Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I also went to New York

The second, and longer, portion of my mini-vacation, New York City. We boarded a Greyhound Friday morning at 9am, leaving Philadelphia in the rear view. I pretty much knew what I wanted to get out of my time in Philly, but New York was the exact opposite. I basically told my brother that I didn't care what we did, it was on him, I was down for anything. Honestly, two days simply isn't enough for New York, and I learned this lesson quickly.

The first day, basically, all I did was the Statue of Liberty, and then went to a bar or two and met a bunch of people. I gotta say, all you hear is about how New Yorkers are rude, unfriendly, etc. but you can't prove that by me. Every single person I met was friendly, and most were quick to buy an out-of-towner a drink. Sure most of them already knew my brother, and had heard about me through him, but still that doesn't change the fact that they were shelling out money for me to get my drink on. I'm rambling though, first up as I said, Lady Liberty.

These are a couple of shots of the city from the ferry. Remember when I said I was goddamn cold in Philly? Yeah, well on the ferry out to Liberty Island, I was VERY goddamn cold, as you can plainly see. I didn't exactly pack for extreme cold, as the weather forecast assured me the coldest it would get would be the high 50's. It was in fact much colder than that, I don't give a fuck what the Weather Channel said.

Couple of things about the statue herself. Number one, the first thing I noticed, it's way smaller than I thought. I was always under the impression that she was as big as a skyscraper, not sure exactly what made me think that, I suppose she just looks huge on television, but she really isn't. That's not to say she's not an impressive sight, in fact I was honestly surprised at my reaction to her. I was almost in awe. The second thing though, and this is the kicker, apparently right now there's a lot of work being done to renovate Liberty Island, and as such, the first picture of her up there is as close as you're allowed to get right now. That would've been fine had they bothered to explain this before I paid the money to board the ferry to go out there, or at the very least maybe put up some signage to let us know we wouldn't be able to get very close to her. I still would've gone out, but I felt like I got a little ripped off there.

As I said, following the Statue, the rest of the night was basically all meet and greet. I met a ton of awesome people, most of whom were my brother's co-workers. One person in particular though ended up being super awesome. A friend of one of my brother's friends was this guy named Charlie, who as it turns out works as a letterer for DC Comics, which as far as I'm concerned makes him a celebrity. So she called him, and asked him to come out to the bar to meet me, and to my surprise, he obliged! So I told him how awesome I thought his job was, he actually letters several books that I read, including Red Lanterns, Teen Titans, and a couple others. He didn't stay long, but he hung out long enough for me to buy him a beer, and he gave me a free Green Lantern t-shirt and told me to find him on Facebook, which I of course did.

Me and Carlos "Charlie" Mangoul. Check your copies of Red Lanterns and Teen Titans, his name is totally in there!

Some other shenanigans which I will not speak of as to protect both the guilty and the innocent rounded out the evening. The next morning we got up bright and early and hit the town again, this time on the agenda was a trip to Wall Street, the Rockefeller Center, and of course Times Square. This time I'm basically going to do the few pics I have do most of the talking, as I ended up doing more walking that photo taking and you really don't want to read about all the random shit I remember seeing anyway. As with Philly, I will pop in and give a brief explanation as to what you're looking at though.

This is what's left of a sculpture that sat in the lobby of one of the World Trade Center towers. It's one of the first things I remember seeing when we got off the train. Kind of sent a chill up my spine when I thought about where it came from and what it had been through. There was a memorial plaque which I should've taken a pic of too, but for some reason didn't.

The famous Wall Street Bull. Second photo included just in case any of you were wondering if he was anatomically correct. He is.

My favorite part of Manhattan, an NHL store! I equate my walking into this store to how the Golden Ticket winners in Willy Wonka must have felt when they first entered that big ass room where everything was made of candy. Most of the money I ended up spending on the trip went to this place. The second photo is me sharing my thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, who as you know used to be my beloved Atlanta Thrashers just a season ago.

These are just a few random shots from the top of the Rockefeller Center. The middle one is a good look at Central Park, and the bottom of course is the Empire State Building. If you're planning on going to New York, I have to recommend going to either the top of the Empire State Building, or Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock as it's known) but make sure you bring your wallet. The view is great, but it's going to cost you $25 to ride their elevators. Side note, I'm now charging people $5 to go up on the roof of the hospital I work at. It's not exactly 68 stories, but you do get a nice view of the Chattahoochee River...

Seriously, the less said about this the better. Suffice it to say my brother has probably spent $5 on way better things than this, but he insisted I do this, and who am I to disappoint?

Last but most certainly not least, after an entire day of walking, we decided that instead of going back out we would take it back to the apartment and just invite some people over, throw some burgers and brats on the grill, and have some drinks at home. You know, southern style. I met a couple of new people, another friend of my brother's who ended up being one of my favorite parts of my trip because of her Brooklyn accent which I couldn't help but love, and probably most importantly of all, I talked an old online Xbox buddy of mine into coming out! That's right kids, after somewhere around 8 years of online chatting, texting, and more importantly Xbox Live gaming, I finally got to meet Antek718! This cat is super cool, and I had a fucking blast hanging out with him, shooting the proverbial shit and playing Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (for some reason, and don't as me to explain as there was much alcohol involved). Don't know if he still stops by here, but big thanks to my homie Antek for coming out.

The next day we got up early and I caught my train home. As with Philly, I was sad to leave, but at the same time I knew it was time to head back home. I missed my kids, and the simpler life of driving places I want to go and such. Not a big fan of the trains/buses/etc. that we rode around NY in for two and a half days. I do owe a big thank you to everyone I met while I was there though. They showed me a hell of a good time, and made sure my first trip to New York was one that I will never forget. I hope I get to see them all again next time I make the trek. 

There you have it, my mini-vacation as told (mostly) through photographs. I hope you enjoyed! Tomorrow my plan is to do a movie write-up, and I have at least one other in the works as well. I also hope to get a Drive-In post up for Friday, but we'll see how things go. Until then!

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