Upon final approach to the city the vastness of it was somewhat breathtaking. As the plane got lower and lower cars, people, and the Hudson Bay became very clear as we hit ground at Laguardia. “So, here I am NYC,” I thought as we taxied to the terminal (No, really check my tweets.) Cab ride to hotel, room not ready, stowed luggage at hotel, and set out into the city. Carmine’s was the 1st spot on the list. Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Country Style Rigatoni were inhaled by the weary travelers…the complementary sour dough bread was a great find there. A not so great find was the $3.00 a glass iced tea with no free refills. I guess the south has spoiled me to some expected luxury at a restaurant. From Carmine’s we sadly exited into the booming St. Patrick’s Day celebration teeming with green clad teens, twenties, and up. All in some state of happiness and inebriation. Exactly what a St. Patty’s Day in NYC is supposed to look like times 500. Antennae with glitter shamrocks, “Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons,” “Mugs not Drugs t-shirts, and 1000 different races pretending to be Irish for one day. There is something to be said about homogeneity in cause for celebration. No one cared about the color of the skin, the language being spoken, the non-red hair of the green clad woman next to you-they all were happy about…something. Maybe the parade? Maybe the beer? Maybe the color green? It really doesn’t matter, Times Square was green and it was great. As we trudged through the scores of people, we happened upon a “tour bus.” Being the adventurous lot we are, we bought the “NIGHT TOUR.” Saw a lot of the city at night. From Chelsea, to SoHo, The Village, through midtown, and over to Brooklyn. Thats when it happened, the bus broke. Yep, right there UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, the bus broke.
Wouldn’t crank and it did not seem to want to try. Being a country mouse, I knew I knew I could crank that diesel with some implement starter (compressed ether). My wife didn’t have any in her purse, so I couldn’t help us escape. As the sun sank into the western sky the lights of the city across the river came on. The Empire State Building’s spire, in honor of St. Patty’s Day, lit up with green lights, the thousands of internal building lights became visible as the silhouette of the city disappeared into the darkness and was replaced with a fluorescent cityscape that really showed the depth and breadth of this city. Almost an hour later, another bus arrived and loaded us in. They took us back through China Town and rounded us back to our starting point. It was a fun night, it was a good night and a great one to start the trip. Hopefully the coming days will be yield good food, good fun, good memories, and a lot of laughs.