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Josh's friend Will was kind enough to host us for our two nights in "the city." He lives in a stereotypical New York City apartment in the Murray Hill area (so he said). Parking is not the easiest thing to do, but we found a place to leave my car and caught a cab to the apartment. A boring afternoon of sitting on the couch, watching ESPN and making then changing plans for the evening ensued.
If you were wondering, it is rather difficult to plan an evening out when coordinating 2+ groups of people. Even more so when one of the two groups is incredibly fickle. Once the non-committal UofM grads finally got their act together, I could fill the easy-going Villanova grads in on the plans.
The first bar, which I believe was called The Delancey, was horrible. It could have been fun had there been more space available on the roof, but each table was reserved. The downstairs/inside area was a) empty b) expensive c) no fun. Yes I understand that b) is to be expected in NYC, but it is only worth mentioning when a) and c) are present as well. The only highlight was when Matt, Doug and Andrew showed up. Once they met up with us, there was no need to stay there.
Croxley Ales (I think that's the name) was the next destination. We segregated somewhat at this bar, for me to catch up with my friends and Josh to catch up with his, before the two groups converged somewhere else later in the night. Croxley was the place where Doug and Andrew bid us goodnight and Scottie joined the fun. Rumor has it: Croxley Ales has a pretty mediocre order of chicken fingers.
To this point, the night has been fun, sure, but it was Josh's birthday so the stop at the next place needed to be only a brief one (for a few pitchers of sangria) before we moved on. Not including carry out from the diner by Will's apartment, our final destination was Chelsea Piers. Someone said that where we went may have been called the Frying Pan or something like that. It was a party barge hosted by a contingent of proud Italians where they played loud European techno. We would not have stood much of a chance getting into the party had one of Josh's friends not gone to bat for us with the bouncer. It was like watching a live take of Jim Carrey on the elevator with one particular woman in the movie Liar Liar...
I was not surprised to learn that it was not the first time that Matt had employed his tactic of walking up to random women, placing his index finger on their head and flat out ordering them to spin around like a ballerina. If I had to picture my sister-in-law coming up with two words for this method, I would guess "offensive" and "degrading." If I had to come up with two words of my own they would be "surprisingly" and "effective." Kudos, Matt.
Like a preoccupied parent in a busy department store, I lost Scottie at one point. There was no need to panic when I found him shortly thereafter standing behind the giant stage. The real show, he taught us, was not seeing the drunk people party from the front, it was watching, from behind, the two girls in short shorts at the back of the stage. Everything he does is gold; some things never change.
Friday held much of the same from a broad perspective. After I woke up at the crack of dawn (9:30am) and took the $9 cab ride to my car so I could move it for the street cleaners and did what felt like a walk of shame all the way back to Will's apartment, the day began.
We had an awesome lunch at Tao on 58th, which I will post about separately. After lunch we walked down 5th Ave, and through Times Square for a bit before finding ourselves back on Will's couch with a pair of 6-packs to watch (I can't believe I'm about to admit this) the Yankees game. We had plans to be at Matt's apartment by 8 to grab food before we went out, ultimately to go to a bar where Will was offered free shots whenever he comes by because the bouncer thought he and Josh were from Harlem. That's right. Josh. From Harlem. Be patient, I'll explain that in due time. There was a small set-back in our schedule however.
While we were starting to get ready for our night out, we had the radio on. At one point, we heard one terrible song and changed the station. It was on the next station, too. And the next. We could not figure out why a song with such simple (see: stupid) lyrics could be so popular as to be on so many stations on a Friday evening. Our good friends at Google, combined with the glory that is Youtube saved the day. One of the three of us may or may not have seen some kids on the BET show 106 and Park promoting that very same song and the dance craze that accompanies it. We easily killed an hour and a half watching some HILARIOUS videos on Youtube for the Chicken Noodle Soup Dance (and Nurse Kate).
Will was actually letting it rain, as the song goes, outside of the bar when he was confronted by the bouncer. "Are you guys from Harlem?" The Chicken Noodle Soup Dance is sweeping through Harlem and before we got our hands on it, was known by very few (white) people outside of New York. We proclaimed Chicken Noodle Gospel to friends from all over on the rest of our trip. High comedy.
Also included in Friday night were two trips to the same bar, book ending the bar where Will now gets free shots. Tonic was an interesting place, but nothing special. The place was absolutely packed for what ended up being the longest baseball game in the history of the MLB. We could not stand the place while it was that crowded which led to our going next door. We went back when we thought the place would be more fun since the other place was basically empty.
Our return trip to Tonic meant good times. Let me start the story on a highlight, Will met a girl. From there, it is all downhill. When the writers of Wedding Crashers described the "stage 5 clinger" they had not met "Alicia." There is debate about whether he enlisted the correct man's help in getting rid of her by asking my brother's friend Josh (different Josh...who lives in NYC and was able to join us) to be mean to her. I didn't know he had asked Josh for help, so I came into the conversation late.
Alicia: Why would you say that? That is so rude.
Me: Rude? Josh? No. Not possible. (Knowing it was not only possible, but probable.)
Alicia: He told me that he wished this pole would fall on my head.
Me: He would never say something like that.
Alicia: He just did!
Josh: No, she's right. I did say that.
Come on. That's funny. He said he wanted the pole to fall on her head! Wow. You have a warped sense of physical comedy. And not even that was enough to get this girl to leave poor Will alone. I love New York (enjoy that, I don't say it often).
I almost got an omelet from the diner that night, but I had an overwhelming urge for something...fried.
Stay tuned for East Coast Road Trip Part III - One for the Books "Down the Shore."
Number of consecutive days eating chicken fingers: 3.
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