Been a while since I posted something to The Bauble, due to various different reasons, so what better way to return to posting than with a tale of an awesome holiday.
Myself and the lady friend got back from a trip to New York city on Monday. We were over for little under a week and it was something to see.
I've been to the states a couple of times, but New York is really a different beast altogether. The lady friend lived there for a few months a couple of years ago, so for her it was a return to her home-from-home. This meant that I got to experience two types of New York: The bog standard tourist stuff and the off-beat areas that herself had stumbled across on her previous trip.
We stayed in a nice little guest house in the Bronx, which was nothing like I expected. After watching movies and shows on the T.V. over the years you get a skewed view of New York. I expected crack whores on every street corner and chalk outlines being so frequent on the pavement that kids used them to play hopscotch. Instead what I saw was a fairly vibrant and colourful (no pun/racism intended) area of the city with a sense of community. Hell we were only in the area ten minutes, having dropped off our bags, when somebody came out of their home because we looked lost and gave us directions to the subway.
The subway, another marvel of the city. People tend to do a lot of bitching and moaning about transport in Dublin, be it public or just the state of the roads, but when you see the New York subway it makes Dublin transport look like something from the Dark Ages. Trains running six minutes apart, speeding you from one end of the city to the other in minutes. This a mere four days after a hurricane had flooded all the tunnels and knocked out power to the city. A loose leaf can cause the Dart to be delayed for an hour! Even late at night it is super easy to get a subway back home, maybe it is a twenty minute wait instead of six but I can live with that. No running down platforms to make your last train/dart at eleven. You miss the subway and you just wait for the next one, regardless of the time of day or night. Amazing stuff entirely.
While over there I was able to introduce the lady friend to a good mate of mine and his wife who I haven't seen years. He suggested that we meet up in a pub called Dublin 6, which I originally thought was his idea of a joke but it turns out he wasn't being a wise guy and suggesting we meet up in Ireland .
We did all the tourist stuff that is to be expected and many a photo was taken. Just need to find the time to get the images off the camera and upload them.
To cover the entire trip and all the greatness that it was would be an entry that goes on for hours so I will just finish up with this one story.
While shopping in China Town we ventured into Little Italy and stopped at a restaurant to have a coffee in the chairs outside. The son's owner was on the street trying to get customers inside, rarely failing to get somebody, and it was easy to have a bit of craic with him. I even received a new name from him, 'Hey Irish', complete with the gesturing of hands. Behind the table myself and the lady friend were seated at was an american couple in their late fifties, the husband having some banter with the staff as well. The husband kept winding up the Italians by saying he himself was married to an Italian but was an Irish man.
Through a sequence of random events the lady friend ended up sparking a conversation with this gentleman and said that she had heard he was Irish.
"Why yes I am," he said.
The lady friend then pointed out that herself and myself were actually Irish, from the country. This quickly changed his ancestry from Irish to American-Irish born and bred in Philadelphia. For the next half hour we chatted with him, his name being Patrick O'Hare, and his wife, whose name we never actually got I don't think, and had a good few laughs with them and the staff of the place.
Then, as he and his wife were getting up to go, he turns to our table and leans across towards me. Now this had happened a few times during our trip, Americans shaking our hands and telling us to enjoy the rest of our trip, so I assumed this was more of the same. Except Pat turns to the waiter and says: "These guys, my friends, are having lunch on me." and drops a hundred dollar note on our table.
I immediately tried to give it back to him, our total cost of the drinks wouldn't have been more than twenty dollars including tip, but he wouldn't hear of it and jumped into a taxi and away he went.
Needless to say we tipped over and above on our bill and even went back later that night and had dinner in the same place, once again tipping above what is the norm. Spreading the karma as I told the lady friend.
Now all we need to do is track down this generous man and thank him. New York is a crazy place, everyone should get there at least once I tells ya.