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7.03.2006

Assorted Observations

1. The Pittsburgh Left - When sitting at a traffic light in Pittsburgh as the first car at the red light, when it turns green, don't go. Someone will turn left first. You are now no longer a stupid unwitting tourist. You're welcome.

2. The Pittsburgh Toilet - In the basements of Pittsburgh homes there is a toilet. No sink, no tub, no shower. Toilet surrounded by 3 walls & a door. If you're lucky the light above it works.

3. Microsoft Streets & Trips - Biggest piece of shit software ever. It's a GPS gizmo you can hook up to your laptop. They sell the standalone units for like $500-$700, this one is $100. The "you get what you pay for" adage applies here. Should be called "You're lost, thanks for the $100 shithead."

4. Philly vs. Pittsburgh cheesesteaks - I know this is a poor generalization, but the cheesesteak I had in Pitt was 100x better than the one in Philly. That and the poeple were too stupid in Philly. "One cheesesteak with pepperoncini's." "Huh?" "Pepperoncinis." "Banana peppers." "Yellow peppers." "Huh?" "Fuck it. Just give me the sandwich." Stupid people. Stupid stupid. The one in Pgh was from Uncle Sam's. Frickin stellar. that & they understand pepperoncini there.

5. UPS trucks - Since when is it acceptable to stop in the middle of the intersection to deliver a package? I mean right in the middle, holding up 2 streets. Only in Manhattan.

6. There is no rule number 6.

7. The Statue of Liberty looks much shorter in person. Must be that the camera adds 10 tons on TV.

Ok, I'm done. Plane is loading now. Bye!

7.02.2006

Sunday

Saturday night we slept in Greg's room. This morning we got up & headed out for a Philly cheesesteak. Who knew that the Philly cheesesteaks in Pittsburgh would be better than the ones in Philly? Crazy. Anywho, we came back to Carol's house where we were staying. We hung out for a while & slept, then got dressed and off to the wedding. We had a tish up in the library, which is basically us getting drunk & listening to Greg ramble on about the Torah or something.

Only a few pictures, then off to the ceremony. Michael gave a beautiful speech, the video went off really well, and it was fun as hell!

Anyway, gotta go to bed. Frickin exhausted & need to be up early tomorrow. Back to the grind soon. :(

7.01.2006

Thursday through Saturday

So Thursday we got up & I hopped a J train to the 2 train to Penn Station. I then took a NJTransit train to EWR so I could get a car. I took another train from the place where that train dropped me off to the car rental place. So I got the car & I'm ready to go back because I have this new GPS gizmo for my laptop. Stupid bitch gives terrible directions. "Turn left in .2 miles." I turn left then "off route." "off route." "off route." Fuck you! Tell me how to get back on route! So 5 hours after I left the apartment I got back to the apartment in the car. It was a whopping 18 miles away. Ugh.

Then I got Michelle & she drove through Brooklyn to Staten Island & into New Jersey. I gave up on the stupid GPS thing & we just stuck to mapquest. Much easier. We made it to Atlantic City & couldn't see anything. THe whole town was covered in fog. We put on our swimsuits & headed to the beach anyway. The water was way too cold to go in, but we played around on the beach for a while. After that we headed back to the room, showered & headed out for some dinner & karaoke. They actually had "Let Me Ride" by Dre. First time I ever sang that one. I did pretty well if I do say so myself.

So Friday we got up & while I was loading the bags into the car & finishing packing, Michelle went down to the beach one more time to play in the ocean. We got out of town around 10 or 11 then headed into Philly for some cheesesteaks. Worst cheesesteak I ever had. SHitty service again.

After lunch we hit the Pennsylvania Turnpike & drove to Pittsburgh. It took us for freaking ever. We got in, had dinner at Rachel's parent's house, then we went to a really cool bar in Pittsburgh called Fuel & Fuddle. Awesome food and AWESOME service. Best we had all trip.

Saturday we woke up & Greg & Rachel picked us up. We headed into Oakland to the Cathedral of Learning. We saw a bunch of classrooms from all over the world there. It was quite interesting & we had a prety good time there. Then we hopped a shuttle to downtown Pittsburgh & went to the Andy Warhol Museum. I didn't get it. Didn't do much for me.

We headed to the shul for rehearsal then to a skating rink for the rehearsal dinner. Pizza, beer & fireworks. Fun! Then back to downtown Pitt for drinks, now we're going to bed. Big day tomorrow!

6.28.2006

Wednesday

So today we actually woke up at a decent hour. We hopped the J train down to Canal St. to check out St. Paul's cathedral. That was the staging area for the emergency crews during the 9/11 attacks. There was a big memorial in there & it was very emotional as well as informative.

We headed up to another church which was huge, and it was very .... olde European looking I guess. After that we headed to Battery Park to catch a ferry to Liberty & Ellis Islands. We couldn't go inside the statue because A. it was too expensive & B. they were sold out. So we walked around the island, took a zillion pictures & then headed to Ellis Island. We didn't spend a lot of time there but it was amazing to see. Over a million people passed through there.

We headed back to Manhattan & hopped the J train again (right across from the NYSE!) up to China town. We had lunch at this place that a guy at the Carnegie Deli recommended. The service was shitty like everywhere else we've gone, but we did have some good moo goo gai pan & boneless chicken. I had the best egg roll I ever had there! It was freakin huge. You have to ask for rice, and Michelle asked for a Sprite & they brought her a can and a straw. Classic. They served water in these itty-bitty juice glasses, and since I didn't get a drink I had to keep asking for refills from the sparsely seen waiters. After the third time I asked he didn't fill it, just threw the pitcher on the table & walked off.

We then wandered about chinatown, bought some tchochkes & then headed to Little Italy for a while. Then it was on to the Empire State Building. The observation deck on the 86th floor was cool, but what a pain in the ass to get up there. We waited in 10 different lines. One big line to pay, then one line to get to the first elevator that goes to the 80th floor. Then you get in a line to have your picture taken, then in another line to go up to the 86th. Then a line to get outside. Finally, you get outside & what a view! You can see everything up there. Getting down was a pain in the ass. Wait for an elevator to take you down to the 80th, then get in line to wait for a picture that you don't want (kind of like when you ride a roller coaster & then you get the rip off picture afterward...) We just snuck by & headed to the out elevator.

We then hoofed it up to St. Patrick's Cathedral & by then I was exhausted. We stayed for a service, then grabbed a bite to eat & back to Brooklyn.

Tomorrow should be an adventure. I have to hop a few subways to Penn Station, then a train to Newark, then drive back to get Michelle, then drive to Atlantic City. Should be fun. I have to get a car with a good horn though. It seems like a second gas pedal or something here....

6.27.2006

Tuesday

So today M & I slept in till 11ish, then finally got our shit together & hopped into the city to go to Carnegie Deli. Best corned beef sandwich I’ve had since Detroit at the Pickle Barrel. What a trip going there though. $20 for a sandwich & 2 drinks. The sandwich was freakin huge, and Michelle I split it. Unfortunately it didn’t agree with her stomach & she threw up shortly after eating it. She was blowing small chunks of corned beef out of her nose for a good 10 minutes afterwards. She told me to put that detail in there. Blame her. :)

After the deli, we wandered to the TKTS booth to see if we could catch a Broadway show. We got Producers tix & then walked to the ESB. There was a 2 hour wait so we decided to skip it, hopped another train up to Central Park & wandered around. We made it to Strawberry Fields & Michelle lost it & started crying. Then we walked across the street & saw the Dakota where John Lennon lived & she started sobbing even more. Poor thing. I was sad to see it too, but not quite as much as her. We played on some swings, played with some dogs & had a generally good time up in there, but our feet were killing us so we grabbed another subway back to Times Square.

We stopped for a snack at a little shop, then got in line for the theatre. THe Producers was great, but I liked the Wedding Singer better. Still great though. Lots of Mel Brooks humor and a sound clip from the movie to boot. Even a quick "it's good to be the king" reference thrown in too. :)

We wandered over to Ray's pizza up by the Ed Sullivan theatre for dinner, then did some shopping & took a subway ride home. We got caught in a good downpour for a while, but no biggie. Tomorrow is another day! Statue of Liberty, ESB, Chinatown & Little Italy I think...

6.26.2006

Monday update

Today we hopped a train into the city & met up with Stacey & had lunch at some pizza joint. Pretty good pizza I must say. We wandered up to the ESPN-zone & played some games there for a while while we were killing time before going to see Dave. We made it up to the Ed Sullivan Theatre, and as we were standing in line we got hand picked to do something special. They didn't tell us what, but the 2 other people that were with us that were receiving the same treatment were just as lost. So we went out with Todd & Beth, some extremely liberal Alabamans. We went to a diner, had some beer & vodka shots then headed back to the freezing cold theatre. Our secret prize was being able to sit in the first few rows. We sat in the 4th row & had a great view of Dave & Paul, although the camera crew got in the way frequently. Fun times though! We only got on camera during the beginning after the credits, then you can see my arms when the fat guy on the bike rode by. Pretty random. No Top 10 list. That & they bleeped Paul saying shit. Oh well! :( Fun experience though! The Ed Sullivan theatre is tiny & freaking cold. What a blast though. What a blast. :)

After the show we hopped a train to the Bronx to catch the Yankees game. The Braves were shitty but the park was pretty neat. It's getting pretty dilapadeted, but that's to be expected with a park that old. It was a little nicer than Tiger Stadium though. You can actually walk through the concourses.

After the game we headed to Grand Central Station, then walked to Times Square. We had a nice salad & canoli for dinner, then saw this awesome dance show in the subway. These dudes were dancing around on their hands & stuff, we got a little video of it. I'll post it on myspace later. Anyway, going to bed now. Night night!

6.25.2006

Honeymoon so far

So, we've made it through 2 days of our honeymoon. Jeff took us to the airport Friday night, and our plane was delayed an hour and a half. We got into EWR at 7 in the morning. I slept about 2 hours, Michelle didn't sleep at all. We took a bus from Newark to the Port Authority, then hoofed it to Stacey's hotel, the Belvedere. Sadly there was no fat guy polishing the china. We went out to breakfast at a french something-or other and had some awesome eggs, french toast & other Denny's-esque faire. Then we went & got tickets for The Wedding Singer. It is a Broadway play based on the movie. Michelle & Stacey & some other teachers went shopping while I went in search of the place to pay for our apartment. We were at 49th & 4th, and the place was on Broadway & 30th. So that's about a mile & a half I think. I was walking down Broadway & saw a Sysco truck parked on Broadway unloading product at some restaurant, and beside it a cop writing it a ticket for being illegally parked. Classic! :)

So then I got the place paid for & we had to wait till 4 to get in. So we went & saw the Wedding Singer. It kicked ass! I have not liked any of the Broadway shows that I've seen (Rent & Aida in Phoenix) so my opinion of Broadway shows has been rather negative. But this show was great! I was expecting 80's music but got mostly original songs. There were some lines & songs directly from the movie. So I guess the story recognition and the fact that there were tons of 80's references made it that much better.

After the show we went back to Stacey's to get our luggage & schlepped it across town on a subway to our apartment, which we could not find for a while. We walked about 8 blocks & found it. We are in Bed-Stuy, and I think we are 2 of 2 white people in this neighborhood. Mostly black & Puerto Ricans. It's not the nicest place in the world, but it's fun! OUr apartment is 500 sq ft with underwear-thin curtains on the windows. There's a streetlamp right outside our door, so that sucks. Our room is very bright, but at least the AC is cold. We're sleeping on a futon in the floor in the living roomish kind of room. The bedroom doesn't get any air from the window AC unit.

Saturday night we went back into the city to meet Stacey & have dinner. We were recommended to go to a jazz club, but the guy at the door was a total dick, so we took off. We found a seafood Italian/Thai place across the street, so that's where we wound up. The great jazz musician Blossom Dearie was there signing autographs. I had never heard of her but evidently she's very famous. We got slow shitty service & had to ask for everything. We went in search of a karaoke bar but were unsuccessful.

The subway ride to dinner was interesting though. We got on a train with some nutcase black guy screaming "All the niggahs of the world!" over & over again. Once we got to the next stop we jumped off & onto the next car.

Sunday we were supposed to go to church, but due to lack of sleep, we slept through it. We got up around 10 then headed into the city. On the walk to the subway, 4 12 year olds on bikes were riding by, and one of them yelled out "I'd bump that from behind!" to Michelle, which totally threw us for a loop. Too funny. What a little shit. We headed in to see the Harlem Gospel Choir at BB King's House of Blues. It was amazing! We had a total blast & sat at a table with these 2 black ladies, one very fat & one very skinny. The brunch was ok. They were out of collared greens by the time we arrived & the catfish was cold (I think it was catfish anyway...) So then we hopped a subway down to the West village & watched the pride parade for a few hours. Total freakshow! Very fun though.

We then walked all the way downtown, saw ground zero, which was very somber & very surreal. I stayed in a hotel right down the street from the spot when the towers were still there 5 years ago & was amazed at how different everything looked & felt. We then wandered further downtown & saw the building I would have worked at.

By then we were tired & hungry, so we hopped a bus back to a subway, then back up to the Village. After much deliberation we wound up at a corner Italian place. I had some pesto pasta & Michelle had rigatoni & sausage. It was very good, but again, slow service! Very odd. I expected different out of NYC.

We went to an Internet cafe & hunted for a karaoke bar. We found one on the upper east side & hopped a cab up there. We went to some dive & sang a few songs, and I guess I sang so well that I got a beer on the house! :)

At about 12:30ish we headed to the subway & made it home in about 30 minutes. Not too bad. Tomorrow it's off to see Letterman & the Yankees. yay!