Start of NYC and Nathans Hot Dogs for the 4th

My visit to NYC kicked off straight away and kept up the pace for two weeks, fueled by great beer and friends. I woke up on the futon on the 3rd of July, Mark and I got to walking down Steinway on route to the subway and into Manhattan where he worked. Along the way we came up on a clothing store that was going out of business, "Every thing's $1" the sign said. I peeked in as we walked by and saw an erie manikin head poking out of a box and instantly thought of the world of possibility. We stopped in and pulled the bust out of the box as people smirked, we left a dollar and carried on down the street with this shoulders and up life-like elvis style head.

We got looks from just about everybody, laughs, momentary terror and plenty of smiles. This continued on the subway ride as people asked about it, we popped up into Manhattan at 51st and Lexington. I took the Elvis torso into starbucks while Mark went a block away to his bar to work.

After some time passed I headed over and sat at the outside bar, Mark gave me a beer and I relaxed while different people asked about Elvis. My friend Charish was in the city these days, she met me at the bar and we caught up. Finally Mark got off work and the three of us headed to a beer bar called the Ginger Man. We drank the night away, starting with Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and never slowed from there.

The late night drunken subway ride landed us back in Astoria, I promptly fell out on the futon. The next time I opened my eyes the sun was pouring through the window, Elvis was wearing a trench coat on a stool hovering over me, Mark was by his side telling me what time it was, 9:27. I shot up, grabbed my Nathan's hat and chugged a nearby bottle of water as my shoes went on and we headed for the door.

We'd meant to be in Coney Island by this time and had slept in, it was time for the long awaited hot dog eating contest that has kicked off my last four 4th of July mornings. We raced down Astoria Blvd and hopped on the subway, an hour or so later we were weaving through the masses in Coney Island getting on line for hot dogs and beer. We then watched Joey Chestnut eat 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes, beating Kobayashi yet again. The subway brought us back home where we both passed out for a spell to catch up.

We woke up and were ready to go out again, burgers and beer on our mind. Elvis torso tagged along with us, we were going to a party later and knew he'd be a welcomed guest. Our first stop was the Ginger Man, we were greeted by a couple familiar bartenders who laughed at the sight of Elvis again.

We had some great beer, then one of the girls there told us the fireworks were going on. We stepped outside and looked down 36th street where we had a great view. After another beer or two, we filled up a growler and headed to Jackson Hole to get a burger, great big burgers, then we were off to Manny's party on the upper westside.

It was a good scene with a rooftop to relax on. I got some messages from Heather from Philadelphia, she was in the city for the night and looking for me to come downtown and meet up with her. The party started to take a turn as a fight almost broke out, it was a good time to leave, and everybody did. Mark and Carl headed home, I headed downtown.

I got off the subway and landed more or less in the area Heather had told me to go. Walking down the street, a small blonde girl suddenly jumped on me in a hugging embrace, I didn't even realize it was Heather at first, I thought it was an over the top reaction to Elvis torso or something. It was her though, we started catching up and I met some folks she was drinking with, she got me some beers and a shot of whiskey at one point. The bartender and everyone else took there shots at Elvis, once again he was the life of the party.

We did some wandering after that, eventually sipping coffee and eating soup in a diner as the sun came up. I left from there and made my way back to Astoria, it had been a good 4th of July and start to my time in NYC.