Hell of a Guy

A Hell of a Guy in a Hell of of Town

05/09/2007

This past Friday The Nancy and I, with a daughter and son-in-law in tow, drove up to New York City for the weekend.  If you have ever driven in a large metropolitan area you know what kind of maniacs and sadists the residents of large cities can be when they get behind the wheel, especially those in vehicles of a commercial yellow hue. 

As we excited the Lincoln Tunnel on the Manhattan side, we found ourselves in a milieu of undaunted, city-tested drivers.  I very quickly figured out the art of driving in New York City is to see just how many hapless pedestrians and other vehicles you can successfully dodge or narrowly miss, without hitting either and still maintain control of the vehicle you are piloting.  Use of one’s horn is more than okay; in fact, it is mandatory, but nonetheless ignored by all.  I have often said I would like to open a horn replacement business in NYC. 

Our first real encounter into the New York City culture came as we attempted to make a right-hand turn from 42nd Street onto 7th Avenue, through a sea of tourists and New Yorkers making their unhurried crossing of 7th Avenue.  I was behind one of the yellow things.  The taxi driver, like Moses with the Red Sea, easily, albeit slowly, parted the mass of people and made it through just as the traffic light changed trapping me.  My car was hopelessly surrounded on all sides almost immediately by a hoard of disengaged pedestrians crossing 42nd Street like so many robots, and I was stuck there with the front end of my car extending at least halfway into the crosswalk and people walking in front and behind the car.  A less-than-sweet young lady on a bicycle pulled up next to the passenger side of the car, gave us a look to kill and loudly uttered these words…“Brilliant! You must be from Jersey!”  Had she not been so good looking I might have offered her a digital expression of my heartfelt joy of our brief encounter.  And so, we began our New York Weekend.

Here’s a quick recap of the adventure:  Checked into the Hilton at Times Square, our rooms weren’t quite ready.  It was only 3pm, so we bellied up to the bar as the Hilton’s staff hurriedly readied our suites and met John, the slowest bartender I have ever seen.  John has two hearing aids and can’t hear with either one.  I asked the night manager if John ran track in high school.  He couldn’t catch himself in a race.  He was really that slow, but he did pour good drinks!  We ate very well and often: Friday night at Carmine’s on 44th and Broadway, and Saturday at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.  Both were terrific; the food outstanding and the service matched the food.  It is amazing what $500.00 will get you these days.  We did the Ground Zero pilgrimage and the sadness inexorably connected to this hallowed ground does hit you even as the rebuilding of the area moves forward.  We had lunch on Saturday at the Heartland Brewery – good food, great brews.  We saw the musical Chicago with “all that jazz” and loved it: The Nancy got us great seats near the center of the first balcony row.  We had drinks at a lounge in the seventh floor lobby of the “W” Hotel – very New York!  Lots of beautiful people drinking, talking and flirting as the ultra contemporary atmosphere was filled with Electric Fusion Dance Music… we felt soooo out of place, but spent about an hour hobnobbing with the elite and upper crust in NYC.  Had we told them we was West Virginians, we might have been throwed out of the place.  Sunday we drove around Central Park, did the “Top of the Rock” – 67 floors to the top of the NBC building, aka 30 Rock.  Walked all over Times Square.  Visited numerous stores, including Macy’s and Sax 5th Avenue.  We glanced at the inside of St. Patrick’s – an awesomely beautiful cathedral!  We drank most of the good beer supply on the island…well; at least I made a valiant attempt.  At nearly $8 a beer, New York City is not a place to do a lot of drinking.

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This was the daughter’s and son-in-law’s first real excursion into the New York City marketplace.  I think they got caught up in the fantasy that is New York City.  The scurrilous street vendors, you know the ones, they strut about with their knockoff wares in large boxes on hand trucks covered with a tarp or tucked away in attaché cases, as they look for unsuspecting, unsophisticated out-of-towners to whom they can offer their wares.  Our travel partners succumbed to the hype…daughter got a Gucci bag.  Son-in-law got a bargain, so he thoroughly believes, on a faux Rolex watch for a mere $150. 

Me, I didn’t fall for any of the scams the street vendors play.  I didn’t waste my money on trinkets or fake baubles.  I am way too smart to fall for that crap.  I weighed my purchases looking for the best bargains…like $8.00 for a 12 ounce bottle of beer.  I ain’t no fool.   

All in all, this was the ultimate weekend with one of our favorite couples with lots of laughs and lots of fun.  The weather was terrific.  The ultimate weekend ended with a The Nancy, Daughter #3 of our combined families and me walking over to Rockefeller Center at about 6am Monday morning to visit with Meredith and Matt at the Today Show.  Whoopee! 

The weekend was great, but I must say, getting back to my benign mountains, rolling landscape and the peacefulness of the farm was just as great.  Last night The Nancy and I sat out on the front porch of our country home listening to the chirping birds and the whisper of the breeze as it gently kissed the trees, and wondered how we could ever want for more.

And that is all I have to say about that…

 
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