How the Gotham Gators get down!

I won’t lie, my first impressions of how this was going to go weren’t great. As we arrived at the setting for the fiasco, a bar called the Town Tavern, the whole thing was already falling apart. Brandon had called ahead and made “reservations” but when we arrived the employees didn’t seem to have much of an idea of how this worked even though they have apparently been doing this every Saturday since the season started.

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When we tried to sit in tables labeled “all tables reserved for registered UF fans” we were told that they were for people from out of town, to which we replied “we are from out of town” this didn’t seem to help much. By the time everything got figured out it appeared that the tables were only for people who made super secret reservations which entitled them to both be in the bar and have a table. But if we hurried upstairs we might get a spot at the bar. We ran upstairs and our reward… a single stool for the 4 of us… I was already predicting my departure by half time (as any friend of mine knows I’m not particularly fond of spectator sports but I do have a soft spot for the Gators) this wasn’t turning out the way I was expecting.

But, as these things go, we had paid $25 for free drafts and free shots at every gator touch down, so I hung around.  And after finding that those free drafts applied to ANY draft in the bar, Guinness included… I was ok. We sat, we watched, we cheered we drank, long story short, we wound up with 4 stools at that bar and damn did we start having a good time. To tell you the complete truth, it kinda felt like being back in the Ville for a bit. Here’s a shot of Manhattan’s Gator fans.

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Over 250 in attendance at this one event according to the visibly frazzled door girl, and that’s pretty impressive. We got down pretty seriously, and these people were not screwing around, they knew the stats and the players, hell they knew about what was going on on campus, these were devoted fans and just as loud and drunk as they are in Gainesville. Here’s a couple of shots of us post realization of awesomeness.

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The “free shots” weren’t so much shots as much as the bartender chick jumping up on the bar with some concoction and pouring it down the gullet of any willing drunk, needless to say we doubled up whenever possible, considering we only scored one touchdown we only got one shot so we abused it. Well actually when we won she did it again and didn’t seem to care how many turns any one person took, so yea, we took a few.

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she didn’t exactly have the best aim… Long story short, we ended up having a phenomenal time.

Next up were bars, oh so many bars… Since we already had a bit of a head start it didn’t take long to get into party mode. Everybody bought “raybands” in Chinatown and decided this was the time to bust them out.

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When all that fun was said and done, we needed a late night snack before calling it a night, so where did we go? One of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite snack stops in Manhattan, Gray’s Papaya!

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Now this is nothing fancy, basically a hot dog shop that makes papaya smoothies but there is something special about this place. The recession special basically made it $3 for 2 hot dogs and that’s not all. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t eat onions, but they have this crazy sweet onion sauce here that they soak the hot dogs in and it was completely amazing, I couldn’t resist it. I had 1 plain hot dog then took a bite of Kearas with the onion sauce and ordered 2 more fully loaded, they were criminal in how good they tasted.

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It was around 3 or 4 in the morning and I wasn’t quite done for the night so Keara and I went back out to time square to see what its like with less people. It was… interesting, not abandoned by any stretch of the imagination, but now the people walking around were mostly freaks, we saw a couple of spidermans a batman or two and the cops are allowed to smoke on the job, one had a cigar.

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Well, I think that about does it for now, I’ll be back soon with more from the rest of the trip.

Cojelo,

Robbie

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