March 16, 2004

New York City Trip: Day 1 Recap

Aaron dropped me off at the Oakland airport at about 6:15pm on Sunday. My flight was supposed to be at 7:00, but was delayed to 7:30 because the flight before us was taking so long to board and passengers were late. However, when my flight started boarding at just past 7:00, we left the gate almost immediately b/c there were only 4 people on the 737 that was to take us from oakland to phoenix! There were more crew than passengers, and right after taking off at about 7:15 (the shortest taxi I've ever experienced), I got invited to sit in first class. How do you like them apples! Not bad for the cheapest possible flight I could find.

Once I got to Phoenix, it was a different story. We were supposed to leave at 10:45, but they didn't even start letting people on until 10:50 b/c the flight oversold, and they had been looking for volunteers to stay behind for half an hour, in exchange for $300 vouchers to anywhere America West flies for 1 year (including Mexico and South America), overnight stay in Phoenix w/ meals, limo back to airport for 1:00 flight arriving at jfk at 7pm EST, w/ limo from jfk. This was upped to $400 by the time boarding began and up to $500 by the time the time second group called. I was in group 5, so I wasn't sure if this state of affairs meant that I might not get on. I tried not to worry though and watched Devdas while I was waiting to board. Once I got on the plane, there were several empty seats, but they still asked for one more volunteer to stay behind for the $500 deal b/c we were still over weight regulations! I really wish that the crew wouldn't tell you things like that, b/c removing one more guy and his baggage doesn't make me that confident about the weight of the aircraft being safe for travel. Anyhow, the rest of the flight was unmemorable; I watched Cheaper by the Dozen b/c it was the in-flight movie and I didn't have pay the $5 to rent headphones since I had my own, then I watched the rest of the songs from Devdas and all the songs from Kabi Kushi Kabie Gham. When we landed, it took a loooooong time for our baggage to come to the carousel and then I got whisked to a "taxi" that turned out to be a towncar so it cost me over twice as much ($65) to ride to Astoria from JFK, but at least my driver was Russian and funny; kinda reminded me of my grandpa...

So, I got here at 6:15ish on Monday morning, and when Renee answered the door, I felt bad b/c it was obviously before she was supposed to get up for work. She directed me to the couch where I immediately passed out until 10:15. I woke up thinking that I should IM Aaron so he knows I got here OK, but it turned out that Renee had already done that for me... but I was already up so I showered, walked to get some coffee at the only Starbucks nearby b/c Renee said that other coffee shops my not use filtered water and got a nice, drippy cheesesteak from the gyro/pizza place nearby... and chinese print bag for $6.99 to hold my camera and stuff w/o looking like a tourist.

Then I got on the subway to go meet Renee in Manhattan when she got off work. It's different from Muni and BART in that it's a lot older and bumpy, but at least I was able to get a 7-day unlimited ride pass. It amazed me how many blocks we covered so quickly, since we started at 59th after going under the river and I got off at 8th, just 10 minutes later. I walked to Washington Square, which is right at the beginning of 5th Avenue and walked up to Union Square, where I was to meet Renee. I was an hour early and couldn't think of anything to do or anywhere to go, so I went into the nearby Virgin Records and listened to the entire new Alicia Keys album. I think I'll download it when I get home.

Washington Arch... under construction

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New York's Union Square

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Anti-Bush/War protest


Once I met up w/ Renee, we headed to this bar called the Swift Hibernian Lounge, where Renee got a huge beer and a burger and I got a smaller beer and a great potato, restuffed w/ bacon mashed potatoes and covered with cheddar cheese, w/ a spinach salad for just $6! Then this Irish guy came around to ask us if we wanted to participate in a pub quiz, where you got a T-shirt if you lost. We said OK. Turns out that the prize was a 2-night stay in an Irish castle for you and 9 guests, but the big shocker was that you had to take a shot of whiskey whether you answered the random Irish trivia question correctly or not. Humanely, the Irish MC asked Irish-Americans and totally un-Irish people easier questions; mine where "What state claims to have the most citizens of Irish descent?" (Massachusetts, duh!), "What Irish rocker as the same name as the King?" (Elvis Costello) and "What Irish actress plays an angel on Touched by an Angel?" Naturally, I didn't know the answer to this one, since I've never seen the show, but at least I was forced to drink 3 free shots of whiskey and got a free t-shirt that says "FBI: full blooded Irish". You know that one's for you, Aaron.

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The half-liter hefeweizen

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Renee takes a shot

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How the hell does anyone know how many counties are in Ireland!?

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Christ on a bike! That's a spill!

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What a lovely prize

From there, the evening was all downhill b/c I was already much more drunk than I had planned on being... but at least I drank a glass of water before we left the Hibernian (aren't you proud, Aaron?). Then we headed to a bar at 7th and Ave. B, on the way to which we saw a weird sidewalk stencil of the agent from the Matrix and where we goofed around and took pictures in the photo booth. Eventhough I had a redbull and rum, I was still low-energy and got even more wasted, so by the time we went to pizza, I couldn't really eat well... whiskey messes w/ my motor functions like no other. Then we got in a cab to come home and it was only $10!! God, cabs are cheap here!

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The Matrix has you, Renee

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Why are the CPR instructions behind the video game?

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White pizza is great!

I woke up this morning and it's snowing! So, I'm headed out to Manhattan to explore the park in the snow and maybe go to the Met to see some art and thaw out. Hope my clothes are warm enough!

Is snow good for a tropical girl from California?

Posted by Kristina at March 16, 2004 08:00 AM

Reminds me of my New York life...especially the Washington Monument under construction...Will that ever get finished?

It felt about 80 degrees in downtown SF today. Perfect for a glass of wine at dusk...I miss my drinking buddy!

Posted by: cody at March 16, 2004 06:43 PM

ugh... don't talk about drinking... I think I'm going to be sick...

Posted by: Kristina at March 17, 2004 07:22 AM

I'm glad you're having fun baby and, while in some ways I'm enjoying this little stretch of solitude, I know I'll be happier once you're home again.
Especially with that FBI t-shirt...another phase in my master plan to trick people into thinking I'm Irish will be complete!

Posted by: dr v at March 17, 2004 09:05 AM

salut je ve travail avec vous je suis decorateur

Posted by: akka at October 7, 2004 08:37 AM

la fille je veux son numéro

Posted by: ZOUAREG at November 9, 2004 08:34 AM
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