Return to NYC (part 2)

I woke up around 4:30 the next morning (Friday, March 6), and my phone said that my flight was still listed as being on time, so I got ready, packed up, and headed toward the airport. I got through security, walked to my gate, and they were in the middle of boarding for my zone at the time, so I was able to hop in line and board the plane immediately. Even with being on the plane, I still didn’t expect that our flight would leave on time, either because of the weather in Louisville or in NYC, but sure enough we did, and we even landed at LaGuardia a little early.
I went to ground transportation to wait for the shuttle that was going to take me to Manhattan. (Much less scary and expensive than a cab ride! I did that on my first trip to the city, but hopefully never again unless it’s unavoidable for some reason.) Ultimately I was going to Serenity’s uncle’s apartment in Gramercy Park, but the closest the shuttle gets is Grand Central Terminal, plus Serenity wasn’t in town quite yet (she was driving from Boston and pushed her arrival from Thursday night to Friday morning due to snow in the NYC area), so I went to the food court area downstairs at Grand Central, grabbed a lemon blueberry scone and cinnamon sugar mini-muffin from Magnolia Bakery, and found a table to read and people-watch while I waited.
She kept me posted on her arrival time, and when she was about an hour away from arriving, I began walking from Grand Central down toward Gramercy, about 22 blocks. For the most part, the sidewalks were clear, but the sidewalk ramps were kind of nasty with hunks of sorta-melting snow and dirt, and since I had my suitcase with me, it was slow going with walking toward the apartment, but I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so that was just fine. Serenity found a nearby parking garage and arrived at the apartment probably 3 minutes before I made it there. We went inside and briefly ran into her aunt, who was packing up stuff to spend the weekend with friends (leaving us an empty apartment to ourselves while there — score!)

After we’d settled for a bit, we put on our snow boots and walked about a mile to the West Village to have falafels at Taim for lunch. Taim was a super-small restaurant with only about five or six counter seats along the front window, but thankfully we were on the late side for lunch and caught it not as crowded as it could have been, though it was quite cramped trying to eat at the small counter. (This is clearly a place that does a lot of takeout. If the weather hadn’t been so cold, it would’ve been great to take the food to a nearby park or something.) Oh, but it was so worth it, because the falafels were quite amazing! A definite score on our first meal in town.

After lunch, we headed up to the Fashion Institute to check out their free museum there, partly to get us out of the cold. (And boy, was it cold that day!) I wouldn’t call the museum ground-breaking or anything I’d recommend as a must-do in the city, but it was a decent stop for free. We left there and went to Dough, a doughnut shop on 19th Street that was highly recommended by Serenity’s aunt and uncle. The doughnuts there were huge yeast donuts, and I do have to say, they were quite delicious. I chose a hibiscus one, and she chose a chocolate one with cocoa nibs, and we split them in half so we could have some of each. So, so good!

We considered wandering around a bit since we didn’t have definite plans for that afternoon, but since we were semi-close to the apartment and had a busy evening planned as well as a full day on Saturday and Sunday, we decided to go back there for a couple hours to chill out and freshen up before heading out for our comedy show that night. We had tickets to the 7:30 p.m. “comedy for grown-ups” show at Gotham Comedy Club on 23rd St. We had pondered doing another Broadway show, but ultimately we decided we liked the $15/ticket price of the comedy club, plus it’s still a great New York City kind of thing to do.

The comedy show was in the basement venue at the club, which was pretty small. We didn’t quite have a full crowd for our show, clocking in with about 25 people in the audience by my count. I wasn’t quite sure how that’d play out with the comedians, but it turned out to be pretty good. We were the second table back, so we weren’t the main focus for audience interaction with the comedians, though we were the token married people and token parents for the comedians and interacted with a couple of them during the show. Normally that kind of thing puts me on edge, but with a small room like that (and a couple of drinks in me!), it really wasn’t a big deal. Overall the show was a lot of fun, and definitely great for the price, so I think we were both glad we did it. The first comedian wasn’t really my style, but the others were more relate-able and had a better flow.
After the show, we stopped next door at Doughnut Plant to grab a couple of doughnuts from there to try later (yes, our second doughnut stop of the day), then we walked down to about 11st St., I think, to go to a Latin/Caribbean diner we’d been hoping to try, however when we got there, the place was super-crowded and loud, so we decided to backtrack to the restaurant we’d passed that had great-smelling burgers. (I still don’t even know the name of the place!) We met up with Serenity’s uncle for dinner there since it was our only chance to see him that weekend, and the classic burger I had there was excellent, as was the pumpkin martini I enjoyed. (Wheee! Three drinks! The walk home was quite silly! But hey, at least we weren’t getting on top of each other’s shoulders like we saw some drunk girls doing. We were just in the “everything is freaking hilarious” stage of drunk. Not the “I’m a gymnast” stage.) We got to the apartment, ate our doughnuts (mine was a cashew orange blossom filled doughnut — very good!), then hit the sack, wiped out but quite happy with our reunion in the best city in the world.

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