I live in Manhattan. And for the most part, I love this Manhattan. But sometimes it’s hard. Like when it’s February. And rainy. And the 6 train is late every. single. day. And the wind is so wild that you think your air conditioner might fall right out of your 5th-floor-walkup living room window. And you have to keep that air conditioner in the window all year round because (1) you can’t control the raging temperature of your heaters and (2) you have no room to put the air conditioner if you take it out of the window because your apartment is the size of three office cubicles.
I can’t believe everything that’s happened since December, which at this point feels like it was 3 months ago. This month was packed and I was super productive – yes, I am tooting my own horn, but I’m proud of running at 10,000 miles an hour recently. I don’t even know how I did all of the below and still managed to fit in the entire series of Making a Murderer, a repeat viewing of all seven seasons of 30 Rock, my last two events as a TriviaAD host, my French lessons at Fluent City, and two and a half books.
Not only was I lucky enough to participate in a food tour when I was in Chicago last month, I also had the opportunity to do a beer tour, which is something I’d never done before while traveling. I am definitely a beer girl over any other type of alcohol (read about my Struggle with Port Wine), but I also am now in my 30s and (very) unable to drink as much as I did in my college glory days, so I was curious how the day would go.
Shakespeare was no stranger to drinking. According to the interwebs, there are over 350 references to alcohol in his writings. One wonders, then, if he would approve of Drunk Shakespeare, the live show that I recently attended in Times Square, where cast members get wasted before the performance. If he’s into organizing as much as I am, Shakespeare would have at least approved of the event space, decorated with as many books as Belle had in her library, but all grouped by color.
Earlier this year, multiple people asked me if I would be attending a bullfight while in Spain. “Of course not!” I’d say, vehemently against the barbaric killing of animals for sport. So color me surprised when I fell in love with La Torre del Oro, a bullfighting bar in Plaza Mayor, Madrid. This bar did not have live bullfights at the bar, as that would have been muy peligroso, but was rather a place where people who love bullfights could gather.
When my sister, Katie, and I went to Porto, Portugal in March (while I was still 29), I knew I was going to have to suck it up and try port wine because that’s what you do in Porto. You travel across the river to the town of Vila Nova de Gaia and have a tasting at one or more of the 17 port wine manufacturers located there. We’d been on the river by boat the day before so we chose to walk across one of the seven bridges that mornin
On Friday, I had drinks on a sailboat with two of my favorite work biddies. One lives in DC and was just in town for the day so we had to pick somewhere special. Luckily, Grand Banks Oyster Bar has been docked on Pier 25 for a few weeks and has been all the rage. Drinking on the water is one of the best things about summering in NYC.
If you haven’t yet seen the Comedy Central show “Drunk History” – get on that ASAP. The basic premise is ridiculously drunk people passionately telling stories of American history, which are then acted out by celebs, but always dubbed in the drunk person’s voice. It’s incredible in every way. This week’s episode took place in NYC and we got this little gem out of it about the Statue of Liberty, which I visited with my frousins on a lovely fall day a few years back.
A few nights ago, Kater and I went to check out the new menu at Ainsworth Park, on 18th and Park. This space is huge and super trendy, perfect for the post-work crowd. There appears to be a room to the side that can be rented out, which Kater and I guessed was holding a singles mixer of sorts the night of our visit.
If you are on spring break and age 21, you will LOVE New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street. But everyone I asked for recommendations from told me to stay away. Bourbon Street is fun, if all you’re doing is drinking your face off, but it’s not real New Orleans. It’s neon lights, 3-for-1 beers, and top 40/hip-hop music. Below are some of the best drinking establishments I went to in NOLA that are not on Bourbon, plus two that *are* actually on it. Don’t think about it too much.
Now that summer is winding down, the nights of drinking on boats are coming to an end. My friends and I have decided this fall that instead of going to whatever bar has the cheapest happy hour specials, we are going to finally explore NYC’s most historic bars. This idea was sparked with a trip to McSorley’s earlier this month and brought a few of us to Marie’s Crisis Cafe in the West Village last week.
The other night, Kater and I found ourselves in the East Village and decided to end our evening at McSorley’s Old Ale House. McSorley’s claims to have opened in 1854 – there are some disputes on the actual opening based on records of the building / census reports – but it *is* widely recognized as the oldest Irish Tavern in NYC. The bar had been on both of our to-do lists for ages and we were both surprised to find out that the other had not been yet either.
Just kidding, secrets are THE BEST! I have to say, for the record, I am an excellent secret-keeper. But, in the interest of this blog and my readers’ own personal journeys within New York City, I will share some of my favorite secrets I’ve found in the past few years, which includes an item on my 28 Things.
One of my favorite things to do with a big group of friends is hang out all day and/or night at a biergarten, or as you Americans say, a beer garden. Beer gardens are ridiculously fun and super casual. They all have outdoor seating, long picnic tables, tons of beer on tap, and soft pretzels. The environment is fun, laid-back, and really loud. My friends and I always bring cards (preferably of the Disney Princess variety, obviously) and electronic Catchphrase.
Okay, so I gave winter a chance. I even walked outside and took pictures the first time it snowed and I thought it was beautiful. But winter has taken way too much advantage of me lately. It has snowed every week. This is not acceptable and I need March to get here ASAP.