A Travellerspoint blog

From Hoboken to Saratoga Springs and a lot of other things….

Mum, I’ve been eating well bagels, buffalo wings & Sinatra sandwiches!

sunny 3 °C

For the first 3 days after my last entry I was couchsurfing in Hoboken. I stayed in an apartment on the main high street called Washington St. I've never seen one street with nothing but bars, restaurants and cafes, but i'm not complaining. Three people live in the apartment and I spent most of my time with Stephanie and Scott, who were both really nice and easy to talk to. (They've also said I'm welcome back the day that I stopover in NYC before heading onto Philadelphia).

View from Hoboken

View from Hoboken

On the first night we went to see one of Stephs friend playing in a local bar. The following day I got my first real taste of american consumerism at 'Walmart' and 'Babies'R'Us'….. I entertained myself..….one item that caught my eye was an American football babygrow in the 99cent rail which had the player ‘Burress’ on the back, now he’s currently serving a 2 year prison sentence on gun charges! Comforting, I suppose then that it was still on the rack! In the afternoon we went out for food and watched some of the NFL playoffs and then I made my way across the Hudson River into Manhattan to visit the MOMA. It was a great museum but on my way there, whilst walking through Times Sq I saw David Blaine (magician who lived in a box!) doing magic for Haiti. In the evening we went to the birthday of one of Stephs friends.

David Blaine - man of mystery

David Blaine - man of mystery

On Sunday I woke up and went with Scott to the local Italian deli and got a Sinatra Sandwich and then went on to watch more football in a bar. A local team was playing – the NY Jets, so there was a good atmosphere around the town. After the game, I collected up all my stuff and made my way back up to Saddle River to see my friend Nick again.

On my first visit to see Nick, his aunt and uncle had said I could go back and visit again. So I took them up on the offer and stayed from the Sunday through to the Thursday. It was great staying there and I turned myself into the bands unofficial photographer and documenter whilst at the house. It was an exciting time as the band - the ‘Sexy Heroes’, had a really positive meeting on the Tuesday with a top producer who has worked with many great bands.

Sexy Heroes

Sexy Heroes

They met at his huge studio (where Lady Gaga was going to be the following day) and he showed them around and listened to some of their stuff. He liked it and wanted them to return the following week (the same day Alicia Keys was due to be in), to hear them play acoustically and see how they all work together. So I got to see the band practicing a lot of their songs in a completely different style to what they were used to and it was interesting to see how they crossed over.

(my favourite song Noablo Espaniol.....may be handy in Peru! The boys sound pretty damn good considering only the mic from my camera)

Outside of practice, we went skating (did more watching than actual skating), chilled out with people in the evenings and went to Hooters (a great restaurant famous for two things!).

Just Skate

Just Skate

Hooters!

Hooters!

Thursday saw me leave Saddle River and return to Brooklyn, to couchsurf with Rachel again who I’d stayed with the previous week. I arrived in the evening and the season finale of the Jersey Shore was showing.

I dig Brooklyn, my Brooklyn digs

I dig Brooklyn, my Brooklyn digs

This is a reality show that everywhere I’ve gone people seem to be talking about it. Now people who know me, know I’m not really a fan of reality shows but this one is truly awful. If it starts getting shown in England, do yourself a favour and smash your TV. That said, I still watched the reunion show that followed! The next few days were pretty busy, on Friday I met up with a girl I’d met on cs and went to the Brooklyn museum. My last few days in NY were filled packed full of fun and with Rachel I….ate octopus at a japanese restaurant (and had saki bombs), visited Terra Blues (an amazing blues bar where the band were playing Hendrix covers), had Peruvian beer in ‘Peculiar Pub’, went up the Rokcefeller centre, had an all you can drink brunch (that’s not a mistake), went to a Williamsburg community museum, had mexican food, saw a Leonard Cohen film and went to an improv comedy night, ……and breathe.

Top of the Rock - a New York sunset

Top of the Rock - a New York sunset

Fellow Couchsurfer (Fonzie)

Fellow Couchsurfer (Fonzie)

Monday morning arrived and again I packed up my stuff and left NYC (I’m sure I’ll be back) for Saratoga Springs. This was going to be my first experience of helpx, a site designed where you volunteer help a host in return for the opportunity get to stay in some great places that you’d probably not ever think of. Its now Wednesday and I must say I’m loving it, it’s a great contrast to the busy city and Saratoga is a real picture postcard town. My host Renata is great, a very smart lady who owns her own skin therapy clinic – Esthetiques a European Skin Therapy Clinique and also rents out several holiday homes. Renata and her friend Steve are smart, interesting people and I’ll learn a lot from them during my stay. As an idea of the work I’ve done so far, I’ve prepared information on property for its listing, cleaned the filters on a Koi fish tank and prepared a Valentines shop window (now that’s something I didn’t expect to be writing!). On the weekend we’ll be visiting one of Renata’s properties in the Adirondack mountains, out in the wilderness, snow tipped peaks, frozen lakes, I cant wait.

Outlook from Renata's House

Outlook from Renata's House

So that’s about it for now, next time I write hopefully I’ll have avoided an altercation with a grizzly bear in the mountains (I don’t think there are any), survived frostbite (lows expected to reach -22 °C) and tried Yoga in Saratoga.

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After that long read you deserve some entertainment…..whilst I’ve been here I’ve realised the best things on TV are the adverts. Here are two for you, sadly the first one I was only told about I never saw for real but the second is on all the time…..i’m not saying anything!?

Red House Furniture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnOyMSEWNTs

The Shake Weight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5ZMACLInG0&feature=related

Posted by Sampri07 13:00 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking

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