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   five IPAs in Manhattan
Monday, May 14 2012
I had a meeting this afternoon down in Manhattan, but it was scheduled for late enough in the day that I could be leisurely about leaving. This was good, because somehow the Previcox had gone missing and (what with Ramona's leg problem) we have two dogs who need it every morning. Gretchen and I looked absolutely everywhere in hopes of finding it (in the refrigerator, on all the surfaces in the upstairs bathroom, and even out in the garage). Finally, as I was digging through the trash, a visual from yesterday jumped into my mind. It was of Julius (aka "Stripey") up on the countertop where the Previcox is normally kept. He was sniffing around in the tool drawer, which was all the way open, in hopes of finding catnip (normally stored in the next drawer over). Based on that image, I decided to look in the back of the tool drawer, and there it was: the Previcox.

Though there was WiFi, which was nice, the bus ride down to Port Authority was not as pleasant as it normally is. At New Paltz, a large man sat down in the seat next to me. He was of the scale where his arms and hip has to intrude somewhat into my space. After an hour, that elbow pressed into my flesh was a subtle form of torture, but squirming out of its way afforded only temporary relief. Making the matter worse, the guy had a fragrance hovering somewhere between that of feces and that of garlic, lightly masked with some sort of eau de toilette pour homme.
Down near Broadway and Houston, I got a coffee and some sort of vegan Asian "chicken" noodle dish, which I ended up eating while seated on a Jersey barricade at the corner of Houston and Mercer, where construction was happening. Unfortunately there are no places more pleasant for eating outdoors in that immediate vicinity. But at least the weather was nice; the forecast had called for rain and we'd driven through a cloudburst on the way down, but now it was pleasant (though sunless).
As for the meeting itself, it went on for something like three and a half hours. There were seven us sitting around a table and most of us had either laptops or iPads. It being a design firm, my netbook was the only equipment not made by Apple (though it probably had been assemboed by the same guys on the same assembly lines in the same Chinese factory).
After the meeting, I set out onto the street in hopes of unwinding the way Manhattanites do. This time I headed into the East Village looking for crummy looking bars that weren't dominated by large flatscreen televisions. The East Village is much denser with such places than any other part of the city, though I was having trouble reaching a decision. Eventually a cloudburst sent me ducking into a place that was a little less crummy than I had hoped. But they had good IPAs on tap, so that was all that mattered. I should say that it's hard to look like one has much purpose when one is at a bar drinking alone unless one has a cellphone. I'd brought my old serviceless iPhone, but I couldn't pick up an open WiFi hotspot.
I went back on the street and ducked into a darker, crummier bar, but this was a cash bar and I just happened to have neither cash nor a non-expired debit card. So I had to abandon the IPA I'd ordered in shame.
The final place I went into was an Italian restaurant with a bar called Three of Cups. I ended up having three IPAs and bowl of rigatoni with eggplant (all of which was very good, though a couple seated near me was skeptical, particularly after I told them it also happened to be vegan). While I ate and drank, I was able to get onto an open WiFi hotspot, which made me look a little less sad and desperate.
So I'd had five IPAs by the time I decided to head back to Port Authority. That made tomorrow's hangover a certainty, but I had enough reserve mental capacity to negotiate the subway (although when I caught the L at 14th Street, I ended up stuck on the wrong side of the tracks and had to take it to Brooklyn to make a U-turn back west). I'd assumed that there would always be buses to catch back to Kingston, but it turns out that there is a two-hour long desert in the schedule between 9:30 and 11:30pm, and I showed up right in the middle of that. Happily, I was able to sleep for most of the ride back to Kingston, and by that time I was sober enough to drive myself home.

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