Banjos and Bylines

Country Girl and Writer at heart.

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If I had all the money in the world… 11 cars I’d love to own.

So during the hunt for my new 2002 Camaro SS, I happened into the classic car heaven that was a 275-car consignment warehouse. And it got me to thinking what cars I would love to own if money wasn’t a factor. So…here’s a short list.

1971 Dodge Challenger — I will own one of these one day in the very near future. I promise. I’d also love a brand new one as they incorporate a really classic feel into a new car.

1969 Chevy Camaro SS:

 

1961 Chevy Corvette:

1931 Ford Model A pickup:

1957 Chevy pickup:

 

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL — The newer AMG SLS is also acceptable though not equal.

 

1964 Ford Mustang — the original pony car. Does it get any more classic?

1970 VW Beetle — The only car on here for pure cuteness factor because y’all know I don’t really do cute. But there’s something about a little old Bug that says, “I’d be fun to drive.”

 

1948 Buick Eight Super Convertible — One of these babies was a secondary star in the summer 2011 movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and I fell in love.

 

And a couple of younger cars that I just love to look at:

Lamborghini Aventador/Murcielago (GUH)

Audi R8

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Small Town Girl in the Big City: Post 12: My Best Friend the Subway

Location: almost everywhere you want to go in New York


I really don’t understand people who think the subway is scary… I thought it would be too, going into it. My only previous experience with public transportation is the RTS buses in Gainesville.

This is one of the stops that I frequent at Union Square. (Photo not taken by me.)

Well, go figure but I think the subway is more dependable and less difficult to navigate than RTS! And you can actually get almost everywhere you want to go, unlike with RTS.

And yes, it’s true: There are some kinda scary people on the subway (actually, in New York period). But you kinda just learn to ignore them and keep going.

And there are also tons of awesome people on the subway too. Musicians in particular.

My personal favorite is the guy I’ve seen twice on the L-train… A mariachi with a guitar who walks up and down the train serenading no one in particular, then switches trains. It was Cielito Lindo the first time, and I forgot what he was singing when I saw him again today.

But the other day I walked down to wait for my train and an old man with a djembe (jim-bay; African drum) sat down and started singing hymns about “I heard the voice of 10,000 angels singing out unto the Lord.” So beautiful! And two little boys near me started dancing with the joy of the Lord.

Being Charismatic, I really, really wanted to start dancing right along with them, but I didn’t think their moms would appreciate it so I resisted.

Still! The point is… The subway’s not nearly as scary a thing as it seems!

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Small Town Girl in the Big City: Post 11: Coney Island

Location: Coney Island, Brooklyn

Today I finally got to reunite with one of those things I’ve been missing most about Florida: the beach. No, the beach at Coney Island does not quite compare to good ol’ Amelia Island (especially in the fact that, y’know, Coney Island isn’t actually an island), but I’d take just about anywhere I can grab sun at this point.

So the sand is weird… It’s brown and finer, more like dirt. The waves… practically nonexistent. The beach is sooo wide too. So much more distance between where the beach starts and the water. And omg, the PEOPLE. There are people everywhere!

But the cool thing after fighting the crowds… There’s so much there other than the beach. There’s lots of food (that costs an arm and a leg) and eating a hotdog where they were possibly invented? Pretty sweet. (The hotdog from Nathan’s was also better than Gray’s Papaya, and they had dill pickles!) There’s also people constantly walking up and down the beach selling everything from dresses to ice cream to beer to empanadas (most of them calling in Spanish and then repeating in English).

And I didn’t go to the amusement park, but that seems pretty cool too.

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Small Town Girl in the Big City: Post 10: Jackson Heights

Location: Jackson Heights, Queens (Little India + ???)

Yesterday I got brave and schlepped all the way out to Queens (about a 35-minute trip) on my own. I’d heard so much about the Little India area of Jackson Heights and about how I should go there for Bollywood DVDs and more. Not to mention the fact that my brother Aaron told me that the best Mexican food he’d had in his life was to be had a place in Queens.

I lovedddddd Little India. Not just for the DVDs but everything. Everything is colorful from the vegetables out for sale to the decorated rugs, and the clothing stores have the most gorgeous saris and salwar kameez and bangles on display in their windows. Bhangra and film music drifts out of the entertainment shops that have posters for the latest and upcoming Bollywood (and a couple of Kollywood [Tamil film]) releases. The smell of spices from corner vendors and several buffet restaurants hang around almost everywhere.

And then I also passed a meat shop that had whole goats strung up in the window — eyeballs still in!

Pretty much parts of it look exactly what my image of Delhi is like.

I got quite a few weird looks for being a lone white girl roaming the streets of Little India, but I tried to brush that off because the place was just so awesome. I went into a couple of DVD stores and into a kind of multi-purpose giftshop that caters to Hindu and Islamic religious needs and white tourists simultaneously and then offers a little bit of everything on the side (found an array cricket bats and balls on the basement floor!). I was unfortunately not quite brave enough to venture into any of the clothing stores by myself despite my ever-growing desire for a sari or salwar kameez or even a kurti.

And after I walked around there for several hours, I hopped on a train (which aren’t actually subways in Queens because they’re in the sky) and went about a mile to find Aaron’s Mexican restaurant, Rincon Criollo. Well, turns out it’s actually a Cuban restaurant. Whooops.

But I walked around this area (Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue… I’m sure it has a name, but I don’t know it) a bit too and got splashed over in Hispanic culture. Seriously, I walked around four or five blocks and was the only, only white person. I got even stranger looks there than I did in Little India.

But that too was pretty awesome. I wish I’d actually looked around a little more, but it was getting late and I had to get back to Manhattan.

After that there was some stuff that I did in Manhattan (Washington Square Park, macaroni at 1 a.m….), but I don’t have time to update about that right now… I’m off to Coney Island!

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Feel like a real New Yorker now. Forced out of my sleep and onto a street corner at 3 a.m. by a fire alarm. City that never sleeps, eh?

Feel like a real New Yorker now. Forced out of my sleep and onto a street corner at 3 a.m. by a fire alarm. City that never sleeps, eh?

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Small Town Girl in the Big City: Post 9: Food Tour Continues

Location: Gray’s Papaya, Greenwich Village (8th Street and 6th Ave)

So the food tour of New York continued with the much-talked about Gray’s Papaya tonight. I went an extra subway stop past my usual transfer point because I was quite randomly craving hotdogs and I was told before I left Florida that I HAD to go here.

To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed. Definitely not the best hotdogs I’ve had in my life. Maybe the magic is in the chili and add-ons that I don’t eat. I had just mustard because they didn’t have any dill relish, my only other hotdog topping. But yeah, I was definitely not wowed.

The price was all right, though. Two hotdogs and a drink for $4.44 (the Recession Special). (Although the street corner vendors sell dogs for $1 apiece, so maybe that’s not that great of a deal after all.)

Oh, well. Better luck next time.

Do these look like the best hotdogs in New York to you? (Never mind that I had already eaten half of one… It was 9 p.m. and I was hungry!)

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Guys, after two weeks of searching, I finally found my Bollywood DVD store! It’s a 12-minute subway ride or 25-minute walk from my dorm and it’s the biggest collection of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi films and soundtracks I’ve come across yet. :)

Guys, after two weeks of searching, I finally found my Bollywood DVD store! It’s a 12-minute subway ride or 25-minute walk from my dorm and it’s the biggest collection of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi films and soundtracks I’ve come across yet. :)