It’s a chill Saturday in the city, despite the unending hustle and bustle of people. I went for a “run” with two other New York Kappas down by NYU (Lynn and Jaclyn). This run was more of a sightseeing walk than the run it was supposed to be. We went through West Village to the Hudson River where we could look across and see Hoboken New Jersey. There was a huge riverside park that spanned almost the entire West side of Manhattan is what Lynn told me. There were hundreds upon hundreds of joggers and bikers using the paved pathway, but there was “no way in hell” that you could swim in the water.
We walked all through the Highline, which was an old railroad track that is now basically a walking art exhibit. The walk featured fountains, cool rockwork, many floral arrangements, shrubbery, colored tiles and cobblestones, not to mention all the interesting people passing by. Among all the people at the park, we saw Hugh Jackman. We immediately recognized him as Wolverine because of his skinny yet ripped body and excessively hairy arms. This marked my first celebrity siting since being in New York, but it was definitely not the only one that the day had coming my way.
On our walk back to Lynn’s dorm room, I kid you not, we saw Cameron Diaz. She was jogging out of her apartment with no makeup on, but she was just as beautiful as she is on TV. She literally ran right by us on the sidewalk and us three girls grabbed hands and turned around after realizing. We looked at the doorman in disbelief as he was standing there grinning and nodding that, yes, it was she. We laughed at our own reaction because we seriously all just gasped, grabbed hands, and turned around. To our surprise, she was leaving her house without so much as a personal trainer to protect her.
After all our walking, we were in need of some big-time calorie intake. We headed up to my area because Madison Square Park was hosting its annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party! There was no entrance fee, but everything (including beers) was $9. For the beer, it was pretty pricy, but it was goooood hard cider. They kind of had a beer garden going on where all the people over 21 were allowed in this part of the park. It’s fun that New York has plenty of occasions that make drinking in public acceptable and legal. It was a beautiful day to sip some cider amongst other people with common interests—BBQ and beer.
The BBQ vendors at this event are supposedly the BEST from all over the country. Lines for some of the vendors were several hundred people long, and the streets were blocked off to account for this. There were sausage, pulled pork, and whole hog vendors selling tiny portions for $9. The very last BBQ we wandered upon was giving away free pickles (I LOVE pickles, plus free food makes it 10x more delicious). They sold beef brisket with a good-sized bowl of chili. The greasy food was phenomenal and very filling. The chili had an unusual, yet yummy, sweet flavoring and the brisket was perfectly salty and tender. A spicy thin ketchup and jalapeño relish was ladled onto our brisket samm-iches and we were as happy as pigs in a blanket. My mouth is watering just reliving the first bite!
Alena Netia Horowitz