I have visited New York before so this was less of a tourism trip and more to catch up with friends. Nonetheless, there were several boxes I still wanted to tick/check, the first being a trip to an NFL game. I was staying with a friend from university, Julia, who was not only able to source tickets for a New York Giants game that weekend, but was also able to hook us up with a tailgate. We took the bus from Port Authority in Manhattan and swiftly arrived at the MetLife stadium in New Jersey. The car park was a sight! Row upon row of pick-up trucks and RVs stretched into the middle distance whilst swarms of blue-jersey-clad fans tended to industrial size grills, played music from vast speakers, played corn hole or threw a ball about. Everyone was happy, everyone was united by the brotherhood of blue.
We located our tailgate only to discover that the guy with the grill had failed to show up. No problem! One of our neighbours, sympathetic to our plight, kindly offered his grill and whilst we waited for our victuals to cook, several other roaming philanthropists offered us food: steak, ribs, sausage, even deep-fried Oreos (which are, I can confirm, as good as they sound)!
Beer, tattoos and Trump signs abounded but no one was talking politics.
Once inside the stadium, we took our seats and the cauldron began to boil, noise and expectation building in correlation until the teams took to the pitch and the cauldron lid was blown off.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game, slamming my palm vigorously and loudly on the metal division in front of me for much of the game. But “we” lost. Damn you, Eli Manning! What were you thinking!
The drive home took about three hours but did include a beautiful sunset.
Other shenanigans included a random lunch encounter with Charlie, a former housemate from London who was returning to the UK that evening (I chose the lunch location….)
A lot of childish fun with my distant cousin, Andrew (including an urban decathlon comprising a game of pool in a Harlem dive bar, pétanque, corn hole, golf and chess in Bryant park, bowling and more).
A catch up with a friend I’d met on my Machu Picchu trek, Thomas, a trip to the Metropolitan museum and some silly photos completed the trip. Oh, and there was a birthday meal in there too.