Tag: nyc

In New York City

Requirements meetings are complete and I was able to get to Pittburgh airport earlier than I thought. In fact, instead of having to wait until the 8:30 PM flight on which I was originally scheduled, I was able to get on the 3:55 PM flight into La Guardia, and I made it to jen_ashlock and Jason’s by 6 PM. Their place is almost entirely packed up for the move on Sunday.

Jason made an excellent steak and potatoes dinner, which was preceeded by and followed by shots of tequila or jaeger, depending on one’s preference. It was the first time I attempted a tequila shot without the “training wheels” (salt and lime).

I got us tickets to the 10:15 PM showing of Superman Returns. It will be my second time seeing the movie, but Jen and Jason’s first time. I also confirmed with Kevin that we’re all going to see the Brooklyn Cyclones play on Monday evening.

Incidentally, in all of the time I’ve ever traveled into our out of the New York area, today was the first time I ever flew into La Guardia airport.

Coopertown Roadtrip: Day 3

Well, Doug and I woke up from our slumber and both felt perfectly fine. No headaches. Doug felt a little finer than I did, I think, but we managed to pack up our things, take them to the car, and then head out to look at the various shops. We stopped into a small place for breakfast, looked at a few more of the shops, and then, finally got on the road and headed for New York City.

For some reason, I thought we were only a couple of hours away, but it ended up taking us about 4 hours to get to Jen and Jason’s. We took the “scenic” route, through the mountains, which was part of it. But it was nice scenery. Also nice was the fact that the weather got steadily warmer and nicer as we got closer to the city.

We reached Jen and Jason’s just about 4 PM, and they had reserved us a spot in front of their place. We watched the video from the night before in the hotel room, and that was when we discovered just how funny it was.

Then we headed into Central Park. It was jam packed because the weather was so nice, and also because there had been a massive parade on 5th Avenue that seemed to conclude just as we arrived. We wound our way through the park, stopping for hot dogs. We walked from 59th street up to about 85th street. From there, we cut over to where Jen and Jason’s new apartment is to get a look of the exterior. Just around the corner from their new place is a small German bar, and we settled in there for a while to have a few beers.

After that, we took a walk down 2nd Avenue to another place (the name of which I can’t remember) which Jason claimed had the Best Burgers In the City. It was crowded, but we got a table in under 40 minutes and I ordered a burger, and it was was very good. But I haven’t had too many burgers in the City, so I don’t know if it was the best.

After dinner, we headed back to Astoria, and planned on planting ourselves at Doyle’s. We were there for a little while, but I was absolutely exhausted and I think everyone else took pity on me. We headed back to Jen and Jason’s and I collapsed on the couch. I think the weekend was beginning to catch up with me.

Back home

I got back home from New York at around 3 PM. The train was almost empty and there was a library like silence in the quiet car that made it a very pleasant ride back home. I finished up I. Asimov on the way back and will start in on In Memory Yet Green later this afternoon. About the only wrinkle in the trip home was that I got a cab driver who had no idea where he was going and from Union Station, took me to Silver Spring before I noticed his error and had to redirect him to my house.

When I got home I put some batteries in the handheld GPS unit that Norm and Vicky got me for my birthday and established my house as a waypoint. I spent a little time looking up what I needed to order to get detailed maps but I’m a little confused because the maps that I need don’t seem to be orderable on the website. I’ll check BestBuy tomorrow and if they don’t have them, I’ll just call Garmin directly and find out what I need.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve developed an annoying pimple right on the upper right corner of my lip. It was irritating me all the way home today and I’m hoping it will soon be gone.

Otherwise, it’s very pleasant out right now. I’ve got some laundry running, but I think I’m going to sit outside for a while and do some reading.

The Rainbow Room

Well, the Rainbow Room Grill was spectacular.

We met Norm and Vicky and TGI Friday’s on 5th between 48th and 49th at about 6:30 PM and spent about and hour and half there, having drinks before we headed up to the Rainbow Room. Once we headed up, we were seated at a table with an excellent view of the city. In fact, we had a wonderful dinner. I had the salmon filet. Jen and Norm had the beef medalions. Vicky had the lamb and Jason had spinach and cheese pasta. I also had some jumbo (huge!) shrimp cocktail for an appetizer. And I discovered a new variant of a mai tai that I loved. Jen, Jason and Norm shared a bottle of wine, and we all had dessert. We were at the restauarant for over three hours and had a wonderful time. (And my apple pie came with a candle in celebration of my birthday.)

Norm and Vicky got my a present: a handheld Garman GPS unit–very useful for geocaching. It was extremely generous of them. They also gave me a ticket to the Mets/Florida game tomorrow at 1 PM, so I am going to meet them at Shea stadium. The first time I’ve been to Shea in twenty years.

This has been a really great evening and I’m really glad that Jen, Jason, Norm and Vicky were able to come.

Rain, rain, go away

I was up at 9 AM after going to bed close to 2 AM last night. Jen and Jason followed shorly and Jen made some excellent muffins for breakfast. Jason had to work today so he left for the office and Jen and I hung around a while watching The Thomas Crowne Affair on TBS. We then decided to head and and check out a used bookstore I’ve been wanting to see.

It drizzled steadily most of the day. We headed downtown and walked through the rain to where the bookstore was–only to find that it was no longer there. We were both hungry (and a little wet) so we headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant to get something to eat. Jen and I both ordered Maragaritas while there, she getting a regular, me getting a Cadallac. When they brought them, Jen’s was somewhat bigger than mine. She made fun of me because my Margarita was more expensive than hers, and was smaller. But as it turned out, Jen’s drink was alcohol-free and mine was not. Looking at the menu showed us that you had to pay extra for the tequilla and other stuff. So Jen didn’t get any of the benefit and it was my turn to laugh.

We decided to head over towards Strand books and catch a movie at the theater there. Jen wanted to see “Friends With Money” and she treated me to the movie as well. It was not very good, I’m afraid. It was another unresolved ending, something that I see as more and more of a trend lately. It was fun to hang out with Jen for the day, however. After the movie, we headed back home to get ready for dinner this evening.

I’ve arrived!

I’m here in Astoria. First Class on Acela was pretty nice. Free dinner and drinks! I divided my time between reading and listening to the iPod. Normally, I sit on the right side of the car heading up to NYC, but this time I decided to sit on the left side and the view is quite different. It was actually pretty cool. I got to see stuff that I never saw before.

I took a taxi from Penn station because I didn’t want to lug my suit and stuff onto the subway. Wow! It’s so much faster to get to Astoria from Penn station by taxi than by the subway. It’s well worth the $15.

Jen and Jason were doing laundry when I got here and so we’re hanging out at the house for a little while. Then, we’re heading over to Doyle’s to watch some of the Yankee game.

The Rainbow Room

Reservations have been made and the date has been set: April 8, 2006 8:30 PM at the Rainbow Room Grill on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center.

I almost always celebrate my birthday pretty low key, but recently, I got the idea to live a little this year. So I invited some good friends who live in the general area, as well as Jen, Jason (and Doug, if he can make it) to an elegant dinner at the Rainbow Room Grill. I’ve always wanted to eat at one of these elegant, old-style New York restaurants and The Rainbow Room is that kind of place. Gentlemen require dinner jackets; no jeans or t-shirts. Ladies, of course, can dress as they like. The food looks outstanding. It should be lots of fun and I’m looking forward to it.

Top of the Rock

Today was an event-filled day in The Big Apple.

It started out with breakfast at Lite-Bites, where I demonstrated to Jen and Jason that I am, in fact, eating more than I used to by cleaning my plate of omelettes, potatoes, toast and fruit. Afterward, we headed into the city to visit the Museum of the City of New York to which none of us had ever been before.

They had some very interesting exhibits, in particular, one called “The Mythic City”, a series of photographs of New York City, taken by Samuel H. Gottscho between 1925-1940. There was also an exhibit on Mayor Ed Koch which was interesting. All-in-all, we spent about two hours at the museum.

Naturally, we worked ourselves up a thirst, and a bit of an appetite too, so we headed down to the south end of the park, and into Mickey Mantle’s. We ordered wings and chips and had some beer (I tried Amstel Light, but still prefer Corona). I also had a frozen Maragarita while there. Jason and I hung out there for quite a while, but Jen had to leave in order to meet her friend and business partner for a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Buttercream Card Company. We decided to meet for dinner at 8:30 PM at The Spotted Pig–one of the best restaurants in the city, and one of the few places we’d eaten once before.

Jason and I had some time to kill, so I suggested visiting the Top of the Rock–the observations deck at the top of Rockerfeller Center, which have just recently reopened to the public. I’d never been up there before, and neither had Jason, so we braved the cold and headed over there. There were virtually no lines, and after paying the fee, we headed up 67 floors to a spectacularly clear view of the city at night. You can actually to all the way up to the 70th floor, which is the roof of the building (the top of the rock) and the views were quite amazing. We looked into Queens, trying to locate where Jen and Jason lived, and then called Jen to tell her that we could “see” here from all the way up there.

By the time we’d finished our arial tour of the nighttime city, we decided we were ready for another drink and headed south on Fifth avenue to T.G.I. Friday’s where we sat at the bar and Jason nursed a beer while I nursed a Maragarita the size of small fishbowl.

We then headed down to the Spotted Pig to put in our names (they don’t take reseravations) and wait for Jen. When we got there, the place was bursting at the seams. It’s a small place to begin with, but you could hardly move inside. The wait was 90 minutes, which wasn’t too bad for NY, but even the bar upstairs was packed solid, so when Jen arrived, we consulted and decided that since it was already abotu 9 PM, we might divert to another restauarant in the area. We chose Markt, a Belgian food place with medicore food and service. I did try a beer that I liked there, and the dark chocolate mousse for dessert was excellent, it was not the Spotted Pig.

By the time we left the restaurant, it was about 11 PM and so we caught a taxi back home. The first thing our taxi driver (who was talking on the phone) did, was to start to turn down a one-way street. Still, somehow, we managed to get home in one piece.

We’re all exhausted, but it was a fun day. I head home tomorrow.

No pushups tonight–I am too wiped out.

A cold day in NYC

It was cold today. Just getting home from all kinds of activities today, the temperature outside (just before 10 PM) was 0 degrees (a little warmer if you don’t count the wind chill). But we braved the weather anyway in order to have a fun day.

First was brunch at Petite Abeille, a tiny place on Hudson street with a very good waffle. It was the first time I’d had a waffle in a very, very long time, and the fruit (banana, strawberries and other stuff) made it very good.

The last two times I came to NYC, we missed the park, but this time, we headed up to 72nd St. and then walked across the park and down to 5th and 59th. It was cold. We headed back to Jen and Jason’s where we sat around for about two hours playing Uno (final score, for the record: Jenn: 624, Jamie: 330, Jason: 147. Jason lost 7 hands in a row before winning his first hand. It was fun.)

We then headed over to the local movie theater to see Steven Martin in The Pink Panther. It had it’s moments, but it was nothing to write home about.

Finally, we headed downtown to Mars 2112 for dinner. It was an amusing experience. You take a “Star Tours”-like spaceship ride to Mars, and have dinner when you arrive there. Fun ambiance but the food leaves something to be desired. I tried the Martian Margarita, which is made with blue caracao, and it tasted exactly like a blue Otter Pop.

All-in-all, a fun day, but I think we are all glad to be back indoor, where it’s warm.

Rumors of my unconsciousness are greatly exaggerated

There may be rumors floating around that I passed out on the couch earlier this evening, after having consumed two rather strong Margaritas, but I assure you that these rumors have been greatly exaggerated by someone who drank even more than I did.

In fact, after the initial spread of those allegations, Jason and I each did a shot of tequila, which worked wonders for my mental state, and thereafter I was giddy (and quite conscious) for the rest of the evening. (As you can see, I am writing this journal entry at just after midnight, and I’m perfectly fine, although the exact tilting of the room is another matter.)

Jason made us Margaritas and a delicious steak dinner. I made the mistake of betting Jen that it was Dire Straits, and not Duran, Duran who sang “Relax”. Clearly I was already under the influence when I made this bet. I don’t know what I was thinking. I lost and had to do a shot of tequilla. Jason did one with me so that I didn’t feel completely lonely. Shortly thereafter, however, I offered Jen a crisp new $20 bill if she did a shot of Jager, and after one failed attempt (in which she spit the brown liquid back into the shot glass) she indeed collected on the offer and downed the Jager with only a slight frown. We also talked Jason into this.

Naturally, we drunk-dialed Doug, to keep him informed of the situation. He called back and hour later or so, after we’d left him four messages to make sure everything was okay, and then wished us well.

All-in-all, it’s been a fun evening and after two strong Maragaritas and a shot of Tequila, I’m feeling pretty good.

Incidentally, I only managed 30 pushups tonight but I attribute that to (a) the late hour and (b) the extra sugars in my system. Also, I was a little dizzy moving up and down and up and down and essentially had to stop out of fear of overdoing the dizziness.