NYC Day 2: Once In A Lifetime
Saturday in New York City was overflowing with once in a lifetime experiences.
I woke up still sick but feeling better because I was rested. I grabbed breakfast with my dad in the hotel lobby before walking to Mass.
A special Mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and was said by the President of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins. The Church was PACKED. Like not even just people standing in the back, but up and down the side and middle isles.
Father Jenkins commented that yes, we had a sold out crowd at a Notre Dame football game hundreds of miles away from campus, but only with Notre Dame could you get a standing room only at a Saturday morning Mass that doesn’t even count for Sunday! That got a laugh.
It’s also true. The community at Notre Dame is pretty amazing.
Let’s play I Spy…..
After Mass, the whole crowd headed over to watch the Notre Dame band play in Times Square. Once again, it was so packed that you couldn’t move and all of the regular city visitors were a little confused as to what was going on. I couldn’t believe that right in front of the huge billboards in the midst of city traffic and bustling streets were these itty bitty cheerleaders just up in the air like it was no big deal.
I was also able to find my friend Jack! Jack and I met through mutual friends last summer and still see each other occasionally because we are both from big ND families. His younger brother is in the “Irish Guard” – the 6 foot 2 guys that wear kilts and march in front of the band with straight faces.
After the band was finished, my mom, dad, and I headed to Bryant Park to wander the Christmas shops. While there, we ate lunch at a restaurant called Celsius that overlooked the ice rink.
The menu wasn’t huge – this restaurant was more about the location and ambiance. To drink I got a beer recommended by the waiter, and my mom tried a fun seasonal cocktail.
My lunch was a margherita flatbread and a big bowl of edamame that my mom and dad helped me finish. The flatbread crust was light and crisp, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, just a little bit of parmesan cheese, and some fresh basil. It was refreshing to not be overloaded with greasy cheese or mounds of dough. I really liked it!
There were no set plans for the afternoon. It was hard to really “tailgate” because Yankee Stadium doesn’t have parking lots! The University was hosting a lunch/tailgate at the hotel but it was kind of expensive, so people ended up doing their own thing at bars and apartments.
I had considered just hanging at the hotel and resting since I didn’t feel too hot, but decided this was a once in a lifetime experience and alcohol kills germs, right?
Jack (from above) somehow ended up with his uncles on a party bus that was bar hopping on the way to the stadium, and they said they’d buy us our drinks if we wanted to join! It was getting too difficult to try to meet up with my brothers and other friends, so I just hopped in a cab with Meghan (the high school friend that now lives in Queens) and headed to meet Jack & crew at a bar called Bounce.
The afternoon got a little insane. In the words of Jack “whenever you get a chance to hang out with middle-aged men trying to relive the dream, you do it”. Truer words have never been spoken.
I drank too much. Glasses of whiskey were involved because the bar couldn’t make the hot toddie I requested for my throat. New York pizza was eaten. Poles were danced on by old men that had no business doing so. Apparently random bagpipers show up at ALL ND events, not just home games. I’ll let the pictures do the talking….
And then we arrived at Yankee Stadium for the game. At this point it was completely incomprehensible to me that it was not even 7pm. I found my brothers in our nosebleed seats and watched the pre-game festivities. It was really really cool to be watching Notre Dame run onto the field in their GREEN uniforms while in Yankee Stadium!
More beer, pretzels and M&Ms were consumed. But finally at half time, drinking all day took a toll on me. I fell asleep in my seat…and yes I am embarrassed to admit that. But I guess washing down cold medicine with whiskey and pizza isn’t exactly a recipe for health. I decided it was best I head home.
New York City Partying 1. Clare 0.
I booked it out of that stadium and grabbed the first cab back to the hotel. It was expensive but I was in no state to try to navigate the subway system on my own. Once at the hotel I watched the end of the game (We won. GO IRISH!) and crashed. Feeling drunk and full and all together gross.
But it’s all worth it for a day of fun. Once in a lifetime, right?