So following a great weekend in the Capital Region, I kicked off this week on Monday by attending the Red Sox-Diamondback game at Fenway Park. The heat and humidity caused some thunderstorms to blow through the area and delay the game by a half hour, but the game was played. Fast forward through two days of work and you come to Thursday. After much back and forth I was like a maniac on stubhub and priceline and bought two pairs of tickets and a hotel room and two one way tickets to NYC. This was the first time I'd been back to the city since moving out a year and a half ago. It was worth the wait.
Thursday night's bus ride was a bargain at only $10 a person (way cheaper and more comfortable than the Albany trip) and got us into the city around 10pm. Unlike Boston we weren't feeling rushed knowing that bars would be open til 4am. Hansen was stayin in the city for business and was kind enough to let us crash in his hotel room. It was a nice night in NY so we walked the 20 or so blocks through Times Square to the hotel. We checked in and headed to Virgil's for some BBQ. After stuffing our faces for the first time (and definitely not the last) we headed uptown to meet up with Hansen. After meeting up we decided we would head back to Midtown and go to McFadden's. We enjoyed a couple beverages and decided it was time to move on. While Steve and I had only a handful of drinks, the rest of the crew had been out since dinner and some(Hansen) were ready to go back. Sam had other plans however and we headed to the west side to Home club for a round of drinks. Then it was on to the diner. At about 4 oclock, after our stomachs were beyond full, we called it a night and headed back to our hotels.
Friday morning I was up at the crack of dawn in anticipation of our big day. It was the day that not only would I be attending my first game at Yankee Stadium, but I would also be attending my first game at Shea Stadium in only the fifth Subway Series split double header. Around 10am we checked out and parted ways with Hansen. We walked down to our hotel right in Times Square where we dropped off our bags. Then we grabbed some NY bagels and headed over to Rockefeller Center to eat up. Then it was off to the Bronx.
Yankee Stadium is huge, and so is Yankee Stadium. The new stadium is like the old stadium with new seats. Anyways. It's huge. We got there about an hour before game time so had some time to walk around and check it out. Our seats were upper right field near the foul pole and after we settled in we got to enjoy a great game. It was a great game not because the Yankees won (they didn't they got spanked 15-6) but because for the most part there was a lot of action on both sides. Hits, steals, a Mets Grand Slam. Every part of the day was enjoyable, except maybe the $9 beers. But hey it's $9 beers they bring to you in your seat, as opposed to the $7 beers you have to go get at Fenway.
We stuck it out to the very end, because who leaves a game before its over? 4 hours after the start of the game we were out of there and back on the Subway to see the second half of the Subway Series over at Shea. It took us probably an hour on public transportation to get out to Shea but we made it. This time the tables were turned. The Yankees not thinking too hard about the first loss, came to Shea and shut out the Mets and sent Pedro home early after just 5 innings. Our seats weren't as good this time around, but we were able to move a little closer to enjoy the game. We also stuck this one out to the end before heading back to the city.
When we started the day the plan was to go out after the games, but after a short night of sleep the night before and marathon drinking at the two games we decided to head to a diner and then call it a night so we could get a full day in Saturday before heading back to Boston.
We checked out of our hotel around 11am Saturday and went over to NBC to buy tickets for the studio tour. With the first available tour not available until 1:30pm we had some time to go grab some NY Pizza and take a short stroll through Central Park. While walking through Central Park we decided to take the 5:30pm bus back to Boston to give us time to get back and maybe see a movie. Plus we had time to do a few other things before rushing back to catch the bus. I call to make reservations and surprise surprise, the 5:30pm bus is sold out, and so are the rest of the buses. Luckily we were right by the Apple store and while Steve took the time to update is pizza game, I found us two tickets on one of the other discount buses for 5:30 also. Now it was off to NBC.
I have done the NBC tour before, but last time I was by myself and it was the middle of the week so Conan and SNL were taping or rehearsing so I only got to see the NBC Nightly News and Sports studios. This time around we got the full blown tour. Seeing every studio and learning a lot from the beautiful Kara. After the tour we had about and hour and a half and Steve had never been Ground Zero, so we jumped on the subway and headed downtown.
The last time I had been was a year and half ago and at that point little had changed from after the attacks. The stairwell from building two was still visible and make shift memorials still existed. Now with plans finalized and construction began it was kind of an in between stage. There was no more rubble remaining, but there hasn't been significant progress in construction. It definitely did not have the same effect on me that it has in the past, but it will be interesting to see the final result in 4 years when it's all said and done.
Now with about an hour left before we had to head up to the hotel we decided to grab some lunch in Chinatown. As we were walking our way down Canal St, fighting vendors and tourists the sky decided to open up and down pour. Now not only were we wet from the heat and humidity (read "sweating like pigs") but we were also getting a good shower from the rain. It let up after a few minutes and we began searching ferociously for a quick bite to eat at a relatively safe looking Chinese restaurant. We finally settled on Big Wong. Don't ask why we decided to venture here, but we did and it was delicious. Steamed dumplings, BBQ Spare ribs, Chicken Fried Rice, and Beef Lo Mein all hit the spot perfectly and while we sat in the cab ride uptown we both fought exhaustion a combination of food coma and walking all over the place. "I'm glad we decided to come to NY and walk around and be fat as opposed to sitting on the couch watching movies all weekend." We made it to the bus just in time to grab the handicap row (with extra leg room!!) and the 4 hour bus ride wasn't that bad. We opted out of the movie last night and was asleep on the couch by midnight.
We set out to see two baseball games and did a lot more than that. I realize why I love NY and definitely look forward to going back soon. Next time on the agenda: Little Italy, Comedy Cellar, Conan/SNL, and McSorrely's. Now it's back to work and making money so I can spend it on our next trip.
Travelling is fun.