NYC, The Place to Be
by Shayne Carter
posted August 8, 2006
I recently took a trip to the big apple, and it didn't let me down.
I actually stayed about a 20 min. drive (1 hr. by train) away from Manhattan
with my friends in Nyack, NY. If you enjoy quaint, historic, romantic
settings, then Nyack is the perfect place to visit. You'll fall in love
with its Victorian buildings and riverside charm. It was an absolute
treat to visit the small antique shops and unique jewelry stores, then
stroll down the red-brick pathways to the Hudson River after lunch.
The view of the George Washington Bridge and the sight of the boats
from the pier were breathtaking. Read more about Nyack at www.nyackny.com.
trip started when I arrived Thursday, 7-6-06. After settling in, I took
a train to Manhattan, then the subway to a place that was simply called
"Cuba". I found it on the net, and thought it was a night
club. It turned out to be a restaurant. I thought "Oh great, no
dancing. Well, mine as well get something to eat while I'm here."
A few moments later, a live Son band began to play. The guys in the
band were great musicians and cool people. I danced with the lead singer,
and they sang to me a little. There weren't too many people in the main
dining area, which turned out to be a good thing when we started dancing.
I ordered the FILETE DE PARGO EN GUAYABERA DE PLATANO (Filet of Red
Snapper with a crunchy green plantain crust in a sofrito sauce) for
dinner, and CASCOS DE GUAYABA (guava skin in syrup and cream cheese)
for dessert. Although the black bean soup was a little too salty for
my taste, the entrée was delicious, and the dessert tasted like
heaven. The staff was fun and earthy, but very professional. The older
gentleman rolling cigars at a table in the corner gave this restaurant
that little extra authentic feel. I can think of nothing negative to
say about this cozy, beautifully decorated piece of Cuba. Get more info
Friday, 7-7-06 I missed the 10:12 pm train, and had to take the 11:12
pm train to Manhattan. I finally made it to a studio party thrown by
Mambo Fateegz about 1:00 am. Dance studio = people who'll dance with
everybody right? Wrong! Since it was so late, I tried to mingle and
strike up conversations right away. The girls were ok, but the guys
didn't want to hear it. I asked four men to dance, and they shot me
down so fast, I felt like Harry Whittington. One guy came over to ask
a young lady next to me for a dance, but she respectfully declined.
So, I offered my hand. He smugly shook his head no, and reached again
for the girl who told him no. She later asked a man to dance with me.
Then, I started a conversation with another lady, and she got some guy
to dance with me. Both men acted as if they couldn't wait for the song
to be over. At least the gentleman at the door was cool. Since the party
was ending in an hour, he only charged me $5.00.
This place is a wonderful venue for dancers. The DJ was good, and you
couldn't ask for a better floor. The space was enormous (I think the
ad said it was 4,000 sq. ft.). The only downside is: You will probably
need to bring a partner (especially if you're an on 1 dancer and/or
new to their scene). Info: www.mambofateegz.com
7-8-06 was unbelievable. I went to a party thrown by an instructor named
Oscar (A really good dancer and down to earth person.) at the Westgate
Lounge inside a Best Western in Nyack. The ballroom was absolutely beautiful,
and the crowd was classy but welcoming. The main dance floor was a little
bigger than the Red Room and perfect for dancing. There was also a smaller
dance floor by the bar. An awesome band called Son de Aqui was the entertainment
that evening. They looked as good as they played. With their sharp,
black suits and polished sound, they kept the guests moving all night
long. The DJ kept it going with a nice musical selection during the
band's breaks. Between the band and the DJ, the music was at least 90%
salsa/mambo, bachata and merengue for the rest. I met a great group
of people, and so many men asked me to dance it seemed unreal. After
dancing for five hours, my feet were pulsating so badly, I cried and
couldn't sleep. My toes looked like sausage links the next morning,
but it was well worth it. I am so glad my friends, April and Jose told
me about this place. I don't recall having a better time in all my years
of dancing. Check out the site for more info: www.salsaunlimited.com.
Finally, go see the musical "The Color Purple". The tickets
were expensive (You may be able to find better deals if you don't procrastinate
like I did.), but the show was amazing. Also, I've heard so many rumors
about New Yorkers being rude, and that's not true. Outside of those
snobby guys at the dance studio, I found most people to be pleasant
and very helpful.
One last tip: AirTran Airways is the cheapest major airline for a reason.
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