Field Trip: A Weekend in NYC

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To celebrate our one year anniversary, my darling wife and I peaced out to New York City for the weekend.

After dumping our bags at the hotel, we went to Central Park with the intention of seeing Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Love’s Labour Lost. The Internet had said that the free ticket distribution starts at noon. We did not however see the part where it says the line apparently starts forming hours earlier- specifically around 4am, which is what we overheard one of the line attendants say. 4am? Isn’t the park closed from like, 1am to 6am? Those devious bastards must have discovered a theater-loving loophole.

Pass on Shakespeare in the Park. Can’t understand most of it anyway. English my ass.

We did some cute couple walking around the Central Park Reservoir instead.

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Didn’t even know it existed.

Number of Celebrities We Saw Jogging in Central Park: 0

Kim figured they’d have beards. Even the women? Probably. So we looked for people with beards.

Number of Celebrities We Saw Jogging in Central Park with Beards: 0

At lunch I biffed it. I ordered lemonade, something I almost never do and even today, am not sure why I did. But I did and my inexperience showed as I ordered it unsweetened.

NYC Fun Fact Number 1: Unsweetened Lemonade is borderline un-drinkable

We then ventured back downtown, figuring we’d check out the 9/11 Memorial before checking into the hotel. I had forgotten that there was an actual memorial (I read about sports on the Internet, so excuse me for not being up on current events. I think Bill Clinton is doing a great job as President.) But there is an actual memorial. It’s impressive.

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There are two pools like this. The sound of the water falling is peaceful and continuous. My guess is that it is meant to symbolize the continuity of life- but I could be wrong. Like the Vietnam Memorial down in D.C., the names of the deceased are engraved in the memorial. Very touching and moving.

But I had beef. Not with the memorial and not with the lack of signage at the entrance.

No, I had beef with some of my fellow tourists. You can take pictures, that’s obviously fine. But I had an issue with families posing in front of the memorials, smiling and looking happy. It seemed to not make sense to me; it seemed in poor taste. I think it was the smiles that bothered me. It seemed disrespectful.

Admission is free, donations welcome. Didn’t know this until we got to the Admissions Tent. So yeah, signage would have been nice.

But that’s minor, a minor inconvenience. The memorial really is something.

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Once construction is done to the area around it, it’ll be all that more impressive. Once it becomes a natural part of the city. I think it’ll be even more powerful once that happens.

MVP of the Weekend: The NYC Subway APP I downloaded

Personally I feel that you have to stay on the offensive with the NYC Subway system. Once the subway has the upper hand, you’ve lost. You also have to approach the whole thing with confidence. If you waver or appear confused then you’re dead in the water.

On our way up to Central Park, I noticed a dude scrolling through what looked like a subway app. That seems like a good thing to have, I thought. So I downloaded one and my thoughts were correct, it was a good thing to have and Kim and I made the NYC Subway system our bitch. We took correct trains, we took them with authority, we took them while others tried to decipher the maps in the subway station. We took control.

Take that NYC Subways!

And you smell like feces.

Restaurant Review Number 1: Barrio Chino

A week or so, I asked Facebook for recommendations for restaurants in NYC. Mr. Ryan Ernst, a blast from my MSI past, recommended Barrio Chino. Long story short, if and when I see Mr. Ernst…sorry, Dr. Ernst…again, homeboy deserves a high five because Barrio Chino was the absolute bees’ knees. If you’re a Mexican restaurant with even the faintest hint of Day of the Dead in your design scheme, I’m a fan. Add some bomb ass Margaritas and the most delicious pork tacos I’ve ever had and life is good. Or more specifically, life is bueno. Muy bueno. It’s located in the East Village on a block that was awesome and drenched with character. There was no sign, Kim recognized the interior from pictures. The wait for a table was over an hour but there were seats at the small bar and that worked out swimmingly. Kim got a grapefruit Margarita, I got a lime one. We both got good times.

Thumbs up, Barrio Chino. Big thumbs up.

After, we grabbed a drink at Dudley’s, a bar down the street from Barrio Chino. It got the job done and the servers were entertaining, as they seemed very into the fact that they worked there. And they had matching shirts on. Cool ambiance. Felt like you were in a boozy greenhouse.

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NYC Fun Fact Number 1: I refuse to wear flip flops in NYC

A) It doesn’t seem right
B) It seems gross
C) You never know when you might have to run in NYC. Flip flops are not made for running.

Moving on to Sunday and the best laid plans can be sabotaged by just the tiniest bit of inclement weather…

After brunch, our intention was to check out the High Line, an elevated park on the West Side. We got to the stairs. We saw the park. But we felt the rain. It was not a day to check out parks. It was a day for museums.

So…

Four Takeaways from an Afternoon at the Met

1. Sundays are Pay What You Want

We had our college ID’s ready, aiming for that student cost. But like the Museum of Art in Philly, Sundays are apparently pay what you want days at the Met. Fifteen for two of us? Sure. Yes, please.

2. What exactly is the policy on taking pictures?

It seemed to vary from room to room. Some folks got sternly spoken to, some took pictures whenever they chose too. I was confused and wanted to start ratting people out. But I guess even museum rules are meant to be broken when a selfie in front of a Monet is involved.

3. “Punk was about making a person uncomfortable.” Mission accomplished.

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We checked out one of the main exhibits- Punk: Chaos to Couture. It was all about the fashion trends that punk inspired. Kim was into it, I was not. I didn’t like it at all and like a mid-western square, I was squeamish and uncomfortable. I didn’t like the darkness and the whistles that kept being played. And then there was the fact that the idea of a museum exhibit about punk rock fashion felt kind of cheesy to me. Mannequins with “punk rock hair” wearing Alexander McQueen trash bag dresses and giving the finger. I don’t know, man. Maybe I just don’t get art.

4. Some of the best art in a museum is the people-watching

As an avid people-watcher, I was in Heaven and completely occupied when art from Europe in the 1800’s got kind of boring. There was one couple with a combined weight of 2000 pounds* and more than a few teenagers looking especially “punk,” wandering in and out of the punk exhibit.

* estimated

Restaurant Review Number 2: Pylos

In our adorable little beachfront community, there is a sad shortage of Greek restaurants. It’s a shame because some of our favorite restaurants back in Philly were Greek. Greek food is what dreams are made of. Plain & simple.

So when looking for a restaurant for our anniversary dinner, Greek was an easy choice. Thanks to some Yelping, I found Pylos, a Greek restaurant in what may or may not be the East Village. Clay pots hung from the ceiling, the front doors opened to the warm, rain outside and thankfully, a recent college grad whining to his parents about not having job and just wanting to make three million a year left shortly after we sat down. Our waiter was a delight. More should be like him. Only Greek wine and beer was served and both were delicious. But delicious hit new levels when the food came out. Eff word was it good. Kim got branzino, I got shrimp and scallops. Some meals you never want to end. This was one of those. I’m sure desert would have been outstanding but both of our bellys were occupado.

We’ll be back to Pylos. That’s a definite.

As for New York, we’ll be back. But not any time soon. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that our adorable little beachfront community is more our speed.

Thanks for the fun, though.

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