Most of you know that I have been going to New York to visit with my sister and family (niece, nephew, uncle-ish guy, and sisters nieces) in December for the past few years. So this is my story of the last visit.
I have to start by saying that when I booked my ticket it was so far in advance I did not realize that I booked my flight to leave Indianapolis the day after Christmas! Therefore, I was unable to go back to Cleveland, Ohio to spend the holiday with my family. I am very sorry about that but things happen. As is was I had been working Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past couple years and didn’t make it back then either.
I have made a few new friends in NYC thanks to working at Diebold Inc. and reacquainted with some friends from the past so I had a lot going on this trip. More than usual.
Saturday December 26, 2015
I arrived at JFK around 0800. Called my buddy Whadimir and told him he could come pick me up now! Since it was so early we went back to his place in Queens, NY to watch some ESPN and chat until he had to go to the city for work and he could drop me off at my sister’s place. We had some nice conversation about how life was and all that catching up stuff. I got to my sister’s place in Midtown Manhattan around 1230. “Daddy Max” was already in town from Denver, CO for a couple days and hanging out at the house along with Tori and Rachel (long story short about Max he is my sister’s ex-wife’s ex-husband and the father of my 31-year-old nephew and a male role model/father figure to my 11-year-old niece and we love him dearly…and I also make him come to NY for the holiday.) After saying the hellos and giving out hugs we decided to watch Bridge of Spies and eat some Two Boots Pizza. My sister is in the SAG so she’s got all the movies to watch (some that haven’t even come out in theaters yet) because she has a duty to vote for the nominees. My sis has one of those crazy LCD televisions that makes everything look like they are literally in your living room so some times it is kinda creepy but, Bridge of Spies was good. I would have liked it better on a different tv. (Serious that is how creeped out I am with those tv’s!)
We all hung out and waited for Tori (sister’s niece) to come back to the house and me, my sis, Tori, and H (H is my niece) went out to eat at this awesome Japanese place called Guy-Kaku. They have these little tiny personal grill things built into the table so you basically order meat and you get to cook it yourself and play around with the sauces. It was so good!
After dinner we hung out at the house until Whadimir got out of work, picked me up, and went out on the town. (I didn’t really take great notes this year on the whole timeline of things or exactly where we went so please bare with me.)
Sunday December 27, 2015
My ass ALWAYS has to have breakfast at the corner deli! This particular deli is on the corner of 10th & 45th and I always get a sausage, egg, and muenster croissant with a can of Pepsi. Always. And I never regret it. I am on vacation I don’t care! So good. (I still have yet to have one of these “famous” New York City bagels but whatever I don’t really care. Maybe one day someone will show me where to get one.)
I learned that Broadway shows have lotteries. The basic deal is, you go at certain times (usually two hours before each show, and only specific shows) and get in line (or the middle of the street depending on how many people are trying to win) and write your name on a piece of paper, put it in the basket, and wait for the names to be called. They have a certain allotment of tickets available for these and a couple standing room tickets that, if your name is called, you can buy them or get them free I forget which or probably both. Hamilton is the show to see. So me and my sister, or me and Max, or me, my sister and Max all went to the theater to try to get tickets to see Hamilton. After none of our names were called we went back to the house to get the girls and go to my favorite store in all of New York; Yellow Rat Bastard! Me, sis, H, Tori, Rach, and one of their friends (Vanessa I think) hopped on the subway to go to China Town. I literally spent most of my money the second day I was in the city. Right off the subway I dropped $150 on purses and spent another $150 at YRB…you know you’re getting old when you spend money on comfy pajamas instead of nice clothes and jewelry ha! On the way back to the house we stopped to say hi to Sam (nephew) and get some fresh made Two Boots Pizza, so good. Back at the house my sister and I talked about whatever we talk about while I got ready and was drinking bourbon waiting for Whad to get out of work again to walk around Midtown with me and take touristy pictures. When Whad arrived I packed a flask of bourbon and we went walking to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the awesome Sak’s Fifth Avenue lights. Whadimir grew up in New York and has never seen Rockefeller all lit up (I don’t blame him because it is a tourist thing to do and a pain in the butt because of all the people but still…its THE Christmas tree!) I even got a couple pictures of NYPD taking pictures of the tree! Stopped back at the house to grab some stuff then Whad took me out to this bar called Acey Deucy’s in Queens, NY. I totally forgot that bars in NY serve until 0500…uh maybe bourbon should have not been my drink of choice from the get go. Either way, awesome fun filled night. I love my friends and I love that people in New York can handle my attitude. I fit right in.
Monday December 28, 2015
Another corner deli morning. Got back to the house around 1230. I felt like poo (probably from drinking bourbon for oh, 8 hours?) I took a nap. Before coming to NY I had sent some messages out to some old coworkers about having dinner and drinks on Monday when I was there. This day I did not want to do anything. I had felt so bad from the previous nights events that I just didn’t want to move. When I woke form my nap I explained this conundrum to my niece saying “Maybe we can just reschedule…” my twelve-year-old niece said to me “Don’t you want to see your friends? If you don’t go see them now you might not get to see them later.” Sigh, the wisdom of a child. So I took my nieces life advice and went to meet up with Sebastian and Whadimir (Sebastian is the only one whom didn’t bail on the night) to eat some meat at Radeghast Hall in Williamsburg (which I think is part of Brooklyn?) The sausage was great and the mustards, oh the mustards were amazing! After dinner (because Sebastian don’t quit, we went bar hopping. Well, first he took us down to some pier to check out the view of the East River and the bridge which was pretty cool. Then it started snowing heavily so it was time to move on and go inside. Inside a bar. A bar with a half-pipe inside of it. Sorry I forget the name. I also forget the name of the second place we went to also. (And I don’t really feel like scrolling through 5 months of Facebook news feeds to try to find it. Maybe later.) Between the half-pipe bar and the gay bar that was having a trans night I lost my phone. After calmly walking back to the first place to find it I was blessed enough that it was face down on the floor under the table we were at. (It’s a phone, I don’t care, but Whad was really freaking out on my behalf. He ran like a mofo to try to find it lol. Thanks Whad!) Okay, got my phone back and we decided to go to …a bourbon and scotch bar called Shelter! Surprise surprise right? Sebastian likes scotch and made me try some fancy stuff. I still didn’t like it. Sebastian had to leave because he had to work in the morning so Whadimir and I went to Astoria to meet up with muh nephew Sam. Sam had some friends in from Chi-Town. Nothing special just a quick “Hi. bye.” On the way back to Queens the 24-hour McDonald’s were not 24-hours and I was pissed! We ended up getting some crappy I don’t even know what from I don’t know where!
Tuesday December 29, 2015
Back at the house at 1200. Everyone was there (Minus Sam because he doesn’t live there and works all the time.) We all decided to watch Jurassic World. It was a fun movie. I remember laughing a lot and a lot of us were screaming at the tv because they should not have been doing what they were doing if they wanted to NOT GET EATEN BY DINOSAURS! I tried to take a nap which didn’t work, so I decided to take a walk to Lot Less to buy some socks I think. My friend and neighbor growing up in Chagrin Falls has been living in BK for 12 years now and we got in touch. After she had a meeting at the United Nations building with a client we met up at a Japanese book store across from Bryant Park to hang out and get some dinner but first I had to find this liquor store my brother had told me about. It was not hard to find Park Avenue Liquor Shop (well actually it was because the address and google told us it was inside a tall building but it wasn’t.) Either way I got there and bought a bottle of Larceny to bring to my sister’s because all Karen has is yucky scotch. Mack and I decided to hit up this Mexican joint called Patron by my sister’s place. I think the restaurant is on 9th by 44th? Close to that corner at least. Mackenzie comes back to Karen’s with me to possibly watch a movie but instead we play one of our favorite childhood games; SPIT. It’s a card game, a really fast card game, and I lost. Every hand. It made me very mad. I am a sore loser. But since it was against Mackenzie it was okay. I missed her. And she had never beaten me growing up lol. Win-win I guess. She wasn’t feeling well and had a nice subway ride back to BK (Brooklyn) so she went home early. Tori and I decided to watch Revenant. Holy shit! Remember my sister has one of those tv’s…I don’t know how many times Tori and I were “Oh my God-ing” and “Holy shit-ing” while watching that movie but it was like watching Leo DiCaprio being shredded to bits and pieces by a fucking huge ass grizzly bear 5 feet from my face. #forreal Yikes. First night I slept at my sisters.
-Sidenote: I felt really bad not spending as much time at my sister’s as I normally do. Like really bad. Sad even. But I have made a lot of friends in the years I’ve been going to visit her. I had to divide my time. And we talked about it. My sister is the BEST. She is kind and understanding. She was just happy I was there. That we all were there and that we all come there to see her and have great family time. #mysisterrocks
Wednesday December 30, 2015
Karen made pancakes for breakfast. Yum. Tori and Rach took off for Long Island to spend two days with their friends and I went back to Lot Less to get more junk. Lot Less is this store that sells other stores’ random surplus stuff. I got a ton of Lindt’s chocolate truffles for NYE (tradition and since I didn’t have to walk to the Lindt’s store I was happy about that.) After dropping the junk off at the house I talked to my sis about what to do and I decided that I would take the subway by myself for the first time ever and explore New York and do some tourist stuff. I became a subway pro that day! By the time I walked from the station to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art – I think) I had about an hour to walk around inside and see some art which was fine with me because I don’t really like to stand and talk about that stuff and I was by myself. They had some stuff from the Congo which was really cool and an Egyptian exhibit and some modern photos. When I got off the subway in Times Square there was some weird concert going on and they were setting up the stage for the big Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. I talked to one of the guys setting up the rig and was pretty impressed how it all works and how fast they put that shit up. After having leftovers at the house with Karen and Harmony, my sister and I watched Southpaw. That Jake Gyllanhal is a pretty impressive actor. Have you seen Nightcrawler? If not you should because he plays a psycho to a tee! Back to Acey Deucy with Whad and his friend Todd who just got in from Buffalo, NY. It was the bartender’s 30th birthday, Her name was Donna. I drank a lot of bourbon again and lost a couple hours of my life.
Still four more days to write about. I am taking a break.
To be continued…
Continued…changing the spaces and paragraphs now.
Thursday December 31, 2016. New Year’s Eve.
I got dropped off at the Deli for breakfast again on Whadimir and Todd’s way back to the city. I took another nap then I walked to Papaya Dog (which I recently found closed down) to have some lunch and juice.
The next note in my journal just says “Ellen” so I assume that we watched The Ellen D show when I got back to the house.
After that Karen and I watched Sicario. I tend to like Emily Blunt but she was awful in this movie. So bad. Don’t even bother watching it.
Since it was new year’s eve Karen went through the closet to find out NYE light-up hats…the batteries had died so guess what. We took a walk to go buy new ones (hats not batteries!) We got hats and bourbon and were ready to go!
We had a lot of fun watching tv all night. Flipping between all the new year’s programs and talking it was a really fun time. At midnight, as we were watching the ball drop on TV, we opened the windows and I walked out the front door and could hear everybody just a couple blocks away screaming and cheering and I saw the spotlights in the sky! It was pretty cool. After the ball dropped Sam walked over from the pizza shop to get a picture with all of us and then I decided I wanted to walk to Times Square. I think I was trying to see Wiz Khalifa! ha. I tried to walk to Times Square at least. The police had the roads blocked off now so they could start the street cleaning. One police officer let me through after a a little bit. I walked around the city that was still filled with confetti soaring around the air. I did a bit of people watching…drunk people watching, got a gyro and went back inside. It was a great New Year’s.
Friday January 1, 2016.
Football. Football. Football.
I woke up in time to spend the majority of the day watching football. All the bowl games were starting. So I sat on the couch and Karen and Max watched with me intermittently.
Fod dinner we wanted sushi so my sis took the order and ordered a load of sushi from this place down the street. About an hour later the sushi still wasn’t there. Karen walked to the place to see what was going on…turned out that they were closed on New Year’s Day…but their website we ordered from didn’t say that! So, since Whadimir and Todd were close by I went out with them for dinner and drinks…again! We walked to Rockefeller Center after I got some food in me so Todd could see all of the lights and get some pictures. We also decided to stay drinking in the city. Here are a few places we went: St. Andrew’s Scotch Bar, Playwright Bar, and Bourbon Street (the last being my favorite because of the music and people.) Bourbon Street is right by my sister’s place. Its this cool open floor two-story place with goof food, a nice deejay, and Scottish bartenders who know how to make drinks.
Ended the night at Acey Ducey again…
Saturday January 2, 2016.
Today I walked to 30 Rock. I also got lost inside Rockefeller Center. It really is confusing in there. After getting a sweet NBC ornament (ornaments, pennies, and magnets are my thing) I went down to the other shopping mall in the building and could not figure out how to get back up and out! It was pretty ridiculous. Anyway, I got back to my sisters around 5. My friend from growing up, Mackenzie, met me out again. Her, Max and I went to the Hamilton lottery. The last name they called was “Carolyn…” I got a shit-eating-grin on my face and swear my heart started racing…but they did not say “Campbell” they said some name I do not remember but I thought I was so close to having my name drawn! Mackenzie and I went to Bourbon Street for some dinner. Hanging out with Mack is always nice. We spent a lot of time together growing up. She lived two houses down from me in Ohio for a while. She was there the night my dad died. No matter how long we go without talking I believe I will always be able to see her if we are ever in the same city. It is good to see how we both grow over the years.
After dinner we decided to watch a movie…We started the Big Short and when I saw Ryan Gosling walk out looking like a ridiculous fool we knew it was not a movie we wanted to waste time watching! We decided to watch Trainwreck! I’ve seen Trainwreck before but it is funny so I was down.
Whadimir stopped by on his way home from work to chill for a bit. We sat outside and talked, smoked, and walked to Papaya Dog (dang I really miss that place) and then walked to Two Boots one last time.
Since the girls were gone for the night I opted to sleep on the couch instead of the air mattress that night. Twas a good day.
Sunday January 3, 2016. My last day in NYC.
Somehow I was privileged enough to sleep until 1300! lol I finally got that sushi! Had some delivered for my lunch and I finally got around to watching Concussion. My sister and Max had been telling me I need to watch Concussion. I watch a lot of football when I’m around them since I am usually there during the NCAA Bowl Games so I guess they wanted me to see the story. A great story it was and Will Smith did an amazing job acting the part.
Karen and Harmony were the last ones standing. Max and the nieces went back to their states and Harmony had school in the morning and my sister was going back to work.
Since Whadimir lives like fifteen minutes from La Guardia Airport I was going to stay at his place for the last night.
Karen and H got take out from Don Giovannis in NYC and I had the best Italian Soup ever!
Whadimir and I went to 5 Napkin Burger for dinner and a salted caramel float.
It was the best NYC trip ever. I have been very blessed. Through the years I meet more and more people from New York and all of them are really great people. I met Whadimir and Sebastian when they were in Ohio training for work. Whadimir was born in Queens and was in the Navy before working for Diebold. He is the most gentlemanly person I know. The man carried my purse all over New York City, picked me up almost every night, and is just a great guy and a lot of fun to hang out with. Sebastian came from Poland and lives somewhere in Brooklyn. He was a Marine for a while before working for Diebold. This guy is absolutely crazy fun. He loves to have a good time and show people a good time. I’ve known Mackenzie since I was about 13 years old and she has lived in the same apartment in Williamsburg for the past 9 years. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love going to NYC! Back to Indiana I go.