March 24, 2004

New York Trip: Days 3-5 Recap - Fun, Fun, Fun

Wednesday was just as cold, but it didn't snow as much. All the same, I sat in for the whole day, nursing a baby hangover and blogging. I also caught the last 30 minutes of From Justin To Kelly (horrible!!) and watched a bit of the NYC St. Patty's Day parade. I eventually got myself together for a NYC-style St. Patty's Day evening of wanna-be-Irish drunkeness. I met Renee at work and we headed to the Meatpacking District, where the infamous Hogs and Heifers Saloon is located. It purports to be the inspiration for the film Coyote Ugly, and it very well might be, since it's so much like it, but there are 11 saloons around the US called Coyote Ugly Saloon, whose website seems to be more about the girlys. Anyhow, we went there and it was just what I expected. A well-worn looking biker/country bar with little more than a bar, a pool table and huge display of bras ripped/stolen from drunken female patrons (all in the name of breast cancer research). Almost immediately, a middle-aged man bought us a round of drinks - I got a tequila shot and a Bud and Renee got a gin n' tonic - and we were forced to dance on the bar before our drinks were done. I was stone sober, trying to dance to country on a 2-foot wide plank with a crowd of bored-yet-expectant looking dudes on one side and the cute lady bartenders on the other side cheering us on, telling the guys to buy us drinks. But no one did - cheap bastards.

After an eternity, we got down off the bar and took seats at the end. There was a dude there named Doug... Dave... Dan... I forget, but he was there and we talked and he bought me A LOT of drinks. The bartenders got up on the bar and danced to "Devil Went Down to Georgia", stomping on the bar so hard I could feel it shake and making me feel like I had done a damned shitty job up there. Oh well. On the way to the bar, Renee had told me they used to set the bar on fire, but she wasn't sure if they still did because of that big club fire last year... but, sure enough, the manager soon poured some liquor on the bar, and lit it. You'd think the place would go crazy, but they just stood around as if expecting something spectacular to happen but not willing to help make that thing happen. Losers. Sadly, my camera was in my purse that the bartenders were holding for me by the register and I wasn't able to get it in time to show you how cool it was, but you can see a little bit of the last of the fire in this picture

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Renee was really hoping her favorite bartender, Dee, would be working and just as the evening and night shfts were changing, she came in, but to hang out and not to work. One of the bartenders getting off work also came to sit with us. From here, my memory of the night is really fuzzy. I know I told the Doug/Dave/Dan dude that I had a boyfriend and that made him sad, but he didn't stop buying me drinks. I talked to Dee and the other bartender (Rachel?) and we got along great. Not that I remember it, but Renee says I danced on the bar a second time, and although I'm sure that I was too drunk to dance well, I didn't fall off. Eventually, I was too drunk to go and Renee helped me walk to get a cab and we went home. The next day, I had one of the worst hangovers since my 21st birthday (NOTHING could top that), but here are pictures from the rest of St. Patty's at Hogs and Heifers:

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Dee and Me

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Bagpipers on Bar and cute bartenders - I was worried that I didn't remember this, too, but Renee says I was outside smoking with Dee when this took place; you can also see some of the hanging bras

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Dee and her man

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Dee and (extremely drunk) me, again - probably 4 tequila shots and 3 beers later... I'd really like to keep this one to myself, but I believe in accuracy in reporting

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Renee and the other bartender... God, I wish I could remember her name...

Like I said, I had the worst hangover in recent memory so I stayed in the next day. Renee took the day off work to hang with me (amazingly, she wasn't in bad shape at all - I was so jealous). We watched a ton of Sex and the City episodes from the first and second seasons. Then we ventured back to Manhattan to go to what Renee called the "exploded Christmas tree" Indian restaurant. We got there and it really did look like that! There were about 3 or 4 of these restaurants right next to/on top of each other, each with a guy in a suit that came out and tried to get you to come into his restaurant. I don't dig that kind of pressure, so I just went with the guy standing closest to me. The dinner wasn't that great; the least spicy, most cilantro-heavy chicken tikka masala I've ever had and bland, overly-floury garlic naan, but the decor was amusing and memorable and the service was good... oh, and the remixed Bollywood hits playing were great.

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The mango lassi wasn't too bad at the exploded Christmas tree restaurant

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Ooh, that's tasty (her vindaloo was spicier than my masala)

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Golden elephant figurines

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Gratuitous light shot

We headed home since I really needed a night off from drinking and the remixed Bollywood songs in the restaurant had put me in the mood for some K3G or Devdas. Renee and I got home and prepared to watch some Bollywood. It was already kinda late, so we just watched the songs from Devdas and two more episodes of Sex in the City and hit the sack.

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Bollywood Kris and Renee

Since I hadn't done any drinking the night before, it was my last day in New York and it was finally a decently nice day out, I decided to venture out and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I got to see the huge reservoir in Central Park and went to the museum. I took quite a few pictures in side the museum, so I'm going to put them in a nifty photo album to save myself some time.

Click here for pictures of my trip to the Met

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After the museum, it was almost time to meet Renee, so I (foolishly) thought I'd walk down Madison Ave. to find an ATM on the way. Although I passed some of the most expensive boutiques you can imagine, the only ATM that I found was out of order. Go figure. Although that link doesn't list it, there's also a boutique called Searle, which I found very amusing but didn't take a picture since my hands were so cold (again). By the time I reached Renee's office, I had walked the entire Met and about 27 blocks in heels and my feet hurt BAD! So, of course, we walked to Rockefeller Plaza and Times Square, both of which weren't that impressive, but we did spend some quality time at Sephora that was well worth the trip there.

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Rockefeller Plaza was a big disappointment; both the ice rink and the gold statue look so much bigger on TV... as if it's special or something, and this was NOT special since it was so small - and we all know how much I hate small.

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Times Square was more impressive (especially since it was getting dark and I had only been there before during the day), but still highly overrated

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Porn always gets a big thumbs-up!

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Carousel in the Times Square Toys r' Us; flashy and pretty, but still lame

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Hooray for lipgloss!

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Bazaar finger puppet

After that, we got on the subway and headed to Little Italy. On the way from the subway, we walked through China town, then we were suddenly in Little Italy without even having crossed a street. We weren't sure which restaurant to try, so we stopped to read the menu of the first place we came across. It was on the corner and had cute wrought iron grating over the windows, so that it looked like a restaurant in Paris. As seems to be the way of things in New York, an Italian guy came out to convince us to come into his restaurant by telling us how great everything on the menu was and showing us the wine list. So, we went in and had a great meal and an awesome bottle of wine (I somehow accidentally ordered my new favorite winery, Rocca delle Macie). It was the perfect last dinner in New York - awwwww.

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Renee and Me at the cute italian place

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Renee calling her attorney about the bill

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Caffe Napoli gets the double thumbs-up for yummy food, chill yet classy atmosphere, inexpensive good wine and great service

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Lights in Little Italy (drowning out the Empire State in the background)

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On the way home, we waited forever for an N or W, but all that came were R's, so we had to ride to another station to get our train. This R is so evil and sneaky, it's pretending to be a B. Damn R!

I left the house at around 10am on Saturday and got a regular cab so it'd only cost $35 to get to the airport this time. However, maybe the $60 ride the first time was much more enjoyable because I didn't have to talk politics and patriotism with my cab driver who wasn't a total jackass. I shouldn't tell people I'm from San Francisco while out of town. The flight to Las Vegas was fairly uneventful. I sat in the window seat next to a cute Chinese couple totally in love - awwww. I watched the crappy in-flight movie, then most of Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham. As we were flying into Las Vegas, we flew over the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, which was pretty cool since I've never flown into Vegas before a) during the day and b) from the East so I'd never seen them before. I'm pretty sure that the part that I saw had to be the very beginning of it or some off-shoot, because everyone who could was crowded on the other side of the plane to look out the windows.

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I took this as the captain said we were over the Grand Canyon, but I assume I got screwed and was only able to see the very beginning of it...

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...but it's a little more impressive close-up

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Hoover Dam

We landed in Las Vegas just after 2pm PST and my flight to Oakland was to board at 3:30, so I was sitting at my departure gate, watching Devdas when a lawschool friend, Melissa, walked up to me as surprised to see me as I was to see her. They had already made an announcement that our flight would be delayed 20 minutes because the plane was arriving a little late.

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Melissa and Me at Las Vegas Airport

When our plane arrived, they definitely took their time unloading and reloading the bags and refueling, so we were 30 minutes behind when I saw one guy point to an oil spot under the right engine and then another guy point too. Soon, they were getting out pieces of cardboard to get down on the ground to inspect the engine, then raising the engine covers... when there was an announcement that they would make announcements every 15 minutes. After about an hour of general announcements about delays due to mechanical trouble, they said that the mechanic said it would be 1.5 hours after he located the part he needed. So we settled in for the long haul. At some point, the airline was offering to put people on a 6:30 flight to San Francisco, which I totally would have done, except that they refused to take our baggage off the Oakland plane, so we'd have to go to Oakland after landing in SFO to get our bags. Lame. I had a horrible Taco Bell chicken soft taco and sat down to watch more Devdas when a little half-asian girl asked me if she could watch too, but I doubted she was too young to read the subtitles, so her mom asked if I'd let her girl watch Freaky Friday on my laptop. I said OK because I was kinda tired of Devdas already and I was really bored, so we put it in and watched it. During the movie, we managed to attract everyone under the age of 8 on the flight. They were generally well-behaved, cute, kindhearted little kids. The movie was pretty bad, but I was glad to keep them entertained during the wait (and I bet their parents were glad too).

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My day care center as LAS

Our flight finally took off at 7:45pm, and I've NEVER been so nervous during a take-off, since we had seen them working on the engine for the last few hours. But the flight went well, especially since they were giving your first non-free drink for free because of the super long delay. So I had one of those little bottles of white wine and relaxed for the hour flight. When we got to Oakland at around 9pm, Aaron drove Melissa and I to the Tower at Hastings and went to Shalimar. Melissa joined us for dinner after she had put on some warmer clothes. These last few days, I've realized how much I do love San Francisco. New York is lively and interesting, but it's so vast and dirty and unkempt that I don't know if I could ever really live there and not be able to see it or be not bummed out by it.

So it was a good trip, sorry for the loooong blog... and if you've made it to the end and you're still reading this; you're a true friend.

Posted by Kristina at March 24, 2004 07:49 PM

not sure charlie daniels should ever be played in nyc.

Posted by: The Mighty Jimbo at March 24, 2004 11:28 PM

that picture with the little kids is adorable. =)

Posted by: michele at March 25, 2004 09:52 AM

Screw San Francisco. Move to New York (c:

Posted by: Susan at April 1, 2004 01:09 PM

With the exception of the enviable weather conditions on the West Coast, Susan is right. Screw San Francisco!

Posted by: clint at April 1, 2004 04:39 PM

We just read three stories about New York where Kristina basically couldn't feel her hands 70% of the time she was outdoors. In this same time frame, I wore short sleeves to work all week. I agree that New York has a hell of a lot going for it (I'll be visiting in early May), but let's not discount the Bay Area's tremendous weather conditions.

Posted by: sean at April 1, 2004 11:44 PM

Let's also take into account that one becomes more adaptable to the weather once one has lived in NY. During that same four-day period where she was aparently "freezing," and was scrambling for gloves and scarves and any other form of fabric she could wrap her self in, I was walking around in a light coat enjoying the brisk weather and the snow fall. Spending a few winters in the big bad apple really thickens the blood.

Posted by: Clint at April 2, 2004 04:44 AM

I don't think I could ever get used to it. Fuck snow. My dad always says that he misses his home town and that he wishes he had been able to raise us there, but he would never go back because of the terrible snow... In that case, thank God for snow.

Posted by: Kristina at April 2, 2004 07:46 AM
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