Back from the Big Apple

I just got back from a short trip to the Mecca of basketball, New York.

What a great city but I probably didn’t get to see 60% of it, especially with letting out Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island…so I probably have seen nothing…did I?

So there are a thousand reasons to come back to NYC, especially if the streetball action takes place in the five boroughs.

While listening to this Busta-track and to Armand Van Helden all day during my walks through the streets, I was overwhelmed by the enormous diversity of nationalities and cultures that I faced in the subways and major places like the Time Square, Port Authority or Penn Station.

Basketball can be found nearly everywhere in New York, whether it’s at the Madison Square Garden, in stores (Footaction, Footlocker, etc.), in Parks, Museums or on Television.

No wonder that I ran across John Starks at a sports store on Times Square. The Knicks-legend promoted some zip-away-shorts and gave signed autograph cards to the waiting fans and even hit the mic to address some words to the crowd. Although being a fan of John Starks in the past days, I passed on waiting in line to shake hands and decided to hit some nearby restaurants instead.

Olive Garden was the choice (Not only my choice, but rather the favorite “Italian” restaurant of Kendra “Playboy Mansion” Wilkinson one but their Chicken Alfredo Pizza was more like “A bit of cheese and some pieces of chicken on bread”. Imagine this cracker with a cheese-topping.

If you want some juicy pizza, go to Sbarro’s instead or to a local pizza place which are all over NY. This is how my “Stromboli” at Sbarro’s looked like.

I bet I can’t touch the rim anymore after having eaten this last week. I didn’t try it yet.

Of course I tried to get cheap tickets for a Knicks-game, but it was in my eyes way to overpriced (120 Dollars each) as the Knicks simply suck these days, although experiencing a stretch of better games lately. So I passed on the games against Orlando and Philly. The Knicks lost both, what a surprise.

And I don’t want to talk about the St.John’s Red Storm, who got beaten badly by Syracuse (87-58) in the Garden during my stay.

They bounced back at least to beat Georgetown this week, but struggled in conference play so far. It was tough to find Red Storm-stuff around the city, maybe I looked in the wrong places or maybe the team isn’t popular enough. At least my New York Giants (NFL) had enough merchandise around.

The NBA-store was cool as you could buy a lot of stuff you don’t really need (I bought me f.e. a coffee-cup that looks like a basketball) and your favorite NBA jersey. I missed the retro-jerseys of Chris Mullin or in general all retro-jerseys of the Warriors and the Heat which are my teams.

Manhattan is full of streetball courts and even on Mott Street in Chinatown, the Chinese kids play hoops, no matter how the weather may look like.

They (Chinese) probably cheer more for the Nets due to Jianlian Yi who is a crowd favorite in the New York-area.

Across the street in Little Italy, I found ads in the windows of restaurants with Danilo “The Rooster” Gallinari as the poster-guy for the Knicks, so this might have been a smart move by the Knicks to create some attention in the Italo-American community (Has James Gandolfini courtside seats already?).

Al Harrington seems to have a new job besides playing ball for the Knicks. He promotes a new brand called Protégé, which can be bought only at K-Mart (Which has a store across the MSG.). I thought about it for a second but I decided to stay with my old kicks. If you watched the vid: Al needs no mouthpiece as he integrated it into his teeth…okay, that was mean. I’m a fan of Al, so Knicks-fans, please forgive me.

Like I said it before, you can find basketball in the museum

I made that picture in the MoMA (Musuem of Modern Arts) near 5th Avenue. If you look closely, you can see it has lights on top of the board, so 24 hours action guaranteed. Where can you find that stuff in Europe?

I’m out like Chicken Alfredo Pizza.

PS: If you want to practice your six-pack in NYC: Shawn Cornelius, from the Ha! Comedy Club @ Times Square is your man!{jathumbnail off}