NYC Journey – Days 2 and 3

The last blog post was about the first day of traveling in New York. Due to a lack of time, the decision was made to group day 2 and 3 into the same blog post.  Here are a few highlights of the two days.

Day Two’s First Stop – The High Line

After the first day of walking around nonstop, I woke up fully rested, and a little soar. After a few stretches and deep determination, I ventured out into the snow to walk the High Line. For those who do not know, the High Line is a reclaimed train rail system that displaces public art and is a beautiful walk way.

The first panaramic photo is from 11th Ave and 4th St. Due to the snowy conditions, the rest of this side of the High Line was closed. 


While walking to the other end of the High Line, there were nice pieces of art and political commentary.  Here are just a few examples:




The other end of the High Line ends in the Meat Packing District.

Once departing from the High Line, it was time to grab lunch.  Since I was in the Meat Packing District, it only made sense to grab a decent burger.

Near the exit of the High Line was a Bill’s Bar and Burgers location. Though I asked for a medium rare burger, the staff must have misheard and cooked it medium well.  Other than the overcooked meat, the meal was really good.  The pretzel bun was a nice touch; plus the pickles were a hybrid sweet-dill style. The chili on the chili fries came with chunks of ham, and the strawberry shake really hit the spot.

Madison Square Garden – AKA Mecca

The hostel in which I said was only a few blocks from Madison Square Garden, so it is only natural that I would have to check out The Garden.  Lucky for me, the Big East Championship was in town.  The bad news, Friday night’s semi final games were almost sold out.  By the time I got to the ticket stands, the only tickets left were $120…yikes!!

So, what’s a guy to do?  Haggle with a scalper.  The first couple of scalpers were a little too shady, but I finally found a man who was willing to bargain.  After talking him down $40, I was able to get a ticket before the first game started.

In the main lobby area, Villanova’s pep band was playing some great classic fight songs.

The first game saw Villanova battle Seaton Hall.  During the first half of the game both teams looked sloppy. Missed shots, missed opportunities both offensively and defensively. It was surprising to see Villanova play this way; but then again, I hadn’t watched a full Villanova game this season, so what do I know about it?

What’s funny is that a guy sitting in the same row as me wore a Villanova hat, but cheering for Seton Hall. Not sure if he was drunk, lost a bet, or a was a last minute band wagoner.

During the second half of the ball game ‘Nova came out stronger and Seton Hall started cracking under the pressure.  Even though Villanova got the win, both the Seaton Hall and Villanova fans sitting next to me were very respect of one another.  In fact, it was a pleasure and a treat sitting next to these fans.  I only wish I could say at the same about the next game.

What is it about Xavier fans!?!?!  Maybe it was just the three rows of fans that sat next to me, but DAMN!  They took annoying fanbase to a whole new level.

Seriously, these fans were worse than “Whoo Girls” at an all you can drink ladies night event! Every shot, and I mean every shot made by Xavier, in the first 8 minutes of the game, this group stood up, hands in the air, and reacted like their team won the Big Dance.

As you’re reading this, you may be saying, “Big Jer, you may be right, but it’s only a few friends.” No, this wasn’t a few friends.  Again, this group spanned three rows. THREE ROWS!!!  Here are a few examples of what transpired with this group:

  • 6 minutes into the game, the group talked about one of their friends that had a meltdown before the game.  I mean, could you blame the man for a meltdown.
  • While one guy went to get beer for him and his girl, the girl wasted no time hitting on the “friend” sitting beside her. It got so bad that I felt like I was an investigator on Cheaters!
  • On guy bragged about watching a couple making out for a long period of time.
  • Oh, and they all drank their beers from a straw! A freakin’ straw. Though I stopped drinking months ago, never (and I mean NEVER) did I drink beer from a straw.

During halftime of the Xavier game, the fan group continued to grow and starting merging into my row.  Deciding it was best for my mental health, I left and decided to walk around the lobby of the Garden.  Here are some great items I saw walking around the world’s most famous arena:

Day Three – No Sleep Till Brooklyn

For the last day in NYC, I expanded my geographical boundaries, and took the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge.  A good friend had recommended a pizza restaurant located underneath the bridge.

Grimaldi’s is a Brooklyn staple and a must for anyone visiting the Brooklyn Bridge. Their pizzas are cooked in a coal oven, which is appropriate given my West Virginian Italian roots.   As you can see, the place has a classic pizzeria theme.

When visiting Grimaldi’s be sure to bring your appetite; the restaurant does not offer pizza by the slice. Here are a couple of photos from inside Grimaldi’s.

After lunch, I walked around the area to let the pizza settled before crossing the bridge.  There were some great looking murals painted near the Brooklyn Bridge.

The view from dock outside of Grimaldi’s was awesome, and, of course, I couldn’t resist a typical tourist selfie.

While walking to the bridge, I was able to meet two young men from Japan.  They were visiting New York and had been in the city for less than three months.  Though these men had been living in the city, this was their first walk to the Brooklyn Bridge…in fact, it was their first time to Brooklyn.  The two men were surprised to hear I was only in town for a few days, but when I explained the flight is only two hours, the quickly understood.  What surprised them even more, was that I visited the city alone.  They applauded me for the courage to visit the city solo, and when I again reiterated the two hour flight, they didn’t flinch with their assessment of courage.  I, in turn, applauded them for their courage to travel to another country and live in it for nearly three months.

Walking across the bridge was incredible.  Even thought it was below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it was still a great walk.  The see the people, look at the cars driving below me, and feeling a strong spirit of community was a lot to take in for me.

 

Closing Notes

Though there are other things I did at the end of my trip, this felt like a great way to end the story.  Not to sound too cheesy, but this vacation opened my eyes in different ways than planned.  In fact, the only plan I had for this trip was to take a few days and get away.  What it turned into was an opportunity to clear my head and gain new experiences.

If you have ever thought about taking a solo vacation somewhere, but never have, I strongly recommend it.

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About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

4 Responses to NYC Journey – Days 2 and 3

  1. Steve Grimsley says:

    Jeremy, Glad you had a good time in NYC.  Thanks for sharing.  I hope all is going well with you and yours. Steve Grimsley Steve_Trisha2002@yahoo.com

  2. Dave lewis says:

    Good post-narrative. Great story, but an even greater resolve to “do it your way, alone”. Takes serious intestinal fortitude to face being alone, away. You’d make a good candidate for motorcycle riding. Thanks for sharing.

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