"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted." -- Bill Bryson

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 12: New York, I Love You

New York holds all sorts of promising dinnertime possibilities. Little Italy is our destination so we hop a subway to somewhere around Canal Street and make our way past Chinatown and into the land of the Italians.

Now, at this juncture I must explain some background. At the camp where Sarah, Sam and Francesco spent their summer there was a group of Hungarians who worked in the kitchen. Throughout our entire road trip so far I have only heard horror stories about how awkward and weird this group of Hungarians is. I also have heard that these Hungarians are in New York and Sam keeps claiming if we happen to run into them, he's going to poke out his eyeballs so he doesn't have to see them. I ensured him that New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world and there's no way we would run into them there.


So we wander into Little Italy and I pass some group of tall young guys all wearing matching t-shirts. As I pass, Sarah grabs my arm and pulls me quickly away while whispering into my ear "holy crap, it's the Hungarians!" We turn to see that the boys have run straight into the group and are beyond the point of escaping. We decide to let them chat...and Sarah and I amuse ourselves by looking at the booths and shops nearby selling crosses and rosaries to raise money for the Most Precious Blood Church right in the middle of Mulberry St.

A few minutes later the boys free themselves from the group. We find Alan, who had wandered off in search of food, and attempt to choose one of the millions of restaurants on the street. The problem with Little Italy restaurants is that every place has a man standing on the street who claims to 1. Be Italian and 2. have the best Italian food on the street. Also, the only way to get them to stop talking to you is to just walk away. By the time we escape from 5 different guys, we decide to just sit and eat at the next available location. Our waiter is an obvious Hispanic guy with a horribly fake Italian accent, the food is more or less touristy & unimpressive Italian food. I've had better in Houston (see: Patrenella's or Vincent's). The company is good though, as is the wine, so we enjoy ourselves despite the let down. It's also beautifully cool outside where we're sitting, so it's hard to look back at the place and not think fondly.

We finish dinner and part ways with Alan as we head off to the comedy club.

View Larger Map

It turns out to be a much longer walk than originally anticipated...but we make it safely to this tiny place a bit off the beaten path. Our old friend, Louis, is waiting just inside the door and he sneaks us in to a few seats in the back. The show had already started so we settle in quietly. It is actually a really funny show. A few different comics come on (not including Judah Friedlander...) and I'd say all but one are really hilarious. It's also neat because it's such a small venue (there are only about 20 people in the crowd, making it a much more intimate show).

Sadly, the show comes to an end, as does our last night of our trip. The only thing left for us to do is to find a subway back to our hotel to spend one last night crushed in a king's size bed. Also sadly, the only photo I took during the last bit of our evening was this one:

A photo of a broken walk/don't walk sign.

The only bit of time we have left to spend together is the next morning. Of course, Sarah and I have a 12 hour drive to South Carolina, and the boys are supposed to get on a bus at 7:30am to somewhere in upstate New York to meet a friend of Sam's. A rather hectic 30 minutes occurs in which I run to the car park next door to retrieve my car (couldn't find the ticket for a good 10 minutes which takes a huge chunk of time away from the boys who need to get some stuff out of it) and the boys rush around trying to find directions to said bus station (they miss their bus anyways and end up back in the hotel lobby to wait till the next bus which isn't until about 3pm). We say some hurried goodbyes (I might have gotten a little choked up, so sue me) and Sarah and I leave our boys and head back to real life.

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