I was reminded of the crushing crowds in Manhattan on my way to the theater. Our Theater was on the corner of 44th and 9th Avenue in Manhattan. Patrick and I were meeting David and his brother at the theater. We wanted to grab a quick slice beforehand. Getting out of the crush of people leaving the subway at 42 street was in itself like a game of Temple Run. When we got to street level, there were still hundreds of people just on the corner of 44 and 9. You almost feel like you are at a Madonna Concert or something by how much you are jostled. My mother asked me why there weren't as many people in my photos or videos of Brooklyn. I explained to her that not all of NYC was like that. The Theater District or Times Square between 5 and 7:30, though, is overwhelming. It was tough to find David and his brother who are both a head shorter than I am, but we found them.
Last night, Patrick and I wanted to go bar hopping to check out the gay bars in Hell's Kitchen. I convinced Patrick to walk the extra half mile to take the express train from Nostrand. It was 6:00 and the train cars were packed. There appeared to be two seats next to this little old asian man in the corner of the car. I sat in the one against the wall and left the one between the asian man and me open for Patrick. He smirked at me and I wasn't sure why. I figured it was because he didn't want to sit that close to someone else. I looked at him and pointed to my seat as I slid over to the middle seat. His mouth dropped and he gasped as the old asian man with a thick accent practically shoved me back away from him saying "no, no, no." Too late, as a sense of cold wetness absorbed into the butt of my jeans. I hadn't noticed that there was a puddle of gross water on the seat. I then stood up so my pants could dry a little. That was the start of an interesting evening.
In spite of the wet ass, I was going to have fun. We started with dinner at one of my favorite places, El Centro. This mexican inspired little gourmet place is always packed. We waited at the bar for 20 minutes to get two seats at a communal row of tables.
You can see that the place is noisy. Manhattan (and Brooklyn) are so much noisier than most other places in the states that I've been. Admittedly, this is a popular restaurant on a Friday night, but this place is like this at lunch and every time I've been there. I think back to places like Dinosaur and Good Luck in Rochester. I used to think they were noisy. In the city, for me, it's rare to find a place that is good and where you can also talk through your meal without yelling. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but still I am surprised at how many restaurants in the city are this level of noisy.
Ambulances, Fire Trucks, and Police Cars also have sirens that seem so much louder than anything I've ever heard in any other city. I think it might have to do with all of the noise pollution that they have to put up with. I didn't realize they could be louder. Even when they pass me and I'm in my car, I usually have to plug my ears because of the pain. Yet, kids and adults in the city seem to not notice them.
Patrick and I enjoyed visiting Flaming Saddles, Boxers, and Posh in Hells Kitchen. Flaming Saddles is a bar where the bartenders do line dancing on the bar around your drinks. Boxers is a sports bar where each of the bar tenders serves drinks in only boxer shorts. Posh is a neighborhood bar with a DJ. We had a drink at each one and then headed home to crash.
Tonight…Halloween parade in the Village. I'll share photos and videos tomorrow.
Happy Halloween. May you find a peanut butter cup (or some candy you love) in your hands today.