Monday, July 23, 2007

In a New York Minute



















I flew to NYC on Friday for a one-day Scrabble tournament on Saturday. A fellow Scrabbler, Paul, picked me up at the airport in Newark, NJ. We had lunch outside at a little restaurant down the street from his apartment called Big Nick's Burger Joint. No meat for us though and the food was great. Then we took a walk down the street to the Boat Basin on the Hudson River. We saw the transition area being set up for the Nautica NYC Trithalon on Sunday (olympic distances). And then we headed to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. We had seats in an upper tier behind home plate - check out my view. The Yankees were playing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (of all teams) Friday and we left after the 6th inning because the Yankees were losing (and lost) to TB. This bothered Paul considerably but the Yankees came back with a vengeance on Saturday and Sunday to win the rest of their games.





















Paul lives on a 9th floor apartment on the west side in Manhattan. I woke up Saturday morning and took a picture of the view from the futon I was sleeping on in the kitchen/living room. Yeah, the apartments combine rooms to save space! I thought it was pretty cool. I had gone out for fresh bagels the night before so that's what we had for breakfast before heading out to the Comfort Diner for the Big Apple Tournament. Paul introduced me to everyone and I especially enjoyed meeting Lynda aka GuitarGirl. There's a great picture of her with Paul sitting in one of the booths. There were 32 people playing in four equal divisions of eight. I was initially the lowest rated player until another player was added at the last minute. Even so, I was only expected to win 1.4 games. I went in with a rating of 839 and the highest rated player in my division had a rating of 1388. That's a big difference and although I didn't beat the highest rated player, I exceeded my expectations and won 4 games. That added 70 points to my rating for a new rating of 909. Wow. On top of that, our host, Ira, let the winners of the last game keep the brand new board we were playing on. I won my last game. Incredible. And you would have thought that's where the excitement ended.


























No, the evening only got better. I invited Zack Hample (author of Watching Baseball Smarter and How to Snag Major League Baseballs) to join us for the ice cream social after the games. I brought 6 of his new books with me to be autographed for friends and family. He was happy to oblige in exchange for cake, pie, and ice cream. Guys can be so EASY sometimes. It was so great to meet him in person. He used to play in the Manhattan Club so he knew practically everyone playing and it was nothing short of a reunion for most of them. But I couldn't let him get away without one game. I'm not saying who won but someone in the picture can't show his face. There's probably a rematch in our future. Guys can be so TOUGH sometimes. He's also pictured with Stefan Fastis who wrote Word Freak which is a favorite for many people who play Scrabble.







Zack, Paul, and I shared a cab home around 2am and I was so high from the day's events that I didn't get to sleep until 3 or later. But I was up shortly after 8 and since Paul was still sleeping I slipped out around 9 to watch the triathlon for a couple of hours. The swim started at 6 in the Hudson so I missed that but there were still bikers and runners out there who needed support. I joined Joe Stallone, whom I just met, in cheering on the guys and girls as they passed. Some of them even thanked us for coming out as they ran by. It was a great way to spend the morning. The race ended in Central Park but I hooked back up with Paul around 11:30 so that we could go to the Empire State Building. Fifty years old, from NY, and I've never been to the ESB. Thank you, Paul. It was a gorgeous day and the view was awesome. We strolled through Central Park (check out the picture of Bethesda Fountain aka Angel of the Waters) the next couple hours only stopping once for brunch at Tavern on the Green. Another treat. Thanks again, Paul. And before I knew it, it was time to go. The time went by so fast. Like in a New York minute...
































12 comments:

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

wow! baseball, scrabble,a private book signing, a triathlon, central park AND the Empire State Building!!! That's a lot to pack into 2 days!! Love your post, maybe my fave so far!!!

M-GEL said...

Looks like a great weekend! Although .... I might have skipped the scrabble and ice cream in favor of swimming, biking and running with my hair on fire for 2+ hours. ;^)
Love you.

Charlene said...

O.K. - SERIOUSLY...ditch the accounting gig! I absolutely LOVED this post! Your words perfectly evoked the feeling one gets when grabbing a quick weekend in NYC. I felt like I was in NY with you. From your dining, gaming and social activities to waking up and catching the early morning marathoners...and then the ESB...and even Tavern!!! OMG! There is NOOOO way that this coming weekend will match up. PANIC-R-US!

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

Di - I wish we could talk our guys into doing the Nautica next year. You know, just a little training before the Ironman competitions! We could go shopping, do a little cowbell, more shopping! ;) Not sure how they feel about swimming in the Hudson after 4 years at West Point though!

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

Char - What? There's not as much to do in Boca Raton???? LOL

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

MGel - I think my favorite w(h)ine has just become "I wanna go to NYC! " ;)

montecarlomiss said...

You do some the best things! The seats at the ballgame were awesome!
Perhaps M-GEL will try the triathalon next year.......... You are so brave to wonder the streets of NYC on your lonesome. You're quite a woman, GEL.

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

MCM aka BFF - it all comes down to a man who says "I'm going to be biking, swimming, and running so you better have some other interests besides me!" :)

m-gel said...

Which man said that? It wasn't me!

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

MGel - Literary license, my dear, literary license...

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

Literary License is blog law

Anonymous said...

Jeez, I didn't realize your weekend was THAT action-packed. Excellent entry, and a very...charitable write-up of our Scrabble game. I definitely need a rematch. (Big Nick's = yum!)

-The Baseball Collector