After the marathon, I walked the mile and a half back to the place where we sleep. I was wearing the official marathon-issue mylar space-blanket and sporting my newly acquired NYC Marathon finisher's medal. This goofy getup got me all sorts of attention on that walk home. I kid you not, fifty or more people hollared a "good job" or "congratulations" or a "way to go." Not kidding, fifty or more. Those New Yorkers are impressed by marathon finishers. Unlike most people I know, who just roll their eyeballs and mutter, "There she goes again, doing another one of her dumb races!"
I remember that day as being among the top 10 of my hungriest days ever. I would have eaten my own flesh raw if I had to. Even had sympathy pains for all those cannibals in the non-fiction stories who had to eat their own to survive. Suddenly I totally got it. Got it! I ate whatever leftovers were in the residence -- linguine in red clam sauce, baked potato, broccoli, pretzel crisps, an apple, powerbar recovery beverage -- but still needed more. More, I say. I wanted more. Then I had sympathy pains again for poor little Oliver, you know when he stacked up enough gumption to go up to evil-whats-his-name and ask for more slop. "Please, sir. I want some moh." And then evil-whats-his-name screams "MOH?!!!?!!!"
It was just like that. Except I was on vacation in New York city and not in some orphanage without parents.
Anyway, Tina and her boys wandered back, and we went out for more food. On the way we found a Subway and had our photo taken with Jared. Jared ran the NY you know, and we wanted a photo so as to say that we ran with Jared.
After din-din, Megan rolled her sweet Polly Pocket ass into town via fancy town car. Jessica gave Megan that Polly Pocket name, because Megan is smaller than petit. (I'm afraid, dear Megan, that the Polly Pocket name might stay a while. It also helps that it's alliterative.) Megan and I talked and talked. Hadn't seen her in the flesh for, like, six months, so we had some catching up to do. Speaking of flesh, I was still hungry and considered eating her flesh raw as well. We stayed up past 1:00am. I never do that. Yet somehow New York had me doing that night after night.
On Monday, November the 8th, we woke to yucky weather. Wind and rain and hail. We started the day with the top of the Empire State Building, which was more like Mount Everest, not that I know what Mount Everest is like, or that I'll ever know what Mount Everest is like, but the top of the Empire State Building on that cold, windy, hailing day, was just as I image Mount Everest to be -- a holy hell on earth. Although I say I'd never go to Mount Everest, I'd do the trekking thing at base camp fer sure, just wouldn't go higher than, like, 20,000 feet.
Monday also brought us some shopping, walking at least six miles, a visit to the over-populated Apple store (fashioned after Le Louve's glass pyramid entrance,) central park, photos, the chess house, a belgian waffle, and Indian food at a place called Amma.
That fine Monday was polished off with a visit to Mamma Mia. Oh! Here I go again! My, my, how can I resist you! Mamma Mia was fantastic, I didn't want it to end. The cast was funny. And animated. And had voices like buttah. I didn't want that show to end. There was also a Spawn of Andy Warhol-like usher who yelled at people whenever they turned on a camera (no photos on Broadway.) Yelled, I tell you. And pointed a spotlight at 'em. It was fun to watch people be idiots over and over again. (Not the Warhol child, he wasn't an idiot, it was the show-gowers.) Did I mention that I didn't want that show to end? I didn't for reals. Also, did I mention that Monday and Mamma Mia are an alliteration?
After the show, we frolicked in the autumn mist of Times Square, you know shopping at midnight, dancing, and making fun of rude obviously-from-Jersey people. I topped off the day with Cheesecake at 2:00 am. Or would that be considered the beginning of the next day? Either way, it was a fine piece of cheesecake.
Speaking of cheesecake, that particular cheesecake piece has a story about its selection. We went into a place called Cafe Europa. New York has started this new thing where they list the calories for everything. Everything. So you walk into a joint, hoping to seduce yourself with millions of calories, you've relinquished yourself to the knuckling under of millions of calories, but you don't really want to know just how many millions of calories. Oh but New York will help you with that. They plan to let you know just how many millions of calories you're about to consume. As luck would have it, there was one piece of cheesecake in the case that didn't have it's exact calorie count, and so that's the one I chose.
It's cheesecake fahcryinoutloud! Who counts calories when eating cheesecake? Not me.
On Tuesday, November the 9th, we went to lower Manhattan with Tina and her boys. Started the day right with a Mojo Bar Breakfast and jumped on the subway. We visited Wall Street, Battery Park, the anatomically correct Merill Lynch Bull (it's for sale!) and the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. I went to have my picture with a green statue-guy wearing Oakleys, in the which he demanded $5 for a picture. "No way! I'm not giving you five bucks for your dishonest salesmanship!" Said I, and returned his torch right directly. On the ferry, I dropped my camera, then said "shit" around eighteen times. Camera's okay, though, don't worry. We dined on grodey Chinese, although the broccoli was the best broccoli I've ever eaten. We chose that Chinese joint because we wanted to sit down. People in the financial district don't sit down for lunch much, judging from the number of eating joints with tables 'n chairs. We walked somberly through the World Trade Center area where they're building a memorial. Megan and I finished the day with a bus ride tour over lower Manhattan. We had the tour guide drop us off in Greenich Village where we ate the best pizza, like, ever, at a place called John's Pizza. We also had gayke then a stuffed subway (train, not sandwich) with biscotti.
What is gayke? I hear you say? Why, let me tell you. Greenich Village is the birth place of gay rights, or at least that's what the tour guide told us. It fits, however, because there are statues and whatnot here and there that echo this. So Megan and I go into a bakery. Again. We did a lotta bakery goin'-in on that trip. Megan looked through the window of all the yummies, looked at me and pointed at this:
"Look. Gayke." She said. You know we had to buy a piece and take it back for a photo. After the photo we ate it. Of course.
Look at Tina all up in that bull's business!
Wednesday, November the 10th, was museum day. It was also Wicked Wednesday. We pulled out all the alliteration stops for our Broadway experience on this trip. We spent a couple of hours in the Guggenheim, then a couple more in the Whitney Museum of Modern Art. The Guggenheim had a post World War I and II exhibit which was a bit on the dark side. (What? Art? Dark?) The Whitney had an entire floor dedicated to that wacky Paul Thek. Being as I like wacky and all things wacked, the Thek exhibit was my favorite. My favorite was a painting that said, "Afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted." Hello mayhem!? Mayhem is my specialty. The exhibit also showcased his famed Meat Pieces, and his notebooks, where he'd smoke a joint and write about or draw all things wacky.
The end of Wednesday, and our fantastic adventure in New York, came with Thai food in the East Village then great seats at Wicked. Wicked was a treat. It had great talent, great sets, great costumes. But for some reason I was ready for it to end unlike Mamma Mia. I would have moved in with Mamma Mia and married it if possible.
This trip was the most fun I've had in a long, long time. I had four of the best travel companions, and how we all ended up friends and in New York City is another post altogether. There was a moment or two, when I looked around and thought, "Gee. Everyone is pleasant. No one is overly demanding. You know what this means? I must be the demanding one! I'm the weak link! I'm the one that annoys!"
In a perfect world (where cash grows on trees, and responsibilities are pawned off easily,) I'd do it exactly the same, with the same people. Every year.