A long Mensa day in New York City

I had a very good, very long day today.

It started with an early departure to meet up with a friend from upstate, Ziggy, who was in town to meet two Mensans from Italy who are visiting. The subway ride to Canal Street was as expected, and then I walked farther east in Chinatown than I can recall ever being, all the way to Monroe Street almost under the Manhattan Bridge (over which I’d traveled in the subway). I love walking through Chinatown, seeing all the familiar and strange fruits and vegetables for sale on sidewalk carts, the wonderful arrays of fish in the markets, the mysterious little herb shops.

I got to the café—apparently the first non-Chinese place on the block—and met two very nice people, Ivan and Victoria. We talked for a while, then walked through streets that I may not have ever visited, through Foley Square (the court buildings) and across Reade Street to Church, where we met up with Stuart for a nice lunch.

After lunch, we walked uptown to Canal and Broadway, and then hopped on the subway up to Herald Square, then walked across Fifth Avenue to The Compleat Strategist, a game store I haven’t visited in years (Ivan and Victoria wanted to see it). It’s a very cramped, very full store with a lot of games. Most of them, it seemed are the new type: very complex rules and set-up and game play. So it was interesting when a woman walked in to buy Parcheesi. The old and the new are both available.

Then I walked with Ivan and Victoria up to 42nd Street, past the library, and across 42nd to the Hudson River, where they boarded a Circle Line boat. I walked up another block to take in the view of the Intrepid, and to sit out on the pier looking at the Hudson River for a few minutes. Then I walked back to Times Square, and slowly made my way down to Madison Square Park. Spent a few minutes sitting and reading in the park, and then out to Greater New York Mensa’s monthly get-together at The Storehouse to participate in their trivia competition. We had ten people tonight (including Ivan and Victoria, and Jen, a new member at her first or second Mensa event): two full teams. My team, I was very pleased to see, came in first in the first two rounds, and again in the video round (14 of 15 right: it was 1970s’ movies and television shows, and the only one I couldn’t remember was the one Richard Pryor – Gene Wilder movie I hadn’t seen, Stir Crazy). I was shocked (shocked!) That we also came in first in the music round: I thought we did really poorly, but I guess the questions were tough for everyone. What it meant was that our team took first place for the night, while the other Mensa team managed third place, so it was a great night all around.

Then I had a leisurely walk down to Union Square to take the subway home. So, a nice day. I was out for 13 hours, walked five or six miles, met some wonderful people, saw some long-time friends, and came home to a damp box of books out on the step (thanks, UPS. You couldn’t read the note right next to the door bell, asking you to leave the box next door, out of the rain?). Fortunately, the books seem dry.

Now, I need to get some sleep!

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