Friday night I joined Aaron and Justin for dinner with their friend Andrew. We ate somewhere in Chelsea, a sort-of Italian restaurant that served pizza and tapas-style food with salads. We drank some wine. We chatted. All very lovely, sitting out on the sidewalk on a really nice evening.
After dinner, Aaron, Justin and I went to a bar nearby called Barracuda, had a few drinks, and then Albert and other Andrew arrived. They’d landed in New York a few hours before, after flying in from Chicago. We caught up, chatted and then Aaron, Justin and I continued on to a piano bar called Marie’s Crisis.
We queued to get into this small piano bar that was packed with people singing show-tunes. Everybody (well, nearly everybody) was singing at the top of the lungs songs from Sound of Music, Chicago, Little Mermaid (I kid you not) and Annie, as well as a few others I didn’t know. I was already merry enough to join in the singing. I met a producer and an agent who were standing nearby. Talked to them for a while before they left and the singing continued on. It was so much fun and definitely on the list of things to do if/when we come back.
From there we went to a lesbian bar in the West Village, the name of which I can’t recall. I chatted to a Canadian woman called Helen who’s living in New York. We talked about politics and health care and a few other things. She was fun. But by 2am it was time to call it a night. We stumbled home. I’d drunk way too much.
The next morning I did not feel so pretty. I managed to get out of bed though, get showered and dressed and head uptown to meet Andrew and Albert for brunch. We wandered downtown for a while, went to Cinema Bar and Cafe (or Cafe and Bar, whichever), had an ok breakfast/brunch, and then walked all the way down East Village, then cut through Soho and across to Chelsea.
We did have potential plans to go to the Met Museum but a) it was a beautiful day outside (even if it did rain a bit in the afternoon) and b) my brain was not at all in the mood for walking around a museum.
We had a quick look through Chelsea Market but by that stage I was pretty much dead on my feet and the crowds in the market were getting to me. We went to a restaurant near Aaron’s, had a bit of a snack and then went our separate ways. I had a bit of a lie-down, which helped recharge me a little for the rest of the evening.
I was due to meet Albert and Andrew in Hell’s Kitchen at 8:30 so we could find some good Thai food to eat. I walked along the Chelsea Highline to its end, a beautiful sunset off to my left and people happily enjoying the warm evening and the natural beauty on the highline. It was a bit of a shock to get to the end and have to walk along busy streets once more.
After meeting at the rendezvous point, we found a cool looking Thai place called VIV and were lucky to get a table straightaway. Thai food in Toronto, we have found, is a disappointment. It’s gluggy, lacking in flavour, and generally a disappointment. That’s Toronto though. VIV was excellent. We ordered some starters (dumplings and krapuffs and roti) and then some mains. We had duck, which was excellent, a chicken cashew stir-fry bursting with flavour, and a delicious pineapple fried rice. We were stuffed by the end of it and completely satisfied.
We had considered going to a nightclub afterwards but, thankfully, Andrew had left his ID in their hotel and you can’t really get in anywhere without ID, even if you don’t look under 25. So we walked back across Manhattan to their hotel, which was actually quite nice as we cut through the park in front of the public library (Bradford Park maybe?). It was all lit up like the MCG, people having fun on the lawn, dancing going on in the library, a fountain…a really nice discovery.
By the time we got to their hotel, however, I was done. Andrew was done. And so was Albert. So we called it a night. I collected the three tins of Milo, three jars of Vegemite, and three jars of Golden Syrup Albert had bought me and lugged halfway across the globe, and then climbed in a taxi to head back to Aaron’s. Blessed sleep followed soon after.