New York City.
After our transatlantic flights we were thrust into the buzzing metropolis of Manhattan and rushed to meet local and foreign friends for our road trip Kick Off Party at Berry Park rooftop bar in Brooklyn. Once there, it was a blur of fireball shots and mason jars with huckleberry lemonade and vodka. The level of positivity and excitement that was then fostered with those old and new friends could power another Apollo mission to the moon and back. It was amazing to feel that support, to hear all those stories and misadventures and all to the backdrop of a stunning Gotham-esque skyline.
If any place on this planet truly were to live up to its name, it is New York. In fact, it lives up to all it names:
“The Big Apple” – No city we’ve encountered has ever offered itself on such a glimmering stainless steel platter like Manhattan. Ready to be bitten and devoured by its guest, it is the shiniest and most perfect of apples; like a great, red, genetically modified Macintosh that a prepubescent student with a crush brings to class for his teacher. In fact, it also resembles another kind of Macintosh that a student might bring to class. Even though the title outdates the invention of the computer, you can’t help but make the association of this city to a massive circuit board pulsing energy and electricity in endless circles. Like a Macbook Pro, designed by the gods, and entrusted to the minds of us mere mortals.
“The City That Never Sleeps”- undoubtedly. If it weren’t for our badgering jet lag we could have continued to explore and discover the city with no end. Shows, casinos, performers, parties, museums, cinemas, restaurants – I mean Skyler was able to munch on a grilled ham and cheese croissant at 2 am. Success and satisfaction don’t even come close to describing how that feels.
Lastly, and most importantly, New York City quintessentially epitomizes the concept and purpose of a “CITY.” Loud, crowded, loud, constantly in motion and constantly changing and constantly loud. It is all about business and creating connections, everything is on the go: coffee on the go, cigarette on the go, phone call on the go, nap on the go, eat on the go. Where friendly smiles and blind trust are exchanged in small towns, f#ck you and immediate skepticism are common place interaction in NYC. So is the ever-present smell of urine.
But it’s worth it all.
The next day we spent wandering the city from 7 am (damn jet lag) to 8pm, tasting the most diverse array of cuisines you can imagine. From One Lucky Duck‘s famous smoothies (everyone loves a “spanking”) for breakfast to DEEP FRIED OREOS and Belgian fries (with an accompanying full container of mayonnaise. Ugh) to local staples from Ray’s Candy Store for lunch. We could feel our arteries clogging up with every sinfully delicious bite. Finally, dinner was at the quirky and inviting Satsko sake bar. Some Korean BBQ, delectable Espresso Stout Beer, and an eclectic and endlessly interesting mix of patrons made this place absolutely unique. Every bite was awesome. Try to go if you’re ever in town. Say hi to Billy, behind the bar for us and keep a look out for Chloe, the cute, over-grooming African Grey Parrot who is also a regular.
Aaaah New York, New York: the city so nice, they had to name it twice.
Photos by Skyler Greene