All right, everyone, this post continues and wraps up my time in New York.
The next day (Sunday), Mary and I went to the beach. We hopped on a train at Penn Station and rode about an hour to Long Island. It was a short walk to the beach, and a beautiful day!
"Soy tu hermano, tu mejor amigo para siempre"
Serious jumps have I. Well, actually, only this one. None of my other jumping pics top this air.
After the beach, we embarked on an adventure that was accidental - but not "yay" accidental like I like. We had gotten a menu for this place that served a burger with barbecue and hot sauce. Now, a little bit of background info: when I am in New York, I don't eat as much. This is due to A) being so obsessed with all there is to see and do that my mind is not on eating (this is a great thing but it shows me how much I think about eating when I'm at home); B) having only a certain amount of money to spend and wanting to spend as little as possible on food so that it can go toward DOING more things; C) getting hot while expending energy walking everywhere and therefore really only desiring something cold to drink instead of a hot meal to eat.
HOWEVER...when I read about this burger, I NEEDED it. It sounded SO delicious (and by this time I'd been in New York for a couple of days and not eaten much "real" food) that I was determined to get one before we left. I put the address into my phone, got the route, and we started walking.
In completely the wrong direction.
The little blue dot that was "us" on my iPhone (yes, my phone has a Marauder's Map - what up) was right at the "end destination" marker, but the place, the name of which I've since forgotten, wasn't anywhere to be found. I checked the address and my phone had decided to guide us along WEST Park Avenue instead of EAST Park Avenue. Blah. Happily, there was a diner right there so we ate there instead. But I am sure that my barbecue/hot sauce burger would have satisifed way more than the burger with way too much lettuce and too many tomatoes.
So. After we ate, we had to run so quickly that I was 80% convinced I was going to pass out in order to catch the train. We barely made it and as soon as I'd gasped my way back into full consciousness, I lost it again. We both fell asleep on the ride home.
After much-needed showers and some R&R, we decided to try out the Carnegie Deli. Mary had never eaten there but really wanted to go, and I'm always up for anything I've heard of in New York (and many things I haven't). How could I go wrong with a place Adam Sandler has sung about? Unfortunately, I was about to get my answer.
This place is evil. It lures you in with its "WORLD'S BEST" sign and nonsensically good reputation. However, everything on the menu is absurdly priced and although they won't take credit cards (WHO doesn't take credit cards?! In NEW YORK?!), they have a required minimum of $12.50 per person. Now, that's not hard to make, given that a SANDWICH costs 23 DOLLARS, but I had only budgeted one "nice" (i.e. over $20) meal into my trip and I sure as heck wasn't going to waste it on a sandwich that would require me to undergo a third jaw surgery. They must pack like 4 lbs of meat onto those things - I would've puked later anyway.
We decided to get cheesecake for dinner. We'd heard that their cheesecake was the best in the world and we were already there, so why not? However, we also had to get chocolate shakes in order to make the minimum check.
The service was terrible. Our waiter didn't say ONE single thing to us that wasn't absolutely crucial communication. It was like one of those dumb team-building exercises without the bonding. The servers allowed dishes to crash so loudly into the sink every two minutes that you'd think they were getting paid based on how many people jumped out of their seats. However, one good thing came out of this trip.
Oh. My. Gosh. It was the best thing in the entire world. I consider it an innocent piece of goodness and wonderfulness trapped in a world of evil. I would gladly be the gallant knight that returned to rescue it again and again....only in a to-go box from now on. (The pickles were wretched.)
Really, I hate to complain, but it gets worse. By the end of the meal, the waiter's rude behavior was so unbelievable to us that we had decided not to tip. (I am a HUGE tipper. I believe in over-tipping, and tipping decently even if the service wasn't the best. So allow this to tell you, if I have been heretofore ineffective in doing so, how awful this experience was.) I had enough change to combine with Mary's cash to make the amount on the check. So we pooled our money and headed off to pay in the front of the restaurant like we'd been instructed. Guess what happened next?
The waiter RAN up to us and said, "Tip. You need to leave a tip for the service."
I said, "...What?"
He must have thought I didn't understand him, so he wrote the word "TIP" on the back of his notepad. I was utterly confounded.
Luckily, my sister's street smarts are the yin to my doe-eyed yang, so she quickly said, "We need to get change up front, then we'll come back and leave the tip." This convinced the waiter and he went off to probably break some china in the sink.
We went to the front, paid, and TOTALLY left. Ha. Showed him. I hope. I still kind of felt bad, as this was a new and scary experience for me. But not really. But a little.
ANYWAY. We went to a supermarket so I could get yogurt for the next couple of mornings, and Mary got a slice of pizza at a hole in the wall on the way back to her place. We gave ourselves pedicures and watched a movie, then made an early night of it.
The next day, Mary went to her gym in the morning so I roamed about as I pleased. I spent some time in Whole Foods in Union Square with an iced coffee and my special New York Moleskine that Ryan got for me. I did a little bit of journaling about what we'd done so far, all while enjoying the view.
Afterward, Mary and I met up and had another picnic in Central Park (hey, I only get so many chances!).
Afterward, we took some sweet pictures.
That night, we met our "cousin" (her grandpa and my Pi are brothers) Emily at Serendipity III! After the Carnegie Deli, I was SO glad to go to a well-known place in New York that I loved as much as I had hoped I would. It was so CUTE! And the food was delicious.
The menu was HUGE - not that it had a ridiculous selection, but it was literally HUGE.
Frrrozen Hot Chocolate! So delicious!
This was the sandwich I had. It had turkey, sprouts, Fuji apples, and Brie. Delicious!
After dinner, we went upstairs to take a picture of the fireplace shown in the movie. We're tourists like that. Well, I am at least.
(Check out Mary in the corner of the photo. She was fed up with how many pictures I was taking.)
Early Tuesday morning, I boarded a train to Princeton to meet a dear friend's baby boy. He is so, so cute and SWEET! It was great to see all of them.
After that, I went back to the city and met up with Mary again. We spent the afternoon shopping. At Macy's they had really cool, old wooden escalators.
We met up with Gabe again for dinner. We went to an awesome Thai place called Room Service.
Mirrors on the ceiling. Cool!
This is my yummy Chicken Pad Thai. Yes, I take dumb food pictures. I am, indeed, one of those.
After dinner, we got cupcakes and went over to Gabe's apartment to watch a scary movie! I think I amused them with my screaming and shouted predictions ("HE'S UNDER THE BED!") Luckily they had both seen it before so I didn't ruin anything for them.
Anyway, the next day it was time to leave. Mary had to go to work so I hung out at her apartment and packed, then was off to the airport.
I had a great time! It is definitely tons of fun to see all the typical sights, but I also really enjoyed just walking around and doing whatever. Thanks, Bruther, for hosting me!