GOOD RIDDANCE 2018, HELLO 2019

In a few hours, 2018 will be a distant memory and 2019 will be here .

Most people will be having big parties, watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York City .

I will be one of those who will be eating, drinking and definately sleeping when midnight brings in 2019.

On New Year’s Eve day, however, the Sports Diva will be doing what she does no matter what time or year it is.

I’m going to another sporting event .

I’m going to be bringing in the new year , sort of, with my crazy and lovable members of my New Jersey Devils Posse that I mentioned in one of my most recent posts .

I hope all of you have a joyous and safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

I pray that 2019 is a great year for all of us.

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GOOD EATING BEFORE A GAME IN NEWARK  – MERCATO TOMATO PIE

If you happen  to  be  doing a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  /New Jersey  and you’re  looking for a place to eat before you go to  a New Jersey  Devils  game at Prudential  Center ,  you have a couple  of  options . 

You could go to the Newark  branch of  Dinosaur  Barbecue , which some people  do.

You can’t  miss  it , it’s  right across  the  street  from the place affectionately  known by hockey fans in New York and  New Jersey as “The Rock “.

It’s  right in front of  the  huge grey statue  of a hockey player in Championship  Plaza.

There is however, another place to eat before a Devils  game, and this is the place where most of them go.

It’s  called Mercato Tomato Pie, and in spite of the huge wood fire ovens cooking pizza  non stop, you’ll  find more than pizza there . 

There’s  salads, mozzarella  sticks ,  chicken  wings, and some of the biggest and juiciest  looking hamburgers you’ve  ever seen . 

Now, if you’re  vegetarian or don’t  eat beef, they’ve  got you covered too with Veggie and Turkey burgers.

They also serve  fountain soda  drinks as well as alcohol, not to mention  those mouth watering  old fashioned  milk shakes.

The restaurant  is located at 212 Market  Street  in Downtown  Newark and it’s  open every day from 11 am until 10 pm.

It’s  a few blocks away  from Newark ‘ s Penn Station  and right around the  corner  from the arena.

If you walk to the exit door that’s  in the back of the restaurant ,  you’ll  see the parking  lot.

That building  right across the street  with the pictures of the hockey players on it, is the place you want to be if you’re  going to  see  New Jersey’s team.

There are tables and  chairs  plus booths to sit in, but wait for the host or hostess to seat you.

If you’re  lucky ,  one of  the  owners of this very friendly  establishment  will seat you himself.

The atmosphere  is very friendly  here and everyone  seems to know everyone . 

If you go to the restaurant  enough, the waitstaff will greet you by name and say hello  among other pleasantries . 

They’ll  even ask you if you want what you usually  order when you come to Mercato.

Prices are very reasonable ,  something  you don’t  see at some of  the restaurants or sports bars across the river in New York  City . 

Of course, since this is across the street  from a sports  arena, there are televisions  set to different  sporting events.

One word of warning though, if you go to Mercatos and the Devils are playing either  the Rangers, Pittsburgh  Penguins ,  Philadelphia  Flyers ,  New York  Islanders  or Boston  Bruins . 

PLEASE GET THERE EARLY!

You might be waiting  a long time to be seated anywhere in the restaurant . 

As I mentioned  before, if you’re  going to a game at the arena, or just happen  to  be in downtown  Newark and want a friendly ,  inexpensive  place to eat , get yourself  to Mercato  Tomato  Pie.

You’ll  definitely  come back again and again . 

Mercato  

Tomato  Pie

212 Market Street

Newark ,  New Jersey  07102

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY . SPORTS DIVA 63 SHARES SOME TRAVEL TIPS ON YOUR OWN 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY .

FB_IMG_1501337670663First of  all ,  Manhattan  is the  city ,  the other  boroughs of  Brooklyn ,  Queens ,  The  Bronx ,  and  Staten  Island  are  known  as  ”  The  Outer  Boroughs  ” .

Explore  more  than  Manhattan  while  you’re  doing  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

The  Bronx  has  the  zoo , the  Botanical  Gardens , Arthur  Avenue  and  the  Yankees  baseball  team .

Staten  Island  has  the  ferry ,  which  is  free  and  for  a change  of  pace  in  cuisines ,  try  some  Sri  Lankan  food ,  as  this  borough  has  the  largest Sri  Lankan  population  in  New  York  City .

Brooklyn  is so big that if it were  to break  away  from  New York  City ,  it would  be  the 5 1st state .

It has the Brooklyn  Bridge ,  the  Grand  Army  Plaza ,  the  Brooklyn  Academy  of  Music  and  the  Brooklyn  Nets  basketball  team  and the  Islanders  hockey  team .

Queens  is one  of  the  most  diverse  areas  of  not  only  the  city ,  but the  country  as well .

Visit  Jackson  Heights ,  Louis  Armstrong’s  home ,  the  Museum  of the  Moving  Image ,  the site  of  the  1964 World’s  Fair , and  Flushing ,  which  has  the largest  Asian  populations  in the  city .

Queens  is  also  the  home  of  one  of  the  largest  Greek  populations ,  the  Bohemian  Beer  Garden ,  and New  York’s  other  baseball  team ,  the  Mets .

You  will  see lots  of  pigeons  in  the  city .

As much  as  you want  to ,  please  don’t  feed  them .

Contrary  to  popular  belief ,  the  pigeon  is  NOT  the  state  bird  of  New  York  City .

It just  seems  that  way .

Please  don’t  feed  the  squirrels  either .

They  may  look  all  cute  and  cuddly ,  but  these  are  rodents .

Rats  on  steroids ,  really .

Speaking  of  rats ,  yes ,  I’m  not  going  to  lie, New  York  has  a  lot  of  them  and  they  all  seem  to  be  on the  same  subway  platform  as  you  are .

They’re  on  the  tracks  as  well .

Word  of  advice ,  people .

THEY  ARE  NOT  TOURIST  ATTRACTIONS !

Just  because  you  see them  on  the  train  tracks  or  on  the  platforms ,  MOVE  OUT  THE  WAY !

Don’t  snap  pictures  and  videos  of  them  to  send  back to  the  folks  in Alabama  or Japan   and please  don’t  post  them  on  Facebook ,  Instagram  or  Snap  Chat .

Trust  me ,  people  don’t  want  to  see  that.

BACK  THE  HECK  UP !

These  rats  aren’t  here  for  you  all  to be  amused.

These are   New  York  City  Rats .

They’re  aggressive  and  they’re  all  in  a hurry  to  get  to  the  train  just  like  their  human  New  York  City  cousins .

So  do  us  and  them  a  huge  favor .

Put  down  the  cameras  and  keep  it  moving .

Don’t  block  the  doorways  of  the  subway  cars  with  your  backpacks  and  what  seems  to  be  your  big  suitcases  that  have  everything  but  the  kitchen  sink  in  them .

Trust  me ,  New Yorkers  will  give  you  more  than  dirty  looks  about  this .

Don’t  stop  in  the  middle  of  the  street  to  read  your  street  or  subway  map  either .

RESEARCH  PEOPLE  PLEASE !

Know  where  you’re  going  and  what  train  to  take  to get  to  your  destination  while  you’re  in  your  hotel  room .

Better  yet ,  map  out  that  route  whether  you’re  at  home  in  Lima ,  Ohio  or  Lima ,  Peru .

Follow  the  lead  of New  Yorkers  while  you’re  here .

Have  that  bag  of  Wise  Potato  Chips  on  the  D  train  or  number  4  train  while  heading  to  Yankee  Stadium  for  a  game .

Don’t  be  shocked  that we’re  eating .

New Yorkers  do  eat  and  drink  on  the  trains  and  nobody  is  going  to  tell  them  to  stop  doing  it .

Even  while  we’re  waiting  for  that  number  7 train  to  take  us  to  Citifield  to  see  the  Mets  or to  have some  Malaysian  food in Flushing ,  you’d  better  believe  that  we’re  going  to  bust  out  the  Dunkin  Donuts  bag  and  eat  right  in front  of  you .

Breakfast  at  home ?

You  think  New  York  City  people  have  time  for  that ?  !

NOOOO !

We’re  going  to  chug  down  that  7-Eleven  coffee  and  eat  that  bagel  with  cream  cheese  right  in  front  of  you  while  all  of  us  are  waiting  for  the  E  train  to  the  World  Trade  Center .

You  say that  it seems  like  New Yorkers  dress in  black  all the  time  like  we’re  in  mourning  or  something .

No, we just  like  to  look  hip  and  edgy .

DEAL  WITH  IT .

New  Yorkers  seem  to  be  loud  and  obnoxious ,  and  rude.

That’s  not  true  it’s  a  myth  – .

Wait  a  minute ,  no it’s  not .

It’s  what  makes  New York  City  what  it is .

Deal  with  THAT  too as you  wait  for  the  PATH  train  to  take  you  to  New  Jersey  to  watch  the  Giants  and  Jets  play  football  at  Met  Life  Stadium .

You  aren’t  in  Kansas  anymore .

Inspite  of  what  the  folks  back  in  Nebraska  told  you ,  don’t  be  afraid  to  take  a  New  York  City  subway .

If  you  happen  to  be  in  the  city ,  say  you  and  your  besties  around  11P.M ,  there  will  be  a  train  to  take  you  all  back  to  that  fancy  hotel  in  the  Meatpacking  District .

Just  remember  to  sit  in  the  conductor’s  car  so  that  he or she  can  answer  your  questions .

It seems  to  you  that  New  Yorkers  always  seem  to  be  in  a  hurry .

No, it’s  not  your  imagination .

They  are ,  ALWAYS .

Remember  to  stand  on the  right  side  of  the  escalator  so  that  people  can  pass  on  the  left .

Please  don’t  take  up  the  whole  sidewalk  when  the  four  of  you  are  walking .

You  aren’t  in  a  scene  from  Sex  in  the  city ,  so stop  it .

You  will  get  dirty  looks  and  someone  will  make  some  nasty  comment .

Trust  me ,  this  is  New York ,  it’s  a  given .

That’s  a  pet  peeve  among  New  Yorkers .

You  say  that  New  York  City  is really  expensive .

It is   but there  are  ways  around  that .

Don’t  take  cabs  everywhere .

Walk  or  take  the  subway .

No, seriously ,  take  them ,  even  though  Aunt  Martha  back  in  South  Dakota  told  you  how  scary  they  look .

They  aren’t  and  they  run  24  hours ,  seven  days  a  week .

You  want  to  be in  the  middle  of  the  action  but  you  don’t  want  to  pay those  high  city  prices .

Stay  in  one  of  the  Outer  Boroughs ,  like  Brooklyn  or  Queens .You  can  even  stay  in  New Jersey  to see a hockey  game ,  no matter  if  it’s  the Rangers  at  Madison  Square  Garden  or New Jersey’s  hockey  team ,  the  Devils ,  at  Prudential  Center  in  Newark .

You  can  get there  from  here  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

You can  even  use that  New York  City  Metro  Card  to  pay  for  your  ride  on the  PATH  Train .

ENJOY  YOURSELVES !

NO ,  REALLY .

You’ve  never  experienced  anything  like  New  York  City  and  you  probably  never  will  again .

Don’t  be  intimidated  by  anything  about  the  city .

It may  sound  simple ,  but  please  act  like  you’ve  been  there  before .

Embrace  the  craziness  that  is  the  “city  that  never  sleeps . ”

Have  that  coffee  and  danish  while  waiting  for  the  R  or  N  train  to  take  you  to  Brooklyn to  see  some  Nets  basketball .

Act  the  way  you  would  if  you  were  back  in  Ireland  or  Wyoming .

Just  on a  much  grander  scale .