Remember what I said about winter, and sinking into hibernation? About how eventually the strain of resisting social interaction becomes too much and my sociality explodes over Manhattan like a bottle of champagne? Case-in-point: last Friday night. I was SO EXCITED to get out of the office, I practically ran across town to get to Industry Bar to order my (essentially) $4 tanq & tonic. (I actually took the subway – which of course crawled at a caterpillar’s pace. Quite painful.) I can’t really put my finger on the exact reason, but I did pause a moment (drink in hand) to think whether or not my extreme joy at simply having this drink in my hand made me — can I say it? — a true New Yorker?
That thought didn’t last long as the cute bartender — sipping his 5-hour energy bottle — distracted me long enough to strike up a silly conversation until one of my absolute favorite people in the world arrived.
I know — I tend to say that everyone is one of my favorite people. And I always mean it. But EJY really truly is — how shall I put it? — one of the (few) most absolutely fantabulous citizens of this glittering city I have ever met. He is, if it’s possible, more of a social butterfly than I am and he’s probably sick of hearing me say that. But it’s true. Everyone loves him, and I love him for it.
In any case EJY finally arrived and the night began. It started at Industry Bar, where we finished out happy hour (2 for 1 drinks until 9:00) while we waited for our equally fantastic friend Amsterdam to join us. While 3 hours of drinking on an empty stomach can be fun, it is a recipe for disaster when your intentions lie in painting the town red, so EJY, Amsterdam and I went in search of some eats. We hopped up a couple of blocks and sauntered down a few avenues to Má Pêche — the David Chang installation in the Chambers Hotel. 56th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues made for a little bit of a hike from 52nd between 8th & 9th, but in good company miles are covered in minutes.
To be honest, I was a little tipsy at this point, but I remember feeling slightly under-dressed in my argyle sweater, my Carhaart canvas jacket and my black Fairchild tote bag in hand. Shoes? My trusty chucks. Hm. I almost felt like that out-of-place tourist that unwittingly stumbles into the Fifth Avenue Fendi flagship and asks where Build-A-Bear is. I must have mumbled something about argyle & chucks, because EJY threw me a sidelong glance and said Whatever boo, we got this. We’re New Yorkers too. So I shrugged off my discomfort and we sat at the bar and ordered a few appetizers to share. The steamed broccoli with red miso, seaweed, and a divine tahini caught my eye. Amsterdam and EJY selected the summer rolls (stuffed with pork/shrimp/tofu, lettuce, daikon, and served w/a peanut sauce), and the beef tartare (blended with soy, scallions and mint). All beautifully presented, and all fairly delicious, though I kept picking at the tartare in hopes that I would at some point glean a little more flavor from the beaming little red scraps.
Because of the menus prices, we kept our order to the appetizers, which brought the bill to about $40 (before tax & tip). I excused myself to the men’s room after I left my card for payment, and came back to find EJY had tipped and signed for me. Anyone else would have tasted my wrath but after the happy hour and the mostly pleasant experience at Má Pêche, I decided it was a fabulous time-saver and we rolled up the stairs and out into the waiting night.
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