Musings and Tales from New York

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

A four-hour delay in Chicago – which included two hours sitting on the tarmac – due to bad weather in New York. Not to worry, they have free alcohol in first class!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I spent an hour walking around Times Square including my extended visit to the Mecca of Toys R Us. Three floors of toys including a huge T-Rex, enormous Optimus Prime, life sized Jedis, and an indoor ferris wheel! Did I mention all the toys too!?

I’ve seen Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (I’m a sucker for gothic churches), Trump Tower, the IBM Building (coincidentally), FAO Schwartz, and chilled in the Apple Store on 5th Avenue and 59th Street. I wandered into Central Park for a while this afternoon and sat watching people and listening. Then it started to rain. A lot. I took shelter in this tunnel where I may have shot the most beautiful picture of my life; hopefully there wasn’t water on the lens. There was a girl with this dog which was a cross between a pug and a beagle, a “puggle” named Lola.

Once the rain let up I walked down Broadway and returned to Times Square where I’m watching the Naked Cowboy perform. Frightening. Now it’s back to the hotel to freshen up before I head out for a late dinner in West Village with my mom’s friend.

After only one day here I love this place. I got really excited when I got to Times Square this morning – there’s so many people and so much happening! And I have 5 more days yet!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One of the nice things here is how safe it feels. I’m sure there are some sketchy areas but generally it seems very safe.

I’ve spent my morning seeing the Flatiron Building and wandering a few streets in Soho on the way to MSG. More walking took me past Macy’s and to the Empire State Building. It was the longest line ride I’ve ever been on – remind me to rant about other people’s kids another time. Unfortunately it’s a little overcast so the views were diminished but undoubtedly amazing! I’m holed up in the New York Public Library before I strike out to Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and UN Headquarters. Tonight I’m off to see the Mets and attend my very first MLB game. Rah rah I hope there’s beer.

A note taken at the Empire State Building: six floors of stairs in a sauna that had that hot smell. A good wakeup for the legs. The ESB is like a giant line ride: you snake through rope mazes, have a mugshot taken, and are forced to deal with other people’s children bumping into you. Then more waiting to leave. Worst ride in the history of everything. But the views are amazing so it’s a good thing I suppressed the desire to murder and maim.

Another note taken at the Empire State Building: I’m hangry like you wouldn’t believe. I was ready to punch out a kid for holding people up in line. Must eat.

The New York Public Library is massive. And smells like banana bread. Seriously.

Finally, lunch! Indian food in Grand Central Terminal. On to the UN Headquarters but must stop at the Little Pie Company on the way back.

A note taken at the Mets game: Beer makes baseball much more enjoyable. Especially three of them and a foot-long hotdog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walked across the Brooklyn bridge which is right by City Hall. I’m sitting having lunch – Reuben, pickles, chips – at Stage Door Deli by Ground Zero.

Turns out, Ground Zero is now a construction zone. While I didn’t find it to create that much of an impact on me, I’m staggered by how it would be possible for thousands of people to flee when the streets are so narrow in the Financial District.

After shopping in Century 21, rode out some heavy rain in Starbucks across the street. Walked down and around Wall St. Waiting out the rain by the Federal Reserve and the Bull statue. Trains are close so either I go back to the hotel or continue to Battery Park and the ferry to Staten Island.

Made it to the ferry and waiting to board. The weather is all over the place. My shoes and socks are soaked. I’ll grab a bite on Staten Island and then head to Battery Park (if it’s nice) and then back to the hotel. I need some free Internet access, I feel so disconnected this is ridiculous!

Found a small cafe on Staten Island called Tuttoriso. They specialize in gluten-free, vegan, and organic food that caters to everyone. This includes a line of gluten-free and organic beers, Wolaver’s brown ale being one of the latter. It’s delicious. Upon recommendation I tried the Staten Island Roll Up wrap. It’s a combination of chicken, chopped tomato, and your choice of cheese (I chose Swiss). Heavy on the basil, I’d pick something different next time but it did the trick. Or, it could be the beer’s just that good. So good in fact that I’m having another.

About to ride the return ferry from Staten Island amidst the most recent swell of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Seriously, we’re the middle of a storm cell and I love it. Lightning flashes seemingly feet away. The thunder claps follow, trying to deafen anyone who may be listening. The rain beats a steady rhythm on the deck plating. Clouds shroud the harbour like the darkness of a concert hall. A perfect symphony performed by Mother Nature’s orchestra. Lady Liberty holds her torch aloft, defiant as lightning illuminates the sky and thunder overwhelms the crash of the wake. Doomsday itself could not have a more fitting beginning.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As I walk around the NYU campus, there’s one word that springs to mind: potential. It’s as if anything is possible on a university campus but we forget when we leave and settle into the patterns and routines set down by people of a different time and experience.

After a lot of walking around Soho I’ve seen much of the outside of the buildings as well as the inside of numerous shoppes. Many of these have very nice clothes but, tragically, prices to match. I think I’m coming at the end of all the sales when selection is limited and stock is dwindling.

I’ve since wandered around Little Italy and found myself a cafe, Caffe Palermo, to have lunch – pizza and a Peroni. Perfect.

Walked all around Chinatown. So much touristy crap but found some interesting side streets to check out.

Rickrolled on Mulberry and Hester walking past an Italian restaurant playing Never Gonna Give You Up. Couldn’t help but smile.

Grabbed a gelatto and enjoyed it on the walk to the train. Now I’m headed uptown. Possibly back to the hotel – my dogs are barkin’ and I wouldn’t mind a chance to mentally regroup. Maybe I’ll go for a run in Central Park… (this didn’t happen, I had a nap instead).

Dinner at Haru on 43rd and 7th ave at 6:30. Started with a mixed greens salad which was followed by sushi and sashimi. All complemented by Sapporo beer. Wow. Unbelievable!

I’m just out of Avenue Q and stealing Internet in Times Square. I can’t even begin to say how awesome the show was!

No shit I think I just walked by Allison Janney along 8th ave near 46th street. It’s certainly possible since she’s in the show 9-to-5 near here. I almost turned around and asked but didn’t want to be that guy.

Turns out that Thursday isn’t the big night for things to be going on after a show, not that I’d know where to find it. I stopped into an “Irish” pub and left after all of 30 seconds because I found it playing country music. That heinous juxtaposition almost killed me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

After a quick tour around the shoppes around 5th ave and north of 48th street, I made a quick stop into the Apple Store to steal a boon of internet. I then struck out for Central Park without a real aim or destination in mind. And so, after walking through Strawberry Fields, to The Lake, through The Ramble, and partway ’round The Reservoir, I left the park in dire need of lunch.

I found myself walking down Madison Avenue towards the subway. As I passed one small restaurant I stepped into 3 Guys Restaurant on Madison just between 88th and 89th street. It seems to be a mediterranean restaurant and I’m giving the chicken souvlaki wrap a try. A much needed break in the ongoing leg-powered tour of NY.

After lunch, it’s up to Harlem to see the Apollo Theatre and a little walking around before returning to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and Rock of Ages tonight.

Ever been the only white guy in a five-block radius? It’s a little unnerving to say the least.

6:30 dinner reservations at Scarlatto on 47th and 8th ave. Onion soup followed by penne alla bolognese. The soup was very nice, the penne was a little much on the black pepper but still quite good. The cab sauv was a good choice for a wine pairing. The cappuccino and tiramisu afterwards was the perfect finish before heading to the theatre.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It’s entirely possible I didn’t pay for the Guinness at Playwright Celtic Pub last night.

But holy shit what a good night! Rock of Ages rocked so hard! I met three Canadians – Steven, Ning, and Carolyn – and we hit The View which is the revolving lounge at the Marriott on Times Square. We then proceeded to get liquored and shut the place down at (what, seriously?) 1:30. I walked them back to their hotel and made a stop at Playwright. Bad idea, I should have just walked back to the hotel. In fact, I’m impressed I made it back at all.

And for some reason that has yet to dawn on me, I “lost” my phone in the bed sheets last night so I tried calling it from the hotel in a mad panic thinking I left it in the bar. And then! For some godforsaken reason I sprayed my contact lens case with cologne before putting them in for the night. Of course I had NO idea of this come morning and was truly puzzled as to why it hurt so much to put them in. Thank god I brought that new pair. What. The. Hell!

Walked down to and along the Hudson waterfront and, coincidentally, past the Intrepid. Discovered this awesome park on Pier 84 where I layed out, listened to some Dave, and sunbathed for 45 minutes. Too bad I didn’t have my guitar. Now to head back to the hotel to pick up my bag and catch a cab to the airport. I’m quite tired after last night and after a very full week. I’m ready to go home and see my friends.

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