Day 3 in NYC: Biking in Central Park, the WFMU Record Fair & Greenwich Village

10 Jun

catcityOur Saturday day was pretty planned out, but our night took on a life of its own. We didn’t know if we’d see Hedwig or spend the night at The Comedy Cellar, but we knew we had a forecast of sunshine, a record fair to go to and an afternoon biking around Central Park ahead of us. Ha. Plans.After being frustrated by a slow start to Friday where we didn’t leave the hotel until after 1** , I got out nice and early Saturday for a bike ride around our neighborhood while Caitlin got ready. Taking advantage of the free bike rentals at our hotel, I headed down 5th avenue, made it as far as Washington Square Park, did a lap around and picked us up some Starbucks.***

*Somewhere, the Universe laughed at us.

**Zack hid his frustration from me — thankfully — and I luxuriated in a slow start to our day on Friday. I wonder how we’ll do on our “all-relaxation, all-the-time” honeymoon we’re planning? Over/under on how long before we get stir-crazy?

**If this is how it will be to date a triathlete, count me in forever. No rushing me while I get ready and delicious coffee as I walk out the door? Yes, ma’am!

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We got on the subway around noon to check out the WFMU Record Fair at The Regiment Armory. It was a huge hall with all kinds of stuff from the usual classic rock tables to indie rock, comedy and all kinds of odd finds. Caitlin got an unopened copy of The Wiz Soundtrack, a great double live Ray Charles LP and Wreckless Eric’s self-titled record. I talked the seller down to $12 from $14 for three classic Richard Pryor albums. We’d wanted to get some pizza from Two Boots after the record fair and as fate would have it, they were the pizza vendor inside the fair. We each had a slice and a fancy soda and headed to the door. Before we could duck out, we saw a prize wheel. I paid the $1 for a spin and Caitlin had her eye on the WFMU lunch box. I gave it a whirl, and, just my luck, I won her the lunch box. Ever the gentleman!

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Caitlin’s not a big fan of the rain. Photobomb guy is happy. For a video of the sads, click here

We hopped on the subway toward Central Park and two blocks away, we see a guy holding a sign advertising bike rentals. Caitlin was quite skeptical, but he was offering rentals for $5 an hour and said he’d walk us to the shop*. It turned out to be the shop we were already heading to and for half the price. We put on super uncomfortable helmets and walked our bikes a couple blocks over to the park. After adjusting our seats, off we went. We cruised a solid 3 minutes and then … it started raining. A 0% chance of rain in the forecast, but here we were. We ducked under a large tree as the rain fell harder, waiting it out while a $5 a minute** pedicab driver told his excitable passenger that he was an extra in “Maid in Manhattan” and told her he could hook her up with his agent. After about 10 minutes, the rain let up and off we went. We stayed on the inside loop, cruising at a good speed, seeing a nice amount of the park.

*Now that I’ve spent a solid amount of time in NYC, I’m less afraid of just being flat-out robbed on the street, but I still feel weary about following a guy to a place who is holding a paper sign…

**Zack had originally written “$1 a minute” and I had to correct it. I think his heart hurt too much from the absolutely unbelievable rip-off of a price so he couldn’t bring himself to write in the correct cost. I literally had to put my hand to my head as I read your correction. Mind numbing.

At this point, we tried our luck again for Hedwig and the Angry Inch lottery tickets. The second time around, we were no luckier, and the crowd wasn’t even quite as fun as the day before, but we were still glad we at least tried. Then we headed to Kee’s Chocolates, which we raved about yesterday, and then hit the hotel so we could clean ourselves up from the muddy, rainy bike ride. We Yelp’d to figure out dinner plans, which led us to also-amazing Asuka Sushi, and then made our way to the Comedy Cellar. It was a bummer to lose the lottery two days in a row, but it’s the lottery. What can ya do?

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What the Comedy Cellar doesn’t really explain well on their website is, you really need to buy tickets in advance* for these shows. We had interpreted their website to mean that they always set aside tickets for day-of interested parties, but it turns out that isn’t really true. We tried our luck on the waiting list (we were 40th), ducking in to Bisous, Ciao while we waited, but alas, no luck. We did, however, spot Bill Hader while we waited in line, and when Zack went in to get the scoop on how the later show would work, he got to meet Judah Friedlander, which cheered him up**. We adjusted our plans, and asked my friend Alex and his lovely wife Emily if they could meet us earlier than we’d originally asked. They made their way in from Brooklyn as fast as they could, which gave Zack and I some time to explore some amazing Greenich shops, like Yogorino, and a little dingy book shop*** where Zack picked up a copy of All the President’s Men.

*I blame myself. I knew to buy in advance, but wanted to see the line-up first. By the time I saw the Saturday night line-up posted Wednesday, they were sold out. 

**I mean, how often do you get to meet a WORLD CHAMPION? He was really sweet, asked where I was from and said he was due for a trip to Austin. I was bummed to miss the Comedy Cellar show, but knowing we had tickets for Hannibal in Brooklyn the next night helped ease my mind.

***I loved the little book stores and record shops we found. Such fun old spots.

 

We were originally planning on meeting at a bar called the Blind Tiger, but the location was a little TOO popular, and was already packed when we stopped by at 9:30. I frantically Yelp’d again to try to find a suitable meet-up spot, and chose the Lelabar in a panic. It ended up being a great little wine bar, and we gathered up four chairs in the back where Emily, Alex, Zack and I camped out for a few hours, trading wedding horror/dream stories and tips and all that good business. There was also the trading of photos of our fur babies — it’s what dog parents do, after all. It was an awesome end to the night, except when Alex’s debit card was somehow lost or stolen, but even that ended up happily — he canceled it before anyone did anything with it, and Lelabar was able to treat him to free drinks for the night and free snacks upon his and Emily’s next visit. An on-and-off-again day in NYC is still one of the best days of your life. The wine bar was ideal, and it was great to talk dogs and wedding planning with Emily and Alex. Overall, even though a majority of our plans for the day didn’t go as expected, we had an awesome time.

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