STOP THE PRESS.
I have found the best bar in Manhattan.
Well, okay. Maybe not the best. This is a city with more bars than anyone could even count. You know how there are enough catholic churches in Rome that you could go to a different one each day for three years? I feel like in New York, it’s the same for bars. And don’t even get me started on how many places there are to eat. I feel like all day, every day I am being bombarded with food options.
I’ve already gained 50 kilograms. (Not really. I don’t weigh myself, and even if I did 50kg is a lot, but you know.)
Now is probably the time to confess something before I carry on with my story.
See this gigantic bag of peanut butter M&Ms?
We don’t get these at home. There are a few places that sell them — specialty stores that import candy (when in Rome, call it as the Americans do) from the States. They’re always expensive and stale. So, obviously, the first thing I did when I arrived and got my bearings was to buy this huge bag of PB M&Ms.
I ate them all in, like, 36 hours.
I pretty much never want to see a peanut butter M&M ever again in my entire life, but oh my god, they were so good. I have chronic jet lag right now, so these babies saw me through a couple of semi-sleepless nights. (Although saying that, I’m sure that the immense amounts of sugar I’ve been consuming have not been helping re: my inability to sleep.)
Now that I have the embarrassing chocolate confession out of the way, it’s on with the show.
I took it super easy yesterday. With a ton of work to catch up on (I work remotely), blog posts to do (didn’t happen), photos to transfer onto a hard drive, and tiredness bordering on exhaustion, I decided that I couldn’t really be bothered facing the day. However, it got to 6pm and I felt the need to do something. I also needed to buy a new phone cable; the difference in voltages between Australia and America is driving me bonkers as it takes about a thousand years for my phone to charge to 25%. Also, this happened:
I figure I’m about three days away from not having a working phone charger at all.
So I set off into the streets of Manhattan to find somewhere to buy a phone cable. And to be brave, because part of solo travel is that you have to do things by yourself at some point. My first solo venture overseas was in 2007 when I was just 22 years old, and I think I’m much more scared this time around than I was then!
I stumbled upon Beer Authority on my epic walk back from Union Square the other day. Looking up the menu online, it seemed to have a good beer list (the most important thing!) so I headed back there last night, completely and utterly terrified of going into a New York bar on my own.
In reality, I had no reason at all to be scared, of course. The bartender Tony — a Dubliner with an extreme case of awesomeness — made me feel right at home, talking beer, travel, and introducing me to some of the regulars.
I stayed in the little ground-floor bar, but there is a bigger bar upstairs — they’ve got 100 craft beers on tap! — and a rooftop terrace. It’s dark, dingy, plays UFC on the TV (a sport that, I discovered, is illegal in NYC!), and has a weird crowd, but it was really fantastic and a great introduction to the city, and re-introduction to Going It Alone when travelling. (Apparently the food is phenomenal too, but I didn’t eat there.)
So, my first New York bar experience is done and dusted. I survived, and even had a really great night. I topped it off by eating an obscene amount of pizza on the way home that, yes, I am paying for today.
Note to self: just because all the food is there, doesn’t mean you need to eat it.
Today my family arrives from various places (Washington & Singapore) for Christmas, so I’m moving hotels and then going on an epic walk to fulfil a long-time dream: visiting a Trader Joe’s supermarket. Seriously. You don’t read food blogs for a decade without falling in love with the idea of TJ’s and Whole Foods (which I first visited in London in 2007 and again earlier this week, dropping a casual $70 on god-knows-what and remembering that they don’t call it Whole Paycheck for nothing!).
Time to pack and say goodbye to this view:
New York, man. This city.
(Incidentally, I didn’t get my phone cable.)
Don’t just take my word for it:
More beer? Check out my brew reviews!
300 West 40th Street (across from Port Authority)
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212 510 8415
Fax: 212 510 8481