NJ and NYC

When you live in Kingston, the US border is a mere 40 minutes away, and NYC another 6 hours from there. The weekend after Sandy hit, we were scheduled to take a quick trip down to New Jersey and New York City. We didn’t think we’d make it, but thankfully we did. It’s amazing how quickly the city got back on its feet, and for those still reeling from the aftermath of the storm, you are in our thoughts.

Day 1

Our very first stop was Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. I’d never been here before, but Kelvin’s family loves this place. We picked up a few things here before heading to Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, for some tax-free shopping. They recently opened a Uniqlo┬ástore here, and if you’ve read any of our other vacation posts, you will know that Kelvin absolutely loves Uniqlo. The store is growing on me too, plus they have introduced a children’s section. They have these new scarves created in partnership with designer Orla Kiely, and they are beautiful so I bought one :)

All throughout the mall, we kept seeing people with all of their powered devices – iPads, phones, laptops – plugged into the ground and walls. Some people were really hardcore and even brought powerbars. Because of these individuals, I now know that those little circular covers in mall floors lead to electricity.

We had dinner at the mall (Ruby Tuesdays…not great…) before heading to our usual hotel in Teaneck. A mix of hotel lobby construction plus people seeking power and wireless internet from the storm made for a rather hectic night, but we needed to get as much sleep as possible for our trip into the city the next day!

Day 2

We woke up really early to catch the 167T into the city for our breakfast plans. Kelvin and I have a friend who is going to school at Cornell and she’s in the city for a year doing an internship. She recommended this whimsical little place called Alice’s Tea Cup, so we all went together. Their pumpkin caramel glazed scones were soooo good.

Kelvin’s parents weren’t meeting us until around 1, so we hopped on the subway to the Union Square area. Ippudo is in that area so we wanted to see if that might be an option for lunch, but alas it was still cleaning up after the hurricane and wasn’t re-opening until that Monday. We did, however, stumble upon all these wonderful little places selling used books. One in particular caught our attention, because of the sheer number of trolleys they had with sale books. We had discovered Strand

What an amazing place Strand is. Floors of books at amazingly good prices – this store was definitely a place we could’ve spent the whole afternoon. I ended up taking home two books, though there were many that beckoned to me.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with eating, shopping, and more eating. We went to Shake Shack (always), Uniqlo (once again, but this time to the one on 5th), and the Apple flagship store (to take a look at the awesome new mini iPad, which Kelvin and I will hopefully both get one day), before picking up some Halal cart to take back to NJ with us for dinner.

That evening, we discovered we could watch American Netflix on the iPad. It is so good. We watched First Position, a great doc on young ballet dancers, before heading to bed. I might have dreamt about having American Netflix in Canada that night…

Day 3

This was more of a day for relaxation. We ran some errands, hit some of the big box stores (Kelvin’s family really likes doing that for some reason), waved goodbye to all of the people in New Jersey waiting for hours to fill up their cars and gas cans, and headed back to Canada. We stopped on the way for some Chipotle in Watertown, NY, and made it back to Kingston right around dinnertime.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I came back with a new pair of boots, some books and clothes, and my NYC fix satisfied for the next little while.

Listening to the Radio

Tonight, I gave Kelvin a hand with his prep for work. We sat together on the study floor, surrounded by folders and workbooks. While we did this, we listened to the radio. They were just talk shows – the first a rant by Gail Vaz-Oxlade (of Til Debt Do Us Part) and the second a discussion about libraries vs. Starbucks on CBC Radio One. There was something very soothing about listening to the radio, with its mildly static voices and the palpable on-air quality. It made me want to curl up in a chair and dim the lights.

Some might say that the radio is a dying form of media, that soon people will cease to listen to it, but I beg to differ. I listen to the radio constantly in the car, often via the Internet when I’m working, and every so often broadcast in my home through my iPod dock. Maybe I should look into a local radio station and learn more about what community radio is all about? Perhaps I can score a slot to talk about my next community initiative?

Anyways, what about you? Do you listen to the radio?