[November 4, 2011] A somewhat impromptu girls’ trip was at hand in the Fall of 2011… so me, my mom Diane, and older sister Ashley would venture to the Big Apple for some quality girl time, (and some visits with my brother, Zach). The guarantees: a lot of shopping, a lot of cocktails, a lot of laughs.
Our flight was fun-filled… compliments of several mini bottles of lemon and black cherry vodka that Diane stealthily snuck on the plane. Before we knew it we had arrived in New York City and were greeted by Zach who brought us to one of his favorite local spots for cheap and authentic Indian cuisine. The place was adorable – we haggled for free appetizers while sitting below thousands of red festive lights… you even had to duck to walk below the starry ceiling. The food was of honorable mention… from the veggie paneer all the way to the tandoori chicken and buttery naan. WOW. It seemed my taste buds had transported me all the way back to India.
We washed down the spicy goodness with cheap beers bought at the convenience shop across the street, and capped the night with a few too many light beers brewed at one of my favorite NYC past-times… McSorley’s Old Ale House, [established in 1854]. One bar later and we were agreeably exhausted from the exciting day. Back to the room, we faced an imminent struggle to remove Diane’s tall boots from her swollen feet. That we did, and turned in for some much-needed shuteye.
The crisp morning brought a stroll, (lattes in hand), down the financial district, and then onto SoHo. With nowhere to be, we were thrilled with our “no agenda” day, and turned to window shopping in the lower west side. SoHo is a wonderful, somewhat underrated gem of Manhattan. The adorable shops, quiet side streets, and fashion-forward shopping bring the place to life. We spent all day wondering modestly through the shops, mostly looking, and buying a couple things here or there… To rest our sorry soles, we had Bloody Mary breaks at Gatsby’s pub, and a search for the “world’s best” chocolate cake shop, which turned out to be rather disappointing.
We later fancied up in our pint-sized hotel room for the night ahead… and met Zach downtown at the delicious Gradisca, a favorite of my parents’ for dining in NYC. We sipped the best martinis, pureed with fresh passion fruit, and dined on small plates and meats. Next stop was the trendy Bubble Lounge – an exclusive champagne bar serving delicious handmade cocktails and expensive bubbly. We sat on the swanky couches watching young socialites and rich entrepreneurs, pretending to fit in. A few cocktails later, I was anything but fitting in with my self-made dance party.
The last morning us girls enjoyed coffee outside a small café before visiting Zach’s new apartment and checking out his slightly above average, college-style digs. A long wait was in store at a local Brooklyn diner, after which we bid adieu to Zach and continued our “girls take over Manhattan” film reel. We jumped on the subway headed back across the bridge into Manhattan, where we played the ultimate tourists in visiting Radio City, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square. I played photographer and we scarfed down street hot dogs which were admittedly less than fulfilling. Chicago hotdogs prevail… no contest.
Our last few hours were spent sheltered from the rain in over-priced stores, and finally, the woman’s dream that is Bergdorf Goodman. We explored each floor and laughed at the ridiculous price tags, finally gawking at the gorgeous Christian Louboutin shoe art, which left us wanting. Diane refused, despite our best sister efforts, to purchase the $700 pair of Valentino patent pumps, so off we went to catch our flight… no shopping bags in tow. Nonetheless, it was a trip that was short but oh so sweet. No one telling us where to be or what to do, the city was ours so we did nothing but enjoy. In our books, it was a success. After all, girls just want to have fun…