Saturday, October 29, 2011

New York - the "Robot Busboy" edition

Our last full day in New York started with a trip here: 

Yup. 30 Rock. I was horribly disappointed that we didn't come across Liz Lemon or Jack Donaghy while we were there, especially as I get the theme song from 30 Rock stuck in my head every time I so much as look at a picture of the GE Building. Sad face... Still, the view from Top of the Rock made up for it:

Once we finished there, we each sold a kidney and went to TGI Friday's for lunch, solely because it was close by and we were too hungry to find anything else. It was definitely NOT worth the small fortune we paid. From there, we wandered down Fifth Avenue in the direction of Central Park. At the corner of 5th and 57th - just near Tiffany's - we saw something totally weird. A woman in an ornate wedding dress (and clearly on her way TO her wedding, because her bridesmaids were standing by the side of the road, but there was no sign of a groom or any groomsmen) ran into the middle of the road, accompanied by her photographer. 

She then proceeded to spin in circles, standing on a steam grate. In her wedding dress. In the middle of Fifth Avenue. Which was filled with traffic. Needless to say, the nearby cops weren't very impressed and chased her off pretty quickly. I wish to God I'd taken a photo of the whole thing to show you. Because it was INSANE. (And sadly, on this occasion, Google Images was of no help... *sigh*) 

Anyway. We continued up 5th Avenue and into Central Park. Again, there was a total lack of dead bodies or psychotic rapists hiding in the bushes. I'm almost entirely convinced that SVU has been lying to me all these years... We decided to go to the Central Park Zoo, as we had plenty of time on our hands and no real plans. It's kind of a sad little zoo, although it's not really surprising given how tiny Manhattan is in the grand scheme of things! Despite its tiny-ness, we still had a fun time. I was particularly taken with the fact that the snow leopard came out to play:

Usually they're sitting at the back of their cages looking sulky. I don't blame them, really! We sat by the seal pool for 20 minutes or so, just watching them play. Eventually, we tired of that (and that millions of small screaming children that were nearby) and headed off in the direction of Strawberry Fields. 

The park was filled with families and dogs and a bunch of old men on roller skates, which was ever so slightly confusing. But it didn't matter because it was a gorgeous day, which made me forget to look for dead bodies and SVU detectives for a whole five minutes:

We knew we'd reached Strawberry Fields when we heard a band playing Penny Lane. Having sung it as part of house music a millionty years ago, there's a possibility that I broke into song. I have a sneaking suspicion that I was better than they were... #winningatmodesty

Anyway. We eventually reached the John Lennon Memorial, and sat there for a while watching all the people take ridiculous photos of themselves making peace signs and duck faces. We briefly contemplated wandering further to see the Boathouse, the Reservoir and Belvedere Castle, but that seemed all too much like hard work. So instead, we headed back to the subway and our hotel. An hour or so later, we headed out in search of dinner. We vetoed the thousands of Irish pubs that we passed, briefly considered going to a restaurant that served mostly hummus, and instead ended up at a packed Italian restaurant. 

We really should have known that it wasn't going to be great when this happened:
Waitress: Can I get you guys some drinks to start?
Sara: I'm fine with water.
Me: Can I get a Sprite, please?
Kat: I'll have the cab sav [points at cabernet sauvignon on wine list]
Waitress: Sure thing!

[five minutes later]
Waitress: Okay. Here are your drinks. Three waters, a Sprite, and a White Zinfandel! 

Cab sav:

White Zinfandel:
Um, NO. They're not in any way the same thing. We eventually got that little misunderstanding sorted out, and resolved not to use Antipodean abbreviations in American restaurants again. 

I kind of wanted to order pizza, but a small pizza was 16" (!!!), and it seemed like you could pretty much only have a cheese pizza, and then pay extra to add a very limited number of toppings to it. As one of the few vegetarian toppings was broccoli, and as I'd learnt my lesson about broccoli and pizza in Chicago, I ended up ordering ravioli. As we were waiting for our food to arrive, we noticed that we had a ridiculously attentive busboy. Any time anyone in the restaurant so much as picked up their glass of water, he'd rush over with a jug to refill it the second they put it down. The same happened with clearing tables. No matter how far away the plates seemed to be, he'd make EXACTLY the same movement and they were suddenly in a pile in his hand. I quickly developed a theory that he was a robot busboy. This theory was further supported when he snatched Kat's plate away before she'd even put the cutlery down. Awkward. And definitely a robot.

And yet, despite the ridiculously attentive service from the busboy, we had to sit around the table looking expectant for a millionty years before we could get dessert. Sadly, the dessert turned out to be not worth the wait. Sigh. Not really what I'd hoped for on our last night in New York. 

Join me next time for the trip up to Boston.

Sorry. I just wanted an excuse to include that somewhere...

K xx


  1. Sounds like lots of fun and a little bit of disappointment! There's no place like home.

  2. Bus boy is a SERIOUS profession :)

  3. I forget if you watch The Office... but remember when Michael Scott was in Rock Center and he went up to someone he thought was Tina Fey and then while he was talking to her the cameras saw Conan walking by...? #awesome


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