New York City: Part 1

Lauren’s mother bought Lauren a trip to NYC for her graduation present. Because Lauren’s mom is cool like that she also paid for me to go as well. I have been so busy at work lately that I haven’t really had a chance to think about the trip. Friday we left for NYC at around 9:00pm on the wonderful Spirit Airlines from the equally sparkling airport DTW.

We didn’t end up getting to the hotel until about midnight and decided to get some sleep in preparation for the long day ahead of us. I had a meeting with some friends who I have been working on a project with at 11:00am at The Tomato, which was about 2.9 miles away. We decided to hoof it, which was a big mistake. 2.9 miles in the country is nothing, but 2.9 miles in lower Downtown Manhattan is a WHOLE different story. On the way we walked through the few blocks in the world that literally makes and breaks entire countries, otherwise known as Wall Street. We also walked past the location of the former World Trade Center, which is currently being, at least partially, rebuilt. We walked through SOHO and, I think, a portion of the East Villiage. Luckily, when we arrived there was a street fair to keep Lauren occupied while I went to my meeting.

After the meeting we decided to go back to the hotel and then ride the subway up to Times Square and Fifth Avenue for some shopping and general site seeing. Times Square was what I envisioned it to be; a mecca for tourists in NYC. Fifth Avenue was, in my opinion, somewhat of a let down. I was expecting to be blown away by outrageous prices on clothes I was both too poor and not cool enough to wear. In reality, I found that Kenneth Cole was having it’s “SUMMER BLOWOUT SALE!”, which has a certain irony to it, and more than a few stores resembled Old Navy.

After we had finished shopping we went back to the hotel to regroup and find a bar to hit up later that night. We decided to go to the Central Bar in the East Villiage. City Search says it’s “A cavernous Irish bar, more popular than authentic.”, which I would agree with. In fact it felt like a glorified college bar complete with retired fraternity boys and sorority girls, which normally puts me right into my element, but this was NYC and I wasn’t about to spend the night hanging out in this place. On the bright side it did make for some amusing people watching, especially the guy who would walk up to girls and do the robot and then brush his shoulder off. Yup, time to change venues. We ended up at some martini bar in the East Villiage sucking down Vodka and Espresso Martinis. As you can imagine we ended the night eating some crappy Mexican food.

The next morning we woke up early, and slightly hungover, to go on a ferry ride around NYC. It was a great way to get some steller pictures of the skyline and views of Lady Liberty herself. Once we were done with the ferry we headed out to the River Cafe, which was an upscale join Cameron recommended to us. To put it lightly, the food and service was amazing, as it should be at $35/plate. The resturant is actually a boat that sits across the bridge in Brooklyn with spectacular views of Manhattan. If you happen to be in NYC I highly recommend it, though dinner reservations have a month-long waiting list (which explains why we had brunch).

After lunch we took the subway back up past Times Square to Central Park, which was described by one of our cab drivers as “the best thing that ever happened to NYC” and I would have to agree with him. The place was, not surprisingly, packed with people. The park is HUGE and made for a great mid-afternoon walk in the sun. After leaving the park we went back down to 5th Avenue and Times Square, which was crawling with people. We picked up a few more tourist gifts and then headed back home on the 3 train.

Being Piston fans, we ended up at the hotel watching game five in our hotel room. The reality is that our feet hurt so bad we couldn’t have found and walked to a decent sports bar even if we tried.

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