Due to the modifications they are making to the MBTA RED LINE (the subway line that goes from my home to the city), I was arrived at the South Station Bus Terminal eight minutes after 15:00. The chinatown busses leave a the top of the hour... I would have to wait until 16:00 for the next one. Whoa! What's this? Greyhound and Peter Pan are offering the SAME $15 one-way fare to NYC, and their next bus leaves at 15:30?? Cool!!!
Ah, yes... The Greyhound "experince"... making a VERY LONG story, and even longer bus ride short -- we arrived at the Port Authority at 22:10 -- yes, a normally four-hour bus ride took 6.6 hours! Driving myself from Rochester, NY would have been quicker! I am going to write a letter to describe my bad experience to Fung Wah bus (the Chinatown Bus line that I use), I think they will appreciate it!
1) Traffic jams and timid bus drivers don't work well together!
It took us over 30 minutes to LEAVE South Station's bus ramp and merge onto the Pike (I-90) because the driver was so timid with oncoming (rush hour) traffic. The rest of the ride was similar to this experience.
2) Be sure the driver KNOWS where he is going before he leaves!
The driver seemed to ignore the big signs that pointed toward Manhattan -- all of the riders assumed he knew what he was doing... He didn't. After ending up on a dead-end street in a bad neighbourhood of the Bronx, and being forced to make a multiple-point "K" turn to get back out, we cut off no more than three cars, as he made left turns from right lanes... We literally ran two red lights (not even close to yellow ones!), then proceeded to go down 2nd Ave (after crossing over into Spanish Harlem) -- we all thought *great* now we're all set -- just go down 2nd until 42nd, then turn right and cross town to 8th Ave -- nooooooo.... Not this driver, we turned right on 87th on a narrow-ass, slow street going to Central Park, then turned left on 5th Ave... then right again, left again, right again, and so on, inching our way across Manhattan until we made it to the Port Authority... As we pulled in, the passengers cheered and applauded. The driver made an apology on the P.A. system and told us he had never been to New York before -- he was from Jacksonville, Florida. (We all rolled our eyes) -- after all, we were over two hours late!
First stop: The Eagle. Damn, after that ride I needed a stiff drink!!! I met up with my host, David Rice from the Bucks, M.C. as well as a few other folks that I hadn't seen since the E.C.M.C. White Mountain Motorcycle Tour this summer. I calmed down and had some fun!! I actually had enough energy to stay until just about last call, when a newbie (Ray) whom had never been to New York, and I had just met decided to go out for pizza... We headed downtown to Christopher Steret for authentic New York pizza!! YUM!
Saturday morning, Ray and I went out to meet up with his friends at the New Yorker Hotel and then grab some breakfast. By the time we were done, it was almost noon. We walked down to Raymond's Cafe for the AMCC meeting which lasted about two hours. Ray was going to do a tour of the city -- for me, it was nap time. On the way back to David's (on Horatio St at Washington) David decided to bring me through the newly renovated "Meat Packing District" (which was well known for the hottest leather bars in New York, after-hours clubs, and sex clubs just a few years ago) -- it has been infested by yuppies and high scale stores!! Eeeks!! The "Spike Gallery", where the once famous "Spike Bar" and my first motorcycle was christened in the 80s once was... **SIGH** times change, I guess...
An expert from Peter Boots' Gay SM Leather Fetish Guide to New York City
New York's twin old leather bars, the Eagle and the Spike, closed after 30 and 20 years respectively; the Eagle eventually reopened under new management in a new location after a two year hiatus. Most recently J's Hangout and Hellfire/Manhole were forced out by their landlord; the Lure closed in April 2003.
Saturday night was upon us -- the cruise was to set sail at 19:30 sharp! So, David and I walked down to Pier 63 and located the Amberjack V. We were underway shortly thereafter! We cruised around the island of Manhattan, were served a really nice meal, and discoed down(yes, real disco music!) We got as close to the Statue of Liberty as the Coast Guard currently allows and then headed back to dock. A three hour tour, with heavy-handed bartenders, good thing none of us were driving! Those of us that were "in the mood" headed back to the (new) Eagle for cocktails. I only had one additional one, before deciding to take off with George.
Sunday I actually got up early and got ready for brunch -- George and I walked to Borgo Antico (which means "Old Little Village" in Italian) -- it should be named "Parti Piccole" (little portions in Italian!) Brunch was to start at 11:30 the schedule... Due to the small restaurant (apparently) not being used to private parties of over 100 people, the service was slow. I really mean SLOW. I got my food about 14:00!! There were gripes and grumbles about the slowness, but we were surrounded by friends, so it wasn't like being at the dentist's office waiting for your root canal. The bread and the salad were great, however, the main entre was a joke. Everyone's was served cold (omelets, chicken, pasta or a burger) -- I had the burger, which was about 2" round, 3/4" thick and served on a bulky roll that was four times the size of the burger... Visions of Clara Peller yelling "Where's the beef?" came to mind.
Following the brunch, Al Sands (Spearhead member), Ray, George and I headed over to the "Gay Erotica Expo" in the East Village -- doors were going to open at 15:00. We were early. Let's grab a pint at McSorley's Old Ale House!! Two pints later, we were in a long line at 15:15, doors had still not opened. Tick-tock! I had to get back to David's and pack and head to the Port Authority to catch my 18:00 bus! We scrapped the Gay Erotic Expo and walked back to the village.
Good thing I got at the bus station early! The bus was boarding at 17:10 and we left by 17:20! Forty minutes early! The return trip was uneventful and quick! An experiecned driver makes the difference!
This weekend, I will be going to Rochester for Kelley & Lani's wedding! I'm planning on taking the motorcycle -- but the weather will determine that for sure!! I hope everyone has a great week!!
Oh, yeah -- Happy Thanksgiving
to my Canadian brothers!!
Oh, yeah -- Happy Thanksgiving
to my Canadian brothers!!
Funny thought of the day, compliments of furrbear
User: My system is slow and unresponsive and it keeps asking me if I want a bride from Soviet Russia
Tech: Uh, ok sir. What Operating System, web browser/version,
User: I've got Microsoft Windows ME with Internet Explorer from AOL.. [click... dial tone] Hello?