Cabin Fever

24 Jul

Swarthmore is close to Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a big city. In fact, Philadelphia is the fifth largest American city, in regards to population. And yet, despite the fact that we’ve established how large Philadelphia is, I get cabin fever.

As I have grown older, I have realized that I need to change my environment often. Swarthmore is great, as is Philadelphia, but I’ve found that, when I have cabin fever, I have to change cities to change pace. Luckily, public transportation is very, very, very easy to navigate at Swarthmore. It takes very little time to get into Philadelphia, and then to take a Megabus or Boltbus to New York.

So, while at Swarthmore this summer, I, along with my coworkers, have taken several weekend trips off campus to nearby large cities. (Steven has gone to both New York and D.C., Lauren went to D.C. this past weekend, and I’ve been to New York three times, and hope to go to Boston.) The great thing about being here over the summer is that we get to explore the campus, but, also, that we can travel without having to worry about homework.

The first time I went to New York, I was going home for my birthday. I was able to spend a long weekend in NYC with my roommate and friend, both Swatties, so that we could celebrate all of our birthdays. The second time, I went in alone to meet up with family and high school friends.

But, this last time was definitely the most Swat-Summer-filled trip. Sera and I went in on Saturday morning to meet up with Steven and spend the weekend visiting museums and eating good food.

After almost missing the bus, Sera and I arrived in New York and made our way to a hostel in Brooklyn. (Great, great place. Hostels are an awesome housing idea for weekend visits!) Steven, unfortunately, was busy, but Sera and I decided to go our own way and visit Smorgasburg, a food fair in Williamsburg. There were so many different tents, and I’m pretty sure that we could have eaten lunch simply tasting all of the different samples. We did, however, end up buying food. I ate a vegetarian hot dog from an Asian-fusion hot dog stand while Sera bought tacos and maple-bacon. (Yum, yum, yum.) And, while we were there, we ran into a fellow Swattie and his friend (small world).

The rest of the afternoon was filled with a trip to Manhattan for dinner (Sera humored me and went to a vegan restaurant), lots of walking, and a return trip back to our hostel. We did not go to any museums on Saturday, because we had big plans for the night. A group of Swatties (including Steven), met up and all went out dancing, and then headed over to a diner for some pierogies. It was an exhausting, but really fun night.

Street art right near our hostel.

The diner that we ate at (picture is from a google search).

Sunday, however, was quite different. While Sera and I had planned to wake up at 10:30, it seemed that our bodies were not on the same page. At 9/9:30, we were up, and went on a run in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, our sense of direction was a bit off, and we ended up going the wrong way. So, after returning to the area near our hostel, we found a park and sat on the swings for a while. After, we packed up, showered, left our hostel, and headed over to meet up with Steven in upper Manhattan. Steven was staying with a friend from high school, and she was nice enough to let us store our luggage in her apartment.

And, though we had planned to go to museums on Sunday, Steven was in the mood for something a bit more…adventurous. He and his high school friend decided to go rollerblading in Central Park, leaving Sera and me to the museums. We were quite hungry, and antsy to get started. After a quick bite, we made our way over to the Museum of Natural History. I’m a huge fan of museums with suggested payments…

Around the museum, we skirted large families with children running around to head towards the dinosaur exhibit. Ever since the Fourth of July, I’ve had a craving to see some dinosaurs, so I was a very happy camper once we arrived to the wing with the exhibit. While there, Sera and I tried to imagine what it would be like if the animals existed today, and marveled over the fact that they existed, at all. And, I might have embarrassed myself a bit when I walked and made the sounds that I thought each of the dinosaurs would have made (some of the guards looked confused). After all of the prehistoric touring, we headed over to the big whale so that Sera could see the sea life exhibit. 

Following the museum, we met up with another Swattie and picked up some groceries. Eventually, after grabbing some soy ice cream, we found Steven,  grabbed a delicious dinner in K-town, and headed back to Swat with Eddie (who was nice enough to drive us).

I absolutely love stealing away from campus to spend some time in NYC, and it is great to go in with fellow Swatties. I definitely recommend taking weekend trips away from the school; I know that I will take a couple more before the summer is out!

Until next time,

Aileen

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