Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rolling with the Punches

With the exception of Wednesday, I've been working while J-Train has been in New York so I can't really comment on the things he's seen and done while I've been at the office. But this past week I've been doing my best to fill our evenings with catch-up time.

Thursday night we had plans to go out to Staten Island to see a championship boxing match. When I read that last sentence back to myself, it doesn't seem half as ridiculous as it did when I first bought the tickets. First of all, I know nothing about boxing (but J-Train does). I'd never been to Staten Island, nor even on the ferry to get there. Everything about Thursday's nights plan promised new and exciting adventures for both of us.

So when we met at my office at 5.30pm that day, we were pumped to get on the subway, catch the ferry, and watch two men pummel the crap out of each other. But what do they say about best laid plans?

We got on the subway at Grand Central and the trip quickly turned sour. The train kept stop-starting and we managed to translate a garbled announcement from the conductor about delays all the way along our line into Brooklyn, due to a "passenger accident". Our train limped into stations and the delays between the stops dragged out longer and longer. Finally we got down to about Astor Place, still 5 or so stops from where we needed to be, and then we just stopped. Passengers around us started to get really antsy, irritated that a "passenger accident" (most likely code for a suicide) was making us all late. Nice, huh?

At Canal Street, our subway idled at the station and shows no signs of going any further. So J-Train and I made the decision to head up to street level and find a cab to take us to the Ferry. A good plan perhaps, but not when you're trying to do it in peak hour traffic, at the change-over time for the afternoon & evening taxi shifts. There was not a cab to be found. In New York City! Can you even believe it?

Time dragged on and it became very clear that we were never going to make it to Staten Island in time for the boxing. And with no guarantee how long the match was likely to go for anyway, we didn't think there was much point trekking all the way out there late. We agreed to abandon the boxing and all of a sudden found ourselves plan-less.

But New York wasn't about to beat us yet. We left frenetic Canal Street and Chinatown behind and walked into Little Italy, to stuff in the original NYC pizza at Lombardi's, where I've only been once before. Margherita pizza with pepperoni on top, some breadsticks dunked in tomato spaghetti sauce, and we were in heaven. Hopping onto the Number 6 subway uptown, we succumbed to our post-pizza food comas at the movies, taking in Marky Mark (sans Funky Bunch) in Contraband. It was good, but our lives were not changed dramatically.

J-Train's so easygoing and didn't seem to mind me dragging him from one end of the city to the other. And if he was bummed about missing the boxing, you'd never know it. Now that's the kind of house-guest you want!

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