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Travelogue: NYC (part 2)

June 17, 2009


I’ve been so busy with the redesign at our new location, I haven’t been keeping my posting up to date! I have so much to write about, but I’ve become obsessed with perfecting the new look!

I do owe you the follow-up to the first NYC post, and I’m not putting it off any longer!

After a few hours at MOMA, I grabbed a pretzel and a coke and had a snack in the quiet little space across the street. A woman on her lunch break had two ears of roasted corn on the cob, and was loving the hell out of both of them. She was so totally happy. So, re-energized and amused, I headed up to 5th Avenue into the swarm of people. I don’t know how New Yorkers deal with the tourists. I really don’t. Uncoordinated groups of kids, parents and fanny packs and lots of aimless stares.

Aside from Bergdorf’s, I bypassed any shopping because I had early plans that night. My main destination was Central Park—I’ve been to NYC twice, and haven’t been further than Strawberry Fields. I wandered around for a couple of hours, through the zoo area and into some less-crowded areas and just sat around for a while enjoying my surroundings. I’m not sure where I came out, but I got a taxi an headed to the next stop on the agenda: Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center. I know, I know. But I had a specific reason for going—the super-cute tote I ordered right before my trip. One of the handles broke at some point in the Atlanta airport, so I called customer service and they said I could exchange it at any of the NYC stores, and it was in stock at all. But of course it wasn’t, and I couldn’t find anything similar and roomy enough that I wanted instead, so I just left. After a few more stops around RC, I headed back to the hotel.

My evening plans—what I was most excited about for the trip—were to be at my gay ex-boyfriend’s apartment in Chelsea at six. Jason and I dated in high school, producing some fabulous prom pics and always winning dirty dancing contests at parties. And voguing. He’s a lawyer now, and one of my dearest friends that I haven’t seen in four years!

I had time to relax at the hotel after walking five miles…and a couple of Red Bulls and a hot shower to wake me up again. I made it to Jason’s on time, and after a lovely gentleman in a wife beater inquired of my marital status, I made my way upstairs for the reunion of the fag and his hag. It was *so* great to see him. We had a couple of glasses of wine, and he gave me a tour of the city from the roof of his building. Of my whole trip, this is what renewed my desire to move to a big city in a couple of years. But more on that later.

We had reservations downtown at Les Halles—my choice. Besides being a huge Tony Bourdain fan, I really wanted to experience his take on French cuisine before I began cooking from my new French cookbook. I chose this location because the head chef is Carlos Uzhca, who began as (I think) a dishwasher and worked his way up, trained by Bourdain. I’d seen him on No Reservations, and was so impressed with his story. And oh my, I am here to testify that the food is phenomenal. For starters, Jason had the onion soup, while I sampled the Petatou de chevre: a warm potato and black olive salad with goat cheese gratine. It was absolutely to die for, and I need to get my hands on the recipe. For mains, Jason had some form of cow, I, the duck confit with truffled pototoes. Yeah, tater overload, but I can’t pass up duck. Especially not that duck.

We had a nice long dinner, drinking and catching up. From there we took a cab to the Village, where we walked around for a bit until we made it to Duplex, Jason’s fave neighborhood place and legendary piano bar. I was lucky enough to meet some of his friends that work there, we drank more, sang along, and then drank a little more. By the time Jason put me in a cab, it was well past midnight and I was quite happy to have someone else doing the driving. That is, until he accused me of short-changing him, screamed at me, and dropped me two blocks from my hotel, wrong side of the street, in the pouring rain. In four-inch wedges, which, until that moment, had been perfectly comfortable. Luckily for my husband, we were on the phone the entire time and he was able to hear the entire exchange.

While I’d had plans to do brunch somewhere before heading to JFK for my flight to DC, my state the next morning would not allow. But that’s quite alright, because I won’t be waiting another 14 years to come back to The Big Apple.

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