That said, Fleet Week was a blast; or would've been if I'd been there all week with six full summer white uniforms. After one night bouncing between Times Square, Chelsea and Greenwich Village, my whites were completely trashed (and so was I). It's probably a good thing we only had the one night.
I was visiting the USS Klakring for, ahem, "training", but one thing led to another and I ended up on liberty. She was moored outboard USS Mitze, a new destroyer, and across the pier from USS San Antonio, the flagship of the new LPDs. It was pretty neat seeing those brand new ships, I wish I had had time for a tour. Red was a bit apprehensive about me going and even more so upon hearing that the liberty uniform would be whites - no civilian attire allowed. She had good reason to be. I smiled and humored the flirty ladies with the other three married guys I was hanging out with and we all made it out with our integrity intact, just in case you were wondering. I did have a difficult time trying to make some people understand that nobody goes home with the bartender.
We had just gotten off the train in Times Square when immediately a couple of ladies asked to have their pictures taken with me and my three buddies. And as soon as they posed, suddenly about three other families and groups of women got the same idea. That kind of thing went on all day! Just as we were about to duck into the Hard Rock Cafe, we were stopped by a cute stringer from the New York Times and briefly interviewed. Even though I rolled out the, "Hey, I have a journalism degree, too!" mojo, we couldn't convince her to show us to a good place to have lunch with her during the interview. Nice girl though, no idea where the article would be. Come to think of it, I didn't bother to check her credentials. Bad PAO!
At Hard Rock, the manager was all over one of my friends and sitting and flirting with us and gave us a modest discount on our bill. She also pointed out a bunch of great bars and restaurants to visit in the Village. And she gave us her phone number, you know, in case we got lost or needed "anything at all".
We visited some places I enjoyed though, like Cafe Wha?, the Peculier Pub, the Slaughtered Lamb Pub among the places I remember. Also on our way to dinner at what turned out to be a really nice French restaurant (the outdoor seating sold us) some guy walked up to us, handed one of my buddies $200 and told him to buy us a round of drinks on him. We tried half-heartedly to return it, but he scurried away. Dude, if you ever this someday, thanks.
It was terrific, heartening experience. I should've done it years ago. It's so weird walking around a city having random strangers want to be really nice to you. I shudder to think what would've happened had I been single; there were definitely some girls on the prowl.
I also would like to point out a good editorial in the Wall Street Journal today which eloquently sums up my thoughts on Al Gore and all this global warming ballyhoo:
Share and enjoy!
Here's a test. What if science showed conclusively that global warming is produced by natural forces, with all the same theorized ill effects for humanity, but that human action could forestall natural change? Or what if man-made warming were real, but offsetting the arrival of a natural ice age? Would Mr. Gore tell us meekly to submit to whatever nature metes out because it's "natural"?
Mr. Gore's next movie should be about the urge to propitiate the gods with sacrifices, a ritual whose appeal did not go out with the Aztecs. Yes, Al, let us give billions to alternative energy bureaucrats and emissions regulators. This we do as a tribute to your shamanism, although it will make little appreciable difference to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.