So I’m back in New York for the week. In keeping with tradition, I only seem to fly on days when winds are above 25mph. Our landing into New York on Tuesday morning felt like there was a huge hairy giant holding our plane and thrashing it back and forth. Why is the giant hairy? I do not know.
I still love this city, though. Coming here never fails to excite me. There’s just something about all the pavement, everyone hustling and bustling and tall buildings almost as far as the eye can see. I just love the energy. I love walking down 5th Avenue, with cabs zipping by and the majestic Empire State Building hovering above me. I love just looking at everyone going about thier business and I love picking up bits and pieces of people’s conversation as it all flies by me. I love the large windows of all the gyms that show rows and rows of people on treadmills and elipticals, their legs up/down/up/down/up/down in what seems like a synchronized show for the people on the street. There is truly nothing like feeling so alive in a place like this, especially having recently moved to a fairly quiet suburb of Massachusetts.
Anyway, now that it’s playoff season in the NHL, I found myself in a bit of a pickle here. It’s not as easy as one would think to find a place to watch an out-of-town team, in this case, the Boston Bruins. Of course, I know I could go right to Times Square and sit my ass in the ESPN Zone restaurant and pay $6 for a beer and $10 for a turkey burger and take in the game. But I want to find a small corner bar that’s owned by a displaced Bostonian who has the game on, where I can cheer with other displaced Bostonians or something like that. No luck, though. Right around the corner from my hotel is the Park Avenue Country Club, a big-ass bar with many many TV’s. So I go in there – no Bruins game.
“You should go over to 40/40, I’ll bet they have it,” the bartender says. This, naturally, means nothing to me. After asking where it is and being told it’s over on 22nd or 23rd on the other side of some park and that Jay-Z owns the bar, I hop in a cab and give them those very instructions. I don’t care that Jay-Z owns the bar. The cabbie says “you don’t have the exact address??” I said no, that’s why I’m in the cab. He says “don’t you have a cell phone??” Right away I wonder to myself if cabbies have gotten so lazy that they don’t know where anything is anymore. Then I almost went on a diatribe, right then and there; I was on the cusp of telling the guy to go pound sand – that for once I decided to leave the damn cell phone in the damn hotel room so as not to feel tethered to the thing for once. A night of true freedom, you know? Instead, in a clear sign of maturity (hah), I politely ask him if he knows where it is and he says he thinks he does and I know right away while sitting in that cab that I’m wasting a few bucks.
He drops me off at the end of 22nd and Park Ave and says “it’s down there on the right side.” I pay, knowing he’s full of shit, get out and walk and it’s not down there on the right side. Of course. Having already set my expectations that it is not, in fact, down there on the right side, I walk a bit. Maybe it’s around somewhere. It’s not.
So what do I do? I hail another cab. Ten minutes later, I’m sitting in the bar at the ESPN Zone in Times Square, sitting directly in front of the TV, watching the Bruins whack around the Montreal Canadiens and having a $6 Bass Ale and a $10 turkey burger. Not what I wanted to do in NYC, but just knowing I could fall back on it was somewhat comforting. Of course, there were plenty of displaced Bostonians in the bar, cheering along with me, but it wasn’t the same as my wish for a small watering hole somewhere down on 7th and Avenue A or something.
Either way, just knowing that I’ll be here next month, taking it all in, seeing SLOAN and being overwhelmed by my variety of lunch options is a fine feeling.
You know what else I love? Free continental breakfasts. It’s never anything special, but the fact that it’s free makes me eat more of it. You know, you’re eating for free and you feel like you really oughta stack up the ‘ol stomach since, hell, it’s free. What’s wrong with filling yourself up on a bagel, OJ and a hard-boiled egg or two, then taking an extra banana and shoving two granola bars in your bag for later? Nothing wrong with that. No siree.
See ya tomorrow night, Maynard, MA.