Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012 - A Weekend of Friends New and Old...and NYC!

Yesterday was a very reflective day for me, as you can probably tell from Five Years On...  I started the day off thinking about how I was back then and how my life is now, and I spent a lot of time giving thanks to the people around me who've enriched my life in a myriad of ways.  I posted a note on Facebook saying so and boy was the love thrown right back at me!  As of this writing, that post has gotten 25 comments and 26 'likes.'  I'm a lucky man!

First Sickness of the School Year

Today is Columbus Day and as such the last day of a three day weekend.  I have no plans but to work around the house, write, prepare lessons, and the like, and that's okay because I've had a pretty marvelous weekend and then some.  At this time last week, I had begun to get sick...very sick.  There've been bugs flying all over at school and last week it was my turn to finally catch it.

On Monday I was feeling really bad, lethargic and with the beginnings of a sore throat, and by Wednesday I had a lump in my neck the size of a tennis ball!  That afternoon when I got home I'd felt at my worst.  I fed my kitties and headed straight for the couch, where I slept three hours, then watched a little TV, and then slept some more.  Who'd have known, but that seemed to be all I needed because by Thursday morning my sore throat, tennis ball and all, was gone!  And that's were the goodness began...

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I love going to concerts and I love P!nk, as my readers already know all too well, and so of all the shows that are coming to my area, THAT is the one I did not want too miss.  Thanks to my new pal, Sean, I will be at the Nassau Coliseum on March 25th to see my latest heroine in the flesh.  I'm so excited!   Thanks buddy!

A Weekend of New Friends, Old Friends, and New York City

Beginning on Friday night, I had one of the best weekends in recent memory. That night I had dinner with one of my new friends from bowling, Tim.  Tim is one of the sweetest guys I've met in a long time, and we have a lot in common.  We'd been planning on getting together since that first night of bowling a few weeks ago and we were finally able to meet up for dinner at Perabells, one of Patchogue's most trendy and wonderful restaurants.  The evening was very summer-like and so we dined al fresco with some great food, good wine, and really enjoyable conversation.

The party continued on Saturday night when I decided to finally return to the city to go clubbing.  I had not been there in a long time, and I was finally going to go to XL, but once again it was not meant to be.  I was meeting my friend Ivan, who I had not seen in over a year, and I left it up to him to pick where we were going to go.  Splash was the place, which was really fine by me, and I was pleasantly surprised by the sizable crowd and the great music by DJ Hex Hector.

Ivan and I partied till around 2 a.m. before heading over to the Ritz, which is another place I haven't been to in awhile.  As always, the music and the crowd there was jumping, and before we knew it it was last call for alcohol.  After a quick ride to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and some long conversation in the car at Ivan's house, I headed home in the wee hours of the morning, which was not good because I had to be back in the city at 12:30 for a date...

A Second Date

About a month ago I met Leigh.  Leigh is someone who just moved here from London earlier in the summer for his job.  We'd met online and actually had the chance to meet in the flesh on Labor Day, where we had a really nice time.  Due to crazy schedules, mostly on my end, we hadn't seen each other since, and we made plans for a second date yesterday, once again in the city.  In spite of the blustery weather, it was one of those wonderful days spent in great company: my companion and New York City...

Jeckyll and Hyde

No matter how many times I go into the city, there is always something new and exciting to experience.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do some things I'd long wanted to do, yet never had the chance to, beginning with lunch at Jeckyll and Hyde.  For those of you who never heard of the place, it is a famous eatery/pub in the Village that's kinda sorta Halloween all year round.  A few of us had tried to go in there once before, but the line to get in was a bit too much.  Since it was such a dreary day, and Halloween is still a few weeks away, the place was not too crowded and so we went in.

Kitschy!  Cheesy! Amusing!  Those are three best words I can use to describe Jeckyll and Hyde.  Upon entering, the first thing you notice is how dark it is, so dark that your eyes need to adjust even before you could find and take your seat.  Elements of horror films and the macabre are everywhere, right down to mummies, mad scientists, ravens, jack-o-lanterns and much more.

As soon as we were seated, the waiter asked us if we'd ever been there before and when we told him we hadn't, he warned us that we were going to be harassed by things coming out of the walls and such.  He wasn't joking!  Before long, a Lurch-like character began to lurk around the tables, interacting with patrons in a manner one might expect from a zombie-like butler.  He especially took to Leigh, recognizing the much more authentic British accent than the one he was using, and he came over to our table on more than a couple of occasions.

Then, every once in awhile, one of the ghastly creatures embedded within the walls of the restaurant would suddenly come alive and do a little schtick that was amusing if not cheesy.  At one point a gargoyle even jumped out from above the fireplace to lead a happy birthday celebration for one of the patrons seated nearby.

The food at Jeckyll and Hyde was really the least of the experience.  The menu is mostly pub items.  I dined on fish n chips and Leigh ordered a pumpkin tortellini, which was very tasty.  What really made the lunch so memorable was the atmosphere and the theatrics, and other than accidentally going into the ladies room (don't ask!), the experience was definitely one to remember!

The High Line

Next up on our day was the High Line.  For any of you who don't know, the High Line is an old, elevated railroad line that had been abandoned for years and remade into a city park.  I'd first seen it as an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art when it was first being designed, and I've had friends who've gone to see it over the summer.  I've been wanting to go for a long time, and when I found it near my parking spot yesterday, I knew I had to go.  Even though fall is here and there weren't many flowers in bloom, it was still pretty awesome to walk through it.

The park begins around 13th Street and runs all the way up along 10th Avenue towards 30th Street, where it ends.  Not only is the High Line dotted with gardens, but works of art, concessions, and a hotel round out the landscape.  Leigh, who'd been there before, told me about how guests in the hotel, right above the park's walkway, would disrobe in front of their windows for all the world to see their twigs and berries.  He'd said that nowadays guests have to sign an agreement not to do that, and wouldn't you know it, just as we approached the underpass to the structure, there was a guy standing there in front of a floor to ceiling window in all his glory for all to see.  Ah, New York! (and no, I didn't take a picture!)

Any-who, Leigh and I walked the length of the High Line, chatting it up and enjoying the occasional sites to be had here and there.  By the time we had completed the journey, it was already getting late so we then headed to Chelsea Market in search of an afternoon coffee, though we ended up on 9th Avenue at a French bakery instead, which turned out to be another cool place!

All in all, the company was great, and the entire day was one upon which I will always look back on and smile.  Leigh is an awesome guy and I hope to know him for a long time to come.  The day was a great capper to a wonderful weekend with friends new and old, and a city I've always loved. Until next time, ciao!

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