New York City Expedition 2018 Day 1
June 28th 2018- Thursday
We entered ABIA airport and grabbed a quick bite to eat in the United Club. We got our membership back when my fiancee was a flight attendant and we travelled so often. I HIGHLY recommend getting a club membership if you travel often. The perks often include free drinks and light eats which can save you significant amounts of money to be spent on more fun areas of your adventure.
After grabbing a much needed latte and a light breakfast we headed to our gate and boarded in the priority boarding group (another perk of a club membership).
Once on the plane we, I continued reading "Business for Punks" by James Watt of BrewDog Brewing Company. This book approaches entrepreneurship in a very blunt and entertaining manner. Worth the read if you're looking at finally jumping off the cliff into the whirlwind that's being a entrepreneur. As soon as we began our decent I put my book away and gazed out the window at the cluttered beauty that would be my destination for a week.
When my fiancee and I travel we usually go at it with a very open minded approach. We have a general idea and plan of what we want to do, but never get so dedicated to a formal itinerary. We have found that for us, not limiting yourself on an excursion can really lead to some fun and exciting moments that would never have happened if left to the strictness that is an itinerary.
We grab our bags and head out The Gallivant Times Square where we would spend 3 nights. As soon as we walked in I was pleased, I love seeing the
old destination style distance posts. We were greeted and left our bags with the bellman and headed out for a much needed bite to eat.
We followed the hustle and bustle that is Times Square to one of the endless Irish Bars nearby, O'Donoghues Bar & Resturant. I enjoy a pint of Yuengling and a basket of classic fish and chips, while listening to the excitement of the FIFA World Cup match on the televisions. After we finished up, we worked our way back to our hotel and got booked in.
Our rooms at The Gallivant was quaint and reminded me of my time in my dorm from college. We put away our luggage and headed out to the real reason we were here...to explore, to see, to experience the rich culture that is New York City.
Keeping in mind our purpose we eagerly headed over to one of the greatest beer dives and hole in the walls off the beaten path of Times Square, Beer Culture in Hell's Kitchen.
Immediately, the NYC culture was thriving in here. All sorts of New Yorkers were coming and going. Pints and cans of craft beer from all over were being consumed between greetings and ball busting amongst friends. One fellow walked in with headphones in his ears and his head down headed straight to the bathroom, and quickly left...the attentive bartender did not let this party foul slide. "Hey you! Thanks for the bathroom etiquette!...this guy", yelled the bartender. The place erupted with laughter and more craft beer was enjoyed. It was a place that felt very welcoming and inviting. Deep discussion of beer were being engaged. Growlers would pop out of backpacks to be sampled to the beer buyer as salesmen talked up their product to earn a coveted place on this proud wall. Another fellow walked in, and asked for gin based drink apparently...DO NOT DO THIS HERE. The bartender smiled, and the whole bar stopped and waited. "Ya, I'll make you an extra dirty martini for ya...so you can shove it up your ass!!!!"- Bartender
As I paid out our tab I left a Destination Brewing Company sticker with the bartender. We talked shop a bit and he walked me over to "Grandpa's Fridge" and gave me the run down about "Grandpa's Fridge" and placed our sticker, in the upper right corner, of what may be his most coveted piece of decor (Don't be afraid to open "Grandpa's Fridge". I felt honored for this.
Since were were in Hell's Kitchen we decided to try out dinner in the area and came across a cozy place called Kashkaval Garden. I must confess, I can be stubborn and get set on my ways when I order. Luckily for me, I have a great adventurous woman by my side who inspires me to try new things...she's often correct. We ordered the 2 meat skewers and a cheese plate consisting of Goat Cheese and Kashkaval Cheese. HANDS DOWN...THE BEST goat cheese i've ever had. It is Coupole Goat Cheese by Vermont Creamery.
This will be my go to goat cheese going forward (there's that stubbornness of mine again, but I like what I like quality and consistency).
On a culinary high, we traversed our way through the streets of Hells Kitchen figuring out our next plan, when it hit...Comedy Show!!!! We chose one off Google Maps (seriously helpful for the wanders like us who choose to go with the flow). We located one a short ride away in Chelsea called Gotham Comedy Club. This Comedy Club has staged some great names like Dave Chappelle, Jerry Sienfield, Dane Cook and seen on HBO's Pilot of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Tickets were $15 plus a 2 drink minimum. This may have been one of the better comedy show's I've been to in a while. The staff was incredible and very attentive, the drinks were good and the NY Cheesecake was not too shabby either. Do not be surprised if you get seated at a 4 seat table when there's only 2 of ya'll and you make some new friends quickly. For us it was a 2 young bartenders from Boston sneaking away from their family for some much needed laughs.
Back to Times Square we went and ended up in this warm bar, The Playwright.
We quickly made friends with the bartender and a Long Island local girl who just finished up her shift near by. We talked a lot about things to do and see and the growing craft beer scene on Long Island. As easy it is to stay out all night, we called it. So much still to do the next day.