We did a lot of cool things in NYC, most of which had to do with seeing friends, some old and some new. Reuniting with Lindsay, Chris, and JC was predictably entertaining and memorable, Blanton was hilarious as always, and spending the evening with Meg was just as fun as I'd hoped. But I still think my favorite part of our time in New York City was the entire day Joe and I spent in Central Park, just the two of us, wandering around.
Joe had been to NYC a few times before, but never to Central Park. And I had seen You’ve Got Mail a few thousand times before, but had never been to Central Park, either. So this was exciting for both of us.
We started out in Harlem, walking from Lindsay’s apartment to the northern end of the park. We worked our way from the north end to the south, crisscrossing east and west throughout the day, so as not to miss a single square inch of green.
My first impression of the park was: “Joe! I think this is where Kevin McCallister threw the birdseed at the Wet Bandits!” but then I realized how stupid that must have sounded, because the bird lady threw the birdseed at the Wet Bandits – not Kevin – and by that time, they were the Sticky Bandits. I’m an idiot.
Later on, we ran into those street vendors who paint caricatures of your face, and one of the ‘example’ pieces was a caricature of Amanda Bynes. It dawned on me: doesn’t Amanda Bynes live in NYC? I freaked. “Joe! What if we see Amanda Bynes while we’re here?” In that moment, I was sure our paths would cross with hers, just as I was sure that Kaitlyn and I would see Jason Schwartzman that time we were in London and googled “Where does Jason Schwartzman like to go in London.” Without missing a beat, Joe calmly responded, “We would talk to her and befriend and help her get back on her feet.”
Unfortunately for us (and for her, apparently), we did not see Amanda Bynes. But we did see Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana. We had just exited the park when we saw them shooting a scene for a movie on the sidewalk right there on the corner of something and something (I don’t know anything about street addresses in NYC except that Joe Fox’s apartment building was #152). I turned to Joe as we watched the two interact between takes and squealed, “Look at Ricky Gervais; he’s just standing there smiling!” as if that were the most remarkable thing for a celebrity to be doing. We didn’t talk to either of them, just like we didn’t talk to Lena Dunham when we were standing LITERAL INCHES away from her at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, which is one of my biggest regrets to date. Instead, we kept on walking, right past the Scientology building, where I became very convinced that not only were they filming our every move and listening to our conversation, but that they were listening to our thoughts as well. I’ve seen the HBO documentary; I know what I’m talking about.
If they had been listening to our thoughts, though, they would have been sorely disappointed. Because I was still thinking about what I should have said to Lena Dunham, and Joe was thinking about what kind of fescue they use in Central Park.
I don’t actually know if that’s what he was thinking about at that exact moment, but they likelihood is high, as that was 90% of what he talked about that day.
P.S. We tried Momofuku Milk Bar and I hated it; way too salty. And unlike the Levain cookie I also found overrated, I couldn’t even finish the soft serve, and ended up throwing it away, so you know it must have been bad.
P.P.S. After Joe finished reading this post, he smiled to himself introspectively, staring off into space. I asked him what he was thinking about, and when he didn't respond, I waited a few seconds before continuing, "You're not thinking about fescue again, are you?" He smiled even wider and answered with a definitive "Maybe." I give up.