Posts Tagged 'Manhattan'

51 stories high in Brooklyn

A friend was having their birthday at another friend’s apartment in Brooklyn. I figured that it’d be the typical Brooklyn apartment: eighth floor walk-up, a brick wall, and crappy hardwood floors. Sort of like the East Village, but cheaper and across the river. It took six years to get there – the NR wasn’t running, so I had to walk two avenues to the 6 which took me down to Brooklyn Bridge, transfered to a 5, only to find out that it was limited service and going to Bowling Green. Waited at Bowling Green for ten minutes to  board a 4. And then I arrived at Borough Hall. Total trip: hour and a half. But whatever. There was tons of alcohol and I didn’t plan on remembering the night.

I arrived at the address and called my friend, “Which floor is the apartment on?” “The roof!” 51 stories in the elevator later, I was on top of Brooklyn. The view was absolutely breathtaking. I could see the cars below, crossing the streets, bridges, and highways. There was a thick glass wall, so it distorted the photo a bit, but the view was ten times clearer in person. The bright lights on the far right side are the Empire State Building and midtown Manhattan. The lights on the left side are the Financial District. It looks farther in the photo, but it felt like the buildings were no less than five hundred feet away. It was the best view I have ever seen from Brooklyn.

Shortly after, I left the roof and downed three glasses of Jungle Juice. A hookah was pulled out an hour or two later, and I smoked that for the rest of the night. I remember the whole night, especially when I asked a black lady on the street for the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge and she spoke into her cell phone, “Hold on, Dirty” and proceeded to tell me the directions. I held my laughter until I got into the taxi which I bursted out laughing for thirty seconds. His nickname was Dirty. Wow.

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Drinks at Cafeteria

Last summer was filled with booze, restaurants, and stupidity. I went out to restaurants nearly three times a day (no breakfast, but certainly indulged in late night drunken meals), Starbucks multiple times a day, and then headed to the bar at least four times a week. I shudder on the thought of how much I spent. But it was my first summer of living in New York and I didn’t care.

I used to think this summer lived in the shadows of last, but I’ve come to stop comparing them. This summer is different. I’m not eating out as much. I only drink Starbucks once a week. And I can count the amount of times I went to a bar or club on my hand. (Half of my hand, even.) I’ve fully embraced my inner workaholic and I am working a full time job, part time job, and then an internship. I don’t need to work this much, but I find it fun. I find it fun to be productive and I love the discounts at Club Monaco. But the weeks have been flying by and I haven’t had the time to enjoy my summer.

I was invited out for drinks with a few friends at Cafeteria. I’ve always wanted to try this place, but it is on the 7th Avenue and we all know how often I venture that far west. So meeting up with friends was the perfect spark to head out there. The drinks were typical for Manhattan  – $12-14 a drink. I’m pretty sure they are aware of how ridiculous the prices are because there are no prices on the online cocktail menu. But we decided to skip individual drinks and order carafes.

We asked the waitress how many drinks we can expect to pour from the carafe. “Oh, five to six!” We figured that it would bring each drink to less than ten dollars and ordered two. A friend and I shared a White Peach Punch ($40) and the other two shared a White Sangria ($30). Five minutes later, the waitress returns to our table, “Your drinks are currently being made! So does this mean that you want to order any food?” So does this mean? Why would us ordering drinks imply ordering food as well? But being the fatasses that we are, we decided to go with the Rosemary Grilled Flatbread, which consisted of hand stretched foccacia, roasted artichokes, goat cheese, truffle oil, arugula and shaved parmesan. The waitress returned with two relatively small carafes, “Oh, I brought you the big glasses so you’ll get about 4 drinks from each!” I looked around the room – there weren’t any smaller glasses. But even with four drinks, that would make my drink $10 even, and then White Sangria would be even less per drink. No big deal.

The grilled flatbread came and it was out of this world. The drinks were strong and we were maintaining a nice buzz, but my friend and me decided to order another carafe. We tried a sip of our friends’ White Sangria and it was great, so we bought one of those. She came back with two new glasses – one of which was smaller than the other, so we realized that she wasn’t a conniving bitch. But we filled those to the brim and only received two glasses each from it. Chugged those.

The bill came and I just threw down my credit card. I’ll worry about how much I charged to it later. I just wanted the night to be fun. I’ve been working too hard and this was the perfect reward. I felt young and free again.

Meatpacking District: Artichoke

My friend and I wanted to take advantage of the decent weather, so we thought to go to the Highline. We’ve talked about it all summer, but never actually quite made it over there. So we grabbed coffee on 14th and headed over on a bus. We walked up to the Highline on the 14th Street entrance, walked three blocks, and saw our favorite pizza shop, Artichoke, down below and left the Highline.

We usually stumble to their East Village location at odd hours of the night thinking that it was the only one, so it was such a shock to see that they have another location in Meatpacking. (Their website reveals a third location. Go Artichoke!) The pizza is a little expensive – $4.50 a slice – but it is absolutely delicious! Their main pizza is called ‘Artichoke’ and is artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella, and pecorino romano cheese. They also offer other ones like margarita, but those are not worthy of a mention because artichoke is that amazing.

This location differs from the rest in that it has seating that isn’t a broken bench outside and that it actually fits more than two people. The waitresses were not the friendliest people, but as if bad customer service would keep me away from delicious pizza. The pizza is so gooey and thick and just out of this world.

I’m a huge fan of its exterior – very Meatpacking District and very Italian. And the Range Rover just adds to the aesthetics.

Clubbed at Club Monaco

Clubbing is a term used for both baby seals and the act of clubbing in (or out) of Club Monaco. You are required to “club in” at work by telling them what you are wearing that is club. At the end of your shift, you have to “club out” and sign off on the Club Sheet, which they do a check to see if any Club Monaco clothes have been added, or taken off. It’s a simple theft prevention measure.

Club Monaco changes stock every four weeks. New items are released, older items are placed in sale, and then sale items are removed and either transferred out or rot away in the stock room. Employees are given two days, the first paycheck after the stock change, to purchase new items and sale items. The employee discount is increased for the event and employees are expected to buy the store out.

I went to the Club Monaco flagship on Fifth Avenue on Thursday to start my spending. They are known for their huge mens sale section so I figured I’d hit them up first. I grabbed about thirty items, so every sales associate was up my ass in efforts to snag my sale. (“Hey! I’m Minn Let me know if-” “I know your name is Minn. You’ve already said it three times.”) I tried them on, loved them. Brought them all to the register.

“It is the employee sale today, right?” “Yes. Are you corporate?” “Uh, no. I work at Prince.” She calls and confirms that I work there and then processes my order. The total before discount: $550. After discount: $150. I take my bag and head to my store to grab some deals that I saw earlier in the week. Went downstairs into the stock room and scoured whatever was left for anything that looked decent. Most of which were from two flips ago, so they were even cheaper than the current sale items. My total before discount: $180. After discount: $40. I grabbed ten items for $190 – an average of $19 a piece. Two of the sweaters alone are $200 at retail. I spent $190 on $740 worth of clothes.

I can’t wait to do this again next month!

Dean and Deluca on Prince Street

And then there is Dean and Deluca, located just a few blocks away from Club Monaco on Prince Street. It is a speciality, high-end gourmet grocery store. Most avoid the store because it is ridiculously overpriced, which most of it is, but there are a few gems in there that are both heavenly and cheap.

I normally just either buy fruit (a banana will never cost more than 50 cents!) or a fresh demi-baguette from Balthazar (Dean and Deluca sells them!) for 2 dollars. It’s quick and delicious. Their bakery items are a little more expensive – $2 for a cookie and $28 for a pound of fancier cookies – but it isn’t like I need a huge cookie, let alone a pound of them. So I just order one coffee macaron for $2. I’ve had a few other macarons, but the others do not compare! I wouldn’t say that they are the best in New York, but they taste great. I came here after work as a reward for reaching my sales goal, but I think I’ll a habit out of it.

Battery Park City

It blows my mind that Battery Park City exists and that it is in Manhattan. Each neighborhood gives off a different vibe, but they are all warm, culturally rich, and unique. Battery Park City sits there at the tip of the island, cold and soul-less. It is full of new buildings, state-of-the-art technology, and modern art, but there is no Manhattan culture or home feeling. My professor last semester always talked about this international professional creative/business class and how they stay in a city for a few years then fly off to the next one. They didn’t have permanent homes. And that’s exactly what Battery Park City is. Professionals come and go. They aren’t tied down to the culture or the city. Battery Park City is simply yet another temporary home. It is the stop before Shanghai and Hong Kong. And that’s not okay with me.

Just look at the stupid monkey: Is that the New York you know? Sure isn’t the one I know.

Murray Hill: Ethos

After tanning for a few hours on my friend’s dad’s rooftop (which had gorgeous views of the East River), we decided to go to a Greek restaurant around the corner. I am not the biggest Greek fan – I don’t really like feta cheese or olives, but both have been growing on me as of late. I figured that I’d just find a neutral appetizer and that’d be that.

My friend and split an appetizer and we both decided on Spanakotopia. The spanakotopia, pictured above, is sautéed baby spinach, leeks, scallion, dill, and feta cheese wrapped up in delicious and flaky phyllo dough. It was absolutely delicious! Another friend ordered dolmas, but only wanted one so she passed the rest to us. They were meatless, but they were still delicious, too. The waitress also served us complimentary bread and olive oil which consisted of a few small rolls and fresh pita bread. The pita bread and olive oil were out of this world. Later, a friend ordered octopus and even that was cooked to perfection. We joked that the Asians next to us, pictured above, were having a feast, but little did we realize, we were eating just as much.

I’m truly starting to rethink Greek food. I love Mediterranean, and I know that they are very similar, but I just feel like most Greek food that I encounter has olives and feta cheese. But, again, I’m starting to realize that they are tasty. Perhaps I was just eating it wrong all these years. Ethos also served complimentary baklava at the end. I’ve had far better baklava, but I’m not going to complain when it is free, especially after the bread and amazing food.


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