This last week’s journey to New York City was a work related trip. I got in on Sunday evening, checked into the hotel, and then headed out with my two co-workers from SF to find some food. We decided to try the West Village, and as we were walking down the street, I spotted an Ethiopian restaurant. Everyone knows I love me some goop on flat bread, so I was down. One of my co-workers had never had it, but he was game to try. I thought it was really good, but I also think I’ve had better in Oakland at either Ensarro or Cafe Colucci.
Once we were done with dinner, we decided to aimlessly wander the streets of New York. We ended up at a pub for a pint, and caught a bit of the ALCS game 7. Then our party diminished by one, and me and the other co-worker decided to check out Times Square.
Sorry to report, there was no debauchery this time.
After tromping through the theater district, my co-worker decided to call it a night, so I was on my own. I decided I wanted to see some more of that ball game, so I found an Irish pub (there are a million of them) and bellied up to the bar. The funny thing, mambo music was blaring out of the jukebox the entire time. No jigs. No reels. No airs. Just mambo. I thought it was a wee bit funny. Anyway, I was watching the game, enjoying the pint or two, but I was really only one of two paying attention. I felt like there had to be a better place to see it, but at the same time, I didn’t want to wander any more. I eventually went back to my room to watch the last inning. And then I called my mom to tell her how big the room was. I had a suite to myself, and it was bigger than my new apartment. (BTW – still haven’t moved, but I’m packing.)
Eventually I got to bed around one in the morning east coast time, which would be ten back home, so still pretty early for me.
Monday was the first day of our training and meetings. I have to say the best part of the trip, work wise, was meeting a bunch of people face to face who I had only emailed, IMed, and telephoned before. My co-worker likened it to the first date with someone you met via on-line dating.
After work, we went to dinner as a crew, I think there were probably 30 people at the dinner. We had “Mexican Themed” food. They called it Mexican, but I’m sorry, that was not Mexican. The guacamole was decent. That’s all I have to say about that. I’ve had better margaritas. After the dinner, a smaller contingent of about 15 ventured to a nearby lounge. From that point on, people began to mysteriously disappear, and the party dwindled. Finally it was just me and the crew from Boston. I had no idea what time it was, but they wanted to make their way over to Times Square (again) and were very keen to have me come along.
So I found myself at another Irish pub, with the 4th pint of Guinness on the evening, having a lively discussion with a pair of guys from the Boston office, when I leisurely looked at my cell to find that it was three in the morning!!! I booked it out of there, got a cab back to my hotel, and crashed.
I made it to work on time the next morning, but I’m not sure how. I chugged two cups of hotel room coffee first thing in the morning, and I know that I would have died had I not. That day went without much incident, and that evening, I finally had some time to myself.
I wandered the East Village for hours, trying to make up mind where to eat, before I finally decided on a Himalayan place. I had the best salad there, with avocados and potatoes in a citrus dressing. Then I hopped in a saloon I’d seen that had gotten my attention. It was the Double Down Saloon. There’s a saloon of the same name in Las Vegas that I spent some time in the last time I was there. It turns out that the one in the East Village is owned by the same man as the one in Vegas. I thought it was pretty cool, plus earned me some bragging rights for having had a PBR or two at both locations. Tuesday was a relatively early evening, as I was back in the hotel around 11.
Wednesday was nothing to write home about in the office, but my Himalayan experience the night before had me craving Burmese food. I knew that my co-worker from SF would be down too, and we decided to put the invite out to everyone. Since the company wouldn’t be picking up this check, only our boss was interested in going. The three of us had a good time, though, and I really felt that it gave us a chance to bond with “The Big Guy in New York” who we really don’t know too too well.
After dinner, the boss took off, and we found ourselves in the East Village again. At this point, the warm place in my heart for that neighborhood was well established. I got in touch with a co-worker, J-lew, from my last job at ZD who is now living in New York, working out of their East Coast office. It turns out she lives in the East Village, too. She came down and had a couple of beers, before showing us the greatest food spot in all the world. It’s called Pommes Frites. Basically, all they sell are fries, Belgian Fries to be exact. And they have a bagillion different dipping sauces. We had pesto mayo, honey mustard, and mango chutney. It was the best late night snack for us three girls to share. J also showed us around the corner to a place called Bamn that was like an old school automat, with vending machines full of hot grilled cheese and chicken strips. Well, my affection for the neighborhood increased to full blown infatuation at this stage. I vow to make many returns.
The next afternoon, I boarded my plane to return back to San Francisco. It had been a good trip, but I was ready to return to my life, get on with the packing and moving, and deal in full time reality. Plus, the food and drink was starting to take its toll. It turns out that I gained five pounds when I was in New York.
The trip was good, though. I feel like I had got a lot out of the work experience, and I feel that it boosted my confidence a lot. I think that if I wanted to, I could totally make it in New York City, and if that’s the case, then Berkeley should be a breeze.