Football in Manhattan

January 12th, 2014

It was all planned out. And by planned out, I mean I had texted my brother the night before at like, 10pm or something. The Panthers were playing their first playoff game after a bye week, and let me tell you, there was no better way to spend my Sunday afternoon than with my brother watching the Panthers play. Of course, this was New York City, and unless we wanted to go to a sports bar, spend way too much money for a small amount of food, a sports bar filled with way too many people that were probably way too drunk for a Sunday afternoon, there was only one way to watch the game. So I brought my laptop with me.

Fortunately, a month or so before, a friend of mine told me about a British site that would stream NFL games for free. I had done it once before to catch the last 2 minutes of the Panthers/Patriots game (the one where the Panthers won in the last two minutes. That was a good game).

So after going to church on the Upper East Side and enduring a sermon that, well, let’s just say I wasn’t sure I was in the right mindset for this sermon. Or, it didn’t speak to me. After enduring this sermon, I made my way back to Herald Towers where my brother lived with his roommates. Our plan, if you could call it that, was for me to bring hot dogs and buns and he would bring chips and peanuts and our recipe for a good time would be nearly complete.

And it was all going according to plan – All I had to do was stop at a grocery store. Now, if you’ve ever been to Manhattan, you’ll know that they don’t have Food Lion or Harris Teeter or those kinds of lovely conveniences. Nobody makes their own damn food. Everyone orders it, and they pay through the nose for something they could have made on their own for a little bit of time and a lot less money. But I was convinced I was going to get to a grocery store and buy hot dogs and buns and watch the Panthers game with my brother.

So, after trampling around Midtown in desperate and futile search for something that resembled a distant cousin to the glory that is Harris Teeter, I texted my brother and resolved that K-Mart might be my best bet. In K-Mart, I tramped down the dysfunctional elevators to the 2nd basement floor, where they had a section called ‘Pantry’. My guess was that this was a poor excuse for a ‘Grocery’ section.

Hot dogs. Buns. Maybe soda. Get out.

That was all I wanted.

Hot dogs, Buns, Maybe soda. No, not even soda. Then get out.

I found the hot dogs, checked the nutrition (because I’ve started doing that recently, for this thing called health), and resolved that because hot dogs were a crucial part to the recipe of a good time, I would sacrifice my weekly suggested serving of saturated fats.

Oh well. It happens.

Okay, hot dogs, check. Where are the buns?

You’d think that a place like K-mart would have a section for bread. You’d even think that this section for bread may include some other bread related items, like buns, and rolls. But no – There was something kind of like a bread section, but there were no buns.

If I realize that I can’t live in Manhattan, and if I have to move back to North Carolina, or somewhere else with more defined and comfortable civilization, it will be because a K-Mart on 35th and 7th had hot dogs, but no hot dog buns.

When I get angry, which is somewhat rare, I tend to internalize it. I don’t yell, and I don’t swear, and I don’t punch things. But I do tend to start thinking very bad things about K-mart.

So finally, I gave up and found a loaf of bread that looked like it might be able to replace the purpose of hot dog buns. I thought about all of the possible consequences and the crushed expectations that my brother might have. But damn it, it’s not my fault that midtown Manhattan is a freaking jungle of uncivilized culture that doesn’t have a grocery store with hot dog buns, is it? The Panthers game had already started.

So I rushed back to my brother’s apartment, where we fried the hot dogs, toasted the bread, ate peanuts and chips and drank Cheerwine from the bottle, watching the Panthers game streaming from a British network.

Maybe this is why people in New York are so grumpy. I mean, really? There are many ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, but spending time with your brother in his apartment next door to the Empire State Building watching the Panther’s game is by far one of the best.

The only way it could have been better is if the Panthers actually won, but hey, let’s not get selfish here.

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