As much as I love Binghamton, I did not want to stay in town for my birthday weekend. I just felt like for my birthday I should do what I do best and what I love to do most, which is going on an adventure. At first I wanted to go to 1000 islands but my two friends had to work this weekend so I decided to postpone that to August. Then I made some tentative plans with someone else that ended up falling through as well. At that point it was already around 2pm on Saturday and I could’ve called it quits and went out with the girls in town instead but no! I must go out of town!
So I decided that it was time for me to go back to the city. Unfortunately, it was way too late for me to get tickets to a Broadway show, even if I tried to get those day-of tickets, so I had to scratch that off the list of possible things to do. But I mean, come on, it’s the city so I was sure there was plenty for me to do. I hit up my three friends as soon as I made the decision then went on ultra-planning mode. Find hotel. Check. Pack clothes. Check. Give kitties food and water. Check. Eat to avoid the hangry monster. Check.
Fortunately, one of my friends happened to be free that night so we decided to meet up for dinner around 9:30pm. Had that been Binghamton, I would’ve been worried about restaurants being closed by then but this is the city that never sleeps so no worries there.
Since I was staying at a hotel close to Chinatown and Little Italy I asked him to pick a restaurant around there. I knew I was going to be close to Chinatown but I didn’t realize I would be smack in the middle of it. I mean, even my hotel name had Chinese characters under it!
I may have been in the shady part of Chinatown, I don’t really know, but I absolutely loved it! Even as I sprinted towards my hotel (since I was running late) I couldn’t help but notice just how alive the city seemed. It is so, so different from upstate New York! The people there are so diverse, not just in ethnicity but in how they dressed, how they talked, and there was honking, impatient people crossing the street when they weren’t supposed to, cops yelling at folks, loud noises, smelly trash out on the street…damn, it felt so good to be in the city. It was absolutely what I needed this weekend.
Another amazing thing about New York is how compact it is. One minute I was sprinting in Chinatown with Chinese characters on all the stores and the next thing I knew I was in Little Italy. Gotta love it.
My friend picked an Italian restaurant called Peasant and O.M.G. the food and wine was to die for! We ordered a bottle of white wine and had an asparagus appetizer to start with. Then I got the black risotto while he had lamb. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of the food but it was seriously the most delicious risotto I’ve ever had! I’m not a huge fan of squid but the black risotto was just so flavorful. So much so that after dinner apparently my lips showed the evidence of my delight.
I did not leave room for dessert. I know. How could I?
I’m not really a dessert person, plus they didn’t have creme brulee so I decided to pass.
My friend and I were talking about Speakeasy bars and since I have never been, he offered to take me to one. A Speakeasy bar back in the day was a place that illegally sold alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era. Now it’s a bar that has some type of front that makes it seem like it is something else and sometimes requires a password to get in. He was telling me about this one Speakeasy bar in SF that looked like a house and to get to the bar you had to open this armoire looking thing, put clothes to the side, then part the curtains. The one we had to didn’t have as much of a front as that one but you still wouldn’t know it was a bar just by looking at it.
He had to wake up early the next morning so we parted ways pretty early (early being 1:40 am) and since I was, shall we say, “happy,” I didn’t want to go straight to bed. So I “happy” texted some friends and called one of them.
ME TO 2 FRIENDS IN GROUP TEXT: Group “happy” text heeeeeyy
ME TO MY NY BFF: Figured you’ve been my friend long enough for me to do this… “happy” text heeeeeyyyy lol
PHONE CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND: I’m feeling “happy” right now heeeeyyy!
The next morning I decided to get breakfast at Friedman’s then do the tourtisty thing and go to the Empire State Building. I was worried that the wait was going to be long but the cool thing about eating alone is that there usually isn’t a wait. I got seated as soon as I got there. I also met someone else who was eating breakfast alone and we chatted as we ate our breakfasts. I like this pattern of meeting people every time I go to the city. 🙂
After breakfast I came across this food market. How cool is this?
Once I got to the Empire State Building I mentally prepared myself for a long line but it was all for naught. It must’ve been my lucky day because there wasn’t much of a line at all!
The view from the top was amazing. I’ll have to come back during the night because I bet with the lights it would look even better. It is a different kind of view from what I see in upstate New York but it was beautiful nonetheless.
The drive home wasn’t as bad as last time but I did get caught up in a storm (I think). I could barely see through my windshield and I also learned something new. Did you know that when it’s raining really hard you’re supposed to put your hazard lights on? Well, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to but that’s what the other drivers did and it helped me not crash into them so I did the same. I was really nervous that this was going to turn into another “adventure” like last time, especially since my cell phone was at 2% battery and the USB charger wasn’t working. I wasn’t sure what I would have done if I ended up stuck on the road and couldn’t get out. Then again, I also have Monstrosity now so maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Thankfully, I was able to get home without incident. Makes for a boring story but I will take it!
Now I’m back to Binghamton with its open space and friendly people. Time to walk slower and put the smile back on my face. Till next time, NYC!