Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New York City Trip, Day Two

Day Two. Friday, June 6th 2008

We didn't have a lot planned for day two except for an eating tour that started at 1P.M. and the Royals vs. Yankees game in the evening. This was probably a good thing. When I woke up and came out into the living room all I saw were beer bottles, an empty whiskey bottle, and a 2-liter coke bottle that had the top cut off of it. Later I find out that the 2-liter was left in the freezer and had frozen, so they chipped it away and used it as ice for drinks- brilliant! Apparently the guys had stayed up a little too late and weren't going to be getting up any time soon. In the meanwhile I took the opportunity to go back up to the rooftop in the daylight and take some pictures of the area.

You can see the Hudson river in this one:

The guys ended up getting up around 11A.M. so we went to eat a brunch across the street at Gracie Mews Diner. They had the best fresh-squeezed orange juice we'd ever tasted!

After brunch we took the subway to the intersection of Essex and Delancey to meet up with our eating tour guide.

The eating tour was more of a walking history tour with small snacks representative of the culture/people from that area. The tours are done by grad students in history and they really know their stuff. The tour took us through Chinatown (formally all Jewish), Little Italy and some other neighborhoods that I can't remember right now. I do, however, remember all of the food we ate: fried plantains (Puerto Ricans), full-sour pickles (a NYC tradition), Jewish halva made from sesame seeds and honey, dried prunes, rose petals and spicy tofu (Chinese), regular cannolis, mozzarella, parmesan, and pork sausage (Italians). The cannolis were the best!

The famous place we got the pickles from (The Pickle Guys are online too):

Brian eating a cannoli:

After the tour Brian and I did some shopping in Chinatown. which included me haggling with a street vendor over the price of a souvenir. Another interesting thing were the "apartment" merchants wanting to sell us "handbag", "watch", and "sunglass". These were the folks trying to sell us authentic looking knock-offs of popular brands of course. One example of how it works: you are walking down the street and some guy is just standing on the corner, holding a cell phone up to his ear. As you get close he says in a low voice "handbag?". When you ignore him he will just go back to his fake phone conversation. Brian really wanted to do this, and he kept trying to talk me into getting a Coach purse knock-off, but I was too worried about what happens when you get in their apartment and don't want to buy anything! You can see all of our Chinatown pictures here.


Chinatown smells bad on a hot day:

After all of our wheeling and dealing we headed home to get geared up for the Royals game. My brother's friend, Matt #2, joined us at the subway (which was totally packed with fans headed to Yankee Stadium).

Our seats were pretty good, except for the fact that we were surrounded by very hard-core Yankees fans who kept asking us questions about the Royals team, players stats, etc. of which we had to reply that we didn't know. They all laughed and said it didn't really matter as long as we weren't Red Sox fans (sort of like a Chiefs/Raiders hatred I guess). We had multiple Yankees fans say the following to us:

"It's OK that you are a Royals fan, but if you were a Sox fan I would punch you in the face."

The two Matt's assured they were very serious. The Royals actually ended up winning, so that was fun to see. You can see all our Yankees Stadium pictures here.

After the game we headed out to a bar near the apartment called Bar Coastal (we were actually at this same bar for the Chiefs/Broncos game a couple of Thanksgivings ago). We played a lot of music from the digital jukebox next to our table (like Thriller, which everyone enjoyed), ate wings, drank beer and then called it a night at 2 A.M. It's so nice not to have to drive anywhere. :)

-Brian Anderson was a contributing editor on this story.

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