We ran into a unique challenge during our NYC trip. We found we had local friends who were all up for late nights (laaaaate nights) and other traveling friends who were more likely to (stay out not quite as late) be ready to go earlier in the morning. B and I wanted to spend time with both, so there wasn’t much sleep on the itinerary. I’m not talking early mornings… just earlier mornings than we may normally choose after a 4:00AM bedtime… Not that we’re often out until 4:00AM.
Somehow we made it up and to Top of the Rock with SC and TP at a reasonable hour on Friday morning. The plan was to keep the super touristy stuff as much off our weekend agenda as possible, thus minimizing inevitable crowds. Thanks to some much appreciated help from friends arranging our tickets, we waited in a few lines, but it wasn’t so bad. After taking about 400 photos of the spectacular view, we headed to meet SS and MS and walk over to the MoMA for some culture and food.
Food wasn’t originally on our MoMA agenda, but we faced the need for a relatively large table and we didn’t want lunch to take too long, so we opted for one of the MoMA cafés. Enroute, we were lucky enough to pass by the 5th Ave. Veteran’s Day parade. We had enough veterans in our party to throw our own parade, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to stop and watch with. Given that patriotism, police officers and bag pipes are three things that (when put in the right context) are sure to make me cry, though, I was glad to have B there to keep me from feeling too silly.
After we watched a bit of the parade, we made our way to the MoMA. For a museum restaurant that really does look like a semi-fancy cafeteria, they had a pretty impressive menu, including a decent wine selection that I would have taken advantage of had it been later in the day. Instead, I opted for an iced tea and mushroom tart while B went with a bacon Panini. We were lucky to find 6 seats all together… which was a good thing since we needed the company while we waited for our food… and waited, and waited. Everyone else in our party got their food, but B and I weren’t so fortunate. It seems they forgot our order. It wasn’t ideal to have everyone else wait for us while we ate after they finally tracked it down, but at least the food was worth waiting for.
After lunch, we spent a couple hours walking through the museum and later shopped 5th Ave. Before long, it was time for me and B to head back to the hotel and get ready to make our way to Jack Demsey’s to watch the UK vs. Marist game. Jack Demsey’s is the NYC home of the KY Wildcats. I knew we would be in good company when we walked up to the door (me in UK hat, B in UK shirt), and were told, “You guys are upstairs” before we ever got a word out of our mouths. Man, were we ever upstairs. We walked smack into the middle of a UK pep rally. We arrived just in time, managing to snag the last table for two in the upstairs bar.
What followed after that were great fans, fight songs, really bad beer (Miller Lite, anyone?), terrible service, pretty decent food, a UK win and lots of this. B was jealous that I know all the words… Okay, maybe he wasn’t, but it made me feel better to think that.
It was dark, so no photos of our food, but B was happy with his Bangers and Mash and my Steak Frites weren’t half bad. From what the people at the table next to us said, it’s normal there (during UK games, at least) to have to go to the bar and ask for menus then wait 30-45 minutes for someone to take your order. That part was pretty disappointing, but we were both caught up enough in the atmosphere that it really didn’t matter. We had a great time.
From there, we were off on another night of friends and bars… lots of bars thanks to our Seattle, now NY, friend, MB a who joined us after dinner. After a visit to the La Quinta patio (yes, La Quinta) and a lower Eastside bar crawl, we found our way back to our hotel in Gramercy Park again at about 4:00AM. At least no one can say we wasted any waking hours.