Friday, June 20, 2008
I heart New York
"Dammit, I forgot my Purell."
That was my initial thought in the taxi line at LaGuardia Airport last Thursday. I made a colossal mistake. How in the world can you go to New York City without any friggin' Purell?
Costly mistake on my part. I had to bite the bullet and take on the world without
After riding on nearly every train in the under belly in America's most recognizable city, touching hand rails, pushing my way through turnstiles, opening doors to cab after cab, shaking hands with basketball players, coaches, parents and even a ref for three days straight, I'm almost tempted to drive myself to a pressure washer or straight to the Center for Disease Control in downtown Atlanta.
It's Friday now. I've been home for almost a week. I'm still alive. I survived.
Other than fighting off diseases like S.A.R.S. and the West Nile virus, my trip to New York City was outstanding. Just outstanding.
My friend and Brooklyn resident Patrick took me on a whirlwind tour of The City. The first stop was in the Greenwich Village. Why not start with Joe's Pizza. Apparently the pie shop is one of the best in the Big Apple. For two bucks a slice (or something like that), I was sold. The pizza was perfect.
Later that evening we went to a nice Italian restaurant called Bocca in Manhattan. Small but super nice. My pasta was mixed up inside a giant cheese wheel. Very creative. Very tasty. The Nutella tort for desert was money, too.
Back in the day, hamburgers were a major staple on my dietary plan. However, you just can't find a burger like a Whataburger in Georgia. It's all Chick-Fil-A. If I lived in New York, Pop Burger would be my joint.
Do I need to explain more? You get two pop burgers per box and they are the size of a Whitecastle (sorry if you just threw up in your mouth at the thought of a Whitecastle) but the Pop Burgers taste like they just came off of your grill in the backyard. They were so money and they didn't even know it.
Perhaps the highlight of any trip to New York for true authentic food addict is spending time on the famous Arthur Avenue in Little Italy in The Bronx.
Since I was just a block or two away at Fordham University, making the quick trip to Arthur Ave. was an easy decision. I slide over there with a good friend of mine Steve DeMeo, a former assistant coach at Providence College. Great guy and it helped he knew the area. We found Tino's Deli.
Just trust me, go to Arthur Avenue if you go to New York it is worth the trip.
NOT SO GREAT BASKETBALL
I spent three days in the Bronx. There is probably a joke that should follow that line. I just can't muster one up. (Maybe an ameba got into my bloodstream and found my brain after all.)
I spent three days in the Bronx inside of a gym without air conditioning. That’s the joke. Sitting in a gym for a combined 22 hours over three days without air conditioning is worse than being in a prison camp.
There is an unfair knock against New Yorkers. The pigeon hole that they are cast in is that they aren't very nice, quite rude, wear jump suits and gold chains.
People, that's New Jersey.
I met Jesus. And he saved me. Right there on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx. I was granted my ticket to the heavens. This Jesus was also a crackhead and probably homeless and most definitely out of place in Little Italy. But at least my seat in heaven is saved. Thanks Jesus.
Everyone I met in New York was gracious and quite hospitable. My good friend Patrick showed me the city like a seasoned veteran. The Kansas City native has only lived in the city for a year and a half and dude had the subway system on lockdown. If you can experience New York with a local, that's the only way to go. What an experience it was.
I could go on and on about New York. It was a blast. If you can go, go.
Just don't forget your Purell.