New York Newbie
Anytime you bring a set of fresh eyes into a new circumstance it is actually as if you yourself are experiencing something new all over again. A coworker turned good friend came to visit this past weekend and had never been to the big apple before (enter gasp). My agenda was to hit all the major must do areas and while we covered a couple of basics, it was the adventurous side of me that decided to give Nikki a “Hell Why Not?” experience for her first visit. So we winged it on the train, (I have to admit I really was not sure if we were getting on the right train, thank goodness that worked out for street cred purposes) got off at DeLancey street and stumbled upon Los Feliz, a taqueria and tequileria on Ludlow and tried some rather unique cuisines before the final mission.
We began with a “Everyone loves a Ginger” margarita followed by fresh ceviche, a butternut squash quesidilla topped with caviar and finished with crocodile and pork belly and octopus tacos. All to die for and perfect for a pleasant anecdote to back up the “Hell, Why Not?” experience I was shooting for.
After having a wonderful dinner and roller coaster ride for our tastebuds, it was time. Time to go through the sketchy red door that would lead to what I hoped would be a nice surprise for Nikki and an experience that lived up to the stories that I had heard of the place. The place, Menhanata’s, a Bulgarian bar, featured hookah, swings as seats and the reason for our journey, an ice cage. An ice cage where you must put on a uniform with your choice of heavy jacket and headwear and then use a ice shot glass to take six shots in two minutes of vodkas from around the world. Let me preface the pictures by saying, we weren’t falling down drunk and this isn’t binge drinking, its just one of those stories that you tell your out of town friends and they all give you that expression of surprise because New York City is as crazy as they thought it to be.
So there it was, a Friday night of “we just happened to do this” moments followed by a stroll through times square, a weekend of drinks around the city and the viewing of our hometown football team at one of my favorite bars. She even got to experience the worst of what NYC has to offer, that is New York City traffic. Until next time.