Drove down to meet up with Sean in New Haven. It only took about 2 hours to get there – there were tons of speed traps and stupid truck drivers, making it a “60-70mph” drive. Even so, Sean’s interview went long, so I had about 45 min to hang out before he got back. We took a mini-tour of Yale, got a quick bite, and then hit the road to the Big Apple.
Lots of traffic on the cross-Bronx expressway. So we got off at 3rd Ave, and decided to (quite literally) slum it through Harlem, from 190th St. all the way down to 71st St. From there, we headed west, and actually (through a ripe bit of luck) found free street parking right off of 5th Ave, on 70th St., next to Central Park! Then the walking began!
Walked down 70th to Madison. Down Madison to 58th St. Then turned right, and took 58th St. westward, across the bottom end of Central Park. (Past the Palace Hotel, and over to Columbus Circle.) Last time I was in New York, they were still building the Trump Tower and Hotel – so I hadn’t seen it completed. What a boring building. Not as boring, and right next to it, was the new (to me, at least) Time Warner Center. We went in, checked it out, and got some coffee.
As we walked up Broadway, it started to rain. Or drizzle. Or something – it was wet, but not horribly so. However, all I had was a leather jacket, and it was certainly chilly out.
The goal was to find a place for dinner. Blake might join us, and so after a small consultation with my uncle, we locked down a place: Carmine’s. There are two locations; one is mid-town, the other is near 91st and Broadway. After calling the mid-town location for a reservation, I was informed that they were booked for the night. So, we continued walking north. Eventually we made a reservation at Uncle Nico’s (awesome Greek food – hadn’t been there in years!) and then the 91st St. location for Carmines. Then we walked back down to a Barnes and Noble to rest up and relax at for a little while.
In the end, turns out Blake couldn’t make it uptown – he was too tired, and I’ll see him in a week in LA anyways! (If he wasn’t coming out here, I’d have made the effort to go down to Greenwich Village to meet him, but it was rainy and bleh, and it was already nearly 8:30pm.) So we walked up to Carmine’s to see if we could change our reservation. On the way, we passed a bus-stop ad for “Air America”, with liberal idiot Al Franken on the cover. Literally 4 seconds later, we saw Franken walking our direction. Weird.
Carmine’s is a big-ass Italian restaurant – total family style. Like Buca di Beppo. We got the chicken marsala and garlic & oil pasta. Soooo good! Leftovers will go to Sean, since he’s the local. We decided for dessert to pass up on the HUGE tiramisu, and instead go to Peppermint Park, an ice-cream parlor I remembered on the east-side. We walked to Central Park West, and shortly after passing the residential building used in Ghostbusters, we snagged a cab to take us cross-town. It was the perfect NYC Cab Experience. Driver who spoke little/no English. Smelled like bad body odor. Broken handle on the cab. At least the seatbelts worked! Then we walked a few blocks, and couldn’t find the place. Turns out it closed down years ago. Damn. So we got a little dessert at this other small place whose name escapes me now.
Content and full, we walked back to the car, and then hit the road back to New Haven. Got in around 12:45am. I need to wake up at 7:30am, since I have to meet Presby for breakfast in Groton. (Obviously this entry has been backdated so it shows up on the Friday, and not Saturday.)