Tag Archives: Big Apple

Does This Spell The End Of My Wanderlusting?

A get well note for Bernie from his eldest daughter Makenzie.

After visiting the hospital today to see Becky and my brother, Aidan and I headed to Simcoe to visit my parents. We figured it would do all of us good to have a normal family dinner. And it did.

Over dinner we chatted about the obvious; that being my brother and the accident. We also chatted about Christmas and what that would entail. You see, Aidan and I had planned to fly to Europe for three weeks over Christmas and New Years. However, given the current situation with my brother, it seems like a far better idea to stick around and spend time with the family.

But don’t worry folks; this isn’t the end of my wanderlusting ways. Far from it. During our drives back and forth from the hospital, Aidan and I have been chatting about what our plans could be. Clearly we both know that being home for Christmas is the only option. But we also know that travel is still in our very near future. In fact, after our conversation today I think we’ve figured out where were going to go and when we are going to go there. So, without further ado let me present to you the

New & Improved

Dan & Aidan Fun Time Christmas Travel Adventure


Destination: New York City!

Say what? New York City? Again? Weren’t you just in the Big Apple?

Why yes, yes I was, thank you for noticing. But really, this is a no-brainer. Flights are inexpensive. Hotels are inexpensive (for NYC). The time of year is right. I love the city. And even more: Aidan has never been there. This is clearly something that I should have rectified long ago. Regardless, the plan is to hit the Big Apple one more time this year. On our list of things to do:

I’m sure there will be other items added to the list, but this is a good start for now. And as always, I shall keep you posted on my wanderlusting and my adventuring.

Dear New York, The Doctors Are In You

We may be smiling because we're eating cookies. But we also might be smiling because we are headed to New York.

Around 3pm today, I jumped into an airport limo with Dr. Steph and Dr. Gerarda, and we started our journey towards Pearson. Our ultimate destination: New York City.

This will be about the eleventy-billionth time that I’ve visited the Big Apple; my second time with Steph, my fourth time with Gerarda. Despite the number of times that I’ve been to this city, I can say without any hesitation that it continues to surprise and amaze me. There are just so many things to see and do here.

Of course, before we even made it to NYC, we had to make the requisite stop at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge; also known as the Super Happy Fun Time Lounge. There we may have sampled such things as nachos and salsa, cookies and chips, beer and wine, port and scotch, and scotch and scotch. An awesome start to what will no doubt be an awesome trip.

The flight was great and it seemed to fly by rather quick; pun completely intended. Ha. I kill me. During the flight, I was super stoked to find that The Nightmare Before Christmas was being offered on the in flight entertainment system. I love this movie, so watching it wasn’t even a question.

After landing, making our way to our hotel (On The Avenue – on 77th for those curious), checking in, and such, we ventured to the nearby Amsterdam Pub – on Amsterdam Ave. A nice little pub, with great food and a collection of beer from around the world. I decided to sample the onion rings and a beer called something something double dead guy. I don’t remember the first part of the name, hence the something something. The lack of memory might have to do with the fact that I drank 2 pints of said something something double dead guy. Clearly, my verdict on that particular beer was delicious.

Now it’s time for sleep. But New York, be warned; the Doctors are in you.

I Ate New York

I just woke up to the sounds of the Big Apple coming to life on a rainy Friday morning.  As I lay here, a muffled cacophony of car alarms, sirens, horns, police whistles, and people shouting can be heard from below my hotel window.  While not quite the same as waking up to the sound of waves in the morning, it’s not too bad.  In fact, I think I love it.

For those unaware, I landed in New York city (NYC) on Thursday afternoon.  If my count is correct, this is my millionth visit to the Big Apple.  Clearly, I love NYC.  My first trip occurred way back in grade 10, when I was about 20 years younger.  My art class jumped on a bus and made the long trek to the city to spend some quality time exploring its cultural offerings.  The city was much different then; Times Square was mainly a centre for porn shops and XXX theatres.   The seedy, dank, dark, and sleazy has since been replaced by bright neon lights, billboards, and Naked Cowboys (who by the way, are not really naked).  I think Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been credited with cleaning it up, for better or worse.  Whoever is accountable, I loved the city then, and I love it still today.  In the past year alone, I’ve been thrice.  Thrice!  And I’d come back again in a heartbeat.

For those that have never been (and might I ask why haven’t you been?), the city is vibrant.  There is some sort of indescribable electricity in the air.  I know that sounds corny, but it’s so true.  I love it.  And I love the people of New York.  There is just so much diversity, you can’t help but love it.

Of course, most New Yorkers are also loud.  Really loud.  So loud, that most people are taken aback the first time a native New Yorker barks at them.  And I don’t write bark in a derogatory manner.  It’s just the way New Yorkers communicate.  To the uninitiated, the bark might be construed as anger or aggression.  But it’s neither, generally speaking.  New Yorkers are loud, and they may bark, but they are friendly, and helpful, and typically happy.  At least, that has been my experience.

One of my favourite things about the city is the food.  So much food.  And food of all different varieties, from different cultures, and different traditions.  If my hernia didn’t prevent me from eating a lot at once, I’d be gorging on food like it was going out of style.  Maybe my hernia provides a silver lining for my waist line; a silver belt if you will.

Gerarda, clearly happy that we found the cupcakes.

Anyway, our gastronomic adventure began within a few minutes of getting checked into our rooms at On The Avenue.  Around the corner from the hotel is a cupcake store that Gerarda loves called Crumbs.  While I’m not a cupcake person, we always make a point of stopping in.  The coffee is delicious, cheap, and very dark.  Just the way I like it.

Gerarda opted for a small classic chocolate cupcake with sprinkles, while Alan went for the full-sized chocolate hazelnut cupcake, which I have been informed was full of Nutella goodness.  Based on the smiles on their faces, the cupcakes did not disappoint.  Elisabeth opted for a traditional jewish pastry typically served during Purim known as a hametaschen.  Verdict – delicious.

I wasn’t to be left out however, as I paired my coffee with a really tasty cinnamon bun.  Oh so cinnamon-y and gooey and tasty.  A perfect touch of sweet to go with my dark roast java.

Following our lunch of pastries and sugary treats, we wandered the neighbourhood (as Elisabeth has not been to NYC before, apart from one visit associated with a Physics conference many years ago).  The weather was perfect; not too hot, and definitely not too cold.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue; almost as if the universe was compelling us to wander, taking in all that the city had to offer.

A tasty Guinness, and probably the best club I've ever joined.

Eventually we made our way to The Dead Poet, our favourite pub.  We always drop in for a beverage or two while we are here.  While enjoying my second and third Guinness of the day (the first having been consumed at the Airport Lounge back in Toronto), I was compelled to join a special club that the bar was advertising.  Specifically, it was the 100 pints of Guinness club.  To obtain full membership, you have to drink 100 pints of Guinness (purchased of course from The Dead Poet).  Clearly this is a challenge that I am up to.  Clearly it means I need to return to New York, otherwise I might not make this challenge.  Note: the pints do not need to be consumed at once thankfully, as I am a light weight these days.

A very tasty Chianti to go with our tasty meals

Dinner followed drinks, and it consisted of an italian dinner at a nearby restaurant (which name I can’t recall).  Dinner was good – I had a very nice linguine with clam sauce.  We paired our meals with a very nice chianti1, and of course, much laughter. By the time dinner was finished, we were all very stuffed, and very much ready to call it an early night.

Before we turned in, we wandered down to Times Square.  There we visited the M&M’s store, and the Swatch store.  Mainly, we just enjoyed the scenery and chaos that is Times Square.  My favourite part was trying to translate the conversation that I apparently had with some rather large drunk man, who felt compelled to stop traffic so that we could cross the street.  I gathered enough from what he told me to know that he was “mo fo wasted”, and “slappy in the way, fo sho”.  At least, that’s how I heard whatever he said.

So many M&M's. The. Rainbow. Is. Overwhelming. So. Freaking. Beautiful.

We returned to our rooms, exhausted, still very much full, and quite content with our day.  As I crawled into bed, I wondered what gastronomic adventures might await us on Friday.  I drifted off knowing that whatever they be, they’ll be awesome. New York has a way of not disappointing.

1 Which adds bottle 7 to my list of 30 new wines – a part of my Not-So-Bucket-List list.

P.S. Happy Birthday (yesterday) Lara :)