Monday, December 19, 2005

My Kinda Town

Well, I arrived home from NYC safely last night. What a trip. Of course, I still don't have a digital camera, so no pictures yet. I hardly took any anyway. It always seems like such a good idea after the fact, but when it's actually happening, taking pictures is such a pain. Plus you look like an idiot tourist. So, I didn't really take any pictures.

Here's my trip in the written form, however.

FRIDAY: Left work early to take the lite rail from downtown Minneapolis to the airport, where I caught a 2:30 flight to JFK.

Meg picked me up at JFK (thank GOD the transit strike hadn't started yet) and we took the subway to her place. She lives in an area called Washington Heights (I think), which apparently isn't too popular of an area to live in, but I liked it just the same. I thought it was a neat area. It's about 140 blocks from the area of Manhattan most people recognize. On my first NYC subway ride, we saw a group of performing gospel/do-wop type singers. They weren't very good. I didn't give them any money. We also saw a crazy Charles Manson'esque type guy across from us drawing a picture of a woman. We both watched for a minute and Meg said she hoped he wasn't drawing her. I was thinking the same thing. That would be really creepish. If he was drawing her, the likeness wasn't very accurate. He had some lovely maroon plaid pants, however. Very '70s.

We sat around her two-bedroom walk-up for a little while and talked to her roommate, Jackie, who is very personable and funny. We also had a glass of wine. Then it was off to the races. Jackie had a final the following morning (both grad students), so she wasn't able to join us.

We went out to eat at a cute little restaurant where our waiter was an Iowa native. I had Jambalaya and ate about three bites of it. Too hot for this Midwestern boy. However I successfully consumed a martini (surprise).

Then we were off to a little place Meg was curious about called the Candle Bar. As soon as we set foot in the place I knew it was a gay bar - the dance music and bar full of only men gives it away every time. I leaned over to Meg and said, "You managed to find a gay bar on accident..." Then we heard a guy say to his buddy, "...They don't know this is a gay bar, I bet..." We ordered gin & tonics anyway. Later, Meg's cute friend Igor (straight), a Russian born NY-native, met us there. I went out to smoke and Meg was accosted by three gay men asking if I was #1.) gay; #2.) single and #3.) local. Of course none bothered to ask ME that. men. Two of them were cute, though. I decided to focus my attention on friends instead of potential one-night friends.

Igor then decided he should take me on a whirlwind tour of downtown Manhattan in his little Benz SUV. We whisked past Times Square, lots of well-known headquarters, the Flatiron Building, etc. Then we went to an Irish bar in the Wall Street district. Igor isn't a drinker so he dropped us off in the same area as Candle Bar. Meg and I found a cozy little downtstairs pub and proceeded to drink more and talk to the bartender. He wound up sharing a cab with us and paid for it all, so that was lucky. He wanted a lil' som'n from Meg, I suspect...We got home at 5:30.

We slept way late on Saturday and decided we could do the real sight-seeing on Sunday afternoon. So we watched "Beautiful Girls" with Jackie. That's always a good movie. Very enjoyable. Most of it was filmed in good ol' Minnesota, by the way. Meg and I finally got motivated well after noon and primped ourselves for another evening out. We took the train to Brooklyn Heights and wandered around the waterfront and the shopping areas. Met up with her friend Michelle who lives there and is a fellow grad student at Pace University. We went to a pizza place called...Patsy's or G-somethings -don't remember. The white pizza was delish. The other one wasn't. And it was super-crowded in there. A good food experience none-the-less. Then it was off to a little pub nearby, where we proceeded to sit & drink & talk about books/movies for about 3-4 hours. My bill alone was $100. Michelle is very intellectual and well-read. She wanted to slap me when I didn't know Woodward & Bernsteins' first names, but most of it went well! Oh, we also talked a lot of sex talk, which is always good.

THEN, it was off to Christopher Street. Apparently this is where the bears of NYC hang out b/c bars for older, hairy gay men were all Meg and I could find. The one we tried smelled, so there was only one beer consumed there. We instead chose somewhere of a name that I can't remember near Christopher Street, but it was mostly a 25-30 crowd and played a lot of '80s music. I cease to remember anything past the first martini. Apparently we were entertaining the bartenders and half the patrons with our "'80s dancing while sitting at a bar" skills. I broke a martini glass by hitting the stem on the bar. The stem fell off, but I managed to not spill any of the martini....go figure! Wow, I'm talented.

Meg had to man-handle me to the train. Once aboard and moving, I insisted on peeing off the train. Meg had to hold on to my back and belt loop to keep me from flying off. It's a wonder I wasn't killed. SOmetimes I can't believe some of the stupid things I do. We made it back to her apartment okay and it's a freakin' miracle. Number one that someone didn't beat me. Number two that I didn't fall off the train. Number three that I wasn't electrocuted. Number four that I didn't impale myself on my broken martini glass.

We got up at about 11:00 on Sunday and trekked back to "where all the stuff is" Manhattan. Before that, however, Jackie and I waited outside a store for Meg to get something. A cute young guy (but kinda trashy looking) came out of a bakery and exclaimed, "Ohhh, my nipples hurt." Then he went in to the same store as Meg and said, "Did anyone call for a stripper b/c here I am!!" Then, upon exiting, he barked at a dog. Crazy New Yorker - yay!!! Awesome.

We saw Ground Zero (very sad/solemn) and walked all over the place - along the waterfront a lot. We also went inside Trinity Church, which is often featured in stories of 9/11. Plus, no tour would be complete without entering a church. We met Meg's friend Todd at some park where a Christmas Fair was going on. Then we went to Rockefeller Center and I had to take a touristy picture of the big Christmas tree. I was hoping to see Al Roker, but no such luck. Some man from some charity attacked us and convinced us to buy NYC ski hats for $10. Mine is brown. He called Todd a "Rent-a-Hunk", Meg a Victoria Secret model and me Drunk of the Month. I suppose that's appropriate, but geez...

I was exhausted by the time we took the train back to Meg's, where I picked up my suitcase and they put me back on the subway to JFK.

I am NEVER flying coach again. Ever. Flying can be another post, but I'll save for later. Needless to say, I arrived home safe & sound and am now no longer a New York virgin. It's a great city. I can see why people love it. Could actually see myself living there someday...

Thanks, MEG (and Jackie and Igor and Michelle and Todd)!!!!


  • You NEED a camera. I recommend the A520 from Canon. It takes BOSS pictures (check the ones I have taken on my site), AND it is only like $200. Splurge honey, Splurge!!!!!

    By Anonymous duane, at 11:36 PM  

  • Definitely get a camera. Tell Santa or someone resembling him that you've been good (lie if you have to). And I second Duane's recommendation, cheap and good.

    By Blogger potusol, at 1:11 AM  

  • Ooooo...I'm so jealous. Your trip to NYC sounded like so much fun. I have to go back!

    Oh, and I don't have a digital camera either. Maybe someday!

    By Blogger lynne, at 9:57 AM  

  • Wow, sounds like a whirwind trip! Sounds like a blast though, I am glad that you had fun, and so glad you are back to blogging!

    By Blogger Matt S., at 1:31 PM  

  • Martini Madness!! Glad you had a great time!

    By Blogger walktrotcanter, at 3:22 PM  

  • Candle Bar is about a one minute walk from my apartment. How tragic that I missed you!

    By Blogger PJS, at 5:10 PM  

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