"New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York. These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you. Let's here it for New york, New York, New York" -sung by Alicia KeysTalk about being inspired! There has never been a time when I have visited NY when I didn't think...Oh God, I would love to live here.
A couple weeks ago, Smita and I were siting on the couch and we wondered what we could do for New Year's. One of us said, NY? Just the mention of that city inspired us to get online and book a hotel using our Starwood Hotel points right then and there. Would you believe that there was actually a hotel room available within sight of Time Square too? Yes! We got pretty excited. I told Ernesto we were going to NY and he was all for it!
After coming from Ohio and the cold, I have to be honest, I was not excited to go to NY. That quickly changed. Just flying in and seeing the skyline did it for me. Plus, earlier this year I got in touch with a college room mate that has lived there for the last 14 years. I last saw Michelle about 10 years ago when I was passing through NY on my way to Scotland. We lost touch soon after that. Thanks to Facebook we were reconnected earlier this year. And what a sweet reunion it was! It was so nice to see her and talk about fun times! She looks the same!
Smita and Allen headed back to the hotel, and I decided to hang with the boys. After a stop at a brewery for one beer, we finished the night off at a place in China Town called, funny enough, Happy Ending. (302 Broome St) They were playing some electronic music, which is not really my thing, but despite my face, I had a good time, it was a "happy ending" to the night.
We hung out all day Wednesday when we arrived. We walked around the east village neighborhood. Stopped for lunch at 7A, (109 Avenue A at 7th) a cozy little eatery that was quite packed and had a really tasty [traditional] menu. After walking all over the east village, lower east side and soho, we stopped for drinks at Pianos (158 Ludlow St). I loved the feel of this place. Soft lighting, interesting crowd and great beers on tap. Michelle had to work at 6p, so we walked her to Stanton Public (17 Stanton St) where she was bartending that night. Another cozy cool bar. We wanted to return later that night, but it never happened. Unfortunately we did not get to meet up again New Years Eve either, but I know we will stay in touch and we'll see each other again soon.
Ernesto also has a college friend living there and we met up with him that night. Roman is such a cool guy and I have known him almost as long as Ernesto. We went to 3 more cool places with him that night. Never a shortage of places to go in NY, right? This picture was taken at our first stop, a Spanish restaurant, which I can't remember the name of, but they served delicious sangria!
Ernesto whipped out some dance moves which always makes me smile. The next day was a late start. By the time we got moving we were starving. We headed straight to China Town. I have been to China once, and I would say this area could definitely transport you there.
All of the duck hanging in the windows were calling Ernesto's name.We ended up in Yee Li (1 Elizabeth St at Bayard) a typical looking restaurant with a lot of Chinese people inside. That is always a good sign. And the duck was delicious. We also ordered clams in a ginger scallion black bean sauce, pork and peppers, and lo mein. Verdict= A+
On our way back to the hotel, Time Square was already lit up and the blue glow from all the lights stretched to our hotel 4 blocks down 7th Ave.Police had blocked of several blocks surrounding the area and there was a growing security checkpoint to get anywhere near. We had to show our hotel key to get around the barriers.Confetti was everywhere.
We didn't want to be out in Time Square for all the craziness. Call me crazy, but 1 million people and no bathrooms? Lining up 6 hours before the ball drops, with nothing to do but stand there, packed like sardines? Take a look:
No thank you. I wanted to dance. We bought tickets that morning online for a club called Amalia (204 West 55th St) at Dream Hotel. Smita an I stayed there on a girls trip back in 2007 and loved it. The NYE party was $95 per ticket, but included all drinks and had a great DJ. We literally danced the whole night. (minus the 2 times I went to the restroom and had to wait 30 minutes in line! I did not like it, too much like college) It was really fun, but I could've just taken the good music to a house and left the crowd. You can't always count on guys to capture a great photo, but besides our heads being cut off, I like this one of Smita and me.Walking through Time Square New Years day was quite a difference. Still a ton of people as you can see.
Ernesto and I walked to the subway to get out to the airport for a 2pm flight. There was football to watch (eyes rolling). I let him go on the flight because there was only one seat left. He didn't want to miss the OSU game and I .....didn't want him to miss the game!
Happy New Year to all of you!!!