Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NYC/CT Recap: Part 4

Night number 2 was a doozy!   It wiped me out so much, and apparently I got pretty toasty.   The end result was a monster sleep and I didn't get up until 10:30 in the morning.   The bed at Sheraton came through in a big spot, and I was glad to face another day.

I got up so late that I didn't have time for coffee or breakfast, so I went downstairs to the small internet "cafe" in the Hotel Lobby.  Nice, big lobby too.  I rather enjoyed the Sheraton.   I almost fired on a Starbucks white chocolate mocha purchase in the lobby but thought it was too close to lunch.   After checking in with the board, Coach's friend Rich was able to pick me up with his pickup truck.

We drove down the small highway, passed the WWE building, and worked our way to Darien.  Then we went to Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza.  Ohhhhhh did I get pumped for this moment!  I was *pumped*.   For those of you who listen to WFAN regularly you've heard Joe Benigno plug this restaurant many times on the air.   I *had* to tell them Joe B sent me, but not before I took a couple pictures of the place.  Nice place.

Anthony's is a sit down restaurant, and the lady who served us there was very nice to us.  She was pretty talkative too, and we had some pretty good conversations with her.  To start, she offered some complimentary coal fired wings, which I thought were great!  Rich had one too.  Then we got right to it... first we got some Diet Cokes, and when we got them they came in the 20 oz. bottles Mike Francesa uses on his show.  I was DYING... I laughed so hard seeing this bottle and thinking of Francesa and WFAN and Rich, looked at me with a straight face.  It's going to be hard to explain to anyone not familiar with this sports radio station.

We pressed on and were offered the option of doing half and half on a pizza.   I was excited to try the Broccoli Rabe and Sausage pizza as Benigno touted on his radio show, that went on the first half.  The second half had meatballs and ricotta cheese.   An incredibly fun pizza to eat, Rich and I switched off slices.  He got two slices of the rabe/sausage and one of meatball and ricotta.  I got the inverse of that.   We chatted about all sorts of things including Coach and how Rich got to know him, stuff like that.  Then we were planning Coach's proposed meeting with Rich in the middle of the country.  Good times.

After lunch, Rich drove me back to the train station and I waited for the next train to Grand Central.  I just missed the train there at Stamford, so I had about 30 minutes to kill.   I went over to the in-station Dunkin Donuts to order a coffee.  Then, at the counter, there was this lady who was taking FOR-EVER to order her things.  She ordered every single stinkin' item one at a time, and so slowly too.   "Oh can I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave a coffee?"   "Can weeeeeeeeeeee get a munchkin too?"

Then the Dukin Donuts guy and her had a long debate about Dunkin Munchkins.  They're donut holes, so you usually order them 6 at a time or so.  She wanted like 1 or 2... so she asked the guy "how much is just one munckin" and he goes "you can't order just one or two of them, we sell them by sixes." 

"How much is a set of Munchkins?"
"Two dollars"
"But I'm not going to eat all of them, I just want to order one."

I was so worn out that I just left... I was like "are you kidding me?   Just order your food already lady!"  So I didn't bother with the coffee.  It was about 2pm in the afternoon anyway so it was not a big deal.

On to the train and on to New York.   I was back again, and for a few moments, I was tempted to go get a burger at "Shake Shack" but I was smart not to.  I remembered that I wasn't hungry *and* Shake Shack was not a game changer to me anyhow, so I went straight to the subway and boogies to the West Village.  I had a great time soaking in the sights, and some foul smells, down there, observing the scenic archetecture and the many farmers markets in town.   Eventually I found my latest buddies, Tom and Jeremy, at Triona's down on Sullivan street, *not* across from the Medical Center.

I walk in and right as I go in, Germany scores a goal.  How about that!  So I sneak up on Tom and go "Do the dance!!!!!!!!!" and he sees me and goes "Dave!"  Jeremy sees me too and welcomes me into the bar.   Great to see Tom again after a couple years.   This time we got more than a cameo out of him, so Jeremy, Tommy, and I start to chat for a while.  I later asked if Tom wanted to have YOTS come over and he said yea so I went and invited him.   Later I invited Unclever to join us.  Likewise, Tom had her sister come down to meet us.   I wasn't sure what Tommy's sister was going to think of all of us, but she was quite affable and fun to talk to.   She's a good kid, much like Tommy!   Later YOTS joined us at this small bar and we kept watching the soccer.  In the meanwhile, we each had drinks, and I went back to the Brooklyn Lager, very good.

Before we go to the next bar, I spotted a Peanut Butter Co. shop across the street.  Coach touted this place a lot in texts to me.  He said in a text that morning "can you bring back some peanut butter for me?"   I was so confused that I asked him what made peanut butter in New York so much better than Peanut Butter in California.   THEN he told me that it was a special shop that specialized in different peanut butter flavors, ah now it made sense.  Anyway, I went into the shop with Jeremy, it's a nice little store, but I sought after something I could take back to CA.  The best I could come up with was peanut butter cookies, so I bought 8 of them.  Well!  That was not a wise decision.   What was I going to do with 8 giant peanut butter cookies for 2 days?  I was just not thinking ahead... after getting the cookies and going back to Triona's everyone else said "why didn't you just get a jar of peanut butter."  Would you believe it?   It was so obvious!  It didn't really matter in the end thought, because Tom's sister said that they confiscate peanut butter in carryon luggage anyway.  I would have had to put it into a piece of luggage and check it in (for a charge of 25 bones per bag).

Nonetheless, I had 8 giant cookies to carry around in a paper bag.  I showed the cookies to my friends and they noticed the cookies were merely wrapped in tin foil and they started LAUGHING.  I didn't think it was so bad, but everyone was clowning on the cookies, going "how ghetto is that wrapping?  What a terrible job by the store!"  These comments got me laughing too... but ya know, cookies were cookies, so I pressed on.  I shook my head though because I needed to get some people to eat the cookies and no none was biting.  I think somebody finally had one, and I had about four of them, and maybe later on someone else got a cookie, but I had three left. More on those three cookies later.

Up next we made our rounds with other West Village bars.  Unclever joined us somewhere along the way.  We had a few moments at a place called Thunder Jackson's before he got there, ordered sangria and then left.  Everyone thought the place was terrible.  Onward we went.  We must have stopped at half a dozen bars before finally we settled on one with some food there.   Unclev joined the rest of us at this other bar and some of the group ordered sandwiches.  Tommy ordered some chicken item and his sister ordered the buffalo chicken tenders.  I got the regular chicken tenders... I would admit that these chicken tenders weren't that good.   More batter than chicken, and it was overfried to boot.  I was thoroughly disappointed to learn the tenders didn't come with fries.  They cost 11 dollars!!!!  How'd they wind up with no fries, what a heist.

It was nice to have Unclever along for the ride once again, and his presence turned out to be really valuable.   He really knew the area well so he pointed us in the right direction, but first we stopped at a small dive bar nearby.   As we left to go there, Tommy's sister said good bye to us and went back home further uptown.  Tom's sister moved to New York this year, where previously she was in Baltimore for a few years.  The rest of us moved to the dive bar and it was there where we really got to start talking to each other.

We exchanged some fun stories, things about the board, memes, and so on.  It was a blast chatting and getting pitchers of beer.  However, the atmosphere at the place was as good as dead.  The bar was empty!  So, after we got in a nice long conversation we asked Unclever where to go next.  He said "do you want to have a good time?" or something to that effect, basically saying "do you want to find the babes."  Well you *know* we say yes to that!  We headed down to a place called "Down the Hatch" in a familiar part of the Village, one part of town I've been to before, back in 2008.

As we headed to "Down the Hatch" we passed by the famous Joe's Pizza and YOTS and I were dying to try a slice, but the group was going forward so we elected to catch up with them.  Then we entered "Down the Hatch".  You can sense why it had this name because the whole bar was underground: you had to go down a small staircase to get to the door.

Once inside -- babes galore, but they were all in big groups, which meant we basically were on our own.  We had fun anyway... it seemed like Tommy was having an especially good time, getting *really* loosey goosey with his actions and mannerisms.  We all danced like fools, and Unclever started yelling "DAVE!  BOARD LEGEND!  YOTS!  BOARD LEGEND!  BOARD LEGENDS!!!"

...it was very noisy in there so I don't think anyone heard us.  The people in there were great... the tall lady with the generic "Texas" hat, the tall red head with the black dress on, and my favorite, the "Lady in the Green", a young blonde in a teal dress that had my attention most of the night.  She had only one other wing woman, and yet, the 'cow was too stunned to talk to her.  Poorly produced by me.  I could have at least said hello.   The problem is, I was only wearing a t-shirt.  I wanted a nice getup for that approach... I felt like a slob with just a boring grey t-shirt on.  YOTS actually came to join us from the Yankees game so he had his cap on, a t shirt, and shorts on that night.

Lady in the Green had a face that reminded me of Taylor Swift.  It wasn't actually her because Swift is pretty tall and "LitG" was shorter than me.  Eh, another time.  Jeremy was getting a little worried for Tom, as it seemed he was going off the rails.   Really, most of us were.  YOTS had an appointment early the next morning so he planned to leave just before 11, and I figured since he was going toward Stamford too I could just join him.  Tom got really riled up when he learned we were all leaving.  THEN, as we started to leave, I don't know *what* happened, but it looked like one of the dudes there was standing up to challenge Unclever or someone to a fight and 'clevsies looked like he was going to let one loose.  I was like "UH OH" and I went in there and broke up the fight.  I was like "C'mon Unclever, let's go!" and I think I gently pulled him away from the fight.  We all escaped unharmed, but it was close!

and with THAT, we all said goodbye and went our separate ways.   Jeremy took Tom home.  Unclever boarded the next subway, and YOTS and I shared a cab to Grand Central.  I picked up the tab.  YOTSie had been so generous to me over the years, including the ride to Bobby V's the other night.  We took the local train to Stamford and YOTS got off at Greenwich.  I went a little further and got off at Stamford, the last stop.

Part 4, in the books.  Later this week we'll wrap it up with Part 5.  Stay tuned...

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