09.11.2017 - 21.10.2018
In an effort to "catch up," I am going to give you Two Trips......Two Trips......Two Trips In One!
NYC: Take One.
It was fall of 2018 when the husband announced he was going on a hunting trip with the guys.
What's a girl to do?
Buy a ticket to New York with her girlfriends, that's what.
It was a beautiful Thursday in November. We had barely dropped our bags at our AirBNB, and were already strolling the sunny sidewalks of NYC's East Village.
I'm just not a Time Square, Upper East Side, or even a Midtown kind of girl. I love East Village's funkiness. I love the cool shops. I love the eclectic assortment of bars and restaurants. It's a little grittier but it speaks to me.
We found ourselves at Rubirosa where we would start our weekend with meatballs, the world's largest pizza, and copious amounts of wine.
With our afternoon buzz on, we enjoyed the streets of the city, settled into our apartment (which even had a super cute patio!), and got ourselves ready for Friday night "Dinner and a Show."
We had selected Porter House for our one "grown up night out" where we would pretend to be sophisticated, elegant and classy. This did not last long.
Unfortunately, we had spent too much time in wine comas that afternoon and only had a very rushed hour to have dinner and make it to our show. I felt sorry for our distinguished waiter as we rushed through our drink orders, food orders, and begged him to get it to us really, really fast so we could eat really, really fast. I could see from the look of disdain on his face that he thought we should have gone through the take-out window at McDonald's.
Nevertheless, he came through and served up an epic meal in minutes, and didn't even judge us for chugging our wine so we'd be on time.
We literally RAN to our show.
All the better to burn off those onion rings, I say.
Our rushed dinner had not left time for dessert, so after the show, we popped into the fake pawn shop storefront that hides the spectacular secret of Beauty and Essex where we immediately popped into the swanky ladies room for free pink champagne.
Then it was cocktails and an adorable ferris wheel full of dessert.
Friday morning found me looking in every cupboard of our 25 square foot apartment for a coffee maker.
Hello, coffee maker...are you in this drawer? This closet? The shower???? This cabinet? Where the f&*% is the f$#%*&@ coffee maker?
I eventually figured out that New Yorkers don't own coffee makers. Why would they when there is a coffee shop every 10 feet?
So I improvised.
You can take the girl out of the trailer park, people, but you can never take the trailer park out of the girl. Grow up poor and you learn how to make do.
We had walking and shopping to do, so we popped over to Russ and Daughters for a bagel and a schmear.
And for some weirdos, a plastic container of German potato salad to eat while waiting for the subway at 9:00 a.m.
The rest of the morning was spent walking the streets of the city and taking it all in.
We were enjoying the beautiful streets and sights of the City when suddenly, an angel dropped down from heaven and said, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all women. For unto you is born in the City of New York a sale which is Lord and Taylor."
And we wept for joy.
Many, many, many hours and significant credit card expense later, we were exhausted and famished. We headed back to East Village for a lively bottomless brunch at Poco.
The atmosphere was one of happiness and loud music. It was like a joyful house party with endless margaritas and mimosas.
Poco is supposed to have a 1.5 hour limit on brunch. Our server let us stay 2 1/2 hours. And kept the drinks coming.
One minute, we were chatting and sipping mimosas while nibbling at our lobster mac n' cheese, and the next minute, one of us was embroiled in a deep conversation with two 20-somethings about why she couldn't date their dad because she was MARRIED, one of us was throwing up in the bathroom, and one of us was laying out on a patio table in the rain. I'll not say who was who to leave at least a little mystery.
Even though it was only a few blocks, it was pouring rain, and we couldn't stand upright, so we got a Lyft back to our place. We were damp and dizzy and one of us was missing a shoe. Everyone immediately sank into a deep post-Poco coma.
We had dinner reservations that night at Chinatown's Chinese Tuxedo, and we didn't want to miss it, so I had actually set an alarm to ensure we got up, did our best to make ourselves presentable, and make it to dinner.
Two of us rallied. One was not able.
Chinese Tuxedo was simply amazing. I am so glad I didn't sleep through it. Walking up to the restaurant, we were certain we had the wrong address. It looks like an abandoned storefront in the middle of ....a bunch of abandoned storefronts, but once inside, a dimly lit, uber chic restaurant appears....like magic. Set in an old community opera house, it was part club, part restaurant, all amazing.
We ordered way more than two people could eat, but our absolute favorite part? The truffles.
Not eating them, necessarily.
We ordered the homemade egg fettuccine....and the waiter asked if we wanted it with shaved truffles.
Well.....well.....well, yes, thank you, we did.
Next thing we know, a guy comes out with a silver orb. With an immaculately white gloved hand, he opened the orb and extracted a truffle that he proceeded to shave with vigor over our noodles in stoic unsmiling silence.
Truffle shaving is serious business.
As suddenly as he appeared, he departed.
That alone was worth the $35 upcharge.
After dinner, as our Lyft dropped us near our apartment.....we found the missing shoe.
I'm going to call that a successful day.
Saturday morning, my childhood BFF came over from Philly to join us for the day. We made our first stop the endless small plate brunch at Zengo. This also came with bottomless mimosas....which we did not need....but that we drank anyway.
SO. MUCH. FOOD.
Not to mention the downstairs lounge area en route to the ladies room, that was empty during lunch hours creating the perfect place for terrible post-mimosa selfies.
We spent the afternoon strolling and shopping and made sure we got back to the apartment with plenty of time to rest up for a night out.
We were meeting fellow blogger and friend TraceyG at Fonda for dinner.
That girl always knows the prettiest drink to order and the best food to eat.
She also knows the best place to dance.
Note to self: Old ladies should not stay out until 3 a.m. dancing in stilettos. Especially when they have an early flight to catch.
When I dragged out of bed at 6:00 a.m. to catch our flight, knees throbbing, eyes gritty, totally exhausted.....I didn't regret a minute.
NYC: Take Two.
It didn't kill me last time, right? So let's do it again.
Fast forward to October 2019. My BFF had a 50th birthday coming up, so we decided to rendezvous in NYC for another girls weekend. This time, just the two of us.
When I got on the plane that Friday morning....I was the only person in the front. Should I be worried?
It was early morning when we arrived. Too early to check into our AirBNB, we dropped our bags at a luggage storage, which happened to be a smoothie cafe that locked them in the kitchen. It was so weird but so easy.
We headed to Nomo Kitchen for a lovely brunch to get things started. It was as beautiful as it was delicious.
We spent the next several hours shopping, and shopping, and shopping.
Tired and hungry, we stumbled into St. Marks Tacqueria, not because it was fancy, but because it was close to our apartment and I had read that it was divey but had good food.
It was the BEST kind of divey. I instantly loved this place. I don't know if it was the darkness, the strange 80s rock n'roll and movie decor, the 80s music, the insanely good margarita, or the "We don't give a s*$t menu," but it spoke to me.
We were finally able to check into our apartment. Sam had agreed, against her better judgment and that little voice inside her that said, "Never do what Vicki says....", to stay in an apartment I found on AirBNB instead of a hotel.
First, let me say that the apartment itself was FINE. It was large and comfortable, with 2 bedrooms and everything we needed.
It was, however, above a tattoo parlor with a downright terrifying looking shop owner who sat on the front step about 12 hours out of the day and never smiled. It was also up six flights of ungodly steep stairs...that we found ourselves dragging heavy suitcases up....while sweating and using a great deal of profanity....and the front door to the apartment didn't quite shut.
But, you know, like I told Sam....it's FINE.
After some down time, we grabbed happy hour cocktails at the TINY Keybar in East Village where, somehow, we managed to score two of what appeared to be about 10 total barstools in the entire place.
I wanted Sam to experience the awesomeness that is Rubirosa, so we headed there for a much fought for dinner reservation. No joke. I actually set my alarm to wake me up at midnight the day reservations opened up for the Friday night we wanted to go, and even though I was online within 30 seconds, the only reservation I could get was 10:00 p.m. I was happy to have it!!
Besides, nothing is better than late night pizza after drinking two-for-one happy hour cocktails at a neon infested dive bar.
We slept in on Saturday and headed for a leisurely brunch at Jack's Wife Frieda.
This place was tiny, lively, and packed. The food was worth the wait.
And I was instantly mesmerized by their sugar packets. Sam had to stop me from stuffing a handful into my pocket.
After some shopping, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Birreria by Serra atop Eataly in Flatiron. We did not go for the food. While not bad, the food really wasn't the draw. This restaurant goes all out with "over the top" seasonal decor and the tacky in me had a desperate need to see it.
It fed my need for all things sparkly and gaudy. I loved it the way I love glitter and rhinestones. I loved it the way I love too many lights on the Christmas tree. I loved it the way I love the plastic pink flamingos in my yard.
It was everything I hoped it would be...with surprisingly decent food and cocktails.
That was one mighty fine giant bowl of kale.
To celebrate Sam, I had purchased VIP tix to an annual food and wine festival, just a short walk from Birreria. Our tickets gave us early access (aka, being able to sample all the wine without standing in line) and gave us access to a special "bubbly lounge" filled with all manner of sparkling wines and champagne once the crowds upstairs became unbearable.
Not only was there SO MUCH WINE...there were giant plates of bacon.
There is only one thing you can do after an all you can drink wine and bacon event.
I am drawn to East Village's Pyramid Club like Whitney to Bobby. I know it's not good for me, but I just can't quit it. A text and a Lyft later, TraceyG was back at the scene of the crime with us. She is the Yin to my Yang. The Cher to my Sonny. The chocolate to my peanut butter.
We danced until the wee hours, but this time no one lost their coat ticket and no one fell off a table, so it was all good.
On my Friday flight, I had posted the photo of me allllll alone in the front of the plane and got an immediate text from a long time friend telling me he was also en route to NYC. What were the odds? We agreed to meet up and found ourselves meeting at the Highline on Sunday morning.
What an awesome place to walk!
We ended our visit at Chelsea Market, where we grabbed a quick bite and said our goodbyes.
I had a Sunday afternoon flight to catch, but spending time with with my 8th grade BFF was totally worth the quick trip!!
Here's to 36 years of friendship!