Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Trip - I ❤ NY, NJ & Toronto

It's ten years today since my Toronto, New York and New Jersey holiday with Leeg. I thought it would be kinda cool to put my journal entries from the trip here.
"We land in Toronto in under an hour now! Just watched hitch, quite funny and also robots 37,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean. Weird, excited now, had a few coors lite and some shit food, not vegan urgh! I doubt me and Leeg will get too steaming tonight. Had a wing seat on the plane and the view was incredible. Clouds look just like layered blankets of snow or cotton wool. The world is my oyster..." 13/06/05

I had just completed my degree getting a 2:1 in graphics days before and just been savagely dumped so apologies if it's emo in places

"After my entry yesterday evening the flight went a bit pear shaped. We entered Toronto airspace running on time, to find a massive storm below us. The airport was closed until it cleared the pilot told us we were in a holding path, we circled for half hour. We were then told we were running low on fuel and had to fly to nearby Ottawa to refuel, half hour flight there, half hour to refuel, another half hour flight back to Toronto find we were back in the holding path. we eventually landed in Toronto 2 and a half hours late! we find our bags and leave the airport. the heat is unbearable it feels like a tropical storm. we get a cab to our hostel, we're greeted by Gav who is safe. Our room is fine no light though? guess what street we are on though? Wales Ave! We go for a stroll have some pizza (sans cheese for me) and a nice pint of Coors at the Black Bull then hot sticky bed!" 13-14/06/05

"Pretty restless night last night, the heat was unbearable! Woke up real early me and Lee. Decided to get a shower and just go exploring walked straight towards lake area, but once we saw CN tower we just had to go up. The CN tower is out of this world, took some awesome pics, went right to the top of the tallest free standing building in the world! When our feet were firmly back on the ground our thoughts were of food. We walked for miles trying to find good food (Vegan) Eventually stumbled across Ali Baba's Falafel House on 2 for 1 Tuesday, Happy Days! Good Falafel by the roadside and back on our feet. Looked in a few shops, found a nice park had five minutes in the 35 degree heat! walked back, had a beer break, went to an awesome record shop bought Knapsack and The Jealous Sound albums from an awesome guy. Walked all the way to the Eaton Centre (Yawn) stopped for another Beer break! then strolled back for a shower and a change off out for food and drinks in a bit now..." 14/06/05

I chose to leave out of the journal entry almost getting killed straight away by a guy who threatened to shoot me first thing in the morning for taking pictures.

"Went back out for food to a place not far, recommended by the record shop guy. Bo De Duyen Vietnamese Vegetarian cuisine, I had braised tofu, mushrooms & Veg with Steamed rice, we also had a couple of buds with food. The food was amazing, we went for a walk down to Hooters, just something you have to experience once I guess. I thought I had met my ideal woman an Asian Girl who works in Hooters ( Shanghai Cowgirl). We then walked back stopped at Montana for a Heineken, A Keith's Pale Ale on the patio at Chicago. We then walked back to our local Embassy for a few pints of a Canadian version of Hoegarden, I had fruit juice in mine it was lush. Chat to Gav and some Mancs who are on a round the world trip. Decided to hit the hay pretty early again. not quite so hot thankfully..." 14/06/05

"I had an Awesome nights sleep thanks to the beer jacket! woke up about 9 had a shower went to find food. We'd heard good things about Urban Herbivore, they weren't wrong all vegan, great coffee, sandwich was a bit much BBQ Tofu with Mango, but the muffins were out of this world Cranberry & Apple. The girl serving us was awesome, good tats, she advised us to go and see the Art Gallery of Ontario so we headed there. Saw a cool painting of Nixon and Mao, a sculpture of a shaman made from a whale bone, some awesome sculptures by Henry Moore and two awesome wall pieces. We strolled back stopped at a few shops. The black market vintage was cool, bought a work jacket with mosquito patches! Bought tickets to see Copeland and Rainer Maria at the Kathedral tonight, should be good, also had some awesome vegan pizza." 15/06/05

"Had a shower then headed back towards town for the show, decided to have  asit down meal at a vegan restaurant called Fressen. The food and service here was unreal. we had pasta with sun-dried and cherry toms, black olives, mushrooms, sweetcorn, peppers etc. A few beers, then came dessert one of the best I've ever tasted half a pear, strawberries, orange, vegan chocolate ice, two triangle of Belgian chocolate filled with chopped cashews, sensational! We paid up and strolled down to the venue, bit scuzzy like TJ's but nicer, good size. The first guy on was Denison Wither bit like Owen or Kevin Devine, good though. Had a few beers then Rainer Maria came on, the singer looked awesome and she had the voice to boot. I'll defo check out the records reminded me a bit of Rilo KIley. Copeland were Gash so we left strolled back stopped off for one or two then hit the hay. Roll on New York!" 15-16/06/05

"Woke up fairly early got a shower and packed, popped to main hostel to call a cab. got cab over to the airport, flight was fairly comfortable and painless. Got off the plane in Newark feeling pretty special. Got our bags and hung around to meet Dylan, what a guy man! Dylan drove us to Hoboken where we stop at his mates bar for drinks the view of Manhattan across the river is insane. Couple of Hoegardens, then off to Dylan's the traffic was mad! then there was a freak thunder storm, rivers running down the street. Got to Dylan's, awesome neighbourhood. Jeff picked us up in the van to go to the show. The traffic was even worse, but saw some cool stuff. Got to the village, the show was at Lit Lounge, load in, its a bit of a dive bar. Say hi to pat and Chris. Me and Lee go off for a wander and some food, we go to Yaffa Cafe on Chris' recommendation. Get a sunshine burger platter, veggie burger, pitta, rice, salad and tahini, its good. Stroll back to the venue, few beers then Milwaukees are on, they rock, the new stuff sounds great! they dedicate Angel with a Knife to me and Lee! they were ace! We have a few more beers then hit the road again, long drive home awesome views though. we get back to Dylan's and crash out in his attic." 16/06/05

"Woke up fairly early again, Dylan's housemate Scott kindly offered to take us to the bus stop. Got the bus to The Big Apple! Food was top of the agenda again. We caught our first Subway to the village and went to Angelica's Kitchen. Man I wish this place was in Newport! Me and Lee both had 3 bean Chilli with Corn Bread. I Had never tried Corn Bread before its sensatioanl. We finished with a vegan choclate and walnut cookie! We then walked up through the village up to midtown just taking it all in. We took a few Snaps by Empire State, then walked up to Time Square. Toys R' Us was out of this world! Giant T-Rex, Bat Mobile, Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle!We stopped for more snacks at Zen Palate, Vegi Burger and Yam Fries, awesome! got bus back to Dylan's had 5 minutes, left for New Brunswick to watch one of my fave band Penfold's new band The Moirai, at The Court Tavern. Went to a cafe first called Newbies had some fries, headed for the venue, had a pitcher of Rolling Rock! The Moirai were on first, the anticipation was killing me, went down to the basement, met Brian probably one of my fave singers in a band ever. He was such an awesome fellow too. The Moirai went on at 1020, it was just me, Dylan, Lee and about 10 other people. They were unbelievable, it was pretty much all new to me but still amazing. They close the set with the stand out track "Last year for Halloween I was a ghost". We buy shirts chat to them for a bit, then head off. Dylan takes us back to Trinity bar Hoboken, where the Miller Lites starts flowing, we meet some friends of Dylan's who buy us some shots! we get drunk then drive home and pass out!" 17/06/05

"We sleep a little late wake up feeling rough as 10 bears! Jeff picks us up at 10 and takes us into the city for breakfast with Chris and his lady. I had English muffin, V. bacon, V. Sausage and home fries, pretty good. Chris and Jeff give us loads of tips about what to checkout, then argue about who goes to the best falafel place, we laugh! Chris pays for breakfast because he is such an awesome guy! We say farewell and me and Lee hit the city again for the day. We headed south through china town and down Mulberry Street, Little Italy is cool! We keep heading south looking for The Five points, to "Cut out the eye that looked away" we ended up near Ground Zero, I didn't want to look but had to, I had a lump in my throat reading the memorial wall, depressing as fuck! we head back east go out onto Brooklyn bridge amazing views, do a few lunges then head down to the water. We head back up Broadway in search of food. Get the tube for a bit, then decide to call Pat to see what time we should head to NJ. Pat says he's busy until late, so we decide to stay in the city for a bit longer. We go for food at VP2 (Vegetarian Paradise), its unreal I had Calamari to start, just like the real thing. Then Texan BBQ V. Soul Chicken! Scarily real, but so good! by the time we had eaten and had a little stroll to walk off the food we decided to get the Path to NJ for a beer. We go one stop to far and end up "In the Ghetto!" get ourselves in a cab to Grove street. Go to Lucy 7's bar, like something out of a movie, super-hot barmaid. Sit at the bar drinking Hoegarden, Jaegermiester and Coors. Pat turns up about midnight. we stay for a few more. Then head across the street to his place, it's unreal! Have a veggie burger cooked on the outside grill, go to sleep in a double bed!" 18/06/05

"Wake up feeling a little hazy again, we check our email and stuff. Pat takes us out for breakfast but the diner is packed. We go to Baker Boys cafe, I have coffee, OJ, Granola with fruit and soya milk, gosh that was good. we head back to pat's and Jeff picks us up in the van about one o'clock. We are heading to Philadelphia to watch them play the 218 club. we get to Philly around 3. so have plenty of time to go exploring we just hit the shops, Cool vintage stores I bought a Newport Cigarettes t-shirt. Also bought some good CD's and vinyl in Philly!we stumble across Maos a chain falafel place that I've been to in London it;s so good. I have falafel, fruit punch and Belgian fries. We stroll back to the venue,  have a few beers, I have a good chat with Pat's girl Kara. They go on about 10ish, in the attic, cool little space, but pretty quiet again. They sound great again though. The other band suck balls! me and lee got pretty drunk! we head back to NJ I pass straight out when we get back." 19/06/05

"Get out of bed fairly hungover. Have a shower, get path to the city. We try to find this vegan bakery we've heard about. We find it and it's good, pizza and a blueberry scone and organic Chinese cherry cola. We bumble about for a bit checking out shops and things, I bought Rhod a t-shirt saying Big Rod satisfaction guaranteed. We head for the Empire State Building. On the way we see, New York Public Library that featured in Ghostbusters. Also, we got down to the Chrysler Building which is cool. Around 4 o'clock we head for Empire state building. We queue for 45 mins the view is worth the wait, but not quite CN tower. After that we have another look around. Then go for food at VP2 again. We both have Veggie Souls Chicken it's too good! we get the path back to NJ to our favourite bar and the hottest barmaid in 3 states! Sink a few with Pat and Kara, then hit the hay." 20/06/05

"Got up had a shower, went to Baker Boys for Granola, fruit and soya milk, Coffee and a rise and shine drink, OJ, Ginger Ale, fresh raspberries and soda. got the path then tube to Central Park. Went to FAO Schwartz, to shop from Big with the giant floor piano, even better than Toys 'R'Us. Walk through the park, went to the little zoo saw polar bears, sea lions, Penguins, Red pandas and more. Felt a bit wrong, but it was good. Walked around central park in the sun, saw the strawberry Fields John Lennon Memorial. Went back down on tube got a slice at Viva Veggie Pizzeria. not bad! Got tube far south to bowling green, walk around the shore, battery park area. Walked right up to WTC, got path back to NJ went to Pat's got a shower then went out to Luck 7's again. Pat met us, we went to Hoboken to hook up with Dylan, Chris Melissa and friends. had a few at one bar then headed to trinity again for beers and shots, got battered went home to bed drunk!" 21/06/05

Lungin' on the Hudson Bro

"Got up a little late, had a shower, Pat took us to Brownstone Pancake Factory, couldn't resist, when in Rome and all that! I had nutty pancakes with syrup! Out of this world! Pat took us to a proper salvation army thrift store, bought 5 awesome shirts. Got Path into the city went to FAO Schwartz again, rinsed some coin. Went for a pizza again wasn't to clever. Went downtown to check out thread-less and Vice. Then went to watch Pat's other band, Evan Gold & Brighter light, pretty good. Got the tube back up to 42nd to time square to see it at night, pretty cool had a bagel with tofu scallion cream cheese, ace! took some pics, got tube back down to WTC, then path to JC first day without booze! Off to bed last day in NY/NJ tomorrow..." 22/06/05

"Got up fairly early for our last real day in USA. Got showered went to Baker Boys again for a last Breakfast, I had Granola, Fruit and soya milk and a coffee. Good Stuff! got the path in headed far south for ferries to Liberty & Ellis Islands. Got ferry out around Liberty jumped off at Ellis Island had a look around the museum of immigration. Got ferry back headed uptown to whole earth vegan bakery had mixed veg turnover, sticky cinnamon bun & Chinese cherry cola. Oh my god sensational! headed uptown to top of park, ended up in the hood? did a quick U'e to the park had a walk around Jackie Onassis reservoir. Got tube & Path back to JC chill out for a bit then off out drinking for our last night! Bring it on... Kara and Melissa have offered to take us out in Hoboken as it's our last night and the boys are practicing. We head out pretty late to some uber funky club bistro right by the river in Hoboken it has a rooftop bar with awesome views of Manhattan. We queue to get up on the roof, get up there, its full of poon!super cool! the guys show up, but don't fancy queuing. We head to another bar with Dylan, Pat and Chris. Get drunk as fuck, then head for home, say our goodbyes and thank yous to Dylan, Chris and Melissa, pretty sad! Go home and have a bagel with almond butter & Jelly or Jello as they say. Pas out, flying back to Toronto early tomorrow..." 23/06/05

Ferry to Ellis Island, The Hair years...

"We are up and about super early I feel rough as fuck and pretty down. we pack our shit thank Pat and Kara again for being so amazing. Get the path out of JC for the last time! Head for Newark, then train from Newark to the airport then monorail to the terminal. Have a bagel and two hash browns and some coffee. Get plane back to Canada, pretty painless. Taxi to hotel. Quick change then down to marina. Start drinking on the way get pretty shunted. Hit the hay about 1230." 24/06/05

"Get up fairly early go to urban herbivore for apple carrot and walnut muffin and the best coffee in 3 states, my wife is working miaow! We head for the sunshine bus we're off to Niagara Falls for the day. We've had a tip off that the one bus is half the price that goes to a casino. We get this bus full of Chinese gamblers it takes an hour and a half. Niagara town is mad its like all of our bad holiday experiences at once loads of tacky shops. loads of rides and attractions. Then right next to it is possibly one of the most awesome things I've ever seen in my whole life, the falls.They are unreal, we have a walk across the bridge forgetting that it's America the other side, have to go through customs again and pay $6! If you are from another country the views are worth the 6 bucks! We walk around for an hour or so. Amazing day get back around 830, go out on the lash, don't remember much spewed in a park full of hobos, passed out about 3am" 25/06/05

"Slept in until gone 11, woke up feeling like I'd been raped by a wookie. The island thing is today, go for coffee and a muffin at urban herbivore my special lady isn't working today, some mad bird off her face with hairy pits says "I was like 1oft away from boy George!" We head down to the water on a street car (tram) got the boat to centre island, Awesome! The island is out of this world this is the perfect end to an amazing holiday. The Most Serene Republic are on first and are top notch. We grab a veggie dog then go and watch Do.Make.Say.Think, out of this world. Metric are on next, not so keen, So have a stroll around the island its unbelievable! Have another veggie dog watch Broken Social Scene pretty cool and about 20 odd of them on the stage. Have a few beers and another veggie dog watch Modest Mouse, bought an awesome poster leave before the end to miss the mad crazy ferry rush. Go for a couple of quiet jars at Embassy, feeling pretty empty about leaving tomorrow, I have nothing to go home too..." 26/06/05

 Broken Social Scene

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