As I stood in the shower this morning, it dawned on me that I forgot to upload some pictures for some posts. Then I thought it wouldn't really matter but in some cases it would. Plus there is one spot that had me thinking about the past a bit that needs some clarification on. That spot is not Ground Zero either. No political rant coming there.
I think the mark of a great trip is when in the waning hours, you realize you will be leaving this group of friends and going back to "your" world. For me, that is when the melancholy sets in. I try to shrug it off and plow forward in an attempt to make the last hours that much more meaningful. Then I sit back and reflect on the past days and why exactly I was there and how I would miss these people for a couple of months.
Years back I decided I was going to take advantage of what opportunities presented themselves. To get out and meet the people I had met. It usually meant embarking on a trip by myself into the great unknown. Well, now it is a trip to a place unknown to get together with friends. Who would have thunk that writing up crazy thoughts about drinking and gambling would lead to such travels?
Enough of that. Who wants to hear about how a gypsy cab driver tried to roll me? My flight out of Milwaukee was delayed by about 30 minutes. I let the Rooster know with a quick text just before boarding. When the plane touched down in Newark, New Jersey, I had a message telling me to take a cab to his apartment instead of meeting them at a bar around Penn Station. Being tired and waiting to catch a second wind, I grabbed my bags and started walking towards the taxi line. En route, I was approached by a gypsy driver offering to take me in for $76. Having read Pauly's post, I figured it was kinda high* but to an extent, I didn't care. I just wanted to get there. As we drove out of the airport lot, he hit me up for tolls. He wanted $12 to cover them. I gave him some cash up front thinking this was bullshit but being tired pressed on.
His car was an older Lincoln Town car. Judging by the way the engine struggled at times, it had seen better days. At some points I thought the vehicle would break down on the road but luckily it didn't.
We made good time into the city but then got hung up on the Hudson freeway by an accident. That sucked. It also pissed off the driver as it took us about 30 minutes to go about 4 miles. 4 lanes of traffic converged into 1 and no one wanted to let a car in front of them.
We got off the freeway at 125th street an headed into Harlem. Ok, white boy from Midwest going into Harlem. This could be interesting. It was. Lots of modern store fronts followed by shuttered ones. Good looking area followed by bad. Even worse, the driver wasn't sure where he was going. He overshot the area by about a mile and we headed back.
Soon enough we were going down the correct street and I found the Rooster's apartment. As I got out of the cab, the driver tells me it will be $95. Oh hell no! I told him right away I wasn't giving him that. Having paid him $11 already (I had only one single to give him when he asked for the toll money), I gave him $80 bucks and told him we were good. I usually wouldn't give a small tip like that but he tried to change the price. Bastard.
Pauly was at the front of the apartments. He wanted to stall me from walking up. Apparently they had a bet going on when I would walk through the door. Just one of many bets made that weekend.
I had enough time to drop my bag, greet everyone, and drink a Spaten before we were out the door and heading to the bars. Night 1 was on and would prove to be interesting. Our first stop was the P&G cafe. I would go into too much detail on this place right now. Full bar review coming up.
Second stop was a place called Yogi's (sp?). The Rooster promised nice bartenders and he wasn't kidding. I wish I would have brought a camera. The lungs on this girl were huge. She had some major Howitzers packed inside the tank top. Plus, she had some sass which worked out well. Yogis was a long bar with two cute bartenders and a big black dude bouncing. Beside the nice melons on display, the highlight of the place was either the NY Jets pinball machine, the $2 cans of PBR, or maybe the drunk guy who dropped a full bottle of Wild Turkey on the floor just before leaving.
More of the other bars and places I have seen tomorrow. I should have some pics up as well. Until then, a comment that was made as we took a cab through the neighborhood known as the East Side of Manhattan. I leaned over to Iggy and told him that was where the Jeffersons lived.
Stock update: Market was bad. Stock was good! Up 73 pennies to just over 9 bones. I may have to open my investment shop with all the profit I am going to be making.
*According to a taxi driver, that rate actually isn't high a rate from Newark. About right including tolls.