What intrigues me about New York is that it can be so pretentious and yet so ghetto fabulous at the same time. One direction you see a run-down corner store, the other you see women decked out in designer clothing, and the other you see a woman driving in a white Lexus SUV- with duct tape holding the bumper in place. A meal could cost as much as your first born or less than $10. And there's IchiUmi, all you can eat fresh oysters, clams and sushi for $35. To take the elevator to the observatory deck at the Empire State Building is $27, even on a rainy day where there is absolutely no view.
While New York can offer a ton of fun, in my opinion a lot of places in New York are over-hyped for the amount of time you have to wait. We went to a Korean BBQ place with a massive line up and impossible to get a reservation until 10:30pm. Instead of regular meat like other Korean BBQ places, this place specialized in serving all sorts of over-priced organs. It included the sweet bread, in which “sweet bread” turned out not sweet and not bread. It’s another name for Thymus. Thymus is a gland inside the throat. The disconcerting part is that it oozed a milky substance when you bite into it, making it feel like you’re eating brains. “Look, don’t even think about it and just swallow.” I said to Eric, who was having a tough time with the taste of the sweet bread. “Ugh, I can’t!”, “You will never make it as a female porn star.” I said, I just had to.
The dessert was a homemade ice cream with edible gold. Edible gold. The edible gold tasted nothing more like a thin sheet of tin foil. While I ate it I Imagined myself trying to explain this to a starving kid in a third world country: “We are so rich and so bored with regular food that we put gold in our dessert and eat it!”.
I also went to my first Speakeasy this weekend in New York. The concept of Speakeasy is it’s a hidden bar behind a passage. It’s exclusive and you would only know about it through word of mouth. Eric was excited for it. “What’s so great about Speakeasy?” I asked. “Because it’s a Speakeasy!” he said. I still don’t understand. But hey, if you want to go somewhere exclusive with no one else around, just come over to my house and I’ll charge you $15 for a drink. This offer goes out to anyone reading this.
The Speakeasy entrance was a telephone booth inside a ghetto hot dog joint. The joint was hot and the place was a dive. If you were to touch something and then rub your eye you would probably catch pink eye. Their washroom make Chinese restaurant washrooms look upper class.
Eventually we got in after an hour wait and the Speakeasy was the opposite of the hot dog joint above. It had Air condition, leather booths and taxidermy with accessories as décor. The one above our booth was two toads having intercourse in the missionary position. The servers were hipster pretentious and the cocktails were all $15 with hipster pretentious names. But all in all, what impressed me the most was the bathroom, which looked like the inside of a giant disco ball. I’ve never seen my butt in so many different angles when I sit on the toilet.
Back at the table we asked for the bill. Then I remembered how in Ottawa one can die waiting to pay for their meal, which is something I’ve never understood “Don’t you want my money and me out of here?” I’ll think. But not New York, they bill you right away and want you to get out for others in line.
I’ll say that for eating in New York, as crowded and annoyed you can be while waiting to eat, within a minute when you’ve walked out of the restaurant looking at the high rises, you’re already unconsciously planning on when and what to eat next.