Yeast Coast Trip (part 1)

Joseph : Alright, this is my first entry into our trip to New York. Yeast will inject his comments as I go rambling along. Anyway, Friday, very early morning, I had to wake up at 530 or so in the morning to get myself to the airport. Since I couldn't do my roommate the disservice of making him take me to the airport, I drove myself and parked in this very cheap parking place I found that only charges 4.95 a day for open air parking. I must say, though, that a lot of people have found this same place and the parking structure was packed. Another con was that I had to wait 20 some odd minutes for the shuttle to take us to the airport. I was getting antsy because it was nearing my departure time. Fortunately for me, Southwest was the first stop and since it was only 10-20 minutes before departure, I did the skycap check-in for the first time. Now…I think you're suppose to give gratuity or some sort of tip for the service, but being that it was my first time, I just thanked them and went on my way. hehe..I'll tip them next time. In any case, the flight to Long Island wasn't so bad. I made one stop in Las Vegas and bought a freakin six dollar sandwich in the Las Vegas airport for lunch. This is no six dollar burger. It was cheese, ham, and crumbs. I passed the time on the flight by watching episodes of House that Abby was kind enough to lend to me, as well as doing nerdy puzzles like a nerdy engineer.

Me: Originally Joseph wanted to visit me here in Albuquerque with his free Southwest ticket. But since there really isn't that much to do around the desert, I decided it would be better if we went somewhere more exciting, like New York! =P So that's how it all began.
For the few months before our trip, we gathered as much information as we could from our friends (thx Mike!!!) and the internets. As mentioned earlier, we put all our findings into Google spreadsheets. Turned out pretty useful for not needing to send back and forth email attachments. =)
nyc 001 nyc 002

Joseph: Ethan was pretty amused by the little travel snack that they gave us on the longer trips. The dried fruit and cheese crackers were good, but as for the 100 Cal Oreos Ethan deemed them as disgusting.

Me: Dry and tasteless…who cares if it's 100 calories???

Joseph: Arriving at Islip, a very small airport with a random nbc store in it, Ethan and I met up and thus began our adventure on the east coast.

Me: btw, Joseph first called it "Yeast Coast Trip" when we were planning.

The first thing we ahd to figure out was how the heck we were going to get from the airport to the train station. Just fyi, we flew into Islip Long Island instead of LaGuardia because our free roundtrip tickets only flew to Southwest destinations and NY wasn't one of them. So we had to take the train in. We ended up taking a 5 a person shuttle which totally wasn't worth it in my opinion. I mean, come on, the person freakin packed as many people into this 10 person limited shuttle and made us wait for 20 minutes. Anyway, we got to the station, paid the dude 5 bucks and went to purchase train tickets into Manhattan. At this point, we were starving so we had to go get some dinner somewhere. I had already mapped out beforehand a possible dinner place near the train station, but it seemed to have been closed so we went to the next item. A place called Scibelli's pizza. We had their pasta specials. I chose the seafood one since I absolutely love seafood. You can see both our dishes below.

nyc 008 nyc 007

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

By the time we got the train station at 6pm, it was already pretty cold outside. Thankfully Scibelli's was right there, and we were glad to have a plate of warm hot pasta. While simple, it was probably one of the homiest meals of the trip.

Next we had to take the 1 hour long LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) into Manhattan. Nice smooth ride.

The train was on time and seating was plenty. The railroad took us all the way to Penn Station which was our transfer point to the crazy New York subway system. Once we got into Penn Station, we were immediately swarmed by the busyness of New Yorkers. There were people everywhere. I think Ethan was a bit freaked out by the fact that people would be standing in one place looking up at the train platform departure board and then, all of a sudden, they would be rushing and swarming all over the place to the train platform once the platform number was displayed on screen. Ethan's reaction: "Joseph! This is soo weird!!"
It was as if someone flipped their on switch!
In any case, we found that we could take the N train to Queens. Now the subway system in NY has to be the most efficient system I have ever seen, the subways come and go at a very frequent intervals. The ride to Queens took under 20 minutes.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The MTA's unlimited ride metro card has got to be THE most useful thing for a tourist. Saves you money and LOTS of time. The subway goes everywhere. Simply convenient.
We found where our hosts were living (they live super close to the subway). In fact they live right next to it. Ethan was a bit concerned about the noise, so we said to ourselves that we would buy earplugs. Our host (Tina) let us in. Since she was still in the middle of a small group, Ethan and I decided to head back out to do some exploring in Time Square.

nyc 013Even though it was already 9pm in New York, it was still 6pm in our heads…so we decided to head out to none other than the heart of NYC: Time Square! Yeah! We are party dawgs!

What a surprise to see this…a big Wii poster at ToysR'us!! You know I want one!
nyc 011But dude, even though it was 9 in NY and I was pretty tired from the trip, I was all ready to check out NY. We took the W train back to Manhattan, and holy crap, just stepping out into Time's Square for the first time in a long time was quite the experience. Lights flashing everywhere, big huge advertisements, jumbo screens with seizure inducing flashing. It was like Vegas..except…well it's New York. I think I was just in awe the entire time. We took a few pictures as you can see below. We even stopped by the Planet Hollywood to pick up our New York pass, which would allow us free admission to multiple attractions in NY plus discounts at various places.

Joseph was hungry and got a chicken skewer and hotdog…
NYC Rule #1: never buy street food. NASTY! Stay away!

nyc 019haha, this food was pretty nasty. I just wanted to try a cart vendor food to see if it was any good and yea…like ethan says…it's nasty. Totally not worth it. Actually, what was really weird was the fact that the guy gave me the hot dog and didn't even ask me to pay for it at first. I was just standing there with a hot dog in hand waiting to give him cash and he just moved on to the next customer. Ah well…don't try the street cart vendors in NY. Although, there apparently is a Vendy award in NY that awards the best street vendor.

Ahh…and one more thing to mention, walking back toward the jumobtron in Time's Square, I all of a sudden saw Jack Bauer on the JumboTron!! Holy Crap!! It looked like scenes from the next season of 24! Ethan quickly whipped out his camera to take a video of the clip which kept on replaying.

nyc 023 Yeah my quick camera skillz proved useful. Heck, I even youtubed it!

I was wondering, at first, why it was replaying, but then I realized a whole crowd of people cheering everytime the 24 clips came up. I soon realized the crowd was shooting an ad for 24 for when the trailer premiered the following Tuesday. That clip can now be seen on hehe…

yea…so we finally went back around midnight…

nyc 029

Here's the view of the train tracks next to the apartment we stayed at:

turns out we forgot to buy earplugs so we were in for quite a night with the subway rumbling past us. I think Ethan tried looking for some at all the random mini-marts around Queens, cause I think he was worried about not being able to fall asleep…Turns out he was the one who fell asleep right away…go figure..while I didn't sleep quite as well….ah well onto the next day!

We tried so hard to tap onto the open wifi, but was only greeted with constantly disconnecting weak signals. Oh well. I guess Queens is not too wifi friendly.

Yeah, I slept like a dawg…ZZzzzzzz