Month: March 2019

Spring Break in the Big Apple

First of all I apologize for not posting for a couple of weeks. I have been up to my eyeballs with work, Geranium has been out of town, St. Patrick’s Day and its been tough to post. The past two weeks has been spring break for a bunch of schools. Rather than the beach some folks from Memphis and Northwest Arkansas made a trek to The Big Apple.

Now I was doing a bunch of work and with the St. Patrick’s Day weekend I wasn’t able to meet up with anybody. Then again does my former slinger of spirits and her high school daughter want to meet up with my boring ass or go see a Broadway show? Also in town celebrating spring break was my former roommate’s wife and college senior daughter with some friends. Lastly was one of my Twitter buddies since she was running the Brooklyn Half Marathon in ball shrinking temperatures.

I pride myself on being a fairly good tour guide to our various guests who have visited New York. I can show someone the grave of Hamilton and then in 20 minutes we are standing in the middle of Times Square watching all the tourists. Well these 3 different groups who came to NYC this past week you may want to ask them for their itineraries and or how the fuck they got tickets to some of the stuff they saw. I was impressed to say the least. Here is a short list of stuff that they did;

  • Rockefeller Center/St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • More Plays and Musicals that I care to think about.
  • Top of the Empire State Building
  • Good Morning America Taping
  • Ryan and Kelly Taping
  • Today Show
  • Brooklyn Bridge (I mean could one of you come over and took my dog out?)
  • Fearless Girl down in Fidi
  • Bunch of Pizza Joints

Here are some of the pics that they posted. Granted I didn’t get permission to post any individual person pictures but I was able to steal these pics that they posted. Still pretty cool that you can do all this stuff in a couple days.

Hey Look its My former Neighbor from the UES.
You know I have never seen this show on TV? I am more of Al Roker fan.
The Brooklyn Half Marathon being Run on St. Patrick’s Day
Another show that I hardly have ever seen.
I got to say this is pretty cool there Jen. Congrats and see you back up here in November.

Seriously you guys did a bunch of stuff this past weekend. I hope you guys had a blast.

How Far Is It From…..

Looks like New York City is going to be a favorite destination for a bunch of our friends from Memphis and from all parts of the world. We love it and hope that our schedules mesh so we can spend some time catching up. One question that we get a lot from our friends is “How far is it from where you live?”

If you look at the greater part of Manhattan north of 14th Street it resembles a rectangle. The streets are mapped out in a grid and it is pretty easy to give directions; instead of saying “1300 First Avenue” you can say “1st Avenue between 71st and 72nd.” When we lived in the UES we found that it was a bitch getting cross town. However, when going North and South it was pretty easy. To give you good way to put the city into quadrants; 5th Avenue is the East/West Line and 59th Street is North/South Line. People would ask us all the time where should they get a hotel. We found that even though it was chaos 24/7 around Times Square it was the best starting place because of it being centrally located in Manhattan. The Surrey and The Mark hotels are very nice hotels but being tucked up by 77th and Madison Avenue makes it hard getting downtown or around the city. Same goes with the Upper West Side. (Sorry UWS Holly)

When we were looking for places to live we found that Downtown Brooklyn was a really good option for a number of reasons. For starters it is 2 subway stops from Manhattan. Add to that we have over 13 different subway lines to pick and choose from to get into the city. This really helps when lines are down on the weekend. We looked briefly at Long Island City over in Queens to live but ruled that out when looking at subway options. The L line was slated (at the time we were apartment looking) to be shut down and the 7 train always has issues so that was ruled out.

When saying that having 13 different subway lines to pick and choose from is a big deal let me explain further. If I want to get to the West Side of Time Square or Penn Station I would take the 2/3 from Nevins Street. If I wanted to get to the East Side of Manhattan and say Grand Central I would take the 4/5 also from Nevins. If I was going to the West Village I might take the A/C from Hoyt & Schermerhorn. And If I was going to say a certain cigar joint in the UES I would take the Q from DeKalb. (Confused Yet?) Let me tell you about a little secret that a lot of New Yorkers use on a regular basis. Google Maps is your best friend. To say that I use that app more than anything is an understatement. It can give you quickest the subway routes and if MTA has their act together it can give you a pretty good spot on schedule.

Now with anything there are always exceptions, and even Google Maps can fail you from time to time. If it is the weekend they will take down lines and or stations for maintenance. Sometimes Google gets that news but in the case of yesterday when there were electrical fires because of the snow and ice. This can create some anxiety if you are not used to the subway but the uniformed agents on hand are always helpful to give suggestions. Hell even fellow New Yorkers are happy to give you advice. It is almost a game with some people in giving the best suggestions. Trust me.

That being said here are some aprox travel times from our joint in Crime-Free Downtown Brooklyn direct to various spots in the city;

  • Downtown Brooklyn to Grand Central – 28 minutes via the 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Times Square – 30 minutes via Q or the 2/3
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Cigar Inn in the UES – 34 minutes via the Q
  • Downtown Brooklyn to 9/11 Memorial – 20 min via the 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Empire State Building – 25 min via the B or Q
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Red Rooster in Harlem – 44 min via the 2/3
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Maya’s Dog Groomer – 39 minutes via 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Yankee Stadium – 47 minutes via the 4
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Mary Louise’s Office in Summit NJ – 1hr 22 min via the 2/3 to Penn Station then NJ Transit to Summit NJ (I suspect she goes to Japan to avoid this commute)

Not that I don’t love Taxi’s or Uber/Lyft but you will pay more and 99.9% of the times be delayed due to traffic depending on the time of the day.

The Red Dot at the bottom is our pad. Getting into lower Manhattan is a breeze and taking express trains can cut a normal 45 min car ride in half.
Of course when your 2 of your main arteries are shut down it makes for an interesting travel day. I guess you could say that 240 was shut down that day.

So who is coming to see us?

Happy Anniversary Papua New Guinea Mike & Claire! Also Pictures of the week.

Right out of the gate I would like to wish my good friends PNG Mike and his lovely (and saint of a) wife Claire a happy Anniversary! PNG Mike and Claire were married 6 years ago and we were there to witness the event and had a blast! I look back on 6 years ago and think about the ton of stuff that has happened between that beautiful March 1st day and now and WOW. Cancer, Move to NYC, Rolls Royce, British American Tabaco, Reflexology Barn – life is changing after you get >40 and it isn’t all that bad.

One of the most ironic events that comes to my mind is that on the morning of the wedding we had “Kegs n Eggs” with the boys. There were about 20 of us at the table and I was seated across from Claire’s Uncle. He and I were exchanging pleasantries and he asked what my thoughts of England were so far. I told him that I was a little worried that BBC1 was excited that it was going to ‘almost’ get into double digits on the Celsius scale. (Almost 47 degrees for you Fahrenheit people) 6 years later we are living in NYC and we are supposed to get a snowstorm and the temp won’t get above 1C tomorrow. In all seriousness, Happy Anniversary guys.

We have had a long week and are glad that Mary Louise is coming back today. Right before the snowstorm and crappy cold weather. Anyway here are some pics from that great weekend 6 years ago and some from this week in Manhattan/Brooklyn.

I guess one has to stretch the Hamstrings before getting on the 4/5
6 Years Ago at Kegs N Eggs – No lies were being told here. Not at all!
This could be a problem
Love the Trainers (Chuck Taylor’s) for the wedding. Oh and Claire’s dress was nice too!
Some of our friends have asked when we are going to Belize this year. Some “guy” we know is going to celebrate 50 trips around the sun during this time.
I see this sign (a block from the apartment on State Street) and miss NOLA.
Shout out to all my NOLA Friends this weekend.
Yo Taco Girl! I Saw this and made me laugh!
That is the most hair PNG has had in a while! Again thank you for having us to your party and Happy Anniversary!

Have a good weekend!