MISA girl

  Night Two - Accidental Meetings and the Diner from Heaven  

Our original plans and our actual night turned out to be two separate things, but I believe in letting go while traveling because the flow is so much better than a strict itinerary. One of my traveling companions is a girl named Coral and we were all amused by the novelty of the idea of going to a place called the Coral Room she found in her guide book. This guidebook and the internet search I did failed to mention that the Coral Room has been closed for about three years. That's a bit of an over site, one that left us wandering around looking for a place that didn't exist only to wander into a place that was still in business and for good reason. Billy Mark's looked pretty standard from the outside and inside was pretty standard too, but the bar's namesakes (tow born and bred new york brothers named Billy and Mark) where what made it so great. We sit down and order a drink to use the bathroom and pick the bartender's brain about the Coral Room which at this point we still think exists, upon finding out it doesn't we were left to hang out in Billy Mark's till we could come up with a Plan B. We talk for a bit and then the bartender starts asking us questions: "where are we from, what are our plans for our visit to the city, etc." The great part was that this guy had a way of putting everything in perspective, but the great thing was it was a true new york perspective, not a guidebook one. We talked sports, we talked stuff we absolutely had to do while we were in town, we talked about politics with a handsome cab driver who is trying to make use of his Political Science degree by fighting for cabbie rights (this being really amusing because Coral's boyfriend Pat also graduated with a P.S. degree and is now working as a landscaper). The more we sat there, the more a part of the real New York I felt and it was almost as if we'd passed the test that most tourists fail and were being offered a unique experience. Three drinks each later we were pretty hungry so we end up taking Billy's suggestion of a diner a few blocks down (the amusing part about this suggestion being when he said "DO NOT go into the Cheyenne, walk the two extra blocks, that place is shit"). Billy was now our New York bartender and guide of choice.

The diner we did end up at had plenty of signs outside boasting that it was "voted new yorks best diner" so we knew Billy hadn't steered us wrong. I mean they had an ad for Flight of the Conchords outside the bathroom, obviously this place had taste. The sweet potato fries alone were worth it and I was nice and full as we walked back to the subway to get back to our apartment.

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