Tag Archives: bars

Not new, but new to me!

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One cool thing about getting older is that things I’d have been blasé about in my twenties

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…are instead fresh and exciting to me now. Case in point: new (to me!) bars and restaurants.

I had a date recently* and we had drinks first at Back Room and then at Apothéke.

The Back Room has been open since 2005 and yet still: NEW TO ME. Good enough. One of the bartenders there is hilariously obsessed with this Mew song. He played it repeatedly until the DJ took control.

While I didn’t like Back Room’s sidecar as much as Palena‘s, it was good. Then again, Palena’s sidecars are my gold standard.

Our second stopApothéke, is located in the heart of Chinatown. The real Chinatown as opposed to the blocks that have encroached upon Little Italy. Tiny Doyers Street, off lower Bowery, could easily have been an alley in Barcelona (if not, of course, for the Chinese signs everywhere).

Via YourLittleBlackBook.me

At this point in my drinking night, I found Apothéke’s cocktail menu overwhelming and went with a classic Manhattan. It was tasty, but did not feature the delicious cherries it would at Bowery Hotel. I missed them. Boo.

How was your weekend?

*More on him if he either becomes my boyfriend OR does something really horrible/hilarious that must be recounted here.
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Twentysomething mistakes

I love this roundup by Paper Magazine. Women including the brash, hilarious Jenny Johnson talked about mistakes they’d made during those formative young adult years.

I regret nothing so much.

Many days I feel like comedian Tig Notaro. Via Paper:

“Honestly, I can’t think of a single regret that I have. Every horrible decision that I possibly should regret in life lead me to where I am today. It’s difficult to feel anything but pretty great.”

But plenty of other days, I think:

I regret sometimes living beyond my means, including fighting to have my own apartment in Manhattan when I truly couldn’t afford it.

I wish I had taken more risks with regard to my career when the stakes were very low.

I regret not traveling more.

20s Collage

I used to think I might regret my wilder days, even as they were happening. Nope. Not one bit. Those times lasted just the right number of years and ended without [major] incident. And I have some great stories to tell.

Do you have any twentysomething regrets you’re willing to share?

 

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Juxtaposition

The Meatpacking District of my early twenties was very different than it is now. There was no Standard Hotel and the High Line was nothing but an abandoned elevated subway track. It smelled bad.

By day, the neighborhood bustled with the meat processing businesses that gave the area its name. It was a place of big trucks and burly, gruff men and sometimes, blood on sidewalks. By night, it was a darker place, both literally and figuratively. There were shadowy bars to drink in and hookers, plenty of them transvestites, lingering on sidewalks.

You can see photos of the Meatpacking District of that era here.

Back then, Hogs & Heifers was my go-to spot. I damn loved that bar and was thrilled each time I persuaded a friend to go there with me for her first visit. Each time the bouncer waved me past the line outside, I felt like a celebrity.

Inside, my friends and I drank cheap beer and threw back shots of whatever alcohol was put in our hands without worrying about roofies or worse. Every chance I got, I danced on the bar, full of drunken confidence and a fervent desire to shed the Girl From Scranton awkwardness I bore each day at my entry-level corporate job.

I felt cool for hanging out there, but realize now that to denizens of the neighborhood, my presence already signaled the beginning of the end. Gentrification had arrived.

H&H is still open. It just has different neighbors than it did during the mid-Nineties. Fancier neighbors.

I didn’t go inside the bar on the day I took this photo, knowing what I most wanted to find wouldn’t be there.

Time marches on, and so did I.