Holy Crap! I’m in New York!

I always wanted to shine on broadway. Does a greasy sheen count?

Holy Crap!

I completed the escalation this week, well ahead of the estimated schedule. I actually did much more than I was sent here to do, but the field service guy here seemed pretty overwhelmed. It would cost about $750 to send me home a day early, so I opted to go into the city for a few hours on my “day off.” I’ve never been to the Big Apple, and I’m opportunist anyway… you never know when this will be the only chance you get to do something stupid, so you better jump on it! Or… off it, as the case may be…

Anyway, I took the metro from Beacon to Central Station. The trip was more expensive than I expected, which was silly of my. Everything out here is more expensive than I expected. I feel bad for the people who have to pay that everyday (almost $40 for a round trip peak time ticket), but I’m operating under the assumption that the cost of living adjusts for it. I know… I’m an ass. Train ride was about 1hr 20 minutes, which is enough time for 3 small naps. I’m getting old, and I need to catch up on my beauty sleep. Um. Yeah. I’m just really, really behind on that.

I walked up from Central Station to Times Square. It was just as chaotic as I expected it to be. No mugging excitement, but I did get accosted by a group of wanna-be rap stars. One of them wanted me to buy a cd, the somehow I was buying cds from all 4 of them. I was tired, confused, and an easy mark apparently. Failed that test, so I rewarded myself with some delicious NY Pizza for lunch. Wow. That last sentence makes just about as much sense as I thought. I wandered up from Times Square towards Central Park. I wandered into a souvenir shop on the way, and thus completed the rest of the adventure with a medium size “HI! I’M A TOURIST” sign in my hand. Like the frequent picture-taking wasn’t bad enough.

Central Park. This was my favorite part of the trip, probably because it was so calm and quiet compared to the rest of the city. It was filled with nice live music (live jazz and classical, mostly), kids playing, and really cool glacially formed rock formations.

Fine. I'll just grow around you then.

Fine. I'll just grow around you then.

I didn’t get very far through the park, though. I made it as far as THE LAKE (seriously… that’s what it’s called on the map), took some pictures, and decided to park it in the park for a while. This is about the time when I really started feeling stupid for not brining my camera on this trip. I never actually planned on having the time to go anywhere, but this is the first time I haven’t taken in on a trip. Most of the pics taking on my cell phone were substandard at best. Ah well. I hung around for a while listening to music and smoking cigarettes when I came to a sudden realization: where were all the infamous New York douche bags? New York is legendary around the world for the high surplus of general douche-baggery, and I had gotten to witness (or be on the receiving end) of any of it. I thought perhaps New Yorker’s had discovered some sort of odd sense of community and goodwill towards one another. Or maybe there was something in the water. I was not to be disappointed, however…

On the way back to Central Station, I was waiting on a corner for the light to change. A gentleman next to me lit a cigarette, and the man in front of us exploded. Figuratively speaking, of course. Picture your typical Hollywood italian mafia thug, and add a heavy dose of a strong New York city accent. He swings around as soon as the cigarette is lit, sweat beading on his chubby Sicilian forehead, eyes blazing with anger, and says,

“Who the fug is dis fuggin guy? I’m offa heeya coffin, and he’s lighting up? Fug this fuggin guy! You heas me?”

Ad nauseum. At this point I expected him to say something like, “My fuggin granmudda died of lung cansaw, and yous smoking next to me? I otta shoot you in you fuggin head.” That would have been funny, I suppose, but it never happened. Instead, his buddy pushes him away down the block, even though he is still turning around every few feet to tell this guy how he really feels about having his personal space invaded by icky second hand smoke. As they are “walking” away, I look over at the smoking man. He looks at me, smiles, shrugs, and says, “Takes all kinds, I suppose.” I laughed, and agreed.

While I only spent about 4 hours in the city, that is more than enough to satisfy my curiosity for a while. Someday, I’d like to come back, do the tour bus thing, and visit the museum. Until then, they can keep the chaos. An interesting place, but not for me.

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