New York State of Mind
Okay, so in light of this magnanimous trip we are about to take to New York for Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend next month, I’m going to give you would-be travelers a recap of our last trip the city a few years back so you’ll have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into…
But before we talk about NYC, I have to tell you about Florida…
The whole thing started when Mark Foster, a good friend of mine I’ve known since high school, and I went out to happy hour here in Houston on a hot summer day to drink back a few drinks and catch up since he was in from Austin. Well a few drinks must have turned into twenty-two drinks because one second, we were talking about how broke and bored we were at Red Lobster, and the next second, we wake up and its 9am at some motel in Jasper, TX. The hilarious thing was that we meant to take a road trip to San Diego to go visit our buddy Josh. The proof was on the laptop map quest, which in our drunken haste, obviously did not get used at all while we were on the road! Well, after ten more hours of driving (reminiscent of Hunter Thompson in Fear & Loathing) , we end up in Panama City, FL and get a room. We spent the next week meeting the weirdest people in the world… (partying a trailer park with pet fish in the sink), getting cozy with a random girl on a catamaran at 3 in the morning while her boyfriend lay passed out in the sand, jumping off trampolines in the middle of the ocean, and getting kicked out of the “biggest club in N. America”, Club La Vela. We basically had the time of our lives. A week goes by and we tuck tail between our legs back home to Houston, getting stuck on that long bridge on I-10 in Louisiana for 2 hours along the way and having some authentic Cajun food at Prejean’s in Lafayette to blow the last of our cash on a $140 meal.
Fast forward two years later… I had just randomly bought two airline tickets to go back home New Jersey with my ex-girlfriend at the time, Tiffany, and I was just calling Mark to let him know. Well, I completely forgot about my Florida debt and ended up having to buy him a ticket as well, not knowing that our departure date was to be an early bird on the morning of his 21st birthday.
The Most Drunken Travel Day Ever
The night before the trip arrives. Mark’s birthday is at midnight and we’re at Sam’s Boat to celebrate the occasion. Any sane person would have had a few and gone home to rest before the flight early the next morning. We are not sane people. We ended up drinking until they closes the bar down and continued drinking in our neighborhood all throughout the night until we found ourselves in the car, raging in the car on the way to the airport. Did you know they serve drinks on the plane on early bird flights? We drank there as well on the way to our layover in Atlanta, where we enjoyed a bloody mary. But that’s not all. We finally arrive at Newark and while walking out of the tarmac and into the terminal, we decide to have some beer. We stayed so long that our luggage was not on the carousel but in an office with red tape around it. Whoa! A 30-minute brake on the train ride to New Brunswick did little to quench our insatiable thirst for alcohol. It took 3 or 4 refusal-to-serve by normal waiters who obviously thought we were too drunk for noon on a Tuesday but we managed to get served at the Buddha Bar and drink away yet another $100 within the first hour in Jersey.
So now we’re at Lauren’s in New Brunswick at about 4pm. She and I are tired and take a nap. Mark, who Lauren absolutely hated at first impression and two days later would hook up with him in New York (they’re still together), felt like a bit of a 3rd wheel and in his obliterated state ended up leaving the house to find debauchery. His recollection told him that he found a convenience store, bought a bottle of vodka and a case of beer, and wanted to go back to Lauren’s. Well the idiot, minus a cell phone or a memory of where the house is, wanders around trying to find us. All the houses in New Brunswick look the same and he ends up walking into the wrong house, completely scaring the old people inside. He wanders around some more and the beer falls through the bottom of the case and he ends up fighting with a bum who tries to steal his vodka from him. Completely bewildered and with no other recourse, he takes a $100 cab ride to NYC (when he could have rode NJ Transit and paid $5 for the train). The next thing I know it and his brother is calling me in the morning with a story that Mark woke up in a 5-star hotel next to 5 strippers and he doesn’t have my number and that I need to go pick him up. Imagine his surprise when I told him there was actually a $5 train…
Now that was just the first day… And the rest of the trip was not much easier. You think Howard and Kumar had it rough? Now we didn’t ride on the back of a cheetah or anything but I did almost hit five deer while on our smoky bone-cruise through North Jersey. And I did completely wreck a rental car (rented from Rent-A-Wreck) on Easton Ave in New Brunswick 20 minutes after I picked up Tiffany from the airport. And yes, I did wake up naked at the hotel in Times Square next to Tiffany while Mark woke up in the bathtub in 2 inches of water because he accidentally turned it on while drunk, eating BBQ, and sleeping. Not only that, but I hooked Mark and Lauren up after they hated each other for the first two days. She actually cried at one point… But now its 3 years later and they are still together and it was all thanks to one too many Irish CarBombs to drink at Smith’s. And yes, them + me and Tiffany, did spend $10 worth of quarters in a Times Square peepshow and eventually got kicked out because apparently, you’re not allowed to be kissing/touching/having sex in those stalls. Not to mention the one where Mark and I got made fun of at the comedy club because we’re from Texas, only to go off on a drunken comedy show of our own before leaving in the middle of the show. But it wasn’t all insane drunken fun. We had some extremely nice dinners in Chinatown and Little Italy, which are right next to each other on Canal Street. I got to see my 3rd grade school in Deal and some sights in Asbury Park, like Springsteen’e first gig at the Stone Pony. We stayed at the Westin in Times Squarre, which was nice, and I saw some good friends in between trips to Central Park (where some gypsy put us in her show), the Museum of Natural History, the MET, Guggenheim, and shopping in the financial district and South Street Seaport. It was an awesome time. And I’m ready to do it all over again with my closest friends.
May 16th – 20th – Who’s coming with me?
Seaview Towers – Lived there in Long Branch, NJ
Elberon in Deal, NJ – 3rd Grade Mikey
Mark & I at the Jersey Shore
Springsteen’s First Gig
The view of our hotel, Westin, from Smith’s Irish Pub
Room with a view and a T-3000
The Gypsy Show in Central Park
South Street Seaport
The baddest limo on the planet
Looking at a dress – Vera Wang’s on Park Ave.