Home is where your heart is and there is always a part of me that will be in NY. Some people step off the bus or train in NYC and are immediately overwhelmed. Not me, I step off the bus an am suddenly very calm. I get lost among the tall buildings and on the crowded sidewalks. People talk to themselves, people sing and dance in the subway stations, and naked people spinning trench coats above their heads are about as ‘normal’ as rats or pigeons. All kinds of people take the subway. Homeless people trying to warm up, wealthy people taking their children to the Met or themselves going to the Opera. Socialites dressed to the nines on their way to Meatpacking and cheap college kids going to the Big Easy. You can watch people for hours and see some of the most unique people in the world and everyone seems to fit in. Only in New York.
This trip was no different than usual. My soul had been craving the city for months. The last trip was a couple months before for a Subway Series double-header which was awesome and we did a lot of the touristy things, but I didn’t really get to see any of the people I knew who still lived there. This trip was planned just for that and while I didn’t get to see as many people as I would have liked to, Jaclyn and Emily showed me a great time. I got in Friday night around 9 and heading up to their digs on the Upper East Side. We hung out for a bit and caught up before heading out for a few drinks. We made our way around the corner to The Big Easy. It felt that I was back at freshmen year of college. There was beer everywhere and beer pong in the back. The even had an ice luge and tons of awkward white people dancing. Jaclyn and I did surprisingly well on two games of beer pong, but as usual the last cup was the death of us. There was one older gentleman who stuck out luck a sore thumb. He was clearly by himself and had been wandering around but came back to a stool that apparently he had been using earlier in the night. He very rudely moved our stuff of the chair then moved our pitcher of beer across the table because it was apparently intruding on his personal space. I didn’t know personal space existed in a crowded bar on a Friday night at 2am, but this guy was very put off by us and stomped and huffed and puffed several times to make us aware, like some bull whose pasture we stepped onto. But like I said earlier, I guess this could be construed as normal in NYC. Afterwards it was off to the diner for some gravy fries. There is nothing better than NY diner gravy fries after a couple pitchers of beer. Hands down best late night snack. If only Boston would wake up.
Speaking of waking up. The game plan was to get up at 530am and head down to Rockafeller Plaza to grab stand-by tickets for Saturday Night Live. Two years ago on a whim, Jaclyn and I camped out and were the last two people let in for the season premiere of Dane Cook and the Killers. Although we weren’t super excited to get up and stand in the cold or even for Rosario Dawson or Fleet Foxes, we committed to setting our alarms and doing it for old times sake. I was in charge of getting us up, so I set about a half dozen alarms. Well let’s just say we either had too much to drink Friday or our bodies were just too warm in bed, because 10 minutes before they were going to distribute tickets I woke to realize I had slept through all of my alarms. I looked at the clock thought the chances of getting there and getting tickets were slim to none, rolled over and went back to sleep…until noon.
Fail. So we showered and got ready to go out and about in the city. We swung by NBC just to see if by chance they hadn’t handed out all the tickets. It was super cold out and a long weekend and the holiday tourist season was over in the city so maybe, just maybe. We walked up to the counter and I asked the page if there were any tickets left for SNL. He politely said no and said they had all been handed out earlier that morning. In his mind I’m sure he was shaking his head saying, “Really? Did you think there would be tickets 5 hours after they were handed out? Really? Dumb tourists” From there we swung through Times Square. Normally Jaclyn would avoid Times Square like the plague because it’s like the black hole for locals. Me I personally love Times Square. So we cut through not really sure where we were headed. We saw TKTS and thought maybe we would try to see a matinee. She really wanted to see Spring Awakening which had just sold out, and Chicago discounted was still $70 and she had seen it once before. We were now 0/2 and getting very hungry. I guess the early bird really does get the room.
Jaclyn suggested the Corner Bistro down on the West side for lunch. Cheap delicious burgers and McSorelly’s beer. I was sold so we jumped on the train and made our way down there. We walked in and waited a few minutes before we were seated and were chowing down on a tasty chili burger. This is where our luck started to change. Within about a minute of getting our food there was a line of about 30 people trying to get seats. So we sat chatted and people watched. The one woman next to us had been coming to the Corner Bistro since she was 17 and was now in her late 30s. Louis our little old server had been there since before she had been and he ran a smooth operation. It’s one of those old school joints that only takes cash, doesn’t take reservations, has a total of 7 items menu, and has a real local feel to it. The orders are all still hand written and Louis got people in and out without feeling like he was rushing them.
Now even though we were stuffed, Jaclyn was craving some sweets and I’m always up for cupcakes. We were going to go to Magnolias, just around the corner, but it was a little crowded and there was no place for us to sit and enjoy our cupcakes without freezing. “I’m going to have to shove it my face” – JC. So we decided to brave the weather and hike it cross town to Jaclyn’s favorite spot in the Lower East Side. We walked into this tiny bakery and grabbed two of the last seats in the tiny hole in the wall bakery and enjoyed the delicious cupcakes and warmed up with some coffee.
We walked around a bit more and checked out Jaclyn’s old neighborhood before heading back up town to relax and get ready for the second half of the day. Although we didn’t get SNL tickets we decided to go to a late night comedy show at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. I had been once before and had an awesome time so decided we’d go for a later dinner some drinks and then head to the 12:45 show. What followed was of epic proportions.
To be continued.