Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I Learned on My Vacation...

As a follow-up to yesterdays blog, I decided I’d still write about my trip today since it was worthy of a couple of entries. However, rather than provide nauseating details about everything we did, I decided to just share some details and observations about everything because, well, I like to make lists. Lists are fun.

Things I learned in New York, by Captain Monkeypants

1) Babbo is a near perfect restaurant because not only is the food spectacular and the wine just as stellar but they play Guns n’ Roses while you’re eating. Personally, I find this awesome because few songs make you want to rock out like “Paradise City’ and, well, I like things to have a twist. Nothing has a twist like an upscale, fancy, well-staffed Italian restaurant that blasts G n’ R while you eat. Seriously.

2) Tourists in New York are annoying. Yes, I was a tourist myself but there are certain common sensical things that you do to make sure you’re not an annoying tourist. When in the throng of Times Square pedestrian traffic, it is not a good idea to stop and stare up at the billboards without moving out of the MIDDLE of the sidewalk. People will crash into you. Really.

3) Cupcakes that have a soft, whipped buttercream frosting are enough to turn a non-cake eater into a cake eater. I thought cupcakes were like those ones you get from Kroger or Albertsons where they have the primary coloured nasty sweet frosting and some type of pick thing stuck in them to indicate a holiday or birthday. Apparently real cupcakes actually taste good. REALLY good.

4) There are a lot of people who drink wine who really like to do that swirly, sniffing, sipping thing. I get it. I know there’s a point to it. However, it still makes you look horribly pretentious when you do it.

5) Tom Colicchio’s restaurant, Colicchio and Sons, has pens with their restaurant name on them that you use to sign the check. Yes, I stole ours. Yes, that’s not good to admit but it’s kind of awesome. Sorry, Tom Colicchio but, thanks for the pen. Also, thanks for pretty decent ricotta frittata with caramelized onions, arugula and honey. Quite tasty. Not sure about the cheddar grits though. I’m glad I tried them since I’ve never really had grits before. I’m sure lots of people liked them but, to me (and to Saz,) they kind of reminded me of a warm tapioca pudding with more butter.

6) Lying in the Hudson River Park on a warm spring afternoon, drinking prosecco and listening to Mikey Doughty’s “I Hear the Bells,” with my best friend is one of the best ways to spend time ever.

7) Sometimes, I miss city life but I don’t miss the urine/sewer smell that rises up when it gets hot.

8) When you pick up a dress that you like in a discount designer store, $800 is considered a bargain when it originally cost $2200. It’s a bargain I can’t afford but it was a nice dress.

9) When you can afford to pay a little more for a hotel room than you could when you were 23, it means that not only do you get a decent sized room but you also get a TV that is not balanced on top of a closet and Aveda products in the bathroom.

10) Aveda conditioner did not seem to condition my hair at all. I’ll stick to my Pantene for now, thanks.

11) When in a shuttle from the airport with a driver who is trying to maneuver around Manhattan in a ton of traffic, it’s best to close your eyes and not look because otherwise it is entirely possible for motion sickness to make you feel…well…sick.

12) Times Square has a lot of chain restaurants. People eat at the chain restaurants. There is a Red Lobster. Red Lobster is fine when you’re in, say, Ohio or somewhere else but if you’re in New York….really? Red Lobster?

13) There are lots of dachshunds in New York. I noticed. None were as cute as mine.

14) When there is a lot of traffic and a police car is trying to get through, motorbike riders will literally hold onto the police car so they, too, can get through the gaps that other drivers are forced to create for the siren-blasting police car. Other cars will also try to get through said gap but they do so at the risk of other drivers hitting them for even having the nerve to try it.

15) There is a Home Depot in Manhattan. I suppose it makes sense but this is not the type of store you expect to see in Manhattan. I asked Saz if she supposed they sold lawnmowers because, well, there is very little grass in Manhattan that is not part of a park.

16) Jack Bauer would have made an excellent addition to the plot of the play, “That Championship Season.” I would like him to have had a hacksaw and a gun. Also, I think that cool choke-hold he has would greatly have improved matters and livened things up.

17) Just because famous actors are in a play does not mean they should be in a play. Also, next time we think about choosing a play because it has famous actors in it, we should go see “Mary Poppins, The Musical” instead. At least it might have dancing penguins and chimneysweeps.

18) Funk music= the song that never ends. Ever.

19) Having phones with GPS make it a lot less obvious that you’re a tourist than standing around with a giant map.

20) Tribeca is called Tribeca because it stands for the “Triangle Below Canal [Street]”. Also, Soho is called Soho because it’s “South of Houston [Street]”. Thanks, Saz!

21) When you have a subway card in your bag and then you switch bags, it is smart to put the subway ticket in the new bag. Otherwise, you have to buy a new one. You also feel like an idiot because you already have a ticket.

22) Wear comfortable shoes. I did. Mostly.

I could probably go on for several hours more but, for now, I think that’s it. In a nutshell, it was a fabulous trip and while I wish I could go back and do it all over, it was one of those that we’d never be able to recreate because you never can. Instead, I think I’ll just enjoy the memories until it’s time to make some new ones.

Granted, I might get a craving for Babbo before then but, well, at least I have the cookbook.

Happy Thursday.

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