Monday, November 19, 2012

"Have a Rotten Thanksgiving" - An Homage to New York

It's not a popular sentiment to have, but I generally dislike New York City.  I didn't like it when I lived there, and I don't really like it when I go back to visit.  It's busy, it's dirty, it's hectic, it's expensive, it's unfriendly.  I can appreciate the restaurants and the shopping and the culture, but it isn't enough to overcome the general disdain I feel when I am on the New Jersey Turnpike and catch that first glimpse of the New York skyline. 

But this past weekend?  This past weekend I loved New York City.  Because it involved a conglomerate of a few of my favorite people in the world, a cheap mani/pedi, amazing food, and the best homeless person ever. 

The whole fam made the trek to the Empire State last Friday afternoon, as there were a couple of family events going on that weekend.  The trip was pretty seamless, save for Braden having a panic attack at a rest stop bathroom because the toilets "didn't have a handle" (aka, the automatic flushers, the inventor of which I would like to curse).  I dropped my husband and kids off at my in-laws' house in Long Island and then there it was.  The exhale.  The amazement.  THE FREEDOM!  I drove into the city and didn't even care that it was New York, and oh yeah, I'm not supposed to like it.

The fact is, New York smiled on me this weekend. 

My first day there involved the following:

- An amazing parking spot on the street, two blocks from my sister's apartment, that was FREE. 
- Mani/pedis with my sister and one of my best friends at Enjoy Nail Salon, which was $20 total.  Yes, you read that right.
- Happy hour drinks and snacks at Terroir Wine Bar, where all patrons were given a FREE glass of sherry.  (I really don't like sherry, but it was free).
- Checking into the Westin Grand Central, where I was able to relax and watch TV for a full hour before my two best friends from college arrived for a girl's weekend.
- Dinner at Socarrat Paella Bar with said best friends from college, which involved AMAZING paella, yummy sangria, and the luxury of kicking back with people who have know you for years, know your faults, know your deep dark secrets, and love you anyway. 

As they say, the people make the place, and it's true.  I was loving New York. 

Saturday involved a brief jaunt to Long Island for a family function, a return to the hotel where the three of us almost got sucked into a Teen Mom 2 marathon, and a second visit to Terroir Wine Bar, where I declined the free sherry this time.  Just like the old days, we got a bit tipsy before getting ready to go out, shared hair dryers, and asked each other clothing advice.  We then headed to Dell' Anima in the West Village for dinner, which happened to be one of the BEST meals I can ever recall having.  (In case you ever go there, I highly suggest you order exactly what I ordered, as it was perfection - the Gialla Menta tequila cocktail, the Peekytoe Crab appetizer, and the Bucatini alla Arrabiata pasta).

Post tequila cocktail. 
It was 11:30pm when we left the restaurant - at least a half hour past my normal bedtime - but oh no, we weren't going home.  We were going OUT.  We were in New York City, remember?  And around 12:30 am at an NYU bar, chatting with 24 year old Tomas (pronounced Tom-ah - he was French, you see), I proclaimed that I didn't care that I would be hungover the next day.  No, this fun was all worth it, I said, as the three of us ordered yet another bottle of wine. 

It was a great night.  Followed by an awful Sunday morning.

There is nothing worse - NOTHING - than being hungover and having to take care of your kids.   I think this is what forces parents to become real adults.  All it takes is one head pounding hangover, and a toddler pulling on your arm and yelling in your ear, to eliminate your former partying days almost completely.  This past weekend I made an exception, and I paid dearly.  DEARLY. 

On Sunday I found myself at my neice's third birthday party at a pottery studio on the Upper East side, with screaming children and flailing paint and freeze dance games.  It was a super cute place, a great kids party, and a hangover nightmare.  I sat on a bench for the full 90 minutes, willing myself to drink water and not vomit.  Then I endured a four hour car ride home.

So okay, the weekend didn't end on the greatest note.  But overall, this was the best New York experience I have had in a while.

And I've saved the greatest little tidbit for last. 

On Saturday morning, when I was in Long Island, my two friends were walking outside a Duane Reade when a homeless woman stopped them to ask if they would go inside and buy her candy.  (????).  They politely declined.  As they were walking away, the woman screamed:

I hope you have a rotten Thanksgiving!

Okay, a hostile homeless person who was denied her sour patch kids.  I get it.  But after a few seconds, as my friends were crossing the street, she came back with: 

And a fucked up New Year!

And that is just perfect.  That says it all, I think. 

New York. 


  1. If you carry post it notes in your purse, you can slap one over the sensor on an auto-flush toilet, you can keep it from flushing until a phobic child is done and on their way out of the stall covering their ears.

  2. Ha ha ha!! Love the homeless person story!

    I've been to New York once, and I have to say, it was NOT for me. I can handle Chicago-sized cities but New York was way too overwhelming, busy, crowded, and dirty. I got claustrophobic!

    Sounds like such a great trip though! glad you had a great time, if not such a great weekend....

  3. I've always wanted to go to New York, maybe because of how Hollywood painted it. But I guess, in reality, it's not really the best place to live in.


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