Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Porky's Pig Palace

"Look! Over there!! It's Porky's Pig Palace!!!" WHAT?? It was almost 8pm and we were on our third train of the day; on our way to our hotel in scenic Newark, NJ. As we had been up since 4am, caught the 6:30am Amtrak regional from Boston to New York City's Penn Station, spent the day walking from Times Square to Noho to Chelsea and back to Penn Station to say MBH was a bit punch drunk was a mild understatement.

"What are you babbling about?" I asked him. "Over there. That rotating sign", he pointed to a rotating red, yellow, and white neon sign visible through the fog. "Porky's Pig Palace", he said with an assured air. The woman sitting next to me on the Liberty/Newark Airport Airtrain tried to squish herself even further into the corner where she had been cowering since boarding the tram car. She had issues. MBH was having issues and all I wanted to do was get to our room, kick off my shoes from my aching feet and watch a little cable TV. "That isn't Porky's Pig Palace. That is the Anheuser-Busch brewery you dork".

MBH gave me a look that said, "You don't know what you are talking about". I stared right back at him with a look that said, "I have no idea where the stuff that pops out of your mouth comes from". We both burst into peals of laughter. We had been doing that all day.

Our big day of funness in the Big Apple. I was attending the Audio Engineering Society trade show on Monday, Oct 10 and a one day mini-vacation spent wandering the bookshops and food shops of NYC was just what we both needed. We had started our day having a pretty good breakfast at the Stagedoor Deli and then I tried, in vain, to explain the NYC subway system to MBH. We were on our way to 18 miles of books at Strand Books. MBH and I decided we could probably spend a week there and not even begin to scratch the surface. "WW, I can't believe I'm going to say this but there are just too many books here". I knew what he meant. After we each purchased a book or two, we walked through the West Village. Destination the Chelsea Food Market, once a Nabisco Biscuit factory and now home of Food Network and several gourmet food shops. The Oreo cookie was invented in the walls of the Food Market and as I love both the Food Network and Oreo cookies I was pretty excited. We were both very disappointed. Not only was the food shopping underwhelming but you can't even visit the Food Network studios. The only thing walking through the Chelsea Food Market did for us was to make us very hungry. We had been planning on Chinese and had read good things about The Grand Sichuan. They have a restaurant on 9th Ave and as it was on the way back to Penn Station, we decided to give it a try. MBH rediscovered he does not like sesame beef and I discovered that you can mess up scallion pancakes. The wonton soup was very good though and the hunan chicken quite tasty as well as very spicy. We left just as it began to get dark and made our way to Penn Station via 7th Avenue.

By now our feet were hurting and we were ready to navigate the NJ Transit system to get to our hotel. Which is how we found ourselves as the unplanned Airtrain entertainment for an audience of one paranoid lady and two confused Swiss tourists.

Bet they didn't expect a stop at Porky's Pig Palace either.