My Post About SnarkNYC
First, I want to say how grateful I was for the opportunity go to Snark. Thank you to Michele for organizing the scholarship fund and to everyone who gave to it. I had an amazing weekend because of you and your generosity.
In addition to this being my first Internet meet up, it was also my first trip to New York City. I had two goals. One was to not look like a tourist. The other was to not get lost. I think I was able to pull them both off.
When I arrived at Newark airport, it was the middle of the day and I had plenty of time to kick around a little before the pre-game at Snafu that night. When I boarded the PATH train my plan was simple: head to World Trade Center, see the Freedom Tower under construction, pay my respects, take a train to Queens to meet Ryan at his apartment, my home for the weekend.
I missed my stop at Newark Penn Station because I wasn’t paying attention. So “Head to World Trade Center” became “Now what?”. I rode the PATH to New York Penn Station rather than be a spaz and get off and go back one stop. As I said, this was my first time in NYC, so when I got off at Penn Station and it looked more like an airport than my preconceived notion of a train station I was taken aback. I also didn’t realize it was right under Madison Square Garden which was pretty awesome. As a fairly generalized sports fan, it was really neat to be right there where so many cool things have happened. Since my Step One was thrown out I needed a new Step Two, et al.Step Two
When I got back to the surface streets and was able to check in on foursquare (Sorry, Facebook friends, for the spam). I decided I would check out the Empire State Building which ended up being just a few blocks away. Here’s the first time I came close to failing at looking like a tourist. The Maps application on the iPhone has three ways to get directions, driving, mass transit, and walking. Guess who forgot to turn on the walking directions on his iPhone? Me, the asshole who walked twice as far as he needed to to go 3 blocks. I was also wearing a 20lb. back pack with all of my stuff. Awesome. I reach the Empire State Building and it’s everything I hoped it would be. I did the 86th Floor Observation deck instead of the 102nd floor because if I’m going to be that high it either needs to be in a plane or a metaphor. I did really enjoy it and I didn’t get scared of heights except for one second when I made myself look as straight down as I could look. It was clear and the guide said the view was about 60 miles in every direction. I will post some pictures.Queens
Astoria, to be specific, and what a great neighborhood it is. Multicultural. Clean, but not gentrified. Astoria, like most of New York, has a quality that one simply does not find in Florida. Its been lived in. It’s been here for a while. In Florida, everything looks brand new and it was designed by a committee with shitty taste that is probably also color blind. It feels like people lived there before you and, when you’re aware of that, that can put you in your place pretty quick. Ryan’s place was awesome and he and his girlfriend were awesome hosts. I’ve been invited back with Indy and I can’t wait to show her the city.Snafu
I realized as I got off the subway at 53rd and Lex that I hadn’t eaten anything since the McDonald’s in the Newark airport. I needed to eat because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on bar food. I thought “where should I stop?” and it appeared, beckoning me to taste it. Melt Shop Grilled Cheese. Holy Mother of Cheese. I had the Classic with everything (caramelized onions, tomato and bacon). It was fantastic. It probably makes better hangover food than pre-game food, but I loved it.
Inside the bar, Michele saw me coming up the stairs and I got one of the all-time great hugs I’ve ever received in my life. I got to meet so many people for the first time. It was amazing and weird to be recognized, but still amazing. Most of the reactions were “OMG! You made it!”. I got butt married to Jenna, which is totally a thing. If you touch someone a certain number of times within an hour with your butt, you are married to that person. I helped Jill off of the floor. I’m pretty sure I surprised Shira, because she screamed when she saw me. I never get that reaction, so it had to be shock. Heather kept offering me the sticky thing between her legs. (It was the Gummy Bears, pervs.) I think I had them before the Outbreak Monkey, so I was in the clear. [NOTE: I like the vodka bears, but I’m working on a better delivery method for next time.] Between the bears and the drinks Ryan bought me when he arrived, I was pretty loaded up, but it was time to start the next adventure.A Bigger Boat
This was probably the least Snark related thing that I did all weekend, but Ryan and I left Snafu to visit the IFC Centerto see a midnight showing of Jaws. Fucking Jaws. It was amazing to see it on the big screen, but not just on the big screen. An unrestored print from 1975 with all the dirt, dust and who knows what the hell else because shit will go down in a projection booth. It had the Universal logo that predates the spinning globe and it had the “Take the Universal Studios Tour” tag after the credits. It was killer. Oh, we also had a Papaya hot dog on the way. It was the only “NYC food” I really had, but it was killer. A+++++ Would Jam In My Face Again.The Main Event
Saturday rolled around and I really wanted to hit up the Met for the photo walk. We made it, but not in time for the group. I love museums and this was a really incredible experience. We only ended up doing the first floor, because I was worn out. If you have never been, please go just to see the Temple of Dendur. It will blow your mind.
After a ride back to Queens and a shower, I was all set to head to Blackstone’s. I was there pretty early and decided to forgo my ban on bar food and made nice with the bartender ladies. I’m not sure which filled up faster: the room with people or me with vodka tonics. The room won by a nose. I got to meet Rob, Mark and Derek. I had extended eye contact with Sarah. I did the robot with the very lovely Dani and for the equally lovely (and now totally my bro) Lauren. I made faces with Jenna and fart jokes with Cherilyn. I hugged Natalie and Lisa. I didn’t take many pictures, but I was in a few. Maybe I would have taken more, but I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.
I wrote a more impressionist piece about the experience already. To sum up, the who thing was a remarkable experience. A++++ Would Jam These People In My Face (Again).