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East Coast Tour ’08: NYC 1st Leg

August 3, 2008

Continuing on my travels, I’ve recently taken a small excursion to the East Coast. I have most of my friends and family there, so I try to make it back at least once a year whenever I can. Here is a brief log of my travels thus far.

After a long flight (and dodging an earth quake by only a few hours), I arrived at my Uncle’s place, and he greeted me with a smile and a glass of Cabernet. I dropped off my bags and surveyed the apartment. It was beautiful. It’s on the 23rd floor, over-looking central park. The building itself is a large red stone mammoth made up of multiple circular shaped segments. It used to be a hospital back when they believed that germs were the cause of all ailments, and since germs congregated in corners they built the hospital devoid of corners. I stayed in for the night with some Chinese delivery, gazing across the night city skyline and reading my book.

The next day I went to a jiu-jitsu class at Renzo Gracie’s Academy in Mid-town. My master has his black belt under hi and attended his Academy when he lived in the city, so I thought I would see where he learned his technique. I got there early, so I killed some time venturing about Madison Square Garden (where you can actually hear the sucking sound that the Knicks make). Aside from getting dropped on my head a few times by a black belt and slightly injuring my shoulder it was a great class. I learned some tricky new takedowns, and some alternate finishes for my arm-bar. All-in-all a good class.

That night I had a very nice dinner with my cousins and my Uncle at “Wolfgang’s Steakhouse” (not to be confused with Wolfgang Puck apparently). It’s always nice to go to dinner with my Uncle. He’s quite the foodie, and has impeccable culinary taste. Afterwards my cousin and I went back to her place and shared conversation and a glass of wine on the rooftop of her new apartment. My best friend later met up with me, and we got more drinks at an Irish pub and caught up. A night full of good family time and conversation, it was very nice.

The next day I woke and ventured to the Museum of Natural History. My earliest memory of the city is when my Mom brought me into the city and took me to the Natural History museum. I was a huge dinosaur fan, and she took me to check out the dinosaur exhibit there. I remember clutching a tiny plastic brontosaurus on the subway, and having my first wonderful experience with pastrami and carrot cake. The museum was amazing, and I wish I had more time to explore the halls. I have a “bad” habit of wanting to read all of the information at museums, and before I knew it I was running late for meeting my friend.

We met up and went to an awful Yankees game. I had to check out at least one game in their final season, but it was not very good at all. Petite got laced with three three-run homers, and the Yankees bats were anemic. The next day was spent getting more drinks and seeing more people. Including a patio for drinks, and then some bar hopping that night. It was great to see everyone, but there are still a bunch of people I didn’t get to meet up with, and hopefully I’ll be able to see them on my second leg in NYC.

Right now I’m on a (late) train to Boston, and getting excited to get rowdy with some Bostonians. More adventures to come…

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