NYC 3- New York, New York, A Wonderful Town
We’d been so lucky with the weather during our stay in the Big Apple, but sadly, that dream died a wet soggy death on Saturday morning. Rain pelted down and the streets were grey and full of puddles. Good then, that this was the morning I chose to go and queue for matinee tickets at TKTS. I got really wet (and not in the good way wheyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy). So to dry off, we decided to go to a New York institution for some good old-fashioned NY Brunching.
I’ve long been yearning to visit this French bistro of dreams ever since I heard one was opening in Covent Garden. Okay, okay I’m lying, I wanted to go ever since they went on Sex and the City all those years ago. Even though Carrie was always a bellend. Bustling, busy, with the clattering of cutlery and waiters bringing big old plates of brunchy goodness and mimosas, it was AWESOME. I would love to share with you the food snaps I took whilst chowing down on the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had, but the lighting in there was SO ORANGE and my little Nikon couldn’t cope*.
*I didn’t know how to fix it. Note to self- learn how to use camera properly you naughty woman.
Tummy heaving and slighty fuzzy of head after a pomegranate martini (WHAT?! I WAS ON HOLIDAY!) I scuttled off to the Lyric Theatre to meet Joe, and we settled into our seats for On The Town. Which were incredible. I know I whinged about standing in the rain but it was SO WORTH IT. Row C in the stalls, sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry about us.
And a HELLUVA musical it was too! Big, bright, brash and bouncy. (Just like me really.) Oh it was gorgeous. So funny, with one of the strongest casts I’ve EVER seen onstage, and I mean, if you’re going to see a show in New York, this one is a total love song to the city, taking you all over Manhattan. The story follows three sailors on 24 hour leave in NYC, and follows each of them through the city as they sightsee and each chase after the girl they fall in love with. And actually, for it’s time (written in 1944) the three leading ladies are BLOOMING FIESTY! They’re intelligent, cunning, ballsy, independent and horny as hell. JUST LIKE ME REALLY! So yeah. SHOUT OUT TO COMDEN AND GREEN AND BERNSTEIN for writing such excellent parts for women. Hooray!
Whilst I was there I also bumped into a long lost pal, the FABULOUS baritone Jesse Blumberg who came over to London in 2010 to sing the lead in Bernstein’s Mass at the Southbank Centre in 2010 which I was a soloist in too. WHAT LUCK TO SEE HIM! And at a Bernstein show too, well, it was clearly fate. (p.s isn’t that incredible how in these HUGE cities, you often bump into people you know. LIKE WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!)
The long lost pal theme continued when I met up with another, gorgeous Alex for a few beers in Hells Kitchen. HOORAY FOR INTERNATIONAL CHUMS!
After a delicious (if INCREDIBLY SPICY GOOD GOD MY POOR TONGUE) Thai dinner at Obao, we continued the evening’s JOLLIES at the legendary Jimmy’s Corner. Situated just off Times Square this is hands down the best bar in Midtown. It’s run by a chap called Jimmy Glenn, who was Muhammad Ali’s coach and second back in the day. The walls are paved with his boxing memorabilia, photographs and newspaper cuttings, the jukebox plays nothing but soul, blues, motown and jazz and the drinks are LITERALLY CHEAP! Jimmy, now 85, still roams the bar, chatting to the chaps and winking at the ladies- he’s a massive, massive legend.
I’d love to direct you to the Jimmy’s Corner website, but this guy is old-skool. They don’t have one, so if you ever find yourself near Times Square, head to 140 W 44th St and hit those $5 Margaritas hard.
Our last night in NY was upon us, and the city was RIPE for photographs, lit up like a firework.
On Sunday, we were LUCKY to be getting the red-eye back home (although Christ on a bike it didn’t feel like that at 10am UK time having flown all night YEEESH) so we had a whole day to spend as we pleased before flying back to Blighty. We began it with a bottomless boozy brunch at Sotto 13 in the Greenwich Village. A gorgeous little Italian tucked away under an awning, with a proper wood-fired pizza oven and beautiful skylights letting in the Spring sunshine. For $39 (about £26) a head, your table groans with pizza, bacon, eggs, potatoes, lasagna and waitresses top up your glass with endless mimosas (Bucks Fizz to the Brits), bellinis and Bloody Marys. I mean, I want to live there.
We took a stroll afterwards towards Chelsea, and dove into Chelsea Market along the way.
After wandering through and my Mother and I lusting after all the vintage jewellery and awesome clothing on offer, we walked the Highline for one last look at NYC before stopping off at Theatre Circle– for all your theatrical shopping needs. I massively mourn the loss of Dress Circle in London (except that the chap that used to work there told me on TWO separate occasions that I looked like Lindsay Lohan. Cheers hun.) and I lost my shit in the New York version. I will always be thankful that there were no boys that I fancy present because MAN I LOOKED LIKE A HUGE LOSER drooling over Sondheim books and Wizard of Oz stickers.
And then before we knew it, with one last swift round at Jimmy’s corner, we were being whisked off back to JFK. Oh New York, you’re a beaut. You’re hilarious, loud, crazy, and all the stuff people say about you never sleeping is true. But you know what? People go on and on about how incredible NYC is and I fully expected to go to New York and fall so head over heels in love I’d look like the emoji with the heart eyes stumbling round drunk on lurve (and gin. Come on, it’s me.). And, yes, I did love it, and I can’t wait to go back to visit, but in my heart of hearts, for me, I still think London is better. The transport is better (sorry the subway but the tube kicks yo’ ass), there’s more space, it’s quirkier, it’s a better shape (handily shaped like a COMPASS!), it’s CHEAPER BELIEVE IT OR NOT (even though it doesn’t feel like it when you’re handing over a fiver for a pint, srsly London babe that HAS TO END), and I like that when you look up it’s easy to see the sky. I’d be MORE than happy to have a filthy fling with New York, but it looks like London has my hand in holy matrimony for good.
Now, to try and remember that as I elbow my way onto the Northern Line during rush hour. MMMM OTHER PEOPLE’S SWEAT.