Thursday, October 09, 2008

Weekend v. Weekend

Last Saturday, we dropped Rolo off at my parents' house and headed up to Manhattan for a much-anticipated overnight trip with Ron's friends. There were 6 of us, 3 couples and I very much like these people. So I thought what could be better than hanging out with great people in NYC?

Well. Well, when we got to our hotel, we found out we didn't have a reservation. I thought I had made a reservation online, but it turns out that their online reservation system is too complicated for me to handle. So, there we were in the middle of Times Square, of all places, with no hotel reservation for that night. This did not seem to me to be an ideal situation.

Luckily, the hotel that we did not have reservations at helped us book a room across the street here. I was totally dreading this, figuring it would be some fleabag dive, but guess what? It was really nice. Small. Very small room. But very clean, modern decor with H20 Plus toiletries that I just loved. So things weren't looking too bad.

Then we met up with the friends, and the NYC-resident friend insisted that we all go to Brooklyn. I like Brooklyn, my whole family was raised in Brooklyn, but it was already late in the day, and if I wanted to stay in Brooklyn I would have gotten a hotel room in Brooklyn. So we all traipse to Brooklyn, go to a brewery only to learn the tours are over and it closes in 30 minutes. So we go in search of a pub where we can watch the Phillies game. We find one, but it's not super-fun and the Phillies are losing. We decide to move on and come upon a Mexican restaurant with the Phillies on a big screen. We watch them lose and eat some of the most God-awful guacamole I've ever had.

No one's really having any fun and so we decide we'll head back into Manhattan. At the subway station, I use my "all-day" MetroCard with no problem. But then most of the group does have a problem with their all-day cards. The card reader keeps telling them "swipe again" and won't let them through the turnstile for several minutes. So some random stranger opens the adjacent door to the turnstile to let them through and I turn to the only other person in our group that successfully got through the turnstile and joked, "Well, we could have done that for them, but I guess we just like watching them struggle."

And then all of a sudden two men who had been loitering around the turnstile, watching our group unsuccessfully swipe their metro cards, start flashing badges. Two undercover cops. Did you know that it's illegal to go through the doors at the subways station instead of the turnstile?

I mean it makes sense and I'm sure fare evasion is a big problem in the city. A 45 minute ordeal ensued that resulted in tickets for each person in our party who walked through the door and also one for the guy who opened the door. The guy who opened the door seemed really nice and said he did it because someone did it for him when his MetroCard didn't work one day. His Russian wife was NOT PLEASED about this ticket he was receiving for "being a good Samaritan" and she made the entire situation worse by yelling at the cops. Things almost got out of hand when she pulled out the ol' "my taxes pay your salary" line.

Here's the thing, and I know this first hand: NYC cops don't fuck around. They have a low tolerance for back-talk and since they deal with the worst of the worst, they don't distinguish one type of crime from another. We're all scumbags. They don't really have the luxury of sorting out shades of gray, so everything is black and white. So when the Russian lady was getting in the cop's face, I had visions of us all getting arrested. And frankly, I don't need to get arrested ever again, but that's a story for another day.

In the end, the three offenders in our group walked away with $100 tickets. They're going to try to appeal these by demonstrating that they each had valid all day MetroCards and therefore, regardless of whether they walked through a door or not, no "fare evasion" took place.

Anyway, so all this sort of bummed us out and we (finally) arrived back in Manhattan for a drink, except no one was really in the mood and we headed back to our hotels.

This weekend, Ron, Rolo and I are headed to New England for our annual fall trip. Specifically, we're going to Portsmouth, NH and Newport, RI. This is our 3rd year of at least dropping by Newport on our trip because we really like the town. Last night I decided to use Priceline to find a hotel in Newport, but I assumed my price would be rejected because that's how things usually go on Priceline. I put in for a 3.5 star hotel in Newport for $175, because I was feeling generous and also because the median price for a hotel of that rating in Newport is $375.00. Well, they accepted it right away and now 1) I am kicking myself for not putting in $125.00 instead and 2) I'm alittle nervous about staying in a non-chain, swanky hotel with a toddler.

But there's probably very little chance that we'll have a run in with police officers on this trip, but I'm thinking this will be a better weekend.

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