The Frying Pan

Monday September 17, 2012

With the extra time on our hands we were determined to get our 3 buck Chucks from Trader Joe’s before we left the city. Being smart enough to know our legs couldn’t handle the walk all the way down to 14th St and then back with bags full of wine we stopped by the subway station to purchase Metro passed and hopped on hoping we were going the right direction. We must have been on an express route, and after stopping at 42nd St the next stop along the way was 14th St and we got off. We still had no idea where on 14th the Trader Joe’s was, and this also happened to be the one day we left the phone on the boat. Walking a few blocks we figured it would be smarter to ask someone on the street. Stopping a guy while passing through a cross walk he told us to go a few blocks up to 18th and we’d find it there. Even though that logic didn’t make sense at all we trusted him and kept following that road up, and by the time we got to 20th we still had not seen a Trader Joe’s. Walking into a bar on that corner I asked the bartender and he goes, “Oh yeah, there’s one on 14th and Irving, that’s the only one around here”. We still don’t know if the first guy was clueless or just thought it was fun to point tourist in the completely wrong direction. Once we did find the store we saw there was one specifically for food and one for wine. Going to get what we came for we walked in the wine store and saw top to bottom shelves of wine encasing the entire place.

 Noticing there was a wide selection and not all just store brand items this time there we searched out the 3 buck Chuck and found it near the back of the store. There was a decent selection reds and whites plus one blush. Even though we had gone a far distance to get here I knew Matt wasn’t much of a wine drinker and thought we’d walk out with maybe 6 bottles, 8 at max. Loving wine myself (I’ll never turn down a glass if offered) I was estatic when he said, “I was thinking we’d mix and match for a total of 16 bottles”. Woohoo, I was going on a wine shopping spree!! From the whites we picked a few Pinto Grigios and a few Sauvignon Blancs. Always a fan of White Zinfandel I threw a few of those in the cart as well, and for the reds we mixed between Merlot and Shiraz. When checking out, the sixteen bottles with tax came to about $52. Macy’s move over, I think I’ve found my new favorite store.

 Taking the subway back was a little more complicated since we took the red line down and were now getting on at green. Trying to read the maps while speeding down the tracks (and still not trying to stand out as a tourist) I figured Times Square had to have a connecting line since the red stopped there before and we got off at that stop once we got to it. My little bit of street smarts paid off and we did find the red line taking us back to 72nd St. Not even sure where to store the wine once back on the boat we left it in it’s bags and got ready for drinks with our reader, Bill, who had emailed a few days ago. Since him and his wife Grace live in Manhattan I was going to let the experts pick the place and they landed on The Frying Pan, a Lightship with an an old railroad barge attached that acts as a seasonal Bar/Grill, located on the Hudson River at 23rd St (or Pier 66). We were meeting at 7:00 since they both had to work that day and because the two of us were determined to find one of those really cheap pizza deals along the way we left at 5:30 just to make sure we’d get to the Frying Pan on time.

 Getting all the way to Lincoln Center and finding nothing we hopped over to Columbus Ave and followed that south. Once we got to 53rd St we saw the sign we were looking for (or something close) ‘Grand Opening: 2 Slices & Soda or Water $2.75’. Jackpot! It was everything I hopped it would be, but too bad I didn’t realize until I had finished eating that I didn’t eat it the ‘New York’ way by folding the large slice in half before eating. With 45 minutes on the clock and 30 minutes to go we thought we could rush through on foot instead of taking the subway to get to drinks. Plus the subway gave us a greater chance of getting lost and really being late. Hoofing it as quick as we could we made it to the restaurant only 5 or so minutes late. Waiting for us in the back in an area sheltered from the wind was Bill, and he stood up to greet us as we came in. Just a few minutes later his wife Grace sat down with us after refilling their drinks from the bar and we all sat around getting to know each other. They were our age, have a Sabre two feet larger than ours, and are planning to go cruising as well in the next few years. The guys talked about boat things as they always do while Grace and I focused more on the cruising lifestyle and how each of us had gotten into sailing as well as our thoughts on cruising. They are a great couple that we have so much in common with and I’m so happy we had the chance to meet. Before we could even really get to know each other though it was 10:00 and the bar was shutting down. In New York City? The good news is these two are planning to be at the Annapolis Boat Show in a few weeks, which we’ll definitely be at, and Grace and I are already talking about discussing cruising more over a few Painkillers. Sounds like a plan to me.

 After walking up a few blocks from the river they tucked into a cab to go home while Matt and I tucked into McDonald’s for a late night snack. Nothing like a McChicken and a large coffee at 10:30 at night to satisfy you. Yes, coffee, finally!! And they’re only $1 in NY. Did I mention I love this city? Treating ourselves to a subway ride back we found the tunnels of the city are much more desolate at this time of night but we still didn’t see any crazies out and about. We got to our home corner and walked the familiar path back to the basin where the restaurant there was closed as well. So much for the city that never sleeps. Still love it though.

A bottle of wine that’s $2 cheaper than the chocolate?  Gotta love that!