New York was awesome. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.
Dan, Scott and I arrived at different times at JFK and met up with Alan at his work. Al had to work a bit on a film he had entered into a film festival, so we goofed off (air hockey and such) while he finished up. Later we found out that two of the three films that Alan either wrote or co-wrote made it into the top fifteen. Unfortunately, the one he worked on so diligently this weekend didn't make it. Quite an accomplishment, nevertheless.
We ate dinner at this pub called Teddy's near Megan's place, where Alan fell in love with the waitress. Well, not really; he was just overly impressed with how nice she was. I figured that he's just been in New York too long. What I thought was really funny was when Dan's burger came out, it was on an English muffin, which he didn't order. "Here you go. Sorry, we ran out of bread." As if that wasn't enough, Alan didn't think anything of this. Curiouser and curiouser.
Friday was uncharacteristically wet and muggy. It was going to be an interesting day moving Alan into his new apartment.
Will, Alan's friend, was also helping with the move, which we finished right on time. Afterwards Alan had an improv gig. His group opened for Will's group, Johnny Lunchpail, also an improv group. I was very impressed. Alan's group did a series of improv sketches based on the book 1984. It kind of makes me want to read the book again. Well, maybe I'll just watch the movie. Anyway, improv seems so gutsy. Alan's group was good; Johnny Lunchpail was a bit more experienced — they were hysterical. We did the after-party thing at a bar for a while, then after that we fulfilled one of Scott's goals by trekking to a White Castle and enjoying some bite-size bundles of burger goodness.
Saturday was our big New York tourist day. After Alan's mattress was delivered, we worked out some personality issues, which was good.
Later we ate at Grimaldi's, a supposedly famous pizzeria. The olives were way too salty though.
This is the Promenade, about a block from Alan's apartment. Notice the Statue of Liberty in the background.
We took a nice stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Visiting Ground Zero and St. Paul's Church next-door was very moving. There was a bell in the church yard which was donated by the city of London after September 11th that I found particularly thought-provoking. The inscription on it read, "Forged in Adversity." It reminded me that as sheltered as we are, a fierce battle rages. It encourages me to make sure that whatever I do with my life, I do what I can to contribute.
We visited the place where John Lennon was shot.
Close by is a section of Central Park named Strawberry Fields. In there is this plaque with the word "IMAGINE". After I saw these, it was pretty clear to me where John got all of his song ideas.
Around 7pm we started on a two-hour tour cruise. The guide was a great orator with a perfect dead-pan. He was also pretty hard-core about people not standing up in the seated section, blocking other peoples' view. Witness the man in the red jacket, a major offender.
Some fun facts:
New York's water pressure can only push water up six floors. All buildings higher than this require pumps and a water tower on the roof.
Touring jazz bands used to call the cities they toured "apples;" of course, New York was the biggest and brightest apple to play in; hence the nickname, the "Big Apple."
We dropped by Rockefeller Center and saw the set of the Today Show. We ended the night fulfilling another of Scott's life-long dreams with some authentic New York pizza slices. Unfortunately they also might have been the source of some authentic New York indigestion.
Sunday was pretty chill. We ate breakfast at a nice spot near Alan's new apartment where I think I misplaced $20. Alan hooked us up with MTV car-rides to the airport, and we were off. For some reason my flight had a lay-over in Atlanta which was pretty miserable, but eventually I made it home safe and sound. And today it was back to the grind.