“I am going to move to New York,” I said. “It will be fun,” I said. I will have a great adventure,” I said. Was I wrong? Well, what does wrong mean, exactly?
Let me paint a picture for you. I just walked two miles home because I didn’t want to wait for a subway, and I didn’t have the money for a cab. So, I walked from the lower east side to the Upper East Side, all alone. Granted, I called my friend just in case I did get raped, mugged or beaten. I mean, at least someone would know about it and care. But, that’s beside the point. Is New York City an adventure? You bet it is. Is it fun? I would say 10 percent of the time it is. BUT that 10 percent of fun is 100 percent more fun than the most fun day you will have anywhere else, and let me tell you why.
(DISCLAIMER: the first two paragraphs were written the same night, when I got home. The rest of the story from here down was written the next morning)
So, yesterday, my best friend in the city, Kayci, and I decided we wanted to go to the wine bar in East Village. Lois is our favorite wine bar. It has been ever since we first stumbled upon it back in February. With wine on tap and European style, it is not expensive, and it has great cheese. Yes, cheese matters. Anyway, we have to go to a few different bars before, because Lois is so crowded that there isn’t even room to stand. Begrudgingly, we walk next door to The Third Man, and we take seats at the bar.
To sum it all up, we sat next to the most perfect male I could ever describe. I don’t really know what he looked like, but he was drinking a beer and reading a book on a Friday night. AKA the epitome of me in male form. Did I talk to him? Nope. Did I even make eye contact? Ha, that’s a funny joke, but as you will see later my skills at conversing with the opposite sex range from, “here you talk to him for me” and awkward silences.
After a few drinks, we finally arrive at Lois where we drink too much and start singing and dancing into Kayci’s Snapschat. If you aren’t following her on there, you definitely should be.
We call an Uber and bring our two-woman show to the back of the Toyota Prius. I cannot tell if the driver was amused with us or really annoyed. Either way, I was entertained.
The next morning we wake up at the ungodly hour of 8:00 a.m. To be fair, I woke up at 7:00 a.m. and was just on my phone until her alarm went off too. We were going to get ourselves ready for the Baylor Homecoming game that was being played at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. We wake up, make some coffee, watch the news, order bagels and order orange juice. Our original plan was to go get champagne from the liquor store around the corner, but unfortunately it didn’t open until 11:00 a.m., and we were supposed to be on our way to the Baylor bar by then. So, being the great New Yorkers that we are, we improvised with vodka. It was easily the best decision we made all day.
The bagels arrived, and being the 22 year-old that I am attempted to refrain.
“I think I am going to see how long I can go today without eating and just drinking,” I told my friend, happy at the smartness of my decision.
“I believe that is a really, really bad idea,” she replied. I mean she is 23 and a lot wiser than I am. “But, I will happily watch you do it, because it is bound to be funny.”
Before you freak out and scream into the page, understand that this lasted maybe until 10:00 a.m. when I cracked and ate half of a bagel. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Bagels are such a weird food choice for breakfast on Saturday,” THEN YOU OBVIOUSLY DO NOT LIVE IN NEW YORK! Nor do you understand the heavenly taste of a fresh-made bagel and the fluffy, alcohol absorbing texture.
With make up done and outfits picked out, which took longer than I would care to admit and resulted in me wearing the exact same outfit I wore the night before, my friend and I poured our screwdrivers into to-go cups and began our trek. The 20 minute walk was filled with complaints and observances.
“I swear the catcalls are getting really, really old,” my friend told me. “Seriously, it is disgusting. Why can I not walk outside without a guy trying to say something to me and then get angry when I don’t respond? It’s gross.”
“Well yes,” I responded. “But, I am spending this month only speaking positively about NYC, so let’s just do that. See that dirt over there? I love that dirt. I think that dirt is magnificent. Thank you New York for the dirt that you display so proudly on every street. It makes my day.”
We went on like this for the entire duration of the walk, arrived at the bar, downed our screwdrivers and walked in.
The Baylor bar, Van Diemen’s, is a lovely bar, complete with a volleyball jersey signed by Kayci. We go up the stairs to where the Baylor fans culminate, and I immediately spot my friend, Julia, at the bar, graciously reserving seats for us.
Already friends with the bartender, Julia asks for a menu for us. The Baylor bar has great specials on game days, as any good sports bar should. My usual “go to” drink is the Brazos Water: whisky, club soda and grenadine. But recently, I have been on a Jack and diet kick, and that’s all I wanted.
“Excuse me, can I get the Brazos Water, but instead of club soda can I get diet coke? And you can hold the grenadine.” Those were the exact words that came out of my mouth as I spoke to our bartender. She just stared at me like I was the dumbest white girl to ever walk into the bar.
“So, you want a whiskey and diet coke?”
“Yes, but I want to pay the Baylor drink prices…”
“You know they are the same price…?”
I was really pleased with myself a this point and began to drink my wonderful beverage.
Turning to my friends, all three of them, I began to talk about my latest dilemma.
“You guys, Julia convinced me to get a Hinge, and I don’t know how to talk to any of them.”
Now, if you are thinking to yourself, “What the heck is Hinge?” You shouldn’t be concerned. Not a lot of people know what it is. It is a phone-dating app, basically like Tinder, except it matches you through mutual friends. Normally, I think dating apps are stupid, and I would never have one. But, on the basis of being outgoing and trying new things, I got one.
The only problem is, I hate talking to people I don’t know. So, my three friends, being wonderful and terrible at the same time, took my phone and began messaging all of my matches. The messages ranged from, “Will you marry me good sir?” to “Eddie!” I am realizing now that having my friends do this for me probably wasn’t the best idea.
Some of them turned out to be decent, but by this point I wasn’t paying too much attention. If they messaged me again in the morning, when I was sober, then they were probably a keeper in my mind (update: a few of them have, but I haven’t responded because I don’t know what to say).
As you can see, my boy experience is basically non-existent. I definitely don’t think dating apps are for me.
We watched the football game, drinking and wishing we were there. We talked to a few other Baylor people, my roommate showed up, I am pretty sure I talked about Jesus and how much I love him for a good 20 minutes (which I tend to do a lot when I drink; I guess a drunk mouth speaks a sober heart?) And, then the next thing I knew I was closing out my tab and we were making our way to Brother Jimmy’s, an awful barbeque restaurant with a good bar.
Brother Jimmy’s is about a five minute walk from the Baylor bar. We arrived and began pulling out our ID’s. Except, I didn’t have mine. I actually couldn’t find it for the life of me. Insert my freak out.
“Will a picture of my passport do?” I asked the bouncer / waitress standing at the door.
“No,” she replied in her snarky tone, with her bad hombre hair tangled in front of her face.
“Okay… well I promise I am 22…”
“I don’t care. You can’t drink if you don’t have a physical ID”
“Fine, can I just come in and eat?”
I thought to myself that I had won, that whoever our waitress was wouldn’t know that I didn’t have my ID. But I was wrong, again. As soon as I sat down, our waitress handed us the menus and said, “I am sorry, but you cannot order a drink. I was told you didn’t have your ID.”
CUE MY FRUSTRATION MULTIPLYING INTO A MILLION PUNCHES THAT I WANTED TO SHOVE IN THEIR FACE.
Instead, I got up, left and went to Kaycis to see if I left my ID there.
Kayci lives about a 30-minute walk from Brother Jimmy’s. Being the stubborn 22 year old that I am, I walked there to find my ID and return to Brother Jimmy’s just so I could shove it in that waitress’s face that I am, indeed 22.
Was my ID there? Nope. But, you know what was there? My passport. So, after ransacking Kayci’s apartment, eating the other half of the bagel I started on this morning and realizing I probably lost my ID, I grabbed my entire overnight bag and headed back to Brother Jimmy’s. I also realized that a bagel is all I had eaten that day besides a sucker I brought with me.
Angry, frustrated and in a rush, I decided I didn’t want to walk to Brother Jimmy’s, and I shouldn’t have to, not when I have a CitiBike pass that I can utilize. Poor. Life. Choice. Not only was I not sober, but also the roads weren’t paved and my shoulder bag was too stuffed to put into the tote carrier in the front of the bike.
Did I care?
So I hopped on my bike and went on my way. I only had to stop twice to pick up my belongings that fell due to the unpaved roads and my inability to completely focus.
(If you are reading this and think I am the dumbest person alive, save your comments. I already know).
On the bright side, my faith in humanity was restored when at a stoplight, as I was picking up my belongings, a nice grandpaish man stopped to help me. He picked up my t-shirt and jacket that were trailing behind me and said, “These roads are just awful. It’s nice that they are repaving them, but seriously they cause a lot of problems for bikers.”
With a smile and a nod, I thanked him and went on my way. Even now his kindness is just proof that the 10 percent of New Yorkers who don’t suck are better than 100% of people from any other city.
Arriving back at Brother Jimmy’s, an hour and a half later, I smugly showed the bouncer my passport and got in. But, everyone was already done eating and drinking. In fact, they had finished two pitchers of beer and a margarita. So, what did I do? I threw a tiny fit and then finished the rest of their drinks. Because hey, I was hungry, tired, thirsty and angry. I deserved that ½ glass of beer.
By this time it was dark outside and 7:00 p.m. keep in mind, I had been drinking since 10:00 a.m. in the morning. Did we stop there? Nope. Should we have? Probably yes.
On our way to the next bar, I was starving and thought it would be a grand idea to get some ice cream. So, we go to Baskin Robbins and I get some random cone that I don’t even remember. I eat about half of it and then drop it… on the street…. Like a child… while a random man passes by and laughs… You can imagine my disappointment, sadness and anger. This day kind of blew in the best way possible.
This is the part of the story where everything gets less interesting and more stupid. We go to a bar with Kayci’s work friends and absolutely nothing exciting happens other than me talking too much about the Royals, books and my inability to communicate with members of the opposite sex on Hinge. * Insert shoulder shrug
We were there for an hour or so, I honestly don’t remember how long. Then we left to go to another bar in East Village to meet up with new people. Thankfully, we took a cab and didn’t force ourselves to walk 40 minutes or wait for the subway.
The bar was super packed and I had zero desire to drink any more. By this point I was just tired and cranky and didn’t want to try to talk to people. So, after about 30 minutes of standing around, being awkward and staring into space, I told Kayci I was leaving and made my way back to my apartment.
I should put a disclaimer out that what I did next is probably stupid, but again I already know this so you do NOT need to tell me that (mom).
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to walk 20 minutes to a subway or take a cab. I knew a cab would cost me about $15, but at the same time $15 is a lot of money to me right now and a subway would cost only $2.75. While attempting to make up my mind, I just started walking in the general direction of my apartment and called my friend to help me choose.
I called my other best friend, Madison, who also lives in New York and asked her what she thought I should do. Well, of course she said subway, but by this point I was already passed it, so I just decided to walk home. I live 52 blocks away from where I was. If you don’t know how far that is, it’s a little over two miles. I left the bar at 10:30 and I got home at 11:40. Thankfully, Madison, being the amazing friend that she is, talked to me the entire way home.
We talked about everything and nothing, because we literally talk every day and that’s just what we do. I arrived home safely, miraculously and without injury. I walk into my door, look in my other purse that I sometimes use, and see my ID card. Awesome. Just Awesome.
Surprisingly, I ate nothing, even though all I had eaten that day was a bagel, ½ an ice cream scoop and a sucker. I took off my makeup, shuddered at my appearance in the mirror, changed my clothes and crawled into my warm, cozy bed.
New York City is definitely an adventure. It is a city full of highs and lows. It is a city filled with amazingly nice strangers and strangers who laugh at you when you drop your ice cream cone. It is a city filled with great friends and stupid decisions. I think that’s what makes New York City so great. It is hard to live here. It is stressful to live here. It is frustrating, at times, to live here. But, most importantly, it is WORTH IT to live here.