I stayed at the Moxy, which is convenient to Penn Station and very modernistic. For example, the bathroom tiles are meant to look like a swimming pool, complete with a "no diving" sign. The sound proofing wasn’t terrible, though there is street noise – which is a problem at most hotels in NYC. They do provide earplugs, but I hate wearing them.
I had planned to do some shopping Saturday morning, but it was pouring out. So I went back to the hotel after getting breakfast at a nearby coffee shop and napped a bit. I left about noon to head downtown and get a kasha knish at Yonah Shimmel’s for lunch. It had stopped raining, which was good, as I was going on a walking tour.
Big Onion Tour – Satan’s Seat: I’ve done tons of walking tours in many cities, but it had occurred to me that I had never actually done one in New York City. Looking at various options, I found Big Onion, which has a pretty wide selection at a reasonable price ($25). I chose one called Satan’s Seat: New York During Prohibition. The tour started at Houston and the Bowery and finished in Greenwich Village, in front of Chumley’s. The guide, Sarah, is a grad student in history at Columbia, and she talked knowledgeably and entertainingly about the era. She started with McGurk’s Suicide Hall, a notorious saloon and hotel of the late 19th century which catered to prostitutes, several of whom killed themselves there. It was the existence of places like that which was part of the impetus for the temperance movement.
Carrie Nation and her hatchet were talked about, as was Margaret Sanger as a different example of how women were trying to reform society. There were stories about Tammany Hall, political corruption, and the rise of Fiorello LaGuardia. There were also bits about jazz music, including stops at Minetta Tavern and finishing up at Chumley’s, where the address of 86 Bedford Street allegedly led to the term to "86" someone.
All in all, it was an interesting tour and I would definitely consider doing other of their tours in the future.
Brooklyn Cyclones: It’s a long subway ride down to Coney Island, but the ballpark is a short walk from the station. It’s a lovely little park. The play wasn’t really impressive, but one doesn’t expect much at the A-short season level of the minors. Still, the game was close and the Cyclones beat the Aberdeen Ironbirds. My only complaint was that the concessions lines were long and slow-moving. Overall, I had a good time and it was definitely worth getting another ball park checked off. Of course, there’s a couple of hundred minor league ballparks and if I continue at the pace of getting to maybe three per summer, I’ll have to live into my hundreds. Which seems unlikely, at best.
The trip home on Sunday was also uneventful. Or, at least, I assume so since I managed to sleep from about the middle of New Jersey to about Baltimore.
Speaking of Baseball: Oh, what a weekend! The Red Sox sweep of the Source of All Evil in the Universe is just so sweet, especially since it happened despite Chris Sales being on the DL. Yes, I know it ain’t over till it’s over, but just let me gloat for a day or twelve.
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