After walking out of my (as Lauren would say) ghetto-ass hotel and attending what was supposed to be an all day meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself free at 2:00pm with 4 hours to spare before my flight home. I walked out of 437 Madison and there it was calling my name with big, bright, neon lights… 

Burger Heaven

Somebody was trying to tell me something. I wasn't done yet. There were more burgers to try and time to do it. I had at least 2 hours before I REALLY need to be on that train to Newark.

But I had no stomach for it. I had eaten a decent lunch at like 12:30. I hadn't stuffed myself, but it wasn't super light either. I couldn't go in like this. I would be sick.

So after 20-30 minutes at the Border's across the street, I went in. I looked at the burgers people were eating. They didn't look like anything special. But I was here. I had to try one. When the waitress came, I wasn't ready. I ordered an iced tea and worked on some email. As I waited for hunger to come, I noticed that this place was pretty ghetto on the inside as well. it didn't look like a place that would have great burgers. It looked like a diner take on a Denny's. It was not making me feel better about this.

After another 20 minutes I realized that this place was not going to be worth my time. If I was going to put stomach and palate to risk, I was going to do it for a good burger. The Burger Joint came to mind. I knew it was near 23rd and 3rd. I put down $3 for the tea, walked out, and caught a cab.

It dropped me off right in front of a Starbucks, which was another thing I was looking for. No. Not for the coffee or atmosphere. I needed a wifi connection, which is pretty much the only thing Starbucks is good for in my book. I ordered a green tea so as to not feel like a cheapskate (I don't know why I should feel like a cheapskate when I'm paying $10 for internet access). Sent my email, made some calls, and walked out in search of The Burger Joint.

Turns out The Burger Joint isn't too busy at 3:00pm. Shocking. I ordered two cheeseburgers and fries. The Burger Joint makes sliders so two burgers isn't really not THAT much. The inside of the Joint is actually pretty cool. I pulled up to the bar and got my fries. Within 5 minutes I had my burgers.

It was all delicious. The fries were more the style I like (like McDonalds, but crispier) and the burgers were cooked perfectly on the fry pan, and covered with sauteed onions. While not as good as The Shake Shack, they were a worthy alternative.

I left happy and full and decided to do something good for somebody else for a change. I walked into a woman's botique clothing store across the street to look for something for K. A couple cute things but very expensive for what they were.

And then I was punished for my greediness. Just like the day before, but with less warning, the rain came. Fast and hard. I rain underneath an awning (luckily they are everywhere in NY) and waited for an open cab. Nothing came after about 10 minutes and I started getting nervous about missing my train and subsequent flight home. Finally I was somebody getting out of a cab about 50 ft away. I started running.

When I tried to open the door, it was locked. I was getting soaked. WTF? I knocked on the window. The cab opened the window a crack and asked where I was going.

So the problem with NY cabs is that when they see somebody in the city with a suitcase, they get immediately nervous. They are afraid that you want a ride to JFK or Newark, which is typically a losing battle during rush hour. They'll be stuck in traffic for hours and only get a $50 fare out of it. but they can't really turn you down, at least not legally, once you're in the cab. So, that's why he locked the door. He saw me running with that suitcase and hit the door locks.

After assuring him that I was only going to Penn Station, he let me in. Of course by this point, 30 seconds in the rain, I was drenched. Great. Soaked for the flight home.

I got to Penn Station just in time to hear an annoucement. "All NJ trains are indefintely delayed due to overhead power outage in the NJ area."

You have to be kidding me. I watched as all the shcedules changed from ON TIME to DELAYED. I watched as my trains to EWR disappeared from the board. I started thinking that I wans't going to make it. I walked outside to look for a cab. One that would take me to Newark. And just when I was about to leave another annoucement went off saying that trains were moving again. I waited longer and at about 4:35 I heard the annoucement to board the NJ East Corridor Local. I got on and made it to my flight with a whole 30 minutes to spare. Hooray! I'm happy to be back in Seattle.

On another note, does anyone know why they can't tell you which track a train is going to be on until 10 minutes prior to its boarding? It seems liek they could plan that out better.