by Peter Marus

Last night I decided to do something a little different. Someone from the ESC organized a get together for dinner and also to go to the New Jersey Ironmen indoor soccer team's first home game. The Place we went for dinner was a Brazilian joint where they had the “al you can eat “ deals where the waiters comes with skewers of various meats and they cut off some for you. it was probably one of the most delicious, but unhealthy, meals I've had in a long time. With everything (drinks, tax, gratuities) it came to about $50 a head, which isn't that bad of a deal. I may have to hit that place again sometime, maybe with some friends.

After the six block walk from the restaurant to the arena, we get to the Prudential Center, the new arena in Newark. I know some of you are thinking; putting a shiny arena in Newark is just screaming crime wave, but it's not a bad setup, especially with all the cops patrolling the arena. Inside the arena is beautiful, and it's obvious the Devils are the primary tenant (the color theme, logos around the place, some of the themes of the arena shops), but that's cool, beats the hell out of that toilet they were playing in last year in the Meadowlands. The game itself was ok, I wasn't totally thrilled with it. Mostly I think because I'm not familiar with the rules of indoor soccer, but it wasn't totally bad either, just different. The team idid a good job presentation-wise, other than some minor glitches, and they even got Pele there for the opener (which in reality was probably most of their budget, given his rumored appearance fee).

Getting to and from the arena was pretty easy with the PATH train from Manhattan. I probably did the roundabout way going to the World trade Center to get the PATH, where I could have taken another line to 33rd street to get the PATH, but oh well. I think there is talk of another get together in January, and I'll probably go. At least the company was good, and in the end that was what I was looking forward to more. One interesting note: the PATH line stops at Harrison NJ, where the new soccer stadium is supposed to be. When the train pulled into the station, I saw the construction site and got both excited and angry. excited in seeing how easy it will be to get to the stadium form the train, but pissed that it's going to be a couple years until it opens!!