Friday, October 8, 2010

New York

Last weekend I made my first trip to New York City, and I figured I would write a couple things about it. My good friend Alex was in Connecticut for some interviewings, and figured that a trip to New York was warranted. I agreed to meet him.

One thing I learned this trip is that one can get to New York relatively painlessly via bus for less than twenty dollars. Sure, it's five hours; but that really isn't all that long. So I left DC at 11:30 and arrived somewhere around 4:30ish.

First thought: The New Yorker hotel was very cool. Granted, painfully expensive, but still, very cool.

Alex and I, staying in mid Manhattan, decided to venture north to Times Square, Broadway, and Central Park. It's all very shiny. There are probably more LCD screens lining Broadway than I've seen all other places combined. Wicked was playing, but there's no chance in hell we were going to get tickets, and nothing else really jumped out at us. We got pictures near the Late Show with David Letterman sign, which was cool. We did some walking around Central Park and eventually ended up seeing the MET. There was a huge Egyptian exhibit there which I had heard about on the bus, so we decided to venture in. That's a really huge place. We got done with what we had thought was the Egyptian exhibit, only to discover there was even more!

It was nearing 8:30 or 9:00 PM, and at this point I hadn't had anything to eat other than a pastry in DC and a handful of Frosted Mini Wheats when I woke up. So I was hungry and sugar crashing, so food was necessary. We asked the lady at the information desk, and she pointed us to a nearby Italian restaurant. We wanted Italian, and it was listed as cheap.

Cheap must mean something different in New York, for the total for two dishes (of really, very good Ravs)and two sides of mashed potatoes, and two glasses of wine (mine was even a tiny momosa!) came to $90+, including tip. For a $ restaurant! God forbid a $$$$... I was expecting something along the lines of the Pie Hole, for instance. But it was tasty, we had some good dinner conversation with a fellow tourist, and headed to Greenwich village.

Once we got there, we (well, for me) began the search for a bathroom, since the restaurant we were at didn't have one I could see. We found one in Starbucks which had an absurd line, and none in many of the other places we went into, and finally stopped at Whole Foods (which had a bathroom, but no toilet paper...). We were there just as they were closing, but we got that done.

We then ventured towards actual Greenwich village (we were in Union Square) searching for a good bar. After help from a kind lady, we found the Knickerbocker, which was a fairly upscale Bar and Steak place (I think). They had a Jazz duo playing, one on the piano and one on the banjo. It was a very good atmosphere. We had new beers by Blue Point and Brooklyn breweries, which were solid, if nothing special.

Then we ventured back to the hotel.

After we checked out and got breakfast the next day, I had some waiting between Alex leaving and me leaving. During that time, there was another search for a bathroom. One Starbucks simply didn't have a public restroom, the Dunkin Donuts I finally found had one, that was out of order, and finally, McDonalds came through (with the most disgusting bathroom yet!)

Bus ride back was much more cramped, but still not bad. Did I mention the buses were equipped with free wifi? Yeah, that was pretty cool.

What I learned was - Getting to New York is easy! Finding a bathroom on the other hand, is not.

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