New York just can’t seem to decide whether it’s the dog days of summer or the middle of an Irish winter. We’re alternating by the hour between hot sun and cold insipid rain. I am not a fan, but I comfort myself with the thought that it’s good for the plants and I’ll almost certainly get sufficient scalding and sunshine this summer. So, as the mercurial weather wandered in and out of decency, I wandered in and out of work and talks and a bit more yoga.
On Tuesday, I found my way to another free yoga class. This one was beginner level however, so it took a great deal more effort before I could get anywhere near injuring myself. It wasn’t quite as satisfying as the classes which allow me to cripple myself, but I spent the rest of the week far less stiff and sore so perhaps it was a decent choice. After my gentle stretch and breathe session, I headed uptown to catch an ethical tech session. It has established itself as one of my favourite meetups here in the city and this week’s topic was a particularly interesting one: the ethics of automation, and more specifically the social economics of automating things that have traditionally been gainful employment.
In truth, it ended up being more of a book launch than our usual discussion space, but it remained interesting even if a little less interactive. There is also always free beer and snacks so at the very least it cuts down my grocery bill and I really can’t complain about that.
The following day, I got all sorts of whimsical and decided to walk to work. I’m not saying it will happen often because an extra 30 minutes of sleep is an extra 30 minutes of sleep, BUUUUUUTTTT the walk across the Manhattan Bridge at 7am is pretty darn excellent.
Wednesday afternoon saw me popping out of work and into another educational opportunity, this one a hardware start up event called Hardwired NYC where various entrepreneurs talk about the experience of developing hardware and then using that hardware to found a successful new venture. There were lots of cool products including smart wine bottles and highly designer-y styli, but I must own that I did not enjoy it as much as I might have, A) because I was terribly hungry, and B) because the man who decided to sit RIGHT beside me even though there were tons of seats left when he arrived had some very interesting ideas of how one ought to be in public. His personal bubble was nonexistent and he seemed to think that the middle of a presentation was the perfect time to network. Somedays I am nice. Somedays I draw boundaries. When you attempt to disrupt a presentation that I want to hear in order to ask my name and my occupation while leaning far too far into my personal bubble, you’re probably going to learn about boundaries.
I enforced my boundaries very stubbornly, even after the talks were over and avoided the entire situation. I felt a tiny bit bad for the poor girl that he did end up cornering and monopolizing, but I was still very glad it wasn’t me.
And then I headed off to dance, via an hour of editing and a pistachio cream doughnut from Doughnut Plant. I am also working on boundaries at dance and doing more or less well depending entirely upon the day. I have accepted that this will be a lengthy learning process.
After another busy day at work, Thursday featured a talk at the library where I learned about psychological resilience in post-disaster environments. In my current job, I’ve mostly been thinking about disaster management from an inanimate angle but I certainly felt more in my element lurching back towards social and psychological concerns. I really am a social scientist in my heart of hearts. Following the talk, I did mean to go to dance but the weather was inclement and I was tired and developing a cough so laziness won that one.
Friday was rather dull and domestic to be honest. I got home from work, visited my aesthetician, did laundry, attempted to find a spring coat, and then bought groceries and went home to make a simple (and very late) dinner.
Friday night we were full of all the best intentions, but then sleep did this thing where it totally won, and we spent much of Saturday morning in bed before finally dragging ourselves up and out to the Science March. Scientists aren’t really the protesting sort I suppose, but they do make pithy signs. So we walked in the rain past Trump Tower and into Times Square, meeting a few very interesting folks along the way.
From Times Square we headed back to the LES for the best dumplings in the city—yes, the inimitable North Dumpling! Full of dumplings and happiness, we headed back into Midtown to meet up with one of Chuck’s cousins and her friend for dessert. I had a twenty layer crepe cake which can best be described as whipped cream soaked heaven and an ever so vital cup of coffee which carried me safely back away from the migraine that had been sneaking towards me all morning.
And then we were off to Jersey for wine, cheese, and Bon Chon chicken with some real adults. We ate far too much and talked far too late but by god was it ever a nice way to spend an evening. Good company and good conversation really cannot be beat—especially when paired with the deliciousness that is Korean crispy chicken wings.
On Sunday we did some more sleeping in before heading out into West Jersey to see the rolling green meadows and blue skies of the Garden part of the State. We drove down winding country roads and wandered along canals fuelled by the nostalgia of a $1.10 Wendy’s crispy chicken. As we drifted into Hopewell, we found our tummies rumbling and so stopped on the sunny patio at Nomad Pizza to share a tartufo. What a piece of heaven. It’s all cheese and mushrooms and egg and basically perfection.
Post-pizza it was onwards to the Delaware River flanked on one side by Lambertville and the other by New Hope. While traipsing through New Hope, we came across a beautiful little Free Library in a heritage building of some sort, which just happened to have a perfect place right outside for parking the car and having a little nap.
Slightly refreshed some 45 minutes later, we stopped into Nina’s Waffles for ice-cream on a waffle before taking a wander around the town, across, the bridge, and then back. And then it was back to the city via New Brunswick and the charmingly putsy late night NJ Transit.
Today, I peeled my sleepy self out of bed crawled into the office, found a lost visiting scholar who had been waiting goodness knows how long outside of our empty office, and then settled in for a day of work. Around 3:30 the whole office piled into the conference room for a celebration of the center’s anniversary and our executive director’s receipt of the Distinguished Administrator Award. There was wine and cake and all manner of good things, not to mention good conversation and a goodly number of laughs. When I finally decided it was time to leave, it was nearly time for yoga where I spent just over an hour doing my best to destroy myself in the name of peace, serenity, flexibility, and strength. I suspect that my relationship with yoga would fall into the “complicated” category, but I’m alright with that. And on that note I might just step out and grab a slice.
With exhaustion and affection,
The Salsa Girl