Boots on the Ground – Sharkbait’s New York Adventures

Part 1: A Friends Affair

I try to make it down to New York every year for a hockey game. Mrs. Sharkbait and I started discussing the idea of packaging a Giants game in the same weekend. We decided it wasn’t right that I’ve been to a Giants game and she hasn’t. I went a few years ago for a friend’s bachelor party Lucky for us, the Giants and Rangers both had home games November 17th and 18th. So we said fuck it and went down.

Mrs. Sharkbait’s brother also came with us on this trip. He is a Giants fan as well, and was eager to join us in watching the Giants face plant in person rather that at a bar.

Getting to the city was easy. Mrs. Sharkbait and her brother drove down while I took Amtrak from South Station. As shitty as Penn Station is, the train is infinitely better than driving or flying to the city, mainly because the train has a bar.

After arriving on time, I headed uptown to meet my wife and brother in law at our friend’s apartment on 69th (nice). Staying with some of our best friends added to an already awesome weekend.

When I arrived, everyone was already enjoying a tasty beverage, so I joined in with some Sweet Action by Sixpoint Brewery:

After a few drinks, dinner was required and we decided on more beers and burgers. We went to Bareburger in Lenox Hill where I did not pay attention to the beer size options:

“I chose poorly.”

“Much better.”

I ordered the Buckaroo burger, which contained a slice of brisket on top of a cheese and mushroom burger. It was fantastic.

After dinner, we went to play skee-ball at our friend’s local dive bar a few blocks up. A good dive bar is always worth a visit, especially ones with cheap beer (by NYC standards), billiards, and bar games.

After a few rounds there, we went back to our friend’s apartment to drink for free and relax for the night,

Saturday started out with breakfast at a Greek diner in the Upper East Side, which was fantastic. For some unknown reason, good Greek diners do not exist outside of the tri-state area. Being able to go back to one was a good start to the day.

After breakfast, we stopped and got hipster coffee and made our way to Central Park to do a little walking, as my brother-in-law had never been and wanted to check it out. Plus it was a really nice day, and we wanted to take advantage before the weather turns shitty up here.

With Central Park checked off the list, we went down to the World Trade Center to see the Oculus and the One World Trade Observatory on the way to day drinking. We passed on going up to the observatory because the lines were insane and we didn’t want to waste the day waiting in them, so we decided to go see the Memorials instead.

The dichotomy of the Oculus serving as a 9/11 Memorial and as a mall is a bit strange, but the building itself is beautifully designed and allows for a ton of natural light to illuminate the main floor.

The Memorials outside are very quiet and reserved, as they should be. The names of each victim lines the footprints of both towers and on their birthdays, the staff put roses in their names which I think is a nice touch.

On 9/11 I was in high school in Connecticut, and was due to have surgery that morning. I found out after that my surgery was the last elective surgery done that day, as the hospital was preparing to accept medivac helicopters from New York.

Needing a drink after the memorials, we decided to check out the Dead Rabbit in lower Manhattan. It’s a cool 3 story cocktail bar which was surprisingly busy for that time of day (late afternoon) and location.

I ended up having just one of these:

That drink is called the Red Alert, and has scotch, rhubarb amaro, lychee, bitter aperitif, cherry and peychaud bitters. It was fantastic but STRONG. I ended up only having one, and that was a wise decision.

We then headed back uptown for a late lunch at Bleecker Street Pizza. Bleecker Street may not be the best slice of pizza in the city, but NYC pizza is still the best pizza anywhere.

After dinner Mrs. Sharkbait and I parted from the group to head to MSG for the Rangers-Panthers game.

Mrs. Sharkbait and I prior to the game. Her shirt says it all.

The game was great. Our seats were in the 200s in the corner the Rangers shot at twice.

The game was an entertaining one. Each team scored about 2 minutes apart in the opening 5 minutes, and then each added another before the first was over. That was it for Florida, but the Rangers added a goal in the second and third to win 4-2. Henrik Lundqvist passed Jacques Plante on the all-time wins list so it was a good night all around.

We debated on going out after the game, but we decided against it since we needed to be up and out of our friends place at 6:30 the next morning for the journey across the Hudson to the swamplands of East Rutherford New Jersey.

Part 2: A Family Affair

6:30am arrives and we’re on the way to the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton to meet my father-in-law, who is also joining us for the game. He has the bigger car, which works great for tailgating. Our vehicle was not quite at the caliber of the repurposed bus we were behind in line waiting to get into the parking lot for 8am:

Or this trailer:

Getting there early made sure we maximized tailgating time, as well as our proximity to the stadium itself.

Another benefit of going early was we found a spot close to the end of the row that did not have another parking spot behind it so we had plenty of room to expand without being in the way of any cars looking to park.

Here’s our spread: Burgers, sausage and peppers, plenty of booze, and game-day snacks.

My father-in-law is the one in that Giants polyester blazer, which is a thing that exists. We also saw no less than 4 other people wearing the exact same thing. This monstrosity is so over the top tacky it’s coming back around to borderline awesomeness. As seen here while he’s manning the grill.

Being a Patriots fan, I couldn’t in good conscience wear anything Giants related. However, I think I made my rooting interests fairly obvious…

Late arrivals to the tailgate were my sister and her husband. They were in town from New Hampshire to go to the Syracuse-Notre Dame football game the previous day. We convinced them to join us for the game since her husband is also a Giants fan. So we had a pretty good crew for the game.

Our seats were in the 300s, but overall really good. We were essentially midfield so we could see everything.

The game turned out to be pretty entertaining. BloodSugarFitzMagik showed some early promise until throwing 2 picks. He was then benched for Captain Crablegs in the second half, who was able to keep the game close. Eli managed to not trip over himself and played competently. It also helps that Saquon Barkley is a beast. The Giants sealed the deal after a Jameis Winston arm punt in the closing seconds.

Another round of burgers and sausages were cooked up as we were waiting for the traffic to die down before leaving the parking lot and heading back to the hotel.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Both Mrs. Sharkbait and I got to see our teams win, and we had good times with friends and family.

Thanks for reading!

Sharkbait
Sharkbait
Sharkbait has not actually been bitten by a shark, but has told people in bars that he was for free drinks. Lives in Boston, married to a Giants fan, he enjoys whisk(e)y, cooking, the Rangers, and the Patriots.
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PetronelSharkbaitblaxabbathBeerguyrobMoose -The End Is Well Nigh Recent comment authors
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Beerguyrob

This is excellent recon work for the trip WineWife & I are taking there at Christmas, because I owe her for the scotch trip this summer.

King Hippo

Love it!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I’m a little surprised that there is no “real pizza” comments, but that set up also looks delicious.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Sounds like an awesome trip, except for having to root for the Giants.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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blaxabbath

Giant Mafia

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Yes, they are huge.

Senor Weaselo

Sounds like you guys had a good time! Wish I could have met up with you guys, but the work was waiting.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“The work was waiting.” – Ryan Leaf, explaining the ‘promotion opportunity’ that came as a result of his stellar performance as a busboy for the last month to his roommate Todd

litre_cola

That looked liek a blast. I did enjoy “manning” the grill. Are you sure mom said it was alright to be that close to fire?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

That is a great point; that Giants jacket would go up in seconds.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Something’s off; the Cheez-it box is already half empty.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“I’m more of a half full Cheez-it box kind of person.”

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“Mobile Man Cave”

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Also; did you get to play Rock Paper Scissors with JPP?

blaxabbath

After breakfast, we stopped and got hipster coffee

One of my favorite hobbies is figuring out the real life identities of the contributors here. I have suspected it for a while but today I have been assured of WHO Sharkbait really is.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

No resemblance …. but several of the take down comments are fucking hilarious.

ballsofsteelandfury

You’re right, the takedowns are hilarious!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

My favorite was just a simple retweet of the following:

Game Time Decision

what is “hipster coffee”?

ballsofsteelandfury

Anything where you pay more than $5 per cup.

Of course, I followed the link and he’s at a fucking Coffee Bean. Not even hipster coffee!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I’d say the opposite, actually. Any more than $5 a cup and it’s just a “fancy” coffee shop.

ballsofsteelandfury

Dude, $5 for a fucking Caffe Mocha at Blue Bottle. WTF?!?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I mean yeah, I agree that’s way too much to pay for a cup of coffee, but…what am I even talking about, I don’t understand hipster culture any more than Jailbound I mean Jacob Wohl does.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Depends on what you want and what bean you are using. If you want regular average coffee, sure.

ballsofsteelandfury

For $5 a cup, I want tableside milking service from Mimi Rogers.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

See above and below; you obviously don’t appreciate some things, but then you have to justify the non-appreciation to yourself by denigrating it. We’ll take the barista earning a living wage, huge espresso (sorry; EXpresoo) machine and “fancy” beans and get off your lawn.

ballsofsteelandfury

I really thought the Mimi Rogers bit would draw a gif from you…

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

You just need to go to the 7-11 and put some flavored creamer in you to-go cup; it’s way cheaper that way.

blaxabbath

To this grifter? A fucking Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Oh man I can’t believe he’d blow his whole allowance at a chain like that.

/but seriously, why are we talking about this soon-to-be jailbird?

blaxabbath

CUZ HE’S SHARKBAIT MAN!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

It is any place where people are, that you do not like for some reason that you can attribute to some nebulous, meaningless phrases such as “hipster culture” or even “hipster”, to enable you to feel superior, smug, or the usual internet vague rage. The reasons can be that you don’t understand, don’t appreciate, or just plain don’t like because it is different.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I think for a lot of people it’s basically anyplace where there are a decent number of young attractive people laughing and smiling and having a good time.

Wakezilla

Ethical beans, most likely expensive, prepped in an unorthodox way

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Game Time Decision

I wonder how much better Barkley would be if he had a QB that was competent?
/want to get that “i’m just here for the fantasy points” shirt.
//great work.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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ballsofsteelandfury

LOVE the “I married into this” t shirt.

It looks like you guys had a great time!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

John McCain used to wear the same one.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

And others …….

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Even though this was stolen by #nflmemes it still made me laugh.

http://www.relatably.com/m/img/new-york-giants-fan-meme/ef52265b6c69719d41697bf5d4e3397f.jpg

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“New York City??”

The Picante sauce SUCKED.

But I digress.

Well done. Also your faces and measurements are now well established in the NSA data system, however they are a bit confused with your t-shirt game.

“Manning the grill…..”

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

This sounds like a really fun weekend.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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blaxabbath

Was she Miss Teen Giants 1941?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I’m thinking she has been scary-boastful since before her teens, whenever that was.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

That one was sarcastic; maybe this is less so:

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Her make out friend?

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blaxabbath

The teens.

Wakezilla

That was a nice read. Did the fans at MetLife give you more of a corporate vibe compared to other stadiums you’ve been to?

yeah right

Great stuff good sir. I’ve been to the old Meadowlands but not the new one. I saw Jets Eagles back in like 1987. Reggie White vs Mark Gasteneau. Hope to read more of your efforts in the future!