The following post was written by my brother, Jeff Sauer
the entire Sauer clan has gone through a post-holiday rut when it comes
to blogging, because I have heard rumblings from both my sister Kristi
and my sister in law Michelle about how they haven’t had the time or
desire lately to blog. So when my sister asked me to do a guest post,
I thought maybe I could breathe some life into the Sauer Blogosphere.
That was two weeks ago.
While I agreed to do a guest post on Kristi’s blog, I wasn’t sure when
I’d actually get around to it. For whatever reason, I got the writing
bug while sitting in the back seat of a Chevy Suburban speeding down
I-94 in Wisconsin, and just started typing away about my January trip
to New York City. Before too long, my story grew in length from
paragraphs, to pages, to essay, and ended somewhere in between masters
thesis length and a Tolstoy classic. It was far too long to post on
Kristi’s blog. It also wasn’t very funny.
Rather than bore Kristi’s readers with my novella, I decided to come to
the ultimate compromise; post my long, drawn out diary series on my
site, and then pick out the best parts of my story and recap them on
Kristi’s blog in hilarious form. Welcome to my weekend in New York.
My first time in New York City was far from forgettable. Less than an
hour before my train crossed the Hudson River into the former New
Amsterdam, a much more significant thing was occurring on the Hudson.
You see, the my first time in New York coincided with the miraculous
landing of an airplane in the Hudson River. That same plane also
happened to float past my hotel just 15 minutes before I checked in.
Many of the passengers and flight crew ended up staying the same hotel
Unfortunately, I ended up learning many of these facts after they had
already taken place, so I never had a chance to reflect on what was
going on around me. Instead, I spent my time becoming familiar with
the city by taking the subway to most of my destinations. I only got
lost once during the entire weekend of Subway travel, but it happened
to be the one time that I had to meet someone at a specific time. That
meeting happened to be with a peer of Three Deep’s (my company), and our tardiness was embarrassing from a first impression stand point.
After that meeting, I engaged in a little “stress eating” and had a
sandwich from a street cart vendor. Gotta love street meat. A few
hours later, I saw the movie Notorious on opening day in the city where the title character was born. This would have been a wet dream for me in High School.
I enjoyed free booze at the hotel happy hour and ended up making a new
friend in the process. Buzzed off the wine, I somehow managed to
navigate my way to the subway station, transfer trains twice, and make
my way to meet some old and new friends at the best valued watering
hold in Manhattan. For $5, you get a pint of beer and a ticket for a
free small pizza. This was particularly important because I was
meeting my friend Molly, who was a poor med school student. Along
with Molly were several other med students, as well as some of Molly’s
friends from Chicago (who I have partied with many times in the past).
As the beer was flowing and the pizza was baked, I turned into crazy
fun Jeff and had the whole med school laughing at my observations on
life. They particularly enjoyed when I talked about my impulsivity
when it comes to purchases from Amazon.com. Nobody believed me when I
bragged about my recent toaster purchase. They couldn’t quite grasp
the fact that the toaster could also cook eggs at the same time. It
wasn’t until I pulled up a photo from my Amazon.com iPhone app that
they finally started to grasp the extent of my Amazon obsession.
Not wanting to dominate the conversation, I also asked the Med Students
for some funny stories about their rotations. Without hesitation, I
got a response that added fuel to our comedy fire: “A lot of people
come to the emergency room because they have stuff up their asses.”
Hearing that made me glad that I’m not a doctor. Hearing specific
cases of rectal conditions made me want to change the subject to
something a little higher up on the body… Like drinking more beer.
From the pizza joint we headed over to another place in Manhattan that
happened to be of exceptional value. While walking in I noticed all
kinds of deer heads and other decorations on the walls and decided to
name the place “Shenanigans.” The deal here was $2.50 for a pint of
Pabst. With all of the dead deer and Pabst, it felt like a little
piece of home. Probably a little too much like home, because I started
chugging beers and buying shots. I did not feel good the next morning.
After coming back to life after a massive hangover, I explored the town
with a new set of friends who had come to the city to see me from New
Hampshire. We took the subway uptown and I quickly realized that with
the sheer vastness of NYC, it would be impossible to see everything in
a weekend. It would take several months. We went to Rockefeller
Center to try to get the NBC tour, but we were too late. However, we
were able to get some awesome cupcakes from a place next door. We went
to a restaurant where the entire menu was chocolate, but didn’t eat
anything. A few more stops around town and it was time for happy hour
at the hotel.
For those of you who have not partaken, the Embassy Suites has an
awesome happy hour. Basically, you drink for free for 2 hours. At
some locations, they may impose limits on consumption by issuing drink
tickets. In Manhattan, there were no such limitations. Before long,
I was back into crazy fun Jeff mode and had my entire group of friends
rolling on the floor. At that point I was convinced that I should be a
stand up comedian.
After Happy Hour, we met up with Molly and her crew at a bar across the
street from the comedy club we would be attending. We got there a
little late, so I barely had a chance to order a beer before we had to
walk over to the comedy club. Just before leaving, though, I went to
the jukebox and downloaded a song by Dragonforce and paid extra to have
it play first. Shortly after, Dragonforce was blasting throughout the
joint. Man that was awesome.
The comedy show was hilarious, and I recognized a few of the people who
were on stage. One of the guys was the person from the TV game show
“cash cab.” He was alright, but spent a lot of time talking about the
weather (it was COLD in NYC that weekend)… It was funny, but being
from MN, I feel like cold jokes are a little overdone. Another guy was
Mark Marin, who I had seen on Comedy Central before. He was good. The
funniest guy was the third act (there were 5 total). He was noticeably
drunk and kept on picking on an older gentleman in the front row. He
kept on calling the guy “Sully,” which is the name of the pilot of the
plane I mentioned earlier. At the end of every sentence, he simply
exhaled and said “Suuuullllyy.”
The comedy club was great, and well worth the price of entry. After
enjoying a happy hour and some beer at the comedy club, Jeff was pretty
hungry. We regrouped at a watering hole across the street, and I tried
to order some food, but I soon learned that they didn’t serve any. My
friends said that they saw a Gyros place down the street that looked
pretty good, so I decided to go there. I soon learned that they didn’t
accept credit cards, and I had used up all of my cash at the comedy
show. There wasn’t a cash machine at the restaurant, but I was
informed that there were tons of cash machines on the street. I walked
around looking for cash and had a mini adventure in itself.
The first cash machine I saw was absolutely filthy and didn’t appear to
be working. Luckily, there was another machine one building over that
appeared to work. However, after I scanned my card and entered my pin,
I realized that the whole left side of the keypad wasn’t working, and I
could only select the options on the right. Unfortunately, I chose to
attempt my transaction in Arabic. Let’s just say it didn’t go too
well. I actually got a few screens into it based on memory, but when I
had to choose which account to withdraw from, checking was on the
left… So I had to choose savings. Fail.
I was discouraged by this point, so I decided to stop in the store next
door, which happened to be a cupcake store offering free samples. I
took my free sample, tipped the guy my last $1, and refueled my quest
for cash. The next machine was much of the same. I scanned my card
successfully, entered my pin, selected my checking account and tried to
withdraw some cash. One again, I got an error message saying I could
The 4th time ended up being a charm, and I finally got some money out.
Being a little inebriated, I decided to tell my story to anyone who
would listen. It turns out that the only guy who would listen to me
was the the Gyro guy. I told him of my quest, and he displayed about
as much empathy as an immigrant who works his butt off each day can
display toward an over privileged white kid in Manhattan. He also made
me a kickass lamb and beef pita-wich. I ate it in .02 seconds.
After the cash machine fiasco, I rushed back to meet my friends and
tell them my story. They found it humorous as well and we laughed over
a beer. Half of the group left to some “dance club” about 50 blocks
away. Those of us who weren’t into recreating You Got Served
on the dance floor decided to stay behind. As we were leaving the bar,
I took one last opportunity to play Dragonforce on the jukebox. I
couldn’t help but overhear the people sitting next to us say “What the
hell is this crap?” as I smirked in amusement.
The next day we enjoyed the great breakfast at the Embassy Suites and
then went and toured more of NYC before I had to leave for my flight
back to MN. I went to Chinatown (sort of cool, EXACTLY like every
other China town I’ve been to) and Little Italy (sort of cool, sort of
overrated and run down). The best part was eating pizza in Little
Italy. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
Overall, it was a great first time in New York, and I can’t wait for another weekend in the big city!
For an even longer and more drawn out version of this story… Head on over to Jeffsauer.com.