NYC in 19 hours

No, it’s not the title of the latest travelogue, it’s my cheeky title about my recent trip to the Big Apple to help celebrate a good friend Bret’s 40th birthday.  Even though I was sick and just back from a red eye flight, it wasn’t one of those things that you miss.  Especially when he’s a food writer, and has reserved an entire restarant for his party!

I should really tell you where we went, but I can’t remember at the moment (plus I’m still undecided if I write specific reviews or not in this blog).  Thai, anyway, and quite good as you’d expect.  In fact the service was excellent: the waiters passing trays of hot finger foods quickly learned what our group – the Tufts crowd in the corner – liked and kept us well fed. I made sure to compliment the staff on their attentive and nonchalantly pleasant attitude after the event.

The Tufts crowd, comprising two of Bret’s friends, and our mutual friend Birdman, plus a couple of his relatives, and surprisingly enough his parents! ended up closing out the place.  So we decided to head over to a Brit Colonial repro bar that Bret said was a few blocks over for drinks.  Whee!  Quite posh, although I was disappointed that a fancy NYC lounge that attempted to recreate a British Officer’s Club from when England ruled the waves didn’t carry Tanqueray’s Malacca.  They did have one empty bottle though, and the barkeep was quite apologetic.  Plus, they had a whole list of Champagne Cocktails.

So I ended up staying out later, and drinking more, than I have since… well, since shortly after college.  And it was a total blast.  Not just Bret, and his family, and friends, and the amazing food.  Just doing it was fun.  Not that I need to do it again soon – at least not until the next 40th birthday party that comes around.

But that’s not getting you any closer to the secret of my title.  See, I had been away for a week on a business trip, and taken the red eye home with no sleep.  I really couldn’t justify staying away from home and family any longer than necessary.  So I sprung for the Acela, zipped down Sunday afternoon, had dinner, drinks, and more drinks; got honest to goodness 5+ hours of sleep at Birdman’s place; and had time to pick up bagels in those 19 hours before taking the Acela home.

Statistically speaking, I spent more time travelling than I actually spent with Bret, and if you add up the cost, it was $$$ per hour I got to see him.  Although staying in Birdman’s apartment was a bonus too.  And you can meet the nicest people on the train!  I imagine having reserved seats, so no-one is standing for three hours, really makes a difference in your travelling companions, however.

Oh, and Bret writes a blog about NYC food industry: I’m sorry to say that if you don’t know him, the delivery is no where near as good as he does in person.

Although I must respectfully disagree that Tufts grads never sing the song: of course we do!  But it usually is for the humor effect.

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