15 June 2009

Brick Oven by the Dozen (Or How I Travelled to a Far Away Land and All I Got Was A Tan)

The Gf and I decided to take a trip to New York City in May.

The epic trip that was to take place... well.. didn't. She decided to go to Singapore and I decided to Host a Keg-In-The-Fridge Adventure.  See below for details.  We did, however, decide to take the trip later one, culminating in a trip this past June 4th through 7th.  The highlights are as follows:

  • Stayed with a good friend of Kels' living on Manhatten Island, right on the border between the Columbia University area and Bonafide Harlem. Taking a walk down 125th Street, I all of a sudden looked four city blocks in every direction and realized I was the only White Dude as far as the eye could take me. While New York City is a tough town, I'm not frightened by the rep, being from Chicago. I was, however, all of a sudden familiarized with the fact that I am so often in the majority that there are very few times ever that I have to reconcile the fact that people still percieve differences in people based upon their skin.  The top thing on my mind, however: where I could locate Soul Food the next time I was in the neighborhood.
  • Although New York City has a rep for being an expensive town, its a different kind of expensive than Chicago.  Taxi fare starts at 2.50 (lower than Chicago) and tax rate is lower (Everywhere is lower than 11.5%).  But prices START higher in many cases, even though Starbucks still offers the 3.95+Tax Breakfast Pairing. The BIG Nice thing: the bars we went to in Manhatten happened to offer FREE things... something I rarely find in Chicago.  The first night, we went to a dive with free peanuts and Spicey Hot Dogs.  The downside to this? When you barf two hours later, Spicey Hot Dog clears your sinuses but burns the back of your throat until the next morning.  Another bar we went to gave away a free 6" cheese pizza with the purchase of each beer. The downside to this? You eat six 6" cheese pizzas and get so full of carbohydrates that you stop being able to socially interact.
  • As a man who is very fond of Deep Dish Pizza, I was primed to partake in as much NY Style Pizza as possible to offer a far comparison.  While I really enjoyed Lombardi's, we also had some "so-so" pizza while in Brooklyn (Okay white pie, though), I decided that New York pizza is good for lunch, while Chicago pizza is better for Dinner.  I would have to probably eat $30 bucks of NY Pizza to be as fill as $10 bucks of Deep Dish.
  • Found one of my favorite Starbucks seasonable beans, Bella Vista, in one of the New York City stores in Harlem.   Its now sitting in my kitchen ultra pressure sealed from the plane ride back.
  • Did the Epic Tourist thing and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for no reason other than to say that I did.  I got a dope tan on accident.
  • Drank a 40 oz. Colt 45 on a rooftop terrace with a view of the Bridges, the major sights, and the Financial District's branch of the Federal Reserve. They have turrets and a deck.

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