Ok so I didn't find the time/energy to this post on Saturday! But I'm doing it today. :)
So, we originally went to New York city because 1.) TK had off on Saturday (unheard of!) and 2.) We had a bunch of places in the NYC area that we had been wanting to visit, and 3.) NYC's just a cool place to go to!
We woke up at 4am and left at 5am. That was not fun. The sun hadn't come up yet of course. But it was neat to see the changing off the light when it did come up slowly, as we traveled along. I did managed to snap one or two photos of the sunrise while we were crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Takeshi was snoozing beside me at this point.
We arrived in New York City a little earlier than we thought we'd get there, at around close to 10am. So we had a little time to mull around before getting to our first appointment by 11am.
We planned to definitely go to the 'Hairmate' salon (which has many Japanese hairdressers) in downtown to get our haircuts. Takeshi rarely trusts any other places in the states - he says they would understand the kind of look he'd want more than any American salons (probably). We planned to visit the Mitsuwa grocery store in New Jersey as well.
So since we were going to go to Mitsuwa last, we figured we'd get a hotel in Hoboken somewhere, and ride the subway into NYC etc. Well we ended up getting a hotel in NYC after all, but it was a really cool, small place called the Gem Hotel (http://www.thegemhotel.com/chelsea/index.iml) in Chelsea. It was on a whim, after calling place after place while we were busy seeing things that day (not the best way to get a hotel in NYC, I know). But we finally settled for them because everywhere else was $200 and up a night. F*ck that! Ick.
The TINIEST bed we've slept in since our bed in Leopalace in Suzuka. It was small lengthwise and widthwise. But it wasn't too bad, and it was very comfy. But we were so tired by the end of the day, I could have slept on the floor and been ok! And the hotel was fairly new, and that's always nice to have in a hotel.
So we made it to the haircut appointments. I chatted a little in Japanese with the girl I had, named Kozue. Mind you it was fairly basic stuff. Lol. While Takeshi was getting his hair cut the girl he had had recommended another ramen shop in town besides Ippudo, which had been my idea since grooogrux recommended it to me. She said this other place was better than Ippudo, so I figured that if I was going to take advice from someone about Japanese ramen, it's gonna be a native, right? So off we went for lunch! And it was GOOOD. For the first time since living in Suzuka, I was the only non-Asian person sitting in that restaurant! That's always a good sign for a foreign cuisine restaurant, and you see a lot of natives eating there! That means it must be good. ;) The place was called Terakawa Ramen.
After that we bopped around town some more, just taking in the sights and sounds. We ended up on Times Square at around 9:30pm and found a BBQ joint right off of Times Square for dinner, called Virgil's Real BBQ. It was good stuff and we only got appetizers! They were frickin' huge! We shared some buffalo wings and BBQ nachos. YUMMY. After that we were trying to find something to do and had an idea. The last time we came to NYC we ended coming across a themed-bar/restaurant in NYC called the Jekyll and Hyde Club (). We didn't plan on it, but we had a good time. So we thought, hey let's find another themed-bar to go to since it's late enough at night for a drink. We began searching forever on our iPhones for a club that wasn't MILES away by Subway (since we'd have to ride it BACK to the hotel afterwards too). We picked one, some kind of crime-themed bar. We set off and rode the subway and then walked a million blocks to where it said the address was. WELL, there was a bar there, but it didn't look like a themed-bar. It actually looked like a regular, shifty, dirty bar with fucked-up lookin' bouncers outside. So we said nevermind.... So long story short, after that we spent what seemed like an hour walking around looking for a place to drink - and at THAT point we didn't even need somewhere themed. We were dead tired and wanted a quieter place at this point. So we finally settled for this little bistro place and shared some white wine, and some mussels. At like, midnight. It didn't help that the place had low lighting for effect, and was playing jazz music. I could have slept in the chair I was sitting in.
So we shuffled our tired legs back to the hotel after a return subway trip, and pretty much leapt into bed as soon as we got in the door. So ended our time in NYC.
The next day we were going to be heading home, but not before stopping by Mitsuwa on the way to buy some much wanted Japanese groceries! It was awesome. I wish we had a Mitsuwa near us! Also, beside the grocery store there was a Sanseido book store, and a store with Japanese ceramics/dish-ware in it. At Sanseido I bought 3 manga for studying purposes. I thought it might be fun to practice Japanese by reading some manga, since I haven't bought any manga/graphic novels since high school! And back then they were in English too. I bought the first manga of "ドラえもん" and the first two manga of some manga called "ルレグゥ” (I think I got that right - the title font on the cover is a little wacky and hard to figure out!). The thing I wanted the most was to have furigana in the manga, because I am no kanji expert!
So, we ended up buying a LOT of groceries to last us a while, including Japanese mayo (not Kewpie but pretty damned close), okonomiyaki-ko, pickled ginger, daikon radish, etc etc etc!
Now onto the dog-walking. A summary anyway. Yup I've been at for about 2 weeks now. Overall it's fun, being outside with my furry buddies, even though I will experience the occasional dog ripping up things in the owner's house when I arrive, and a dog running OUT THE DOOR as I try to leave, and so on. I walk all kinds of dogs and I've put together a mix-match of them below. :)