The good news: I'm totally in at Parsons
The bad news: They decided to let me know four days before classes start. Which means that I spent Friday afternoon going from the admissions office to a meeting with my advisor and then back to the admissions office to try and get things moving as speedily as possible. I still haven't been able to register for any classes because in order to register, I need a login for the New School online registration application. In order to get this login, my tuition deposit, which I turned in by hand on Friday, needs to be processed. Even after the tuition deposit is processed and I am provided with this $400 login, a hold will remain on my record, rendering me unable to register, until after confirmation that I have been immunized for measles, mumps, and rubella has been received by the student health center. Fortunately, I am in the happy position of having a dad who can sign such things, so after dealing with admissions on Friday, I booked over to the Staples at Union Square and faxed my dad the form, who then faxed it to the student health center. Tomorrow I'll call to confirm that they got it, and then call admissions to see what the deal is with the login. All this paper shuffling and running back and forth between offices really lets you know that you're back in a place of higher education. Oh hallowed halls of learning and red tape, it's good to be back!
Luckily, I was unable to stress out all weekend about Parsons' mixed messages de matriculation, since one of my fanciest gal pals came to visit! The weekend was full of the most refined and girlish activities. Saturday we trekked into Manhattan and then out of it again in search of that mysterious creature known as the Williamsburg Hipster. We stumbled upon an artsy little flea market/craft fair (as you do) and made several wise and just purchases. One of the venders there was selling used books, and I snagged a weird little hardback called Dumas On Food, which consists of translated selections from Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine by Alexandre Dumas. It's full of odd little dictionary entries about different kinds of food which are accompanied by gorgeous engraved illustrations. Here is the entry Dumas gives for hazelnuts, in its entirety.
A kind of large purplish nut. They say that the best kind comes from the lands of Foix and Roussillon, but I am inclined to think that the best are those from Avellines, which has given them their name. Hazelnuts grow wild in the ravines and ruins which surround Avellines. Victor Hugo all but killed himself when he fell into one of these ravines while he was picking hazelnuts as a child.
I'm pretty delighted by this book, I must say. After a nice little walk and a quick duck-in to a cafe for a warming beverage, S and I crammed back on the L to Union Square. We walked over to take a look at the Parsons building, and then had a good browse through The Strand and the soon-to-close Virgin Megastore. By this time it was evening, and we were both getting rather tired and hungry, so it was back on the R train down south to Brooklyn!
My intrepid companion and I had decided on trying out the recently opened Buttermilk Channel for dinner. I must admit, I was a bit nervous about getting seated, since the place had just opened and gotten glowing reviews all over the place. My fears turned out to be somewhat justified; the hostess told us that there was about an hour wait for a table. But, she said, I have reservations for a couple in an hour and a half, so if you think you'll be done before then, I can seat you now. (I had to ask her to explain this again, since my brain was partially frozen from the bone-aching cold outside. Basically, there was a two-seater open, but since there were people with reservations for that table in an hour and a half, she wanted to make sure we wouldn't hang around too long and infringe on the reservation if she seated us there.) S and I assured her we had no intention of lingering over our food for longer than that, so we ended up getting seated five minutes after we walked in!
One of the cool things about this restaurant is that they have a totally seperate vegetarian menu, which is nice because S is in the veggiesaurus camp. When I asked about the v-menu, our Connor Oberst-looking waiter fetched it for us, and then asked me if I ate fish or not. "Oh, not me," I said, "S is the vegetarian." He then proceeded to tell S that he, too, was a vegetarian, and mostly addressed her for the rest of the meal. I think I further disappointed him by ordering the hamburger, which came to the table exquisitely rare. (Inspired by A Hamburger Today, I cut the burger in half before diving in, just to check that they had cooked it to my bloody specifications.) S' pasta with pumpkin and olives was out of this world--I'll probably order that the next time I'm there, and there will be a next time, because the pecan pie sundae we ordered for dessert was something that I want, nay must experience again. Imagine a tall glass, filled to the brim with layers of vanilla ice cream and pecan pie, topped with a heavenly chapeau of whipped cream and pecans. It was gone so quickly a picture was out of the question, but you can use the snap of the empty glass as a starting point for your imagination.
Kicking around with a good egg like S all weekend was the perfect celebration for getting in to school. Just two elegant, fun-lovin' ladies, stuffing our faces and offending hipsters with loud, derogatory swipes at Chuck Klosterman. I can't wait to start school. I can't wait to meet some new people and add another layer of purpose to my life here. I can't wait.