New York City: Great place, great people, great food, not so great, somewhat scary subway, even better, a great place to get a super, killer, mega-awesome, story that's entirely true... mostly.
So my brother and his wife sprung for me to go to New York with them, I'm a broke ass so this type of thing is a fairly common occurance. Sweet. So we left on Friday. When we got to the airport, I found that I didn't really like the thought of flying anymore, which kind of came as a shock to me. Nor did the thought of walking around the streets of Manhattan surrounded by thousands of people because I'm kinda agoraphobic, which basically means that I get very anxious in large crowds. But more on that later.
So we get onto the plane and I have a middle seat which totally blows cause I wanted to sleep. The guy to my right was a decent enough fellow who slept most of the trip and the fuckface to my left was some kind of fucking psycotic who twitched and mumbled to himself the whole flight.
About three or four hours into the flight, psyco boy and sleeping dude decided to switch seats so psyco could get up and down to the bathroom. No big deal. Just after we landed psyco boy decided that he found me offensive, probably picking up on my "Dude, seriously, what the fuck is the matter with you?" energy that I was throwing out, and turns to me and asks me if I think something is funny, like an Arabian thug gangster.
This struck me as odd considering that the whole flight I had been miserable because of this fuckface and didn't recall laughing or even chuckling at any point during the flight. So shortly after the plane stops, psyco boy, and I use the term boy on purpose, jumps up and punches me square in the face for absolutely no reason while I am strapped in my seat and bent over getting my bag and tells me to take "that" home as a souvenier. This shocked me somewhat, as I had been waiting for that fuckface to do something similar. But what also shocked me is that he thought that I could take his weak ass punch back home as a present. Fucking pussy didn't even give me a bruise with a free sucker punch. That's a bitch if I've ever seen one. And really, how fucking stupid do you have to be to hit someone who thinks getting punched in the face is fun, as well as kneeing people in the face and bombing elbows into someone's nose?
Well, I guess there was no way he could have known until my head didn't move and his hand exploded on my awesome dome after his limp-wristed haymaker. So fuckface psyco boy runs to the front of the plane and disappears very rapidly after I look at him with an amused expression and sarcastically tell him"Yeah, okay buddy" and put on my jacket as if I had been swatted on my head by my mom, who by the way hits a hell of a lot harder. My brother's wife and I started laughing as nearly everyone in close proximity began asking me if I wanted to press charges and what-not. And that was my New York welcome.
Now, I would like to point out a few things about me. I'm afraid of heights, large crowds, strangers, homeless people, flying, and $18 cheesburgers. The reason that I bring this up is, that is EXACTLY what Manhattan is about. With that out of the way, I'll continue with my story.
So after my "adventure" on the plane with fuck face pussy boy, we went to retrieve our bags. This in itself was not all that great except my brother, kept pointing at people and asking me if "that was him". This may have been the funniest part about the whole thing. My sister in-law and myself were laughing our asses off, but my brother was FUMING pissed. He probably pointed out 20 different people, and though I repeatedly told him that the bitch in question wasn't there, he continued to ask as if I wasn't looking for him myself.
So after we got our bags, we met our Towncar, which my brother had thankfully called for. The ride was interesting and I amused myself by watching the GPS system as I could slowly feel the amounts of people building around me. We pulled into the Flatotel, and yes that is the name of the place, and we checked in.
Shortly after dropping the luggage off into the room and me being horrified at being on the 40th-ish floor with windows that opened completely, without screens, my brother decided that we should walk around. I thought this was a good idea as my head was filled with my blood curdling screams at being thrown to my death from the window.
As my brother and I got to the ground floor of our hotel, I could feel myself fluff up like a cold pigeon, which if you haven't seen before is rather comical. We exited the building and entered the cold ass air in Manhattan. My eyeballs were everywhere, as I knew the Foot Clan was surely to be prowling the streets at this time of day. Okay so maybe I've seen Ninja Turtles too many times, blow me.
After walking around in this concrete jungle for about 10 minutes, we decided that there wasn't a thing open at this time, (5am) and we thankfully retreated back to the room to plan for the day. When we got back up to the room, I decided that we all needed to take a nap, this time everyone agreed, as we hadn't slept at all the previous night. I laid down on the couch and started to drift off to sleep as my brother came out of the bedroom two minutes later. I asked him if that was the nap and sadly he said yes. And so began a very sleepy walk through Manhattan.
So after I was brutally disappointed but not getting a nap, we decided that we were going to go to get some breakfast. On our way to "Waffle House", I'll explain the quotes later, we stopped at Starbucks. Three Vente Mochas and $15 later we headed back out into the cold streets of Manhattan.
Now this seems an appropriate time to explain what I mean by cold streets. For those of you who haven't been to a city with very, VERY, tall buildings, let me briefly explain a strange thing called downdrafts. Wind blows, wind hits VERY tall building, wind "splashes" against building and the downdraft accelerarates violently towards the ground, sometime reaching speeds in excess of 120mph in extreme circumstances. Now this wasn't the case while we were there but, jackets aren't designed to protect from downdrafts or updrafts which is quite common when the wind bounces off the ground, shooting straight up your shirt and turning your nipples into industrial glass cutters. Not to mention that it was like 45 degrees and I'm from Arizona and everyone knows that water freezes at 60 degrees in Phoenix. Now with that out of the way....
So now with hot coffee in hand we headed towards Times Square. Talk about some big ass TVs. That place was totally cool and was pretty much the only place in the city that we visited, besides Central Park, that seemed very open. It was still early, about 7:00am local time I think, so there wasn't a billion people milling about... yet, but enough to make me rather uncomfortable. Still the Square had me caught up and we continued our early morning stroll towards the "Waffle House".
After about an hour of aimless wandering, my brother finally decided that he really didn't have a clue where the fucking place was and we decided that we would just stop at the cafe the we walked by about 12 times.
So we walked in and stepped into line. Both my brother and I ordered the special of the day, two eggs, two pieces of bacon and some breakfast potatoes. My brother's wife ordered two pancakes and two pieces of bacon. I ordered some coffee as well. We got up to the register and I offered to pay, as I actually started to feel bad about being a freeloader. I almost had a heart attack when the guy told me what the total was. THIRTY FUCKING DOLLARS!!!!! After an awkward moment, Kris decided that maybe we should split the bill. To top it all off, the food was funk, minus the bacon which was really good.
After my second cup of coffee, I was starting to feel a little bit more awake. Alas, this wasn't to last. Our next destination was Ground Zero. The disgraceful attack on the WTC had a very profound impact on me. I knew that seeing Ground Zero was going to have severe consequences on me and so I wasn't really looking forward to it.
So after our funk ass breakfast and about a gallon of coffee later, which seemed to be the theme of our trip, we decided that WTC was where we were headed. How to get there on the other hand seemed to be a bit of a problem. From where we were, it would take us forever and a day to walk there and neither of us wanted to walk anywhere. That only left one way, as we didn't want to pay for a cab. The subway. Now, at this point I knew full well that I was going to be in some trouble, little car filled with a bunch of people didn't really sit well with me.
So we walked down to the nearest correct subway station and puchased our passes for the day, which took about thirty minutes because only one of the terminals was working. So while my brother's wife battled with the malfunctioning terminal I occupied myself by drooling over the yummy German chicks that were using the only terminal that ended up working. Holy crap those chicks were fucking AWESOME in the sack... or so I imagined.
The subway was icky. I felt dirty just walking around in it, and that frightened me because my brother said it used to be a lot worse. So we get down to the actual station and wait for our train which fortunately didn't take long to get there, as I was really starting to sweat bullets because of all the people, that and I knew that the Foot Clan was planning an attack on that very station, in less than five minutes.
So we get onto the train, and we start moving. The train drivers were just about as bad as the cab drivers. I was waiting to see an old woman fly across the car. Fortunately, I didn't have to catch anyone. So after about 15 minutes of travel, numerous people touching me, and me sitting in an icky subway car, we reached our destination, or so we thought.
So we came out of the subway and again walked into the cold outside. We stopped on a corner trying to figure out where we needed to go. As we stand looking like lost and confused tourists, mind you my brother had a copy of "New York for Dummies", which by the way turned out to be a very good tool, adding to the image of confused tourists. Some jackass, walked up to us and stupidly asked us if we knew where an address was... WHILE WE WERE LOOKING AT THE GIANT YELLOW BOOK! Apparently looking like confused and lost tourists reading NYFD is a sure fire way to get people to ask you where something is, though you obviously have no idea where you are to begin with. So after we made it clear that we had no idea where the hell we were, the guy walked away. I had to take a leak so we walked across the street to McDonald's.
I'm not really sure if anyone realizes that a McDonald's without a drive-thru is very odd. Upon returning from the bathroom I found my brother sitting in a booth looking like he was about to die from exaustion. When his wife came out of the bathroom, she was talking to her mother about how shit face hit me and her mom thought it was funny. So after our brief rest, more coffee and my brother finding out where we needed to go, we headed back out.
We walked down a not so crowded street, which was a relief. We walked down a couple of streets that seemed abandoned compared to everywhere else. That is until the bus pulled up. Now, I'm not overly patriotic in any way, but I was kind of disappointed when everyone that came off that bus was from another country. Did I just miss the rush on visiting or are people really that lame to not go? I can't say much because if it wasn't for my brother and his wife, I wouldn't have gone. But I just found that interesting.
So we got to the walkway that wrapped itself around the site and filed in with the crowd. Again the large crowd seemed to creep me out but the site seemed to creep into my bones. Again I found something really odd. EVERYONE SELLS PURSES IN MANHATTAN! Why would anyone sell a fucking purse? How the fuck do you choose your location, "hmmm... I think we should sell fake Coach purses to anyone who walks by to pay their respects to the thousands that died here... Do they actually make money doing so? Anyways, I digress.
Looking out on the site, it didn't really seem that impressive. It was basically a very deep concrete hole in the ground. Through the fences I couldn't really see much anyways. So we walked around and passed countless street vendors selling purses and 9/11 trinkets. Nothing really seemed to bother me, as my defenses were well in place for the site. That is until we saw the memorial. A tall fence with pictures of the buildings, the destruction, the families. None of it really got to me until we came across a picture of a police/fire sergent saluting with tears streaming down his face. That made me get an icky lump of emotion in my throat. This was immediately followed by a sobbing family of one of the lost paying tribute and mourning to a small flower shrine of one of their family members. Each slowly taking turns praying to and touching the flowers. I wanted to vomit and cry. But couldn't decide which. So we walked down the stairs leading to another "lookout" point which was covered by tarps.
So overcome with emotion we decided that we should move on and head back to the hotel. My brother busted some severely nasty ass and almost killed us, seriously I think I heard the dead moan and cover their noses, and we quickly returned to the subway. Again I was on the icky subway, people touched me, it freaked me out, and I think I may have been hallucenating because I was so tired. And yes, I don't know how to spell. So we got back to the hotel and fell into bed and took a four hour nap. Oh, sweet nap.....
So after a sweet ass 4 hour nap, we decided that it was time to go to Central Park on our way to the Natural History Museum. So we got dressed and headed out to the streets. We walked for about 15 minutes and then we came to the entrance to the Park.
Standing proudly before us was a huge golden statue. It was huge and very bright. In fact, it kinda weirded me out. So we walked into the Park, which very quickly became my favorite place in the city. Not only was it nice because it was a forested area, but it was a huge forested area within a concrete jungle. So now that I was comfortable, I started to breathe and we walked around. Once again, I was in awe of the place.
Then I about made a mess of myself because I saw a squirrel. Why this excited me, I have no idea. Probably because I hadn't seen a squirrel in a billion years. So we got a picture which is now posted on my MySpace page. So we walked around for about 45 minutes, then we got a hot dog. Which was yummy. So after the hot dog, we went to the Museum of Natural History.
Just after we cleared the tree line, I puffed back up once again being out of my element.