May 20 2006

NYC for the weekend

by in East Coast, North America, United States

I’m going to New York City for Liz’s bachelorette weekend. I haven’t been to NYC since 2000, when I spent a weekend working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign (I don’t actually like her – I just wanted to visit NYC, as this Californian had never been there before, and the College Dems were offering a free trip).

Be back on Sunday.

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One Response to NYC for the weekend

  1. From Gregor:

    As promised, some hints for Armenia.

    You can explore Yerevan on foot and by marshrutka. A listing of marshrutka lines is to be found here – print it out and carry it with you because the marshrutkas only have signs in Armenian. The higlights would be Republic (formerly Lenin) sq., Haghtanak park (including Mother Armenia statue; great view over the city), Tsitsernakaberd (‘genocide’ memorial).

    Outside Yerevan, you need to drive (do not rent a car, they don’t have comprehensive insurance – you wreck it, you pay for it; better to borrow an insured car from a friend) or be driven (taxi for one day about $50 including gas). To drive, any valid driving license suffices. Also, you should have a letter from your friend stating that you are allowed to drive the car. If the car has red (dip) plates, chances are you won’t be stopped anyway, though.

    You can see Garni and Geghard (hellenic temple, cave monastery – excellent) in a half-day excursion from Yerevan. Echmiadzin (seat of the head of the Armenian Church) can also be visited in a half day, or combine it with visits to Zvartnots cathedral, Sardarapat, Metsamor museum to make it a day trip.

    The greatest day trip in my opinion: Start about 8.00 am from Yerevan, go to Khor Virap (monastery at the foot of the Ararat), continue to Noravank (maybe most beautiful place in Armenia – monastery in a gorge), continue via Selim pass (past Selim Caravansaray – great!) to Martuni on the shore of Sevan lake. If adventurous, turn right there and go around the lake that way. Stop for Armenian herbal tea at Tufenkian Marak Tsapatagh Hotel. Continue back to Yerevan. Arrival around 7-8 pm. If less adventurous, turn left (better road, shorter too) and stop for Armenian herbal tea at the Chaynia in the hills before Yerevan.

    On the way to Tbilisi, go via Sevan-Dilijan-Vanadzor, visit Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, and any of the following: Kobayr, Odzun, Akhtala. They are all almost directly on the way to Tbilisi. On the way back, consider stopping at Goshavank and Haghartsin. DO NOT USE the road between Noyemberyan and Ijevan – there were live shots being fired from Azerbaijan as late as this march, killing Armenian servicemen.

    If you think that those are too many monasteries: they are not just beautiful architecturally, but also situated in breathtaking natural environments.

    Recommended reading: Lonely Planet 2004 ed.; “Rediscovering Armenia” (available at Ani Bookstore, Republic Sq., for about $6). Not recommended: Stone Garden Guide (lousy information).

    So much for now. Any questions, you know how to reach me.

    Posted on May 24, 2006 at 1:00 pm #
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