A boy from Idaho came into the city for his 21st birthday. He stayed with his fraternity big bro out in Brooklyn. The Idaho crowd decided to go to the METS game and then out for a night at McSorley’s. It’s supposedly the oldest bar in the city and was themed to fit the time that it opened. It was actually really fun considering themed places are usually overpriced and cheesy. One of the guys ordered round after round, and because of this we automatically assumed he was paying—he wasn’t. Don’t buy me a drink unless you intend to pay the bill! I certainly would not have ordered such copious amounts all on my lonesome.
This place was packed with foreigners that had heard of the little hole-in-the-wall joint. The walls were covered with old portraits and newspaper clippings, and the floor with peanut shells. I swear our server was one of the cursed pirates on Pirates of the Caribbean as he had rotting teeth, a tailed navy jacket, long hair held in a ponytail, and would throw our drinks down in front of us as the dark beer would slosh over the sides. Everyone seemed to take part in the theme as they started singing old pirate songs and calling for the entire restaurant to cheers their mugs.
On Sunday, I went with the boys to hang out in Central Park. Since being in the city, I sadly haven’t gotten to spend too much time up there. Though Manhattan is only 13 miles long, it seems a lot bigger when waiting for signs to signal your ability to walk. Once in Central Park, however, I didn’t want to leave. It’s strangely disconnected from the city, though located in the very center. It’s very serene, and clean, and altogether unlike the rest of New York City. Sheltered from car horns and sirens, we walked through the massive elm trees that lined the path. We passed a children’s carnival, gift shops and a concert at Rumsey Playfield.
We walked through a colonnade that had been built into a hillside. Here, we witnessed a tranquil yet almost eerie music video being filmed. Two violinists were seated on their knees on the masonry floor within the portico. They were facing each other as a camera crew rotated in a circular motion around them. Coming out of the colonnade onto a huge man-made body of water, there was a beautiful wedding procession. There were hundreds of tiny rowboats bobbing in the background. This site reminded me of The Little Mermaid and the song “Kiss The Girl” played over and over in my mind in the accent of Sebastian. I like when real life experiences can remind you of living in a Disney movie.
The boys and I decided to rent a $15 rowboat so that we could go out for an hour. It took them a while to figure out how to steer the thing, and this was a problem because there were tons of other rowers trying to get out on the water at the same time. Out oars kept hitting other paddlers so we propped them inward for a while—crisis averted. For the first ten minutes, it was more like bumper boats than a romantic outing, but once we got further out, it was a beautiful experience. There were tons of tiny box turtles that would poke their heads out of the water in order to catch a breath of fresh air. We each traded off rowing and made it all the way around the lake. Our hour expired too quickly and we had to return to the hustle and bustle of the city. For the first time this summer, life was tranquil.
Alena Netia Horowitz