My New York Weekend

Trip Start Oct 12, 2007
Trip End Oct 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, October 18, 2007

Greetings, Im glad to be writing yet another entry. This time around, I popped in to New York for the weekend to say hi to my brother. Lucky me, I managed to piss off my brother before I even arrived.
This time around, my brother lives in a great area; Upper East Side. This was a relief for me becuase the previous two times I visited him, the area that he lived in took my trip to an entirely different level.
My brother has a great roomate, and awesome friends. His roomate, Dani, is just about finished her PHD/MD as a  Neuroscientist, and one of his (their) good friends' Daniella, is also soon to be finished her MD in Neurology. While having drinks and eating dinner at midnight with the three of them I was so emerged in fun and spontaneity that time just was not of the essence. We stayed up till 3 in the morning, telling funny stories about Boris' and my camping trip, and horrible New York moments, and even watched a creative movie made by my brothers' other friend Arseny.
When I went to bed, I honestly felt, like I was a million life years away from Vancouver. It seemed like my actual life in BC was nothing but a distant adventure and that was exactly what I wanted to accomplish this New York Getaway trip.
The next morning, I awoke early, made my famous omlete breakfast for everyone and got ready for the day. Coming on this trip, aside from escaping my life, I wanted to do three things in New York; go to a Russian Bathhouse; have a coffee and read my book at Central Park; and walk under the giant lights at Times Square. Thankfully all needs and wants were met!

That day on Saturday,before my brother, his friend Arseny and I went to the Russian Bathhouse, we went for a run around Central Park. It was so beautiful. Seeing Times squares,  then walking around Central Park is like two completely different worlds. There are enormous trees, numerous paths to walk along, birds, a huge fountain in the middle of the reservoir and fresh crisp air which is ironic because it's New York. Afterwards, we made our way back to my brother's house to get ready for the Russian Bathhouse.
Entering the place, it had a very welcoming, and wealthy feeling. All valuables were places in a safe deposit box, and no payments were required up front. (makes ya feel kinda nice, as if you're getting something for free) Anyway, on with my adventure, slippers and towels were provided, as well as robes and huge lounging rooms.
A Russian Bathhouse is basically the size of two master bedrooms mainly built for the sauna with temperature raised above the Health Board Limit. Perhaps it is just the humidity that is altered, but when you are sitting in there "it really is like a sauna." That afternoon that temperature was at 210F!!! Some guests of the bathhouse purchase wool hats to protect your head and hair, while others like myself just wrap their head in a towel. You sit on the benches for 10 minutes at the least and your body is drenched with sweat. I'm sure that whoever goes, has never sweated (swat)  that much in their life. At the most, your body can probably handle 15 minutes of this heat. When you feel like you're on the verge you run out of the sauna and jump in a 5 foot deep pool of ice cold water (probably 1C). The second your body hits this water, you can't help but scream while you're submerged in it. You desperately reach for the handle bar to pull yourself out of the water, and with a state of totaly body overload, dizziness, and uncotrallable nerves, you jump in for a second dip! You pull yourself out of that pool like its going to eat you alive. Your body throbs from the shock and is in total confusion; as if you are high on god knows what.
In the lounge room you sit down to relax and let your body return to a normal state. As you wait, you drink Baltika Beer, and eat EXTREMELY salty fish (i forget the name) that tastes sooo salty it makes you want to put it down -- but like the totaly body confusion, this fish good enough to keep eating. We sat for about 40 minutes, and then went in for another round.

The other thing that you could do while in a Bathhouse sauna, is beat and smack yourself with maple leaves and twigs. The leaves of the hand-made broom is kept in hot water, so that when you use it on yourself, the hot drops burn as they land on your body. You use the broom in different rythms and patterns creating an intense heat that overcomes you. I myself personally could not handle it and had to stop with the broom and just enjoy the heat as it came. We stayed at the bathhouse for a few hours, and afterwards were greeted by a US$244.00 bill. We all felt that the price could be ignored because it was absolutely worth it.

Afterwards, my brother and I parted with Arseny, and we headed to a local club in NY. That was nothing impressive, but an incident did occur that shocked me. I asked the bartender to make me a Ceasar, and he gave me a puzzled look. I repeated myself and still got no response. I then explained that I wanted tomatoe juice and vodka, and the dumbfounded bartender laughed at me, told me that it wasn't the morning, and then refused to make my drink. First off,  I'll mention that in the States, Ceasars are known as Bloody Mary ONLY! Second, Americans only drink Ceasars in the morning after a hang over. Anyway, I didn't bother making a scene (eventhough I wanted to very badly), I instead asked for a Brown Cow. AGAIN, he did not know what I ordered. Despite the frustration, he made me a White Russian. I drank it but it didnt fill my craving, so no excitement came out of that. The club that we went to was nothing special, just like any ol' club here in Vancouver, but it was nice to get in, yet again, underage :(
The day next, after packing my belongings, my brother and I headed to Times Square. We had lunch at Chinese Buffett that was way out of the ordinary. The length of the restaurant was an entire street block's length; doors from both sides! The food items ranged from Chinese to Japanases, and even to American food (ribs, ceasar salad, etc) Although the price suited the foods we ate, it was pricy for an afternoon lunch for a pair of travellers like my brother and myself.
Soon after, we headed towards JFK to bring the trip to a close.
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