the empire state (part 1)
With about an hour left before I have to leave for work, I will attempt to summarize my New York experience and still be able to squeeze in a shower.
The day after we arrived, my brother, sister, cousin and I decided to explore Manhattan like the tourists do. We had tickets to attend a taping of Conan O’Brien, so we had to make our way to the City.
We rode the subway from Queens to Manhattan. The lines are pretty easy to understand, and you can find maps everywhere. New York City isn’t very large land-wise. My best advice in maneuvering the subway is to have a map on you, know what your destination is, which line or lines you can take and make sure the train is going in the right direction.
We arrived in Manhattan and looked for the Rockefeller Plaza where the show was going to be. After that, we grabbed some food from a hot dog cart. The franks were kosher and grilled vs. “dirty franks” which sit in a pool of hot water waiting to be bought.
To get around New York City, driving is one of the most dangerous choices you can make. They are insane on the asphalt. One of the faster, least expensive methods is the subway. The fastest, more expensive method is a taxi, but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t get stuck in traffic. The most economical, environmentally-friendly way that you have no choice to do is walking. You can drive but expect to go crazy doing that.
The city is very loud, very busy and always on the move. Buildings fill the sky, and you are surrounded by the epitome of urban living.
Between getting our tickets and returning to the Rockefeller, we had some time to burn. We looked for a pizzeria I wanted to grab a slice at after we had had our hot dogs. The pizza was delicious. I wouldn’t say pizza in NY is sooo much better than what we have here (like Saccone’s), but it sure is tasty. What I think we lack here is the number of good pizzerias, not necessarily good pizza.
We were in line with our tickets and wristbands at 4:15pm as scheduled. They had everyone line up and wait. Two lines were made, and my belief is that they divided everyone by age. It seemed the other line was composed of older people while our line was made of young adults, Conan’s prime audience.
We went through quick security and were in the studio. The studio was tiny. It looks so much bigger on television. Conan’s desk is really small, and that’s why he seems so much bigger even though he towers well over six feet. We were warmed up with old Conan footage on the hi-def TVs hanging from the ceiling. Then, a guy came out that my brother told me was one of the writers but also fills in as some of the characters on some of the skits. He warmed the crowd up some more. Then, Conan himself came out to greet everyone. Then, the show began. Max Weinberg was currently on tour with Springsteen, so he had a substitute take over his drumming duties.
The guests on the show were: Tracy Morgan, Emile Hirsch and some author that wrote some book. This episode wasn’t one of Conan’s best, but the experience was worth the attendance. They also gave us free t-shirts that have his show logo on it.
After the taping, we waited outside for our ride. My cousin who was getting married (not the one who went with us to the show) and the rest of the group was to pick us up. I had in mind that they had rented a van. For some reason, they couldn’t locate us even though I thought the directions we gave were fine and we weren’t in a discreet location.
We eventually had to walk a few blocks to find them, and as it turns out, they had rented a vehicle that could only contain a max of 7 passengers. My brother, mother, cousin-to-be-wed, and I rode a taxi, and we all met each other up in the “Little Italy” district which is located near downtown Manhattan.
Little Italy is a neighborhood where just about every restaurant in that area is a traditional Italian restaurant. We ate at one that my cousin-to-be-wed, a nurse, had helped the owners’ son get well. The food and the environment were all excellent. I was surprised by how many Italian restaurants were on the street, and how many of them had outside seating.
After eating, we all visited Times Square at night to see the crazy amount of lit signs for blocks. The signs are all advertisements for big companies but definitely served as eye candy.
We returned to the motel for a good night’s rest. My brother, sister, cousin and I took the subway, and the rest of them took the rental back.
The next day wasn’t so great. We woke up to drizzle falling from the sky. The four of us returned to the City to continue with our exploration of the Big Apple. The sky decided to fall. The only thing I remember forgetting to pack before the trip was my umbrella, and I really needed it that day.
It rained most of the day. It rained hard. It rained so hard that I caved in and bought a five-dollar umbrella on the street. My brother caved and bought an aqua green poncho. We got so drenched before we actually caved in. My brother was wearing a thick Dickies jacket, and the rain managed to penetrate through that. My pants were a tan color and changed to a dark brown they got so wet.
We couldn’t do too much, but we did make it to the NBC experience store. I bought Mare a Dunder-Mifflin coffee mug and a Dwight Shrute bobblehead (like on The Office). My brother was looking for Conan merch, but we didn’t realize the store had more on the second level.
We didn’t do too much else that day. My cousin and my sister continued on their shopping expedition. My brother and I explored around the NYU area.
That day didn’t go too well, since most of it was spent being wet.
I just have two more days to catalogue, but I also have to start getting ready for work. Peace out.
Asbestos was once a prevalent material for building and insulation for its fireproof properties. Today, the effects of asbestos is causing cancer in individuals who were exposed to large amounts of this material. This cancer, better known as maliganant mesothelioma, is fatal. People who are affected were exposed to asbestos in the workplace unknowingly and not given protective gear. The sad part to this is that it was preventable.