Halfway through our trip, and Saturday was our last full day. After some discussion (there are so many places to go see in NYC), we chilled out in the hotel for a bit in the morning, I gave the kids showers, hit a cafe for lunch, then rode up to Columbus Circle. On the agenda for Saturday was walk through Central Park, Central Park Zoo, then dinner out somewhere. Maybe even Dos Caminos again. How sadly I was mistaken, but that was okay. You’ll soon find out why.
I can understand why New Yorkers come to Central Park. Even in Autumn, it is very pleasant and relaxing to walk around, and the temperature was comfortable. I didn’t have a real plan besides hanging out, but it worked out. We found this area with lots of large rock formations where the kids could play, and a fantastically unique playground. It was built in such a way that three of us pretended it was Tolkien’s Helm’s Deep fortress. We eventually walked around the southern end of the park, then made our way to Central Park Zoo around 3:30pm.
Unfortunately, there was a long line at admissions, so that was an unpleasant surprise, especially with only 90 mins before the zoo closed. The line itself looked like it would take about 30 mins to get to the ticket window. Another unpleasant surprise — I was told there was only a “nominal” admission fee, but it would be about $40 for us to get in to see the animals for an hour. The kids were tired and hungry, more than we wanted to spend, and a short window of time to see it. Ultimately, it made more sense to us to do the zoo another day.
We walked out along the southeast corner of the park towards the nearest Au Bon Pain, where we could leverage a gift card that my mother gave us earlier this year. We walked back to the hotel, stopping at a Barnes & Noble on 3rd Ave to read some books, and a popular women’s clothing store so my wife could browse the wares.
We chilled out and got freshened up for a family dinner, until I was surprised to hear a knock and find our friend Lesh knocking on our hotel room door. Surprise! My wife had made plans a couple of week ago for Lesh to meet us and watch the kids, while Nums & I could then go out for a celebratory dinner (vacation, new job, etc.) without worrying about the kids. Where were we going to dinner? Smith & Wollensky – NYC‘s for the first time, then meeting up for drinks with friends Kanishk and Sofi, and now possibly meeting up with Reeba, Sandhya, and others at some club down near 34th St. Neat, and I was very surprised. The kids and Lesh would be staying in to hang out and I would pick up some dinner for the three of them from Dos Caminos.
Dinner was pretty decent, though Nums didn’t like her steak very much. I was going to behave and stick to a small cut, but this Cajun-flavored rib steak caught my eye. The waiter played coy on the size of the steak, and it was huge when it arrived. Turned out that it was a ginormous 32 oz. steak. I ate only two spoons of each of our sides, as I worked hard to not waste the steak. I think I still prefer Ruth’s Chris overall.
After dinner, we walked over to 2nd Ave to meet K & S at Traffic Bar & Restaurant for drinks. Very fun time, and I’m very happy that all four of us got together finally, as Nums is always so busy with work for all of us to make it ever.
We eventually said our farewells, and took a lengthy, slow ride down to 33rd St to see the other folks at this club, which turned out to be an Indian party. Now, when I was single, I liked Indian parties, because I wanted to meet attractive Indian women. Unfortunately, they’re always crowded, the women are unfriendly, and the drinks are always expensive. Oh, and there are always way too many guys there in relation to women. Well, things apparently haven’t changed, because it was hot, crowded, and way too many Indian guys dancing around with each other when they weren’t shoving you out of their way when they wanted to get by. I think we stayed about 30 mins, said goodbye to Sandhya, then bid a hasty retreat. I’m glad I haven’t missed anything to be found at the club scene.
Of course, the subways were even slower on the way back, but we eventually made it back. Lesh hung out for a while more, then caught a cab back to her place in Queens. What a long, adventurous, surprising day.