So I went to New York City, finally. Took 27 or so years, but it happened and I am better for it. It was a very brief visit, but here is what I managed to enjoy while there for the first time:
I was yelled at by the pizza man for taking the wrong pizza box (which he had given to me 30 seconds earlier) because it contained two slices of sicilian-style pizza and not one. I had assumed they condensed orders into one box as my friend had just ordered the same thing, but they had not and so the pizza man took my pizza away from me, which I had just finished delicately garnishing with various spices, and disgustedly dumped the entire box and it’s contents into the trash while handing me my actual order. This all happened within 5 seconds. It was an absolutely exhilarating experience, and the pizza was very, very good.
Other Various Things New Yorkers Yelled at Me Regarding:
- Moving too slowly
- Moving too quickly
- If I happened to know the time
- What my name was and if my full party was present to be seated
- If I had a ticket to see the play
- If I have tickets to sell
- Making too much noise
- Not being able to hear what I was saying
We went to a bar that Wilson liked (he has been to New York many times) at a hotel called THE STANDARD, which is apparently very famous and has the name turned upside down at the entrance to be both confusing and clever. It was a chilly night but we bravely sat outside with other similarly disappointed people because we had walked enough distance in the cold to fool ourself into thinking we were warm enough to do so (we were not).
Our waiter eventually shuddered his way over to us to ask us about ordering drinks while wrapped in a blanket and sporting white pants, giving off the appearance of a walking tortilla. As the outdoor patio was stubbornly bathed in a series of orange light, this only lent to the strangeness of the scene, being served by a pale orange tortilla that seemed alarmed by our request for blankets, as if we were somehow warmer than the other patrons who had been given blankets. We concluded this panic stemmed from the extra 15 seconds he had to remain outdoors in order to retrieve said blankets. At one point, he unwrapped himself enough from his blanket to bring us our drinks (mulled wine, quite good), revealing his uniform to be a semi-transparent windbreaker seemingly no thicker than a tissue.
What I am saying is that this was the greatest bar I have ever been to.
The bagels in NY are delicious and also infuriating because they come with the realization that I have been eating poorly-made bagels my entire life, utterly unaware as to how perfect they can truly be.
Our first night in the city found me in an insatiable appetite for ramen, so I found a place a mile away and we walked to this unexpectedly hip and bustling (and tiny) ramen shop. It was entirely too small to contain everyone eating or waiting to eat, and after a few awkward moments of standing too close to strangers, we waited until outside until a waiter mimed to me through the window if I was Taylor and to come back in, and then were promptly seated in front of the kitchen. This poor woman in charge of everything moved faster than any human I have ever seen. She was prepping ramen, finishing ramen, cleaning dishes, swearing at ramen…it was as much a feat of human endurance as it was cooking. The only time she took a break was to clutch her back and wince briefly and later very courteously ask us how we liked our meal. I am convinced running a kitchen in New York takes at least as many years off of a life as does smoking or excessive drinking habits or other dangerous things. The least surprising thing to say about New York is that it is fast, but the speed with which anything is served and ordered has to be experienced in person to understand the full meaning of the word. The ramen was good, and so was the kimchi fried rice.
It wasn’t until my last morning in NYC that I came upon my ideal place to live: it is south of Chelsea and very quiet and walkable and most assuredly expensive. It also has a little church garden that is open for public use and I liked that. No one yelled at me while I was strolling along, which was my only disappointment.