After a day of shopping in the Bergdorfs, Bloomindales, and up Lex and Madison it was J time! Late the previous evening we logged on to Ticketmaster to see whether we’d be able to snap up some return tickets to watch the New York Rangers play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Gardens. Now Gabby has no experience of ice hockey and I only knew from the Winter Olympics that it’s fast and there are fights – so we both decided we couldn’t miss out on going to the game.
Tickets ready and printed off, we were looking forward to hopping on the subway. However, before then we had a score to settle with the Two Little Red Hens Bakery and their cheesecake (see previous post). Thankfully this time there were still a couple of slices left and one of them was destined to become our breakfast the next day. Now we were almost done but first we needed some post-shopping and prematch grub. Gabby’s blue book recommended Shake Shack. As you can see for yourselves the result of our trip their was pretty exciting; fyi peanut butter milkshake was definitely a step too far.
We wobbled off towards the Gardens and arrived in enough time to sink it all in. Having watched enough Friends and assorted American TV, we knew we needed a foam finger to fit in. The Rangers weren’t aware of this at the time but this was a big moment for them: they were about to be collected as another of my American sports team to support, joining the Mariners (baseball) and the Minnesota Vikings (NFL) following my previous trips to Seattle and Minneapolis. So, after a day of watching Gabby buying silly, fashionable, clothes I thought that I would look very fetching in a sensible Rangers long sleeved top – a visit to the stash shop was needed.
We made our way to our seats and couldn’t, considering the cost of closer tickets, have asked for better. Gabby envious of someone else’s sausage sent me off to get her her own foot long (OIA), litre of coke (OIA) and bretzel (yes autocorrect you heard me, Bretzel).
The match lived up to its billing. We didn’t know where the Blue Jackets were from so were helpfully illuminated by our neighbour’s “F*ck off back to Ohio” following the national anthem. 3 periods of 20 minutes makes up a hockey match and after going 3-1 down in the first period, the Rangers fought back the end the match 3-3. But in hockey you do not have draws, if you’ve been smashed into the plexiglass you want to know whether it was worth it or not! So it went to OT, were each team loses a player to make it 5 vs 5. At the end of sudden death OT no one had scored so it went to a shoot out, which the Rangers ended up losing. This didn’t matter, it was a really, really fun evening.
Throughout the match it was such a treat to be sitting next two young, increasingly inebriated, Italian American guys and sitting below two old, seemingly ex wise-guys, you wouldn’t want to mess with. The running commentary off these pairs and the speed, skill and, let’s be honest, fights on the ice kept us entertained all evening. It was hilarious to see Americans at the earnest best and I recommend that everyone, at some point in their America travels, takes the opportunity to spectate on crowd and sport. It’s a great opportunity to see and hear authentic America and experience a OIA cultural overload.
For an example of Americans in free flowing earnest, here is a little snapshot of some happy New Yorkers celebrating a goal:
Not quite having had our fill of vintage New York, we decided to round the evening off with a trip to Times Square. An epileptic’s nightmare, you still have to just bask in the glory of the LED madness as yellow cabs swish by. I have to say, the previous two evenings had built the anticipation of Times Square as you can spot the glow emanating from Broadway’s famous crossroads all the way from 5th Avenue!
M&Ms on Times Square and finally back to the hotel for tomorrow’s cheesecake breakfast.