Friday, March 27, 2009

'I'll never be confused for a N.Y. Foodie'

WRT with thoughts after following the Wild on the road in New York

You really get a sensual assault in New York if you're from the outside (which means the area beyond where you can commute in every day). Frank Sinatra's line from 'New York, New York': 'I want to wake up in the City that never sleeps', is still a very accurate description of life in midtown Manhattan as we came up the escalator from the subterranean depths of Penn Station on Monday Noon. For the next 71 hours we were exposed to the Big Apple, and all its' various sights, smells, sounds, and tastes.

My wife had never been to New York, and she was bound and determined to see everything all at the same time. My goal was a little bit more, shall we say, pedestrian; two Wild road games on consecutive nights, Tuesday vs. the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and Wednesday vs. the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, hoping for at least a split of the two games (and that we would escape the Garden in one piece, if the Wild had won on Tuesday night).

Of course, by now we all know what happened: that the Wild lost 2-1 at MSG, then went out to the Island and trashed the Isles 6-2 on Wednesday, in what was one of the most enjoyable nights of road hockey Wild fans had seen in years. Six goals? And they were all scored by the Wild? Who'da thunk it?

But there were other things, things not exactly hockey-related, which made this trip memorable...

The trip on the Staten Island Ferry across the harbor, so that we both saw the Statue of Liberty on a cloudless (but cool) afternoon;

The sobering thoughts that were conjured up, as the guide on our tour bus informed us that every Police precinct in the city is required to send a car to One Police Plaza (in the Battery, near the ferry slips) every day in case of terrorist attack;

The gaping hole in the City where Ground Zero is/was, still laying open like a large crater on the Moon;

The visit to so many places which we both had heard of, and had seen on TV and movies, but now had actually seen in person (the Garden, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Nassau Coliseum, Wall Street, just to name a few);

The visit to the NHL Store (missed Russo by 90 minutes on Monday, but it still is a neat place);

Seeing numerous Wild fans all over the City in the three full days we were there (some had stayed between the New Jersey game on Friday and the Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back);

Dinner at Lupa, a restaurant partially-owned by Mario Batali, he of 'Iron Chef America' fame, on Monday night; spaghetti never tasted so good. In fact, all the food we ate while on the trip was very good or better; when you are in the world's most competitive restaurant market, your game had better step up to compete. Expensive? Yes. An $8 slice of cheesecake is expensive by any standards. But this is New York, where this is not only expected; it's the norm.

This was indeed the road trip of the season, regardless of what result the hockey gods have in store. Needless to say, we had an excellent time. And as we sat at home last night, exhausted but smiling, we were still wondering what that sound was:


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