The Darden at The Garden

How’s it going guys? It’s Madison Square Darden and I back with another blog post. I haven’t been posting blogs lately because I have been shipping out orders of my book (It’s in the shop, buy a copy) and figuring out the financial aspects of running a media company. For future blog posts, I intend on posting on Fridays to give some consistency on when I upload new content.

With this blog, I will give a quick recap of my day at Madison Square Garden for the Big Ten Super Saturday College Hoops & Hockey showcase. In the afternoon, the hardwood was out in the arena as the Illinois Fighting Illini took on the Maryland Terrapins in men’s basketball. Later that night, men’s hockey was on display as the Penn State Nittany Lions faced off against the Michigan Wolverines.

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My day started off at 7 am as I woke up unusually early on a Saturday. I laid in my top bunk in the hostel and thought about the long, yet fun day I was going to have. After taking a shower and getting dressed, I took the E train down to the World Trade Center as a I had a 9 am ticket for the One World Observatory. It was cool seeing New York City come alive that morning. It was a clear day as the sun was shining and I was able to see for miles and I spotted famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. After my time at observatory, I took the train to Penn Station and walked through the concourses to reach street level. I got my first glimpse of Madison Square Garden and I took a few pictures in front of the banners at the arena. I went to my seat and looked around the arena. I noticed how intimate the seating was and that there was no one in the upper bowl. To find out how the game went, check out the vlog below.

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After the basketball game, I went over the Versa restaurant and got a late brunch. I got blueberry pancakes with home fries and a few glasses of water. I was at the restaurant for about 2 hours eating my food then I walked over to Madison Square Park. I walked around the park of 20 minutes looking at the statues and the architecture of the buildings surrounding the park. I walked back over to MSG around 5:45 pm and made my way to my seat. My seat was in a wheelchair section and I was right behind the Michigan band. I went to the concession before the start of the game and bought a beer and a bottled water for $19. I felt somewhat ashamed at buying the beer and water but I REALLY wanted beer. I got a Brooklyn Lager which was pretty good and I finished it before the first intermission. To find out how the game went, check out the vlog below.

After the game, I went back to the hostel and relaxed in the lobby for about two hours. I got some pizza and a drink at the bar then I went to my room and called it a night. It was a long day but a fun and memorable one and a good start to the many sports events that I will attend in 2019. My new book, IT’S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30, is available in the shop right now. Thanks for reading!

How Much Did It Cost?: New York City Trip January 2019

What's up guys! It's Madison Square Darden with another blog post. As you may know, last weekend I was in New York City for the New York Times Travel Show, the Big Ten Super Saturday showcase, and to eat A LOT of food. Now you are probably want to ask this question, "MSD, how much did your trip to New York cost?" Well, I will tell you in this travel expense report. I hope that this report will give you an idea on how much money I spend on trips and to show people that travel is not as expensive as you may think. Also, February 1st is the 2nd anniversary of my website and I can't believe that 2 years have come and gone that fast. I've done a lot of travel in the past two years and will continue to do so in 2019 and beyond.

All prices are in US Dollars

MTA Metrocard, mode of transportation for the weekend

MTA Metrocard, mode of transportation for the weekend

Transportation - $383.56

  • CMH to LGA, American Airlines: $297.60

  • MTA Metrocard: $32.00

  • Lyft: $23.29, $9.03, $21.64 ($53.96)

Lodging - $94.81

  • The Local NYC Hostel: $94.81

Entertainment - $181.11

  • New York Times Travel Show: $65.24

  • One World Observatory: $41.37

  • Illinois vs. Maryland at MSG: $34.25

  • Penn State vs. Michigan at MSG: $40.25

  • Today Show: Free

  • Times Square: Free

  • Madison Square Park: Free

Food - $213.06

  • Burger King at CMH: $7.78

  • Vending Machine at CMH: $1.75

  • Dona Bella Pizza: $9.28

  • Starbucks: $7.25

  • Hudson Newsstand: $5.15

  • Iron Bar & Lounge: $42.00

  • Hot dogs, Oreo churro, and drink at MSG: $23.25

  • Beer and bottled water at MSG: $19.00

  • Popcorn and Ice Cream at MSG: $13.25 + $5 cash tip

  • Versa: $27.00

  • Katz's Delicatessen: $44.29

  • Vending Machine at The Local: $1.85, $2.35, $2.35 ($6.55)

  • Walgreens: $1.51

Miscellaneous - $15.00

  • Coat check at Javits Center: $4.00, $4.00 ($8.00)

  • Bag check at The Local: $2.00

  • Henna tattoo: $5 cash tip

GRAND TOTAL FOR TRIP: $887.54

LIVE FROM STUDIO 1A AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER IT'S THE TODAY SHOW!

LIVE FROM STUDIO 1A AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER IT'S THE TODAY SHOW!

Now, let's put the numbers into context. For transportation, the most expensive cost for the entire trip was the flight to LaGuardia Airport. Almost $300 on American Airlines for a flight that was delayed by 3 hours due to weather. The MTA Metrocard was a 7-day unlimited trip pass that was very useful during my time in the city. I exclusively rode the subway because everywhere I wanted or needed to go was by a subway station. The E Line was the subway of choice during the weekend. I used Lyft three times during the weekend, twice to get to and from CMH and once to get to LGA.

I met Al Roker during his outdoor segment

I met Al Roker during his outdoor segment

I stayed at The Local NYC hostel in Long Island City. It was good to rest my head after a long day and it was worth the price. It two blocks away from the Court Square station and had a great view of the Manhattan skyline. I even got a free room upgrade which was a bonus.

One World Observatory

One World Observatory

My main reason for going to New York was for the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center. I went for the conference and trade show on Friday and Sunday and I had a lot of fun. I made some connections that could help take Buckeye Muscle Media  to the next level and I got a chance to scope out new destinations to visit in the future. I also went to the One World Observatory at the World Trade Center. I went on Saturday morning and it could not have been a better day to go. The skies were clear and you could see for miles. 

The Darden at The Garden

The Darden at The Garden

I also got the opportunity to attend the Big Ten Super Saturday Hoops and Hockey Showcase at Madison Square Garden. There a basketball game at 12 pm and a hockey game at 7 pm. My first time at The World's Most Famous Arena was a memorable day as I got to go to two events on the same day. The Illinois Fighting Illini took on the Maryland Terrapins in men's basketball and the Penn State Nittany Lions faced off against the Michigan Wolverines in men's hockey. 

Hot Pastrami sandwich with fries from Katz's Delicatessen

Hot Pastrami sandwich with fries from Katz's Delicatessen

I ate A LOT of food while I was New York. I went to Dona Bella Pizza, Versa, and Katz's Delicatessen among other places. At Katz's, I got a huge pastrami sandwich with fries and a root beer which almost put me into food coma. I went to Iron Bar near Times Square and got a Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger and an extra side of sweet potato fries. I went there because I found out that it was an Ohio State bar and it was close to Times Square. I was somewhat ashamed at myself for spending $19 for a bottled water and a beer while I was at The Garden. It was a pretty good beer and the water was refreshing but I still felt weird spending $13 for a beer and $6 for bottled water. At Versa, I got a stack of pancakes topped with blueberries and buttercream and potatoes. It was a nice late brunch between games on Saturday. 

Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger from Iron Bar

Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger from Iron Bar

I think that I made out pretty good with this trip to New York City. Outside of the flight, I kept my spending in check. I hope my Travel Expense Report will show people that travel IS NOT as expensive as you may think and to give people an idea on how much money they may spend on their travels. Don't forget to order a copy of my new book IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30 in the shop today. Thanks for reading!

Miss Curacao Universe 2018, Akisha Albert

Miss Curacao Universe 2018, Akisha Albert

Life size Korean figures

Life size Korean figures

Flight was delayed by three hours

Flight was delayed by three hours

New York Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel Show

Flatiron Building near Madison Square Park

Flatiron Building near Madison Square Park

Pancakes and potatoes from Versa

Pancakes and potatoes from Versa