This is what tourists do …

4 Dec
Ice skating in Central Park - cold, but worth the numb lips and freezing hands. Worth every minute in fact!

Ice skating in Central Park - cold, but worth the numb lips and freezing hands. Worth every minute in fact!

Before I embark on a telling of all the touristy things I’ve been doing in the last two weeks, let me first (strategically) point you to my recently updated “Portfolio” where you can read some (not all) of the stories I’ve done since I arrived here in August – just to prove that I also work pretty hard!

The last two weeks have actually been pretty crazy, and I’m not sure exactly how I’ve managed to fit it all in. With the last stories / essays being reported / handed in, Thanksgiving, mom and dad here … it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. Now, my second last story is due tomorrow and all I have to work on after that is a book review, a rewrite and … the dreaded, 5 000 word feature article (A.K.A THE MASTER’S PROJECT – sounds like a good name for a hip hop CD.) Then, the Spring semester begins…

Last weekend started with the most blissful avoidance of work: ice skating in Central Park with the most amiable of companions on Saturday (thank you Justin, p.s. that’s not the last I’ve seen of that flask, I hope,) then a couple of drinks with the lovely ladies Zee and Malia, who came up with the brilliant idea of (post-ice-skating) eating crackers and brie whilst watching Casablanca and drinking wine in Zee’s room. You can’t fault these ladies for anything!

Woke up pretty early on Sunday morning to fetch me Mom and Dad at JFK (if anyone needs to know how to get there, and how long it takes, I am now your lady) – this was an absolute pleasure and something I’d looked forward to for weeks! We went straight to the hotel and then a brunch at Tom’s Restaurant, the ever-reliable diner down the road from Columbia, most famous for hosting the guys from Seinfeld. Went home and carried on working, and that is pretty much how the ensuing week went: spent time with mom and dad doing touristy things, did work at home, slept, and started all over again the next day!

The working week came to an abrupt “end” with Thanksgiving Day, which seems to be a national holiday more close to the hearts of some Americans than Christmas. We were warned to find a family to spend the day with, or to face terrible depression and despair (apparently not sharing Thanksgiving with a family – even if they’re not your own – is much like, eating a chicken without a wishbone? An American is going to have to help me with a better analogy here – Jeremy, help!) The day was spent attempting to get close to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which was a laugh – who thought a crowd of 3 million people crammed into Manhattan Streets would be so difficult to wade through? It was also bitterly cold, but luckily on the way back I got to show the parents the New York Times building and Times Square, both of which never fail to disappoint.

Thanksgiving dinner was shared with Zee, Jeremy, Laura and my parents at the I-House dinner, which was lots of fun (the visit to the pub afterwards wasn’t too bad either!)

Hover over the pictures to read the captions.

The next day it was off to Hudson for the weekend: over 48 hours of blissful access to a bath, great restaurants, a pretty awesome second hand bookstore, time with the parents, and sadly, an eye inflammation. Yes, c’est vrai. I have been diagnosed by the opthamologist, who has banned me from wearing my contact lenses for three weeks. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I hate my glasses: so if you see me in the corridors don’t make fun, it’s very rude to mock the blind. The weekend was wonderful though and all too soon my mom and dad had to go, leaving me to a ton of work and a bout of nervous anxiety. I can’t believe we’ve made it this far into the semester already.

When Americans do Christmas, they don't mess around!

When Americans do Christmas, they don't mess around...!

Tonight weI braved the masses at Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christmas tree lighting. Alas, Malia and Alex were much braver than I and managed to get their press passes. I am not a huge fan of crowds and got my full after seeing the tree up close (unlit) and watching Jane Krakowski (who is TINY in person, gees.) That was enough for me … my experiences with the tree lighting and the Thanksgiving Parade have convinced me that Times Square is NO place to be on New Years Eve, despite my hopes for ringing in the year in a typical “New York” way.

So that’s the news for now. Keep me in your thoughts because you are always in mine. I love and miss you all.

And those interested, see below for a random (and shaky, sorry) tour of my walk home from the Journalism School)

A tour of my walk home from Jackie Bischof on Vimeo.

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