Well we made it into the city and today has been a never ending adventure. We did have a driver waiting for us the airport so that went very smoothly. We didn’t have to pay for that (up front anyways) but if we want to have him take us back to the airport on our way out it will be $50 (plus tip, of course.) He brought us right to our apartment in East Village. This area of town feel very much like the Short North in Columbus. Lots of neat little restaurants and small shops. An awesome park just a half block away with lots of trees, play spaces for kids and a fenced in area for dogs to play! The building has a front desk person working 24 hours a day so it feels secure.
Now the funny/ strange part about the apartment: it definitely has the feel of a dorm room, 2 bedrooms with 2 beds in each room, sitting area, kitchenette & bathroom. And just like a college dorm it’s kinda dirty, with 6 bags of trash piled up in the kitchen (but the dishes were all done) and lots of girlie stuff in the bedrooms. While we haven’t seen the owners of all the luggage we assume some other models are staying here. It was hard to tell which beds we should take because as happens with girls their stuff has migrated to the other beds. So Beth and I each staked claim to the beds with the least amount of stuff on them. We just hope that we’re not going to offend the other tenets. And just now while Beth and I are back in the room for the night, there was a knock on the door and a beautiful young girl has come to join us. She is another new girl to the room so hopefully the owners of all the other luggage are off on modeling jobs out of town. Our new roommate is 16 years old from Poland and traveling alone. She has broken English but if she understood my question correctly she has been modeling for 20 days.
So back to our day; I asked the driver how much it would be for him to drive us to the agency after we dropped off our luggage at the apartmet, $30 for a 1.6 mile drive. No thanks I figured we could walk. But he did tell me that a cab would be about $10 if we decided not to walk. Well Beth & I took off walking following my small map that I picked up at B&N the night before. Normally I can read a map no problem but something about the maps in NY has me stumped. Maybe it the sheer number of roads and the fact that only a portion of them are actually listed on the maps, either way I got turned around and we walked for about 30 minutes in the 90 degree weather in the wrong direction. When I realized that something wasn’t right I noticed we surrounded by high rise govt housing. The projects the one area I read we should avoid in the East Village. OK turn around quick and hail a cab, we were sweating, uncomfortable and willing to pay for a ride. It was only $10 including tip and well worth it! That was a first for me, I’ve never hailed a cab before.
So we finally made it to the agency. I wasn’t quite a big as I expected the 6th & 7th floor of a building in SoHo. It was white with pictures on the walls of all the girls they represent. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. They had Beth fill out a short 1 page info sheet then took a few head shots so they could confer and decide what to do with her hair. After that they told us to come back tomorrow at 11 for the haircut and sent us on our way.
So Beth and were off it was only 2pm so we had time to do some exploring. First stop was the subways we bought a 7 day unlimited pass ($27 each) and got on the A train going uptown. As I’ve found from my travels around Seattle it’s always easier to get downtown than it is getting home. So I was a little worried about finding our apartment again but I figured I could always hail a cab if I got desperate. We had planned to head to Central park but we got off at Times Square to check that out. We had fun looking in some of the VERY inexpensive shops that are underground in the subway area. Beth bought a few things but spent very little $. Which is good because I put us on a $50 a day budget for food and drinks.
Speaking of our food budget we spent $9 at Starbucks at the airport, $8 on an awesome veggie pizza for lunch, $2 in a stupid vending machine where I tried to get water but it would only give me Sprite. $19 so far plenty of money left over for dinner.
After we finished up at Times Square we had quite an ordeal finding the subways again. That is a very chaotic area of town and we were getting tired. By the time we found the subways we were ready to head back to the apartment and had given up going to Central Park. Our first trip on the subway was a little scary because of the rough ride and loud screeching. But this second ride we were so happy to be in air conditioning we didn’t mind. We decided to stay on the E train until the end of the route at the World Trade Center site. While the remembrance of that day left me teary the actual site didn’t leave me feeling anything. It was surrounded by construction type plywood walls and just looked like all the other construction sites you see around town. Maybe we missed a memorial or something that was more meaningful. Beth was tired, cranky and ready to rest so back to the subways we went.
Unfortunately, Beth slid her Metro card but didn’t walk through the turnstile because she got confused. So she was locked out of the subways for 18 minutes. So back up the stairs to find AC until our time had passed. We found a Starbucks and settled for water and a cookie (only $6, putting us up to $25.) Once our time had passed we headed back to the subway took the A train then transferred to the L train (yes by now I’m feeling like an expert) and walked the last few blocks back to our apartment. We did stop in an awesome little vintage clothing store, “Graffiti” it got its name because the building was featured on Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti album. We stopped and picked up veggie Panini’s for dinner ($17 for 2, ouch! $42 total) and stopped at the grocery for TP, paper towels, trash bags and 2 drinks ($12 man that seems pricey, I think this has to go in our food budget putting us at $56 for the day, not too bad!)
(funny chair we walked past & couldn’t resist taking a picture of )
One more thing about our apartment, it’s an apartment shared by a bunch of traveling strangers so who buys TP, dish soap, cleaning supplies. I don’t know but at least I know we have a couple rolls of TP to get us through the week. What we don’t have though are towels. We did think to bring our own sheets just in case (thank goodness) but we didn’t bring towels. We’re hoping to find some cheap beach towels tomorrow so we can shower sometime this week.
We just had another girl join us, she was one of the previous inhabitants and we didn’t take her bed, yeah! She is also beautiful and from Russia. This is quite the international apartment! I hope that is the last girl to come in tonight, all of our beds are full and I really don’t want to sleep on the very hard futon in the living room.
One last thing I brought my step counter because I wqas curious how much walking we would do. Todays total was 11,994 steps. Which equals about 5-6 miles. Not as much as I thought it would be. No cab rides tomorrow!