I woke up around 8:45 am and went by the Laundromat to pick up my clothes. On the way back to my Airbnb, I had what many people recommended me: bacon, egg and cheese on a roll from a random Deli. It cost me $3.50, and it was pretty damn tasty.
And then it was time for me to get to a completely different corner of NYC.
There's a peninsula at the east side of the Bronx called City Island. Three years ago, when I was in NYC the first time, I visited it because of a book I got years before that: Hello, New York: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Five Boroughs by Julia Rothman. Its author is from City Island, and she writes (and draws) about the place, so I decided to visit. Right in the middle of it, I stumbled upon a place called Dan's Parent's House (now known as 239 Play), which is, for lack of a better term, a flea market within a big house. It's full of the most wonderful and random things.
So of course I had to go back. I called them up on Monday, and long story short, they were kind enough to open up the store for me for one hour yesterday, even though normally they're closed.
To get to City Island, you take the 6 Train to the end at Pelham Bay then change to the Bx29 bus. It takes about an hour and half to get there or to get back to the city, but again, it's worth it.
I played it safe, and got there about 30 minutes early; I stopped by a coffee shop called Clipper Cafe, got a decaf, and a $2 book with New Yorker cartoons because they had a small second-hand bookshop in the back.
239 Play indeed opened up, just for me around noon, with a very chatty but friendly temporary shopkeeper. The place is still full of wonders and I got a nice mix of semi-random things: a mostly complete box of Scrabble (I can get the rest of the tiles from eBay), a Benjamin Sisko action figure, unopened (I don't collect them, but after yesterday's documentary, I just had to), a framed 1988 Nintendo ad, a couple of buttons and two books; one about the history of Disney and another, a collection of The Onion articles way back from 2001. Truth is, I felt an obligation to buy things since they did open up just for me, but I am happy with the loot I got.
I got back to the city sometime after 3 pm; I got grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at a place called Melt Shop at Union Square (it was mediocre at best) then hung out at a Starbucks for about two hours, and did my budget. I was and am still over my budget for this trip, but it's manageable, and I always go above my budget on these trips.
I met up with my friend Lyndsey to sell her my old Kindle for a nominal fee at PlantShed, a cafe/flower shop. We hung out a bit the said goodbye, hopefully until September where we should meet at XOXO should we both get lucky enough to get tickets for it.
After dropping by Whole Foods, I took the 6 train to Grand Central Station, to do some people-watching. The place was as stunning as ever; I love being there. I hung around for about an hour, got a reasonably decent donut at Doughnut Plant, then went back Downtown to have my final dinner in NYC at Veselka. I got what I had a couple days before: fried vareniki with cottage cheese.
I wanted to do some night photography, but by then it was raining, so I took a Lyft home and went to bed.