Throughout my travels, you’ve all heard me refer to my Adventure Partner for Life. Well, he’s finally written his very first Global Debauchery blog! Read on for The Hubs’ tale of a work-trip-turned-mini-tour with “48 Hours in New York City.” For more ideas on how to make the ordinary extraordinary, visit any of my Meantime Meanderings posts, and get to traveling today!
The Adventure Partner’s NYC Trip Prep
It’s time for my bi-annual trip to my firm’s New York office and I have mixed feelings about traveling this time. I love the concept of traveling to New York—I mean, it is New York—but when I was looking for things to do on this trip, I couldn’t get motivated to do anything. I found plenty of museums—the New York Natural History Museum, the Met, the MoMa and dozens of others. (Side note: I love how everything has an abbreviation for its name. MoMa—Museum of Modern Art; SoHo—South of Houston; NoLita—North of Little Italy. These give the area that little something extra, like NYC needs it.)
What else to do? Comedy clubs, and maybe I’d get lucky with a random Louis C.K. sighting. (Totally kidding, that guy is a douche.) Um, food. So many options—sushi, poke bowls, tacos, steak, Italian, the list goes on and on. Clubs with DJs or bars with live bands. All of that, and I’m just like… meh. Every option has something that sinks my battleship. Like—almost $30 to get in to the natural history museum? I’m spoiled with the Smithsonians in my backyard… for free. And I cannot go to MoMA without my AP4L (adventure partner for life). Best sushi is over 2 miles away, best pizza (or according to this one article, “za”) is 1.5 miles away. Best Poke, in the Bronx or Brooklyn. Either way, not going. I want to find a site that tells me where the 2nd best is. I’m sure I’d be ok with the 2nd best “za” in NYC; I like Little Caesar’s, so the bar is low. With all that, all my excuses, I’m determined to make this a worthwhile trip. And, with a 2019 New Year’s resolution of trying to help The Wife’s blog, I’m going to blog about this experience. Also, gonna try to be more active on the social medias when I am out traveling.
A Very New York Arrival
Somehow, even though I’m the only one traveling, I felt like I had the usual pre-travel house-cleaning rush. I guess it wasn’t that bad. I did get up and log a few Fortnite rounds. (I still needed to finish this week’s battle pass.) For those keeping track, I got the last of 3 kills in Retail Row to finish off Week 9. After that, I wrapped up laundry, packed, and took out the trash. You know, now that I type it out, it doesn’t seem like that much. I was able to finish quick enough to invest some time on Fortnite. What? I’m addicted. That game is great!
It’s nearing go-time and I can see the look on Jordan’s face. “Will you leave already?” We’ve had this conversation before. We’re both excited to be home for a few days by ourselves and are eager for it to happen. The first night is cool, the second night is like “whatever,” and then the third night we’re bored. Even better, neither of us do anything different. Jordan will hang out in the master bedroom tonight and watch TV, and I’d be in the Man Cave playing video games or watching TV. #lamesauce. Now that I’ve been kicked out, the master plan is to drive to work, park there for free, and take a taxi to Union Station. After a painful drive in to DC—painful because I was trapped next to people Sunday driving, going 20 in a 30—I finally make it to the office. I stroll outside to catch a cab where there are always cabs and guess what… there are no cabs. Cue Uber. There must be something in the air because my Uber driver is catching every single light and had one near wreck (not his fault). Finally at Union Station, a really nice building.
What a mix of people. All types of people around this building. You could probably do a “Humans of New York” here and call it “Humans of Union Station.” My mission now is to find some grub and to comment on how this place has changed from when I used to take the MARC train to commute home. (That was ten years ago, though, so I guess some change is allowed.) One thing that doesn’t change—my need for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel before I get on the train. That being my first mission, my second mission is to make sure I have a Coke Zero for the 3 hour ride. All set, and all aboard.
I spent 10 minutes making up stories about other people on the train. One awesome thing about Amtrak is the Quiet Car, but that’s about all the “excitement” there is on the train. I’ve been taking random pictures, so we’ll see if any of those will make the blog cut. I’ve also been battling internally about walking a half hour to my hotel or taking a taxi. I don’t have the answer yet. The train remains uneventful; the only thing that’s changed is my level of fidgeting as we approach our destination. I did get to see the skyline and Freedom Tower on the way in, though.
I totally went tourist and walked to the hotel. It was around a 2-mile walk and, with my travel pack, it was good practice for upcoming trips. My first struggle was getting out of the train station and trying to pretend like I have any idea which exit is better… 7th Avenue, or 8th Avenue. The stars aligned and I made the right choice—8th Ave and 33rd. Walked out to a great picture of the Empire State Building. What little I knew about where I needed to walk was that I needed to roughly meander towards the ESB. I do realize Manhattan is set up in a grid system, just… getting started can be a challenge.
My gawk-filled-omg-big-building tour, took me past some art that was odd-shaped and reflective and provided the perfect opportunity to take a selfie. Check. (Click photos to maximize!) Next, a pic I think the AP4L would like, and later, I noticed a Hooters below the signs. She might not like that. (The chicken wings are good, I swear!) Then there was an up-and-coming building (under construction) with a nice sunset, Apple billboard, and Mary Poppins ad. Of course I was near Macy’s so I had to take a pic of this huge bag-style billboard. A random owl and, if JoJo was with me, I would have been posing like the owl itself. Next up—something I recognize—the NY Public Library. We once went to a wedding just behind there at Bryant Park. Then the Rock, as in 30 Rock, or Rockefeller Center. Still didn’t see anyone famous there. I don’t understand why Jimmy Fallon and the entire cast of SNL weren’t out there to greet me. Church! Another church!! And, boom—I am at my hotel.
So, a quick shout-out to my work for allowing me to have experiences like this. In short, the travel company my employer uses gets perks at hotels. As I’m checking in, I find out that I get free WiFi, a $50 credit towards brekkie, and $100 off any spa treatment. Oh! And an upgraded room to a suite. I am feeling pretty good. I get up to my suite and have a welcome card and some chocolates. Words fail to describe these chocolates. I will have to insert a picture. Then, I get settled in because it is (was) Super Bowl (or Superb Owl) Sunday. I get a knock on the door with some complimentary water and fruit. What a deal. Lastly, there is a pillow menu. Like… wut. A menu… for pillows. The AP4L will tell you that I have no need for this as I have no issues falling asleep. What a great hotel! After ordering some room service, I settled in for a night of texting with my pops and sis during the Super Bowl. A nice way to end the day.
The Big Apple Evening Tour
After a good night’s sleep I’m ready to go be a big-city bad-ass professional. No $50 credit used for brekkie this morning since I was stuffed from last night’s room service. So I make the hectic 4-minute commute to the New York office. I walk in, and am clearly not recognized by reception. So much for being a big shot. Once that’s cleared up, I start settling into an office, with a view of—you guessed it—big buildings. After a 10-minute ogle-fest, I get to work. Can’t say too much here except other people stopped by to see me so my big-wig status is restored.
Now, it’s lunch time. I’d be hiding crucial details if I didn’t tell you that I spent 20 minutes on Google Maps trying to find something near the office worthy of my attendance. Well, I didn’t find anything that said “you have to come here.” So I settled on Au Bon Pain across the street from the office. On my way across the street, I decide that I’m not here to be safe and lame so I scrap that idea. No offense, ABP, but I have those in DC, so I need to find something different. I settle on The Mill. It was literally right across the street. And, man, did I get lucky. I got this awesome chicken sandwich, which I took back to the office and snarfed down while gazing at the big buildings. After a couple conference calls, some more Google searches for tonight’s activities, and more in-person meetings, I’m ready to leave for the day.
I race back to the hotel, change, grab my anti-personal-interaction gear (Apple AirPods) and head out. I’m going to Times Square! I take a path that will allow me to go into the Rockefeller Center area. Again, Jimmy Fallon nor the entire cast of SNL are outside to greet me. After checking out the ice skating rink, I move on. Next, at the parents’ request, I stroll past Fox News Headquarters. (My parents’ actual request was to walk outside of the headquarters in the morning with the chance of them seeing me on TV during the weather update.) I take a picture from half a block away to let them know I’ve been and think about inserting a joke about how much it burns my skin to be this close, but decide to save it for the blog instead. After taking a picture of the smallest cop car ever, I move on to Times Square. Times Square is one of those places you need to go at least once in your lifetime. Everything is blazing and it’s always daytime there because it’s so bright. This is the place in NYC where you really feel the city doesn’t sleep. Plus, here is where you can get a taste of everything NYC has to offer—from food to crazy people to Elmo to the Naked Cowboy to Broadway shows, and to more crazy people. It’s fun to just sit there and take it call in. After a quick trip to the M&M store to see if they have their new candy bar from the super bowl ad (they didn’t), I decide to head back towards the hotel. Fat Guy needs din-din. I head back through Rockefeller Center and honestly, at this point, I’ll take a Seth Myers sighting, but yet again am disappointed. No Seth… really? No Jimmy Fallon. No entire cast of SNL. A few more blocks and I’m back in my hotel neighborhood. I didn’t pass anything I wanted for dinner, so I head into Duane Reed or Walgreens….whatever. Buy some snacks and chill at the hotel. And thus, the end of my second day.
NYC Departure Day
I wake up and am determined to use my $50 brekkie credit. It wasn’t too hard. Things at this hotel cost mucho dinero. This was $45. It was good, but $45? How? Why?
Today is a suit-up day. I’m repping work at a different law firm where I’ll be exploring some new features of our accounting system. This time, when I walk in to our NY office, the receptionist recognizes me. Como se dice “Big Baller?” Another uneventful morning of work. Then, I’m off to a different part of town for this conference. It’s only a 15 minute walk, but I’ve never been in this area. Directions were simple—head towards the Chrysler Building, then the “3rd building on the left, and straight-on ‘til morning.” (Peter Pan reference, anyone?) The conference turned out to be worthwhile. Nothing that exciting walking to or from the meeting. Another afternoon at the office, then catching the train back to our Nation’s Capital. I am hoping for nothing too eventful when I arrive, which is basically the same time the State of the Union begins. I just hope that means no traffic for me to cab back to the DC office. Until the next trip… signing off!
Hope you enjoyed hearing from Global Debauchery’s other half. If we cheer loud enough, we just might be able to convince him to write another one!
Today’s featured photo: Chrysler building from the New York office.
© 2019 Jordan Campbell. Some rights reserved. Photo credits: Jeffrey Campbell.