Last year Brian and I (with one notable contribution from Kevin) wrote what we thought was a pretty solid guide to having a good time in New York City for the Big East Tournament. We had fun writing it, so I'm going to update it for this week's action.
(Though I encourage you to peruse last year's edition - there's some good stuff in there that I've changed out for this year's edition).
Without further ado, here's your guide to the Big Apple if you're heading to town this weekend:
SCHEDULE OF VILLANOVA EVENTS
Tuesday March 8th
Villanova Coaches Networking Night featuring Andy Talley, Mark Ferrante, and Fr. Rob Hagan
Join Villanova Coaches for a night of networking in anticipation of Villanova's 2016 Big East Tournament Appearance. Remarks by Villanova University Football Head Coach Andy Talley, Assistant Head Coach Mark Ferrante and George R. Kolb '84, Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations. Sponsored by the Manhattan Chapter of the Villanova University Alumni Association.
Upper Story by Charlie Palmer- 979 Third Avenue - 14th Floor, New York, NY 10022
$55 per person - included hors d'oeuvres and beer/wine. Visit www.alumni.villanova.edu to register.
Wednesday March 9th
Campaign for the Greater Great
This signature event will feature University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, and Director of Athletics Mark Jackson, as well as other Villanova coaches and administrators. This is an opportunity for our most dedicated fans and supporters to hear about the department's priorities in the current Athletics Campaign. Hosted by the Villanova Athletic Fund.
By invitation only.
The Knickerbocker | 4th Floor
Thursday March 10th
Villanova Basketball vs. Georgetown/DePaul winner
12pm, Madison Square Garden
Annual Big East Tournament Reception
Hosted by the Office of the President, the Alumni Association and the Villanova Athletic Fund, this informal event is always a great way for Villanova alumni of all ages to gather and cheer on the Wildcats.
No registration needed.
Stout NYC, Lower Level - 133 West 33rd Street
Friday March 11th
Panel Discussion: Women's Leadership in Sports- What's Next?
Co-sponsored by the Villanova Women's Professional Network, the Villanova University Alumni Association and the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for Study of Sports Law. Featured Panelists include:
Kate Porter '10 VLS l International Arbitration and Sports Law Associate,Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Ingrid Petri '02 VSB l Associate Vice President Global Marketing Partnership and Business Development, National Basketball Association Kristin Bernert l Senior Vice President of Business and Basketball Operations,New York Liberty Kathy Behrens l President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs, National Basketball Association
The Knickerbocker | 4th Floor
Cost to attend is $30 a person and $50 when registering with a guest. Visit www.alumni.villanova.edu to register.
Big East Tournament Semi-Finals (should Villanova advance)
6:30pm, Madison Square Garden
Saturday March 12th
Villanova University Alumni Association Mass
(Should Villanova Advance)
All alumni, parents and friends are invited to celebrate Mass together with University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA prior to the Big East Tournament Championship Game. All faiths welcome. No registration needed.
The Knickerbocker l 4th Floor
Big East Tournament Final (should Villanova advance)
5:30pm, Madison Square Garden
Do not fear the subway. Sure, you might see some things that will be scorched on to your retinas for life, but that's all part of the experience. Especially in Manhattan, the subway will get you just about anywhere you need to go and leave you with only a few blocks to walk. Except the very edge of the east side of the city.
If you prefer to travel in cars, use Uber (shameless plug - use my sign up code: uberchrisjjlane) or Lyft. Beware the surge pricing (especially when it's raining and at rush hour), but you'll have a better ride and the drivers are much nicer than the guys/gals in the yellow cabs.
Chances are you already have your accomodations, but if you are looking for something last minute use Hotwire or Hotel Tonight. The latter is especially good since you can see exactly what hotel you're getting and there are a ton of great boutique hotels available that are just as nice as the 4-5 star chains.
(I just booked The Roger for $129/night - boom!)
Another favorite - phone a friend! If you have friends/family in the city, there's nothing wrong with dragging them in to the Villanova Basketball rage week activities and sleeping on their couch. Done it plenty of times and have no complaints. Neither will they.
Mike's Deli - On 32nd between Park and Madison. A literal hole in the wall with 3 guys cooking as many bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches as they can. The transaction rate is crazy.
Rosticceria (Eataly)- Just had the prime rib sandwich a few weeks ago. Still insane.
Quality Italian - The parm-pizza is a Frankenstein-ish creation that you will savor.
Sparks - First-class service and experience, and also the place where mobster Paul Castellano was murdered (right out front) if you're in to that sort of thing.
2nd Ave. Deli - Corned Beef on Rye, forever and ever.
Rare - Go for the Burger Master's Special, which is changed out weekly. Trust these guys. They know what they're doing.
Taqueria Diana - For those of you who watch SB Nation's Easy call with Dan Rubenstein, this was a featured spot. Can't go wrong with anything, and you could lose track of time as you destroy taco after taco.
Mighty Quinn's - A few locations, but these guys moved in right before I moved out and I missed the chance to try them. I've since made the trip, and while you're in for a wait, the burnt ends are worth it.
Favorite Korean BBQ
Don's Bogam - Marinated Beef Platter, Man's Mountain Sake.
Kanoyama - Very quiet and rarely crowded spot in the East Village. Great selection of Oysters too if that's your thing.
Favorite Late Night Food
Crif Dogs - My first love. Get a couple of dogs, go crazy with the toppings and get a PBR and check out the old school arcarde games. You're home.
Rogue- Big bar that is popular among celebrities. I've sat down next to Anthony Bourdain, Lady Gaga and Kermit Ruffins on separate occasions. If Bonnie is working, tell her Lane sent you.
Bounce - For the younger and more aggressive crowd. This is essentially day/night-clubbing with tons of sports.
Stout - The usual meeting spot for Villanova students and alumni alike, and right next door to MSG.
Wolfgang Puck's - Limited seating, very old NY feel to it. Stiff drinks.
Turntable - Great music and old movies playing, and great Korean chicken as well if you need a quick bite.
Mehanata - Swings, hookahs, Bulgarian line dancing and a frozen vodka room create mayhem. Once described to me as, "Mehanata is to calm nights as nuclear proliferation is to world peace."
Enjoy your trip to NYC, and share any other favorites you have in the comments!