I spent some of Monday shopping until I was driven home by a combination of rain and shopping boredom. Even being in the funky bit of New York doesn't really make shopping enjoyable.
The evening was very fun and more than made up for a rather dull day: I met up with redbird for dinner and lots of excellent conversation. redbird is cool for many reasons, but one of them is that she introduced me to the concept of meeting up with people I know from LJ. A paradigm shift from: scary internet strangers, need to minimize any sort of direct personal contact to: hey, LJ is full of cool people from all over the world who are even more fun in person than online. I am immensely grateful to redbird for that insight, because it's made this trip incredibly more fun and brought me into contact with people I really like, whom I wouldn't have encountered at all without LJ.
So following up on that, when jpallan invited me to come and stay with her for a couple of days, I jumped at the chance. This involved taking the magic Chinatown bus from New York to Boston, an experience in itself. The journey is just over four hours and costs $30 return, which makes it comparable to the Cambridge – Oxford run which I do far too often. Of course the distance is much greater than the mere hundred miles between two clusters of my friends, but there you go.
And then two days with the communistas was an entirely novel experience and great fun! acerbic recognized me from my userpic, whereas she's not at all how I had been picturing her. (crschmidt inferred who I was from context: the only lost looking English person in the bus station is probably Liv, which works too. The commune is full of people and children (yes, cakmpls, children are people too) and cats and computers and chaos, and it's a very alien environment to me in many ways. But the people are all lovely so that was good. Fun to meet pezstar, the person who lent me her professional travel agent skills to help me organize this mad trip. She also makes very good fake meat lasagne, I should add. I think the other cool new people I met are minor_detour, bluebuggy and ursamajor, but I'm not sure about connecting people to LJ names at this point.
I was enough overwhelmed by people that I didn't see a whole lot of Boston and Cambridge. But I did eat some delicious icecream while sitting opposite a bit of Harvard, and some cajun salmon salad in an interesting take on the Irish bar theme, and some chopped whitefish in an equally interesting take on 'Jewish-style deli'. Many, many thanks to jpallan, who is an excellent hostess in trying circumstances, and is also really fun company.
I got back to New York rather later than I'd hoped, but I did have a highly enjoyable if somewhat curtailed evening with New A. He claims that he's not doing enough work academically because he's too busy being sociable, which I do hope for his sake is true. And he fed me an excellent salad with exciting cheese and olives and we at least made a start on catching up. I evangelized for LJ lots; he so needs to join the crowd here!
Today is my last day in New York. My cursed sandals have fallen apart, which is making me less keen to try to cram in a last few hours of tourist stuff. hatam_soferet left for work early this morning, as she does, so goodness only knows when I'll next get to see her. I miss her already; it's really pleasing how well we got on even living together for several weeks, and I so wish it could be longer.
I am full of rather frustrated communicative energy just now. The Kamtza and bar Kamtza discussion is getting more fascinating all the time, loads of fun ideas being bounced around. And lots of my friends are going through major decisions and life-changing events at the moment. I want to chew over various complicated issues with people I'm close to, and express sympathy and support at people I'm just getting to know. And I'm itching to get back to long ongoing conversations with lethargic_man and rysmiel (together and separately), and I really need to write to all my NOLJ people before we fall badly out of touch. Trouble is, I'm sleep deprived and not hugely verbal and overwhelmed by how many different conversations I want to dive into. And if I sit here any longer staring at a computer screen without even getting dressed, I am going to end up in a bad mental place.
Enormous group hug to everyone reading, for a start.