Amazing Race NYC Recap!

Ok, here is the long overdue Amazing Race NYC Recap! Warning, its somewhat long.

8 people, 4 teams take part in a grueling race around the city of New York to win the title of….um…winners! This post summaries the challenges and obstacles faced by 1 of the teams.

The race started with the four teams:
Team Romana & Aasia
Team Romana & Irfan
Team Women in black sunglasses aka W.I.B.S (or as pronounced by Darrin and I, Team Wimps) aka Jenn and Caitlin Nguyen.
and Team Harold and Kumar aka Darrin and myself.

We all met in midtown around 11am. The racing instructions/tasks were then handed out to all teams which were seeing them for the first time. After confirming the rules which each other, the race was on!

There were 7 tasks to perform and 1 mandatory 30min rest period. The tasks could be completed in any order except for the final task which well had to be last. Here’s the task in the order we did them. Of the 7 tasks we knew exactly where 4-5 of them were. We started running in the direction of the first task thinking we’d figure out the rest as we went along. Though we briefly stopped at the Hilton hotel to get a city map and bug the concierge for the answer of one of the tasks.

TASK 1: Find the toy store that was featured in the movie Home Alone 2. Take a picture of a group member standing with the toy soldier that greets you when you enter. Buy a cheap toy for your partner in the $5 – $15 range before leaving. You may use any mode of transport to get there.

Its the FAO Schwartz toy store!



Darrin standing with the toy solider greeter.


Darrin in line to buy the toy.

While in line, directly infront of us was Team Romana & Irfan. After overhearing their racing plans (hehehe) they finally noticed us and we decided to form an alliance.


Darrin, Irfan, Romana

The next task was the Detour!
TASK 2: DETOUR
Choice 1: Rent a bicycle at Loeb Boathouse inside Central Park (its near The Lake). Ride the bicycle to 110th street and take a picture with the street sign and make sure both a group member and her/his bicycle are in it. Ride the bike back to Loeb Boathouse to return it. You may use any mode of transport to get to Loeb Boathouse.
OR
Choice 2: Save money by walking/jogging/running ONE FULL LENGTH through Central Park. Start at 59th and take a picture with the street sign, then walk to Loeb Boathouse inside Central Park and take picture while standing a few feet (20 feet away at most) in front of the Boathouse. Finally walk to 110th and take a picture with the street sign. You make go the opposite direction and start at 110th if you want. You may use any mode of transport to get to either 59th or 110th.

We decided on task 2.


At 59th street, the bottom of Central Park


By the Boathouse

While walking to the top of the park we planned the rest of the race, particularly the next task.

TASK 3: Find the street dedicated to the Latin Jazz legend Tito “El Rey del timbal” Puente after he died of a heart attack in the year 2000, and take a picture of the street sign with a group member standing in front of it. You may use any mode of transport to get there.

We thought this was on the left side of the park, so we walked the way across the park and then head up. Unfortunately once at the top we found out it was indeed on the east side and we had to walk all the way across again. For those that don’t know…..Central Park is HUGE!!! It probably took us 1.5-2hrs to do all that walking. Fortunately, we did find the street and were able to move onto the next task.


At 110th street, the top of Central Park.


Tito Puente Way!

TASK 4: Find the building, constructed in 1872 on a coast of Welfare Island, to guide boats along the East River. Take picture of a group member standing a few feet (30 feet away at most) in front of the building. You may only use your feet, subway and/or bus to get there.

Welfare Island = Roosevelt Island! We made our way to the nearest subway station where we happened to meet Team Romana & Aasia.


Romana, Romana, Aasia

Once on the subway Romana & Aasia got off 1 station before us to then walk up to the F train station to get to the island. We continued so that we could transfter to the E train. Once at the station E train was arriving so it was a mad dash across the platform, up the stairs, down the hall, down the stairs and onto the platform and into the train before the doors closed. We made it! We sat down and rested our weary feet as we watched our train approach Roosevelt Island…..and then pass Roosevelt Island…and proceed into Queens…we read the map wrong! We needed to take the F train!


Trying to figure out why we’re suddenly in Queens.


Lets check the map at the station…

We got off the train switched platforms again to get the same train in the opposite direction, took all the way to where Romana&Aasia originally got off, ran to F train station, got on that train and then finally got to the Island. All in all we probably lost 30-40mins or so.


Double checking the maps one more time.

Once on the island Romana found out from the Bus driver where the Light house was. Unfortunately the bus was packed so we had to walk. It took us 30-40mins of walking…tiresome as we’d already walked the full park.


Finally at the Lighthouse!

Fortunately we got a cab back to the station and proceed to the next task. Detour#2!

TASK 5: DETOUR
Choice 1: Go to either Gem Spa Newsstand or Eisenberg Sandwich Shop. Each person in the group must buy and DRINK 3 full cups of egg cream while in the store (you may buy in any available size). Take a picture of all empty cups. You may use any mode of transport to get there.
OR
Choice 2: Go to Magnolia Bakery and buy 4 red velvet cupcakes per person in your group. Each person must then EAT all 4 cupcakes while at the store (you may eat it outside the store if its too crowded inside). Take a picture of all the empty wraps. You may use any mode of transport to get there.

We choose the Egg Creme b/c Magnolia is more famous and always always has a huge lineup. Eisenberg was more on our route as well. We get there and order 3 cups each, 12 in total. The guy asks if we’re sure. We say yes and he laughs and starts filling cups.


Disgusting Egg Creme

This was the most disgusting thing ever. Its chocolate syrup, milk…..and szelter. Blegh…disgusting. And the cups were huge. And I don’t drink carbonated drinks (haven’t drank pop in like 15yrs) so I was having a lot of trouble with it. I seriously felt sick and wanted to throw up for at least 30-60mins later. Even much later in the day I felt a bit burby. Gross I know but the drink was that bad.


I’m smiling but its cause Darrins telling me to just drink quickly and then throwup after. I finally finish though. And we make our way to the station to head to the next task.


On the way we bumped into Team WIMPS that were heading to Eisenbergs.

TASK 6: Take a picture standing beside the monument that represents aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. You may only use your feet and subway to get there.

This one was easy. The Bull by Wall Street and and Broadway in the Financial district. Unfortunately, my pictures got corrupted here so this picture is from Caitlin and Jenns collection.


Jenn by the Bull

Now we were off to the mandatory rest period. I don’t have the clue for that on me…but basically it stated the restaurant we had to go to. Once there we had to wait 30mins before continuing on with the race. It was really only 10-15mins away from the BUll. Unfortunately, getting there wasn’t so simple. We got on the uptown 4 express train, then transferred to the 6 train. But the train wasn’t moving. Then due to a medical emergency on the train it wasn’t going to move at all until help arrived. So we ran to the N train, took that past our destination (it didn’t stop there) got onto a downtown 6 train got off at the stop we wanted and ran to the restaurant. Bare in mind…the egg creme…and running…..ugh…


Anojan sends a Sri Lankan restaurant…sorry anojan, i’m still not going to have a dosa.

We just chilled outside the restaurant and it was good as the egg creme sickness went away. At the end of the wait, things got interesting. Its the final task. And our alliance with Romana and Irfan was off. The final destination was only 6 blocks away and we both knew it. It was time for a foot race!

TASK 7 – FINAL DESTINATION
Your last destination will be the Starbucks located @ precisely 13 Astor Pl # 25 between Broadway and Lafayette St. Have a coffee or get a dessert of your choice, find an open table, and solve the puzzle.

Darrin got to the starbucks first follwed by myself and then Romana. Darrin and I find a table and ask a stranger for a pen to work on the puzzle. Romana searches for Irfan and then points out to us…….wait this is the wrong starbucks. We’re all out the door and running again. We get to the right starbucks (there are 3 in the area!) and get to work. Both teams working on the final puzzle.


Place the numbers 1 through 8 in the boxes above so that no consecutive numbers are adjacent or have touching vertices (either horizontall, diagonally, or vertically). The first team to complete the puzzle will win the race!

And…..its solved….the winners of Amazing Race NYC 2007 are…..


Ahmed and Darrin!

The rest of the racers finished in order of Romana & Irfan, Jenn & Caitlin, and then Romana & Aasia (they actually just stopped after we called and told them we won).


Here’s a rudimentary picture of the course we took. The big green dot is the start, the blue dot the end. The black line the path. And the small red dots the places we stop for tasks.


The designer of the race was our friend Anojan. Who was there waiting for us at starbucks. Many thanks to him, it was really a lot of fun. And I can’t wait to do it again.

In fact….I just booked a flight to visit home Memorial day weekend. I get home the night of Friday May 25th and leave early morning Tuesday May 29th….perhaps its time for Amazing Race Toronto? Hmmm…..stay tuned….

A few of random pictures


Team W.I.B.S


Aasia & Romana in Central Park


Ahmed & Caitlin in the front, Jenn & Darrin in the back


Romana & Darrin happy to finish the Central Park leg and find Tito Puento Way


Chilling at the end of a long but fun day.

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6 responses to “Amazing Race NYC Recap!

  1. I wanna take place in your guys’ next Amazing Race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have ALWAYS wanted to do something like this, ever since I saw the movie “Scavenger Hunt” MANYYYY Years ago!!! Its been my DREAM!!!!! and then I wish I could be on the actual tv show Amazing Race!!! LUCKY YOUUUUUUUUUU I am so jealous!!!

  2. take part* not place lol

  3. hmm.. you seem familiar… ur profile says ur from Mississauga…

    maybe i know you through common friends!

    wouldn’t that be veeeeird? (alluding to austin powers)

  4. That looks like FUN! Congrats on winning!! I wanna do something like that too now 😀

  5. Sarah: Well InshaAllah there will be more races and you’ll be able to take part 🙂

    FU: Hmm…did you go to Erindale Highschool? What university did you go to? Its small world so its certainly possible we’ve met at some time or another.

    Liya: Thanks! It was a lot of fun! And I totally want to do it again. I actually want to do one in Sauga/Toronto but so far the timing isn’t working out with my friends.

  6. what fun:)

    hmm… would love to devise one for Johannesburg.

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