With all apologies to my loyal readers, I took a few days off from writing to enjoy the sights and sounds of New York City. It wasn’t by choice — I simply didn’t have any time to write while I was out of town.
Pictured above, a large chunk of the Breslin Family congregated at Sparks Steak House on Thursday night to treat my mother to a fantastic dinner. We dined on steaks and wine (the bottle you see on the right kept our table thirst-free for about 20 minutes), and I can say the steak medallions were some of the best cuts of beef I’ve had in my life.
After dinner (and several drinks), we retired to our hotel to get ready for a long weekend. A cousin of mine got us a ride from Sparks back to the hotel — it was an Escalade, not a smelly cab with a driver that speaks little English. In fact, the driver was a Russian man who spoke with what seemed like a twinge of an Italian accent, and we soon learned why.
We already knew the story of Sparks: in front of the property, crime boss Paul Castellano was gunned down John Gotti’s people, and they continued serving steaks and wine as if nothing happened. My father, being the Travel Channel/history buff that he is, had to experience a night at Sparks.
That was a very good decision … maybe the ride back to the hotel wasn’t.
(But thanks for the ride, Cousin Pete!)
After taking us through the parking garage where Gotti’s people fled from the scene of the shooting that fateful night in 1985, our driver continued to tell us stories of the way things were back then. He sprinkled in a few little tidbits that gave away his experience (“Gotti was a great tipper” was the moment when I got a small shiver), and when we stopped in front of our hotel, he instructed us to not give him any money for the drive.
There was a cop following us the whole way.
It gave my cousin a chance to say, in his best faux Italian accent, “He (the Russian driver) and I have been friends for a long, long time.” It was our chance to feel like we were breaking the law — not quite on the levels of Gotti and Castellano, but we’re novices.
It’s never a Breslin reunion unless something crazy happens.
We toured NBC Studios on Friday, saw Newsies on Broadway on Saturday and at least one of us came down with a sore throat when it was time to fly home Sunday (yes, that’s me!) — we slept a lot less than we should have.
Check out the rest of my photos of the Big Apple below. It’s good to be home, but a few days in NYC is never a bad thing.