Spring in the City

Why do I always wait months (8 months to be exact) after the fact to write about a trip? Who knows – at least I’m consistent in always being late though.

This past spring in April, my boyfriend and I traveled to New York City to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. NYC is not somewhere we would typically travel to. Normally we are drawn to outdoor adventure. We take road-trips, we go camping, we like to rough it – so this was different for us. While I’ve been to the big apple a handful of times, it was Clint’s first visit and my first visit as an “adult.” We stayed right in Hell’s Kitchen at my uncle’s street level apartment. The location couldn’t have been any better – walking distance to everything and only a short train ride to all the touristy destinations… because of course we were being tourists.

Our first day there we walked all over the city. We went to the Eataly, an Italian market with a rooftop bar. We strolled through Time Square. We went and visited the 9/11 memorial and even got a tour inside One World Trade Center where Clint’s childhood friend works. That evening we met up with friends at a bar rasnked Best Bar in both 2015 and 2016, The Dead Rabbit. It held up to the reputation – the atmosphere was that of the prohibition era and the drinks were creative and delicious. After drinks we cabbed to dinner, a seafood restaurant with a name I can’t recall, and called it an early night after eating our fair share of fresh oysters.

The next day we explored Central Park. Leave it to us to find nature in one of the biggest cities. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom for us and the weather was perfect for walking and spending the day outdoors. We must have walked for almost 5 hours, and we saw all the sites. We visited Balto, the Alice in Wonderland statue, Belvedere Castle, the Greywacke Arch, the ice skating rink and Obelisk.

That evening we hit the town hard. We started our night with a few casual drinks at our friend’s apartment and then made our way to Mehanata, a Bulgarian ice bar. This place was insane. Upstairs there were gypsy belly dancers, a bar with swings as seats, and a two man band playing the accordion and the flute. Downstairs was more like a rave, with EDM blasting from the DJ booth, strobe lights and the ice bar. The ice bar featured a small room off the side that was kept at a freezing temperature and was lined with bottles of vodka. The objective was for a small group to dress up in Soviet war gear provided by the bar, enter the room, and down as many vodka shots as you can in 6 minutes. The shot glasses were made of ice and when time was up, everyone smashed their glass on someones helmet. Clint was wearing that helmet. We hung there and danced upstairs for a while. We went to a few more bars that night. One of them was a Parisian bar – an intimate small setting with a woman signing. We ordered absinthe here and it was served to us in the traditional way, poured over a cube of sugar. On our walk back we got multiple slices of cheap pizza from hole in the wall joints, like any true New Yorker would do.

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The next morning we were up early with plans to walk the High Line. The High Line is 1.45 miles of elevated walking trail along an old train rail on Manhattans west side. The High Line features gardens and green-ways, amazing views of the city,  water features, and overlooks. After our walk along the High Line we went for brunch at the Standard Grill in the meat packing district.

Following brunch we walked to meet up with friends for a beer festival being held in an empty warehouse building. We must have tried 50 different types of beer. We ended up being one of the last groups to leave and we danced to the band until they stopped playing. We had dinner at a sushi bar nearby that also served fried chicken and had light-up beer towers, which we ordered. We were a mess at dinner from all the beer and even lost a few group members who needed to go home and get some sleep. We made our way to a karaoke bar where eventually everyone split off and went their separate ways. Again, we got pizza on our way home.

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We slept in the next morning and had an early lunch across the street from where we were staying. We took our time packing up and spending the last few hours in the city out on the apartment patio.

New York City can be described in a few words – loud, busy, car horns, booze, pizza, lots of walking, diverse, beautiful. While it did confirm my decision to never live in a city, it was a fun and exciting place to visit – and we will be returning soon!