Monday, January 24, 2011

Nothin' Like A New York Time

The title of this post says it all: There's nothing better than a weekend spent in New York City, especially with a great group of people.

Here's how my weekend went: I woke up early Saturday morning (6 a.m. didn't seem so bad until, oh, say 3 p.m.) and headed to the newly built Intermodal Transportation Center in Wilkes-Barre to catch a bus to NYC.  The game plan was to get there by 10 a.m. (ish) so we could settle in at my friend Caila's apartment and head to the Sunburnt Calf, an Australian restaurant and bar on the Upper West Side, where, upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly bartender who immediately began counting how many of us were in our party so he could supply us with a round of shots.  "Everyone gets a shot when they walk in," he said.  (Hey, that's quite alright with me!)

We waited no longer than 15 minutes before sitting down for a nice breakfast (mine consisted of over-easy eggs, toast, sausage and Screwdrivers) and a barrel of laughs - many of which came at my expense, but hey, I'm an easy-going guy who enjoy making fun of himself.  I figure I might as well let my friends do the same.

SIDE NOTE: I kept my Twitter followers up-to-date throughout the day by checking in to various locations on foursquare and sending way-too-many tweets about our adventures.

That said, our next "check in" location was Central Park, where we took pictures, commented on the many activities taking place and watched some ice-skating.  Sightseeing in the park and shopping (well, only one member of our party opted to drop cash on 5th Ave., but he shall remain nameless) is how we spent the bulk of Saturday afternoon.

For me, though, I have to say I enjoyed people-watching and making small conversation with store clerks and customers.  There's something so special about NYC in that people are so diverse.  Whether friendly or grumpy, I like hearing what people in the city have to say, watching how quickly they move about and seeing the families stroll down the street together.  I know I don't have to say in this space that NYC - or any big city for that matter - is a far cry from life in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (disclaimer: I love living in Wilkes-Barre, but it is nice to look at the world in another light from time to time).

Our evening was spent at M1-5, a club in Tribeca, where some members of our party knew a girl celebrating her birthday.   After a bit of confusion over who purchased what drinks, some pushing to make our way to the bar, and some laughs as some group members couldn't help but crack the rest of us up, we ended the night at a place called Jake's Dilemma, also on the Upper West Side.  The only dilemma? Bars are open 'til 4 a.m. in NYC and my bedtime is much earlier than that, especially having not slept well the night before.  But, instead of wimping out and retiring early, I promised myself to prove that I could last 'til the hour of 4 a.m.  Surprisingly, I did.  Not so surprisingly, I was the first to sleep when we returned back to the apartment.

What can I say?  I need my sleep.  And lots of it.  Good thing Monday is here and normalcy is returned to all.  But, even today, I can't help but ask: When am I going back?

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