One of the best parts of my trip was getting to visit with Uncle Tony. If you haven't heard about Uncle Tony, then you are missing out. He was my grandpa's brother. He's this portly Italian fellow from Long Island who actually uses the phrase, "Fuggedaboudit." My sister and I stayed with him about 5 or 6 years ago when we first visited New York, and we just fell in love with him. He's so sweet and hilarious.
Here's a pic of Uncle Tony playing the keyboard. He says he plays every morning. I sat and listened for a while. He mostly plays hymns and Christmas songs. Later I found a bunch of photo albums, which he hadn't looked at in years. It was so fun to see him when he was young.
During this time I got a text from Noel about stopping by her work to pick up the apartment keys when I got back into the city. This was followed by another text telling me that CONAN O' BRIEN WAS HAVING LUNCH AT HER CAFE WITH HIS FAMILY!!!! I was soooooooooooo jealous. He's like the one celebrity left on this planet that I would love to meet.
"Tell him I need a job," I texted back.
Had I left in the morning, I might have met him. Argh! My jealousy-induced tourettes kicked in (but only in my brain because I didn't want to curse in front of Uncle Tony). Of course, if I had the choice, I would have chosen to stay with Uncle Tony anyway. I'm not sure when (or if) I'll be seeing him again.
"Sorry," I said to Uncle Tony. "I just need to send one more message."
He was intrigued.
"Did you just type a message on your phone without talking to the person?"
"I used to do that in the Army. It was called teletype."
He was in the Army Intelligence in WWII and part of his job was to teletype messages because it was more secure than calling. He was amazed that was I texting on my phone.
"You can tell your friends that your uncle used to do that in the Army. Now it's coming back."
And there you have it, friends. I heart Uncle Tony.
Of course, my birthday would not be complete without a trip to the Brass Monkey. It's not affiliated with the Brass Monkey in Los Angeles, but I had to check it out. No karaoke, unfortunately. It's a rustic-looking bar in the Meatpacking District. After that we walked over to Hogs and Heifers, which is the crazy wild bar that "Coyote Ugly" is based on. I inevitably drank too much and proclaimed the next morning, "I'm never drinking again!" :-) Good times for sure.
Glad that's not my car.
I was supposed to fly out to Vegas on Monday night, but the air train that takes people to the airport pretty much broke down due to the wind and icy tracks. They didn't tell us what was going on at the time. We were just stuck. I ended up making friends with a drunk girl who smelled like whiskey and sour milk. She was nice. In the end, I didn't make it to the airport in time. Luckily I was able to reschedule my flight to the following morning. I stayed in a hotel near the airport where I ate greasy Chinese food and watched crappy television. It was relaxing actually.