One Day in a Life of a Russian Girl in New York City

Saturday. 7th March, 2009
5.25 am
Went online, found out about Juilliard School Free Events a.k.a. Performances
5.35 am
Left 1589 Ocean Avenue (my then address)
5.50am
Got onto a Q train to Manhattan, no delays! Thank goodness! The woman opposite me is having breakfast. I kinda want breakfast too.
6.35am

Got off at the Fifth Ave and 49th St. Out to Rockefeller Center.
6.45am

Started queuing at the NBC building for the free tickets for Saturday Night Live. Very questionable.
7.08
Got the stand-by ticket which “does not guarantee me the studio visit”
7.10
Went inside the Rockefeller Center, the GE Building, to be more specific, but it’s practically the same
7.35
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Roman Catholic Church (sightseeing).

8.00
Mass Service in Lady’s Chapel
9.20
Breakfast at McD’s:
Sausage McMuffin. Meal Number 1 from the list. I can hear Dido’s “Here With Me” my London song, coming from the speakers above my head. While I wait, Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” comes up and I start singing along so that no one can see.
A female McD’s employee is singing along Amy too.
9.35am
An unidentified man walking past my table tells me not to throw my coat like this, otherwise it’s gonna get creases. I take it he’s one of those who hang out at McDonalds restaurants to keep warm. He does not look homeless, but I still feel a bit tense and check if he wants to come up with more requests. In London I would have said thanks right away, and fixed my coat feeling all nice because what the dude said was actually nice, but here I get very cautious. I look around once again and fix my coat so that it hangs from a chair without creases
10.10
The М104 bus to Lincoln Center
10.30
Juilliard School of Ballet
I am waiting in line for the free registration and entry along with what seems like a hundred Korean students, waiting for their friend to perform that day. I decide to get a coffee.
The coffee comes up to $1.50. I also purchase two Julliard pens, 25 cents each.
11.00am
30 minutes of wonderful violin music from a Julliard student.
11.35am
Street Level. Sunny. Feels like +25C.
11.55
М104 bus to Columbia University. I am on a bus with some psycho guy who shouts insults at everyone. An American guy comes up to him and simply says: Shut your mouth! Just shut your mouth!
This does not help, however. The psycho (not a very politically correct word, I know) gets off at the next stop. Everyone takes a deep breath. Everyone on the bus feels good because someone stood up for them. This guy feels nice too. Happy endings and gentlemen cowboys still exist on this planet.
12.10
Columbia University. Just as I “remembered” it. (from a zillion movies)
The temperature outside is definitely +25C (I will never speak in Fahrenheit)
13.05
Morningside Park
13.25
Central Park West. Central Park.
Lots of people who cycle voluntarily. Lots of new young mothers too. At one of the entrances there’s a guy on the ground who sits playing the drums. Not for money. Just because.
14.45

Fifth Ave and 53rd Street
15:00 – 21:00
Had a nervous breakdown. Let’s not talk about this now. (* had some problems with depression and anxiety back then)
21.25
Taking the train to 49th Street. If I’m lucky I’ll see Dwayne Johnson on SNL
23.59

Q train back to Brooklyn, no SNL for me today. There were too many audience members already. Maybe I’ll see Dwayne Johnson next time.
It was a nice day, except for that nervous breakdown.

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