jersey friends! While in Jersey, we went out for dinner with Marissa and Lisa Ann to Triumph Brewery, where they enjoyed sweet, sweet microbrews and nice meals, and where I ate RIBS!!! Oh my god… if you ever find yourself in Princeton, New Jersey with a hankering for ribs, do yourself a favor, and go to Triumph! Best. Meat. Ever. After dinner, we headed over to the Ivy Inn (if it’s possible for Princeton to have a dive bar… that’s the one), where we met Nathalie! You know you have good friends when it feels like no time has passed since you last saw them, and you pick up right where you left off. My friends are pretty awesome!
On another day, we went to the JERSEY SHORE with Chelsea, Lisa Ann, and Linzy. It was a bit… brisk. We started out on Island Beach State Park, which is pretty darn nice for being a part of the Jersey Shore. It was fairly clean, not too crowded, and the waves were big. After a nice wholesome time at the beach, we took Kevin to see the boardwalk for the first time at Seaside Heights. I grew up going to the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, so I am never surprised by it. The arcades, kitschy tourist shops, mediocre restaurants, fudge and salt water taffy stands, the over-tanned and underdressed, hermit crabs for sale, bad music coming from every direction, the carnival-like games and rides… I’m used to it all. For Kevin, it was an eye opening experience.
We stayed with Chelsea for a few days in New York and it was sweet! You can refer to Kevin’s account of the city in his blog post, “Cities” from July 1st, where he writes beautifully about the overwhelming nature of New York City, also referred to as, “the Beast.” While I too can feel overwhelmed by the city, I also have a sort of energy and excitement that runs through me when I am there. I almost feel like a different person. I haven’t mastered it completely, but I’m pretty good at getting around there. There is definitely an art to it—between weaving through the masses, remembering which trains go where, acting like you belong there—I enjoy getting caught up in the motions of the city. Kevin might liken these motions to being herded like cattle or a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off. I, on the other hand, like to look at the motions in a more positive light. Times Square is a different story—it really is like millions of headless chicken tourists.
While in New York, we saw the musical Once and a great art exhibit. The musical was based on the 2006 film of the same name, written and directed by John Carney, starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. At first I had trouble separating the musical from the film, but as soon as I did, I really started to appreciate the way they adapted it. It was kind of like Spring Awakening in the sense that (for the most part) the actors stayed on the sides of the stage where they sang harmonies and whatnot, and the music was all played live onstage. The difference was that instead of having a live band, it was the actors who played all of the instruments! I really enjoyed it. The only thing that I couldn’t get past was that Glen Hansard’s character was super whiny and wimpy.
The art exhibit we went to was at the New Museum. Half of the exhibit was AWESOME, and the other half was… not. We all really enjoyed the artwork of Llyn Folks. He was fantastic! I could try to explain his work… but this blog post is getting way too long. Check out some of his paintings:
We went on several day trips while we were in New Jersey. We went into Moorestown to see my cousin Carly and her husband Josh. I am so excited for them… they are having a BABY really soon! I don’t have any siblings, but I always thought of Carly as a sister, and I’m pretty excited to be a kind of auntie person! We also went to Medford (right by Moorestown) to see my grandma. Man! I will be lucky if I have a third of her energy and memory when I’m 30! Grandma, I am impressed! When we were at my grandma’s, she had us draw the path of our travels so far on a map. It was really cool to see! Here’s the result:
My dad and Maggie took us to Lambertville to see the Levon Helm documentary, Ain’t In It For My Health. One of the producers, Mary Posatko, did a Q & A after the film showing. Being someone who enjoys not just watching films, but the process of making them, I really loved hearing her talk about how the film was made, what it was like to be around Levon Helm, what kind of troubles they ran into making the documentary, and how they overcame them. If you like The Band, Levon Helm, or… music… I highly recommend watching this documentary!
Also… we went to Philly for a day. This is the one photo I took when we were there. I’m weird.
On the 4th of July, we went to a Trenton Thunder game. There were fireworks. It was sweet.
Kevin and I went to the Princeton Battlefield one night to check out the fireflies. So many! It was ridiculous. We had fun taking some long exposure photos.