I met my BAG in the hotel lobby at 9am. His name was Warren and he was going to take me on a grand adventure through Greenwich Village.
We caught the train at 34th St and took it down to 14th St. and started the tour in Greenwich Village. It actually included more than I expected, and we ended up going through Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, to City Hall and St. Paul’s as well. Phew! Because I had to go to the Daily Show taping later in the afternoon, I couldn’t give him quite as much time as he wanted, but we had a nice 4 hour tour.
We stopped for lunch at a little place called 69 Chinese Restaurant (69 Bayard St) in Chinatown… I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked in – it looked like every inch of every wall (even part of the ceiling) was covered in dollar bills. A guy who was eating at a table beside us mentioned that it used to be called the Lucky Dollar (hence all the dollar bills) before it was taken over by it’s current owners a few years ago. The new owners left it “as is”. Sitting there trying to read the little messages, signatures, etc… that people have written on the money they’ve left behind makes for a very interesting meal. Speaking of which, the food was good and cheap… would recommend it.
We caught the train back to 34th St and I had a little rest before I set out again. More walking… this time, along 34th St to 11th Ave, then north as far as I could go before the Lincoln Tunnel (?) got in the way. I cut back over to 10th Ave and went around, continuing up 11th Ave to the Comedy Central studio (at 52nd St) where the Daily Show with Jon Stewart tapes. They recommend you be there between 3:30-4pm to get in line (first come first served, ticket does not guarantee entry so the earlier you’re there the better your chance). The doors don’t open until 5:15pm, though, so if you’re there as early as they recommend (as I was)… you’re in for a looooong, boring wait.
The show itself was interesting… the guest was the commander of the Thunderbirds and there were a few sailors and marines in the audience, as it was the first day of Fleet Week.
After the taping I headed to a Japanese restaurant called Asahi on 48th St. Prior to arriving in NYC I had bought an Entertainment Book which offered tons of buy 1 get 1 free deals at restaurants, attractions, etc… and this was one of them. It was expensive compared to what I’m used to, but that coupon made it a bit more affordable. I had a bit of a headache (and sunburn) from the day’s long walk in the sun or else I would have taken advantage of the other offer they have… a free bottle of wine with any order over a certain amount (can’t remember what it was, but it was quite low). After dinner I walked back to the hotel and had another “early” night (9:30ish).