Back at the beginning of June, Brian and I took a trip to New York City to visit my brother, Matt. He has lived in Manhattan for several years now, and it is nice to take advantage of him while we can (I don't think he wants to live there forever, and I don't blame him). We've been there two times now, but we still need to go back at least one more time to check out the museums (we haven't seen a single one). This November my brother is running in the NY Marathon, so maybe we can go then (if Vegas and Talladega don't break us). Anyways, onto the trip... I will also be posting more about our adventures in the next couple of days.
Day One. Thursday, June 5th 2008.
We begin at the airport in KC of course. Our plane is already delayed an hour so we decide to go grab some booze at the bar. This wastes a few minutes, but the food and beer (6$ drafts) is so expensive that we leave after one round. We finally get on the plane (Midwest of course) and arrive in NY at the La Guardia airport, three hours later. This is our first time having to get a taxi ourselves, but it is easy because there is a line right outside the door for yellow cabs.
I don't think any taxi driver speaks English, but that's okay because they always manage to understand where you want them to take you. Every taxi ride is also an experience, and on this particular day it was rush hour- so there were a lot of cars surrounding us, all trying to get into the city at the same time. Let me just say that NYC taxi drivers are crazy aggressive (and everyone honks their horns constantly)! Here was our view:
It took about 30 minutes and $30 to get to my brother's apartment at 81st and 1st. He lives in what is called the Upper East Side. It is a very nice area and there aren't a ton of people around, unlike downtown or Times Square. Here is a picture of the outside of his apartment building:
Somehow I did not take a single picture of the inside of his apartment, but it is actually pretty decent sized. It is a two bedroom apartment that has one bathroom, a long galley kitchen, a nice sized living room, and space for a small dining table. I think the rent for this apartment is in the range of $2850 though (a whole lot more than we pay for our mortgage)! Example of what apartments cost:
My brother was not home from work yet, so we decided to get out and walk around his hood. It's nice to just be able to get out and walk everywhere, no need for a car. We walked about a two square block area before he got home and we decided it was time for dinner. Last time we were in NY we never got down to Little Italy, so that's where we went for dinner. It's a pretty cute place at night.
As you walk down the street all of the restaurants have a host outside trying to get you to come eat at their restaurant by yelling at you about their great specials and shoving a menu in your face. After a bit of walking up and down the street, getting yelled at by everyone, we decide on Da Gennaro.
Most of the restaurants in New York open up huge doors and setup tables on the sidewalk (which is quite cool). All of the food was excellent. The seating was so close to another couple we ended up talking to them towards the end of our dinner (some good old Bush bashing). They took this picture of the three of us:
You can see all our Little Italy pictures here. After dinner we went back to my brother's apartment to relax and have a few drinks. We went up to the roof and hung out a bit and tried to take pictures, but we didn't have the nice camera for this trip (another reason to go back) so they didn't turn out too well. We went back inside and I went to bed, and Brian and Matt stayed up and bonded until 4 A.M.
Stay tuned for day two.
-Brian Anderson was a contributing editor on this story.