GETTING MY FASHIONISTA ON AT THE NEW NHL STORE.

If you happen to be a hockey fan like the Sports Diva is, or if you have no idea who the 32 teams are that make up the National Hockey League, but you think some of the logos are kind of cool, then the new NHL Store is for you.

The old NHL Store was located at 1185 6th Avenue (That’s Avenue of The Americas for those of you who aren’t Native New Yorkers),on 48th Street.

It was called “The NHL Store Powered by Reebok” because at that time, Reebok made most of the hockey stuff worn by players and fans alike.

This year, a new NHL Store opened just for Team Sports Apparel Fashionistas like myself who also like, no love, hockey.

It’s called, what else, the NHL Store, a Fanatics Experience.

The Fanatics Company makes clothes for every sports fan.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, or child, Fanatics has something for you no matter what the sport or the team is.

The store is located on 31st Street and 9th Avenue right behind the Moynihan Train station and Madison Square Garden.

Right next door to the store are the New York offices of the National Hockey League.

Sorry hockey fans, you can’t go into the office and tell Commissioner Gary Bettman just what you think about him and the job he’s doing as commissioner, even though that’s something a lot of us hockey fans would LOVE to do.

Unlike the store on 48th street, this store has two floors and if you walk up the stairs, you’ll notice that the words written on them are actual hockey terms that your favorite announcer uses to describe all the hockey action and it doesn’t matter if you’re listening to the Flames in Calgary or the Panthers in Sunrise, Florida, hockey terms are the same everywhere.

This store has everything that you could ask for, but still I didn’t see any hockey posters for sale.

(Like my wall at home needs anymore hockey or football posters on them.)

Unlike the old store, not only can you get your jersey with the name of your favorite player on it, you can have a t shirt with the name of your favorite player on it as well.

You want a hat with your favorite team logo on it, this store has lots of different styles of hats from all 32 teams on them.

They also sell other nicknacks, such as backpacks, key chains, socks and water bottles with not only the team logo on it but also with the NHL logo, aka “The Shield” on it.

(My friend brought six of those.)

This store isn’t really that expensive at all.

The hockey jerseys are another story, though.

$185 is the most the Sports Diva will pay for a hockey jersey, no matter what team it is.

(I have three favorite hockey teams, New York Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins, but I have favorite players who play for other teams, so I’ll buy those jerseys as well. I have three hockey jerseys, btw.)

When hockey jerseys start at $200 and that’s without tax, which some of them are, that’s when the Sports Diva draws the line.

I love my jerseys, but even this fashionista doesn’t love hockey jerseys like that.

Did I end up buying something from the NHL Store?

Oh you can bet your hockey team on it that I did.

Part of the shopping at the store. Another two bags are coming
The entrance to the old NHL Store on 48th Street
Part of the entrance of the new NHL Store. Unlike the old store, they highlight players that most hockey fans don’t get to see that often.
Hats, hats and more hats plus pillows with your favorite team logo on it.
The stairs with all the hockey terms a fan could ever want
The Sports Diva needs a new hockey jersey, but which one since all five of these players are my favorite players?

EATING DIM SUM IN CHINATOWN.

As usual, it doesn’t matter if I’m doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of somewhere far or a staycation, besides attending a sporting event,you just know that the Sports Diva is going to be talking about food also .

This time, a 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City was no different.

Food was going to be involved.

Since my friend, who was visiting from Las Vegas , wanted to go to Chinatown to look around and of course, eat, we did just that

Even though I don’t get to Chinatown often, I know all the restaurants they have there are usually good.

I wasn’t disappointed.

There were so many to chose from, and after spending most of the day shopping, we were both hungry.

There were so many places to chose from.

One place, that caught my friend’s eye was New York Canton Lounge which is located at 70 Mott Street, right in the heart of Chinatown .

As I don’t know Dim Sum that much , I let my friend order for both of us.

After showing our vaccination cards ,which is a requirement in ALL New York City restaurants, we were shown to a table.

Since we both wanted tea, a few minutes after taking our orders, the waitress returned with two cups and a pot full of steaming hot tea.

We started off with a bowl of Won Ton soup, which was delicious.

After that appetizer, came the real eating and sharing.

Plates of spicy clams, shrimp dumplings, shu Mai, which is a dumpling and filled with either pork or seafood, were put on the table.

If that weren’t enough,we had scallops with broccoli and roasted barbecued pork.

Now I’m not going to tell you after eating all of this, the two of us went to the bakery next to the hotel and brought some pastry and coffee.

(Large Cafe Americano and Chocolate Mousse Cake for my friend and a large Vanilla Latte with Red Velvet Cake for me.)

As for the food, someone got leftovers to take back to the hotel.

Even if my friend wasn’t with me, I would come to this restaurant by myself.

The portions were filling and not expensive at all,

There are many other items to chose from on their menu as well.

At the end of lunch, a waitress not only brought out two fortune cookies, she brought a plate of orange slices to clean our palate.

Once again, the address of New York Canton Lounge is 70 Mott Street, New York.

It’s open seven days of the week from 11am until 7pm, Est.

SOME PICTURES FROM CHINATOWN

After my friend and I did some Team Sports Apparel Fashionista shopping at the NHL Store, we went down to the second largest Chinatown in the United States, which is in New York City.

(San Francisco, California, has the largest.)

More on eating in Chinatown and our visit to the new NHL Store in later posts.

There are two Chinatown’s in New York City.

The lesser known one is in the borough of Queens on Main Street, Flushing.

The more well known Chinatown is in Lower Manhattan, with Canal and Mott Streets being the main streets.

Enjoy some of the sights of Chinatown in pictures.

A STAYCATION AT THE RENAISSANCE HOTEL TIMES SQUARE

If you’re staying in New York City, you have so many hotels to chose from.

Most people want to stay in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, especially when it’s New Year’s Eve, no matter what the cost is.

For my staycation, my friend, who was visiting from Las Vegas and had NEVER been to New York City before, chose the Renaissance Hotel Times Square Hotel, which is located at 714 Seventh Avenue at 48th street right in the heart of the Theater District.

There’s even a very good pastry shop right next door where we got coffee,croissants and mouthwatering desserts for the days we were there.

(My friend was there Wednesday through Monday, I was there Thursday through Saturday.)

My friend was in town for the hockey games that the Las Vegas team was playing against the three New York/New Jersey area hockey teams.

(Now you KNOW if they’re a friend of the Sports Diva, some sports watching is going to happen on a 30 Plus Teams Tour of somewhere, even staycastions.)

I had never stayed at the Renaissance Hotels, no matter what city they were in.

Was I in for a pleasant surprise.

The location was close to everything and the rooms are very spacious.

You even have a robe and slippers for your convenience.

There’s also a coffee maker, which the two of us took advantage of every chance we had.

The refrigerator was a blessing too as we had leftovers from a lot of restaurants.

My friend mentioned that some of the hotels in Las Vegas don’t even have refrigerators in them.

The selling point of this room, which was located on the fourth floor, for me though, was the balcony.

Now on the days that I was there, it was warm enough to sit on the balcony, have our coffee and watch New Yorkers and tourists alike do all those New York City things.

(55 degrees in December is a heat wave to us New Yorkers.)

As it was raining the day I left, no balcony action was going on.

The staff was so friendly and helpful.

If I decide to do another staycation in New York City, I’m going to save money, use my Marriott Bonvoy Points, since the hotel is affiliated with Marriott Hotel chain and stay at the Renaissance Hotel Times Square.

IT’S A STAYCATION PEOPLE!

The Sports Diva is going away for a couple of days of shenanigans and of course a couple of hockey games along the way.

My bag is packed, no pressure this time, it’s just for two days.

I’m not going far for my 30 Plus Teams Tour.

I’m not taking Flix, Greyhound or Megabus.

I’m not even taking Delta or Southwest airlines.

I’ll be at my destination in 30 minutes if the Long Island Railroad train is on time, which it usually is.

Where am I going for my 30 Plus Teams Tour this time?

It’s New York City!

There will be more posts about my staycation coming up.

Stay tuned.

RIDING ON THE NEW JERSEY TRANSIT

When I go to a New Jersey Devils hockey game like I did last night, October 1st, I normally take the New York City subway, F train from Queens to 33rd or 23rd street and take the PATH train to Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey, which is across the street from Prudential Center.

This time, I tried something different.

I took a Long Island Railroad train from my station, Locust Manor to the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station in New York and took a train that I haven’t taken in years.

It was a New Jersey Transit train and the final stop for me was Penn Station in Newark.

The train is cheaper than taking the PATH train and it’s faster.

I was able to get a senior rate, something that I really don’t get on the PATH Train.

It was $2.45 each way and as I said it’s faster.

Roughly 15-20 minutes from New York Penn Station to Newark Penn Station, with a stop in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The PATH train takes about an hour, making many stops in New York City on the way to Journal Square in Jersey City.

After that, you have to change and take the train to Newark, with a stop in Harrison, New Jersey before you even get to Newark.

Don’t need to tell you how tiring that is.

Plus it’s $2.75 each way, without a senior rate.

It stops at the same place as the New Jersey Transit train does, but whereas the PATH train’s final stop is Newark, the New Jersey Transit train’s final stop could be ANYWHERE in New Jersey or even Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Both trains stop at tracks next to each other, so don’t get confused.

Now that I have a new and faster way to do a 30 Plus Teams Tour of the place they call, “The Garden State”, I’m surely going to take advantage of it.

NEVER FORGET 20 YEARS LATER SEPTEMBER 11.

It’s been 20 years since those planes slammed into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania, but many of us here in the United States will never forget.

If you ever do a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC or New York City, I would ask that you take a trip down to the 9-11 Memorial or The Pentagon.

Visit One World Observatory, which is where the Twin Towers once stood.

I would ask one thing of you all though.

Please be respectful. These are tourist attractions, but remember, people died here as well.

CHECKING OUT THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA STATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

Normally I take a bus from Port Authority bus station on 41st Street and 8th Avenue in New York City when I go to either Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore, or even Pittsburgh to do a 30 Plus Teams Tour.

This time I decided to take Amtrak because the fares were so low.

Leaving from Amtrak would mean I would have to go either through Penn Station at 33rd Street from the Long Island Railroad or E train if I took the subway from Queens.

Not any more.

As of January 1, 2021, the long awaited new Pennsylvania Station opened up

Its official name is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall and it’s a work of art, no lie.

It was named for the late New York senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Now for some of you who weren’t born in New York City or just moved here in the past few years, the station may not look that spectacular to you.

But to those of us who remember the old Penn Station, the crowds, the filth, this station is beautiful.

It’s also very convenient if, like me, you’re coming from Queens or Long Island on the Long Island Railroad.

Amtrak trains not only leave from here, but so does the Long Island Railroad.

So when I got off the Long Island Railroad train from Locust Manor, I followed the signs to the escalator to the station.

I didn’t even have to go outside.

The station is located in the old James Foley Post Office on 33rd and 8th Avenue.

The post office is still there, not just as big.

The old Penn Station not only had Long Island Railroad trains, but the subway, Amtrak and New Jersey transit trains.

Now, the New Jersey Transit trains just leave from the old Penn Station, which is still across the street, underneath Madison Square Garden.

However, if your Amtrak train gets in after midnight, sorry, the new Penn Station is closed.

Your train will go to the old Penn Station.

My only complaint with the new Penn Station is the tracks for the Long Island Railroad trains aren’t close to the Amtrak trains.

Coming back from Washington DC, my FLIX Bus stopped next door.

I had to run to catch a 6:45pm train which left from track 18.

Track 18 WASN’T on the main floor.

Needless to say the Sports Diva wasn’t a happy camper being a real New Yorker, running through a terminal to catch a train that was leaving in 10 minutes, loaded down with a purse and a carry-on suitcase.

There are no escalators going down just a ramp and stairs.

(I made my train, by the way)

What I love about this terminal is that you can’t loiter if you don’t have a ticket, and there’s enough security to make sure that happens.

All in all, if the fares are good, I will take Amtrak and enjoy going through the new Penn Station in New York City.

RIDING ON THE AMTRAK DOWN TO DC

Normally when I travel to Boston, Philadelphia or DC, I take a bus from Port Authority, but this time I decided to do something completely different.

I’m going by Amtrak from the new Penn Station in New York at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Hall .

More about this station in an upcoming post.

I rarely took Amtrak because their fares were outrageous to put it nicely, even in coach class.

This time, I kept checking prices and discovered with my senior citizen discount, the most it would be one way was $29-69.

I could afford that and only paid $29

I was going one way on Amtrak because coming back on Sunday, even with a discount, the fares are ridiculous.

I didn’t even have to print out my ticket.

Hello e-ticket, which was right on my phone along with any information about the ride, not to mention those miles I’m going to get from signing up for Amtrak rewards.

I hadn’t been on Amtrak in years especially down to DC, so the Sports Diva was like a kid in a candy shop looking out the window for stations that I recognized like 30th Street in Philly, Newark Penn Station, Baltimore Penn Station and stops that I had no idea where they were, like the Amtrak Metropark station, which I discovered from friends who live near there , that it’s in Iselin, NJ.

When we got to DC after a delay due to switching problems at the New Carrollton, Maryland station, I realized that unlike a bus ride, I wasn’t tired.

I was very relaxed and ready to take the Washington Metro train to meet up with my family.

My train is number 93, the Northeast Regional to Norfolk
Don’t judge me. The Sports Diva and Joe must be comfortable
Even on Amtrak, just wear the damn mask my peeps
Baltimore Penn Station
Safety card from Amtrak. At the top is a quote from President Joe Biden, “we’re all in this together”
The Metropark Station in Iselin, NJ
The beautiful waters off Wilmington, Delaware
I tried to check my bag, but for trains along the Northeast Corridor, no can do
If you’re going to Baltimore Thurgood Marshall Airport, this is your station
New Carrollton Station. DC Metro trains stop here, too.
My stop on the Amtrak, Washington Union Station. Now it’s time to take the DC Metro

RIDING ON THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY AGAIN

As I mentioned in my last post, my 30 Plus Teams Tour took me to Jamaica Hospital in the Queens neighborhood of Richmond Hill.

To get to Jamaica Hospital, I had to do something that I hadn’t done since March 2020.

Take the infamous New York City subway.

Since the coronavirus happened I hadn’t taken the subway at all, and given all the negative things that had been going on since the coronavirus happened and people in New York City, who grew up taking the subway suddenly got stuck on stupid, I was apprehensive taking any train, let alone the two lines that are closest to me, the E and F trains.

Unfortunately, the only way I could get to the hospital was on the E train, so I had no choice but to take the train, mask in hand.

Luckily, I only had to go two stops from Jamaica Center.

Nothing had changed.

The subways are still dirty, still crowded and still slow.

There is one major change though.

Don’t forget to wear that mask.