Of speakeasy burlesques and chocolate chip cookies in New York

There’s not much I can say about New York City that hasn’t already been said. The randomness of that whole week seems like a different time now that I’m in Greece, huddled inside my cave on Santorini. And although New York City shouldn’t continue to bewilder the crap out of me, it does.

The din of humanity. It’s deafening.

New York City

My first few days in NYC were slow; I picked up a big contract before I left Newfoundland and it consumed my week. I left the apartment at noon on Saturday with Adam to join Katka for brunch and (unlimited) mimosas at Epstein’s in the Lower East Side, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t been outside in daylight since Tuesday.

I’d like to say this is unusual in the life of a self-employed person. I’d LIKE to.

No matter the amount of time I spend in NYC, I can’t adjust to the madness. But I love the anonymity, and often think about living there. There are always moments when I wonder, could I? It’s the epicenter of the universe. It’s a familiar word on everyone’s tongue when you’re outside the city, and when you’re in it the world outside is gone.

And then people always ask, “Would you move to New York City?” It’s like a measurable question, something to consider about my personality.Not in a vindictive way, just for curiosity’s sake.

Could I?

In truth, my favourite nights were spent on the futon with Adam, watching Girls or Summer Heights High, eating warm chocolate chip cookies and Reeses Pieces until my stomach churned.

Maybe I’ve lost my edge.

I went for a mani/pedi on Sunday morning from Bloomies, around the corner. I soaked my feet and massaged my back and allowed Neeta the aesthetician to paint my toes and fingernails a summery shade of red. She slapped my pale calves comically, giggling when I giggled.


New York is a personality. It’s like god said, “Where can I put all the quirkiest people on earth?” So he threw them on Manhattan until Manhattan wasn’t big enough to contain them all. That’s my take on history, yes. God.

Adam and I went to Milk and Cookies in Chelsea after my mani/pedi. Before I even placed my order the young girl at the counter asked, “What’s your sign?” I didn’t know how to respond at first. I didn’t know what it had to do with cookies. “I’m a Cancer,” I said.

She poured me a hot chocolate and handed it to me. “Oh, I put skim milk in it, is that okay?”


“I thought so, you better than that.”

Then she proceeded to pump water into Adam’s teacup. “I feel like I’m in Africa trying to get water from the well.” Then she made some indiscernible comments about Jay-Z and watermelon seeds.

A few minutes later, a lady in green rain boots wandered into the store talking about a homeless Japanese man living out of his car. She spent a good 20 minutes telling the girl about this guy’s situation, while the girl made clucks of concern. “I hate hearing that,” she said. “I’ll go find him.” The plan was to deliver leftover cookies.

Don’t know if she did.


It’s no wonder that Humans of New York does so insanely well on Facebook and in the media. You could figuratively never get through all the personalities in Manhattan alone.

Somehow later that night I ended up at a speakeasy around the corner from Adam’s place. I met with a few bloggers, one of whom had a surprise for the group. We downed some pints and went to a coffee shop, where Stephen gave his name and reservation to the big burly bouncer at the door. We were ushered inside and to a private table, me only fleetingly catching sight of black-vested bartenders flipping martini shakers and long-gowned women crowding the entrance.

We settled into a booth and ordered some drinks from the pretty waitress. The black and silver wallpaper reminded me of the 20s, and it finally dawned on me.

“Are we in a speakeasy?”


Only in New York could my day start with a mani/pedi in a cheap salon and end at a speakeasy burlesque show with a stunning black woman shaking her feathers in my face.


Could I live in New York? Yes, the answer is yes.

  • February 19 2014

    Where is this speakeasy? Actually Im just going to PM you that question. Im in NY March 7-10 and love burlesque (and may possibly dance/photo it in Vegas….)

  • February 19 2014

    Isn’t it one of the most interesting places? I love New York, I was reminded of that again when I went home last month. I was there around Christmas and it was perfect. I could definitely live there, but being from nearby, I always think it’ll be there for me. One day…

    • February 28 2014

      It’s just such an anomaly. It has SUCH a character. I mean, how often do you hear someone saying they hate living in NYC? So rarely.

  • February 19 2014

    i’ve lived in NY basically my whole life, and still everyday I found something surprising about it! It’s really a unique city!

  • February 19 2014

    She’s a naughty girl with bad habit…

  • February 19 2014

    Gah this just make me want to go back to New York again.

    • February 28 2014

      I need to make a point of getting there every year. Worth it.

  • February 19 2014
    Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    Loved this post but I got distracted after you mentioned Summer Heights High! God, I love that show. Oh and you totally got your edge back after going to that speakeasy so no worries. Looking forward to your posts from Greece!

    Happy travels :)

    • February 28 2014

      OMG! How long did you have the musical song stuck in your head?! Haha. She’s a naughty girl with a bad habit…

  • February 20 2014
    Jackie D

    When I was younger I always thought I wanted to move to New York, and I still do love it as a city, but I’m not sure I want to live there now. I like what you said about it being an issue of “personality” — I think my personality is much more suited to the awesome Greek caves where you’re hanging out now.

    • February 28 2014

      Lol, agreed. I love the slow paced Island life. Things don’t work efficiently here, and that’s okay.

  • February 23 2014

    I’ve never been to New York, but this post kinda makes me want to go there. Or maybe I just want cookies, I’m not sure.

  • February 23 2014
    Britany Robinson

    I’ve lived in a handful of different cities and New York is by far the most challenging and the most rewarding. Sometimes I’m standing on the subway during rush hour, pressed against the sweaty body of a stranger, unable to move my arms or breathe, and think, why the Hell do I do this to myself?? And then other times I’m walking down the street and look around me and can’t believe how lucky I am to live in this city.

    It’s a bummer we couldn’t meet up while you were here, but that’s how plans go in this crazy place. Next time, we’ll make it happen! Glad to hear you had a great time!

    • February 28 2014

      YES! I remember when I figured out how the subway system…I was over the moon, haha. And ditto. We were SO close, lol. But I was likely too intoxicated to be wandering around the LES alone…

  • February 24 2014
    Ana Cláudia Gusso

    Oh New York! Love it to pieces!

  • February 26 2014

    Ahh I want to go to a speakeasy! That’s awesome! Being in Philly, my husband and I go to NYC quite often and I feel like it’s just never enough. I can’t absorb all the things I need to absorb. I can imagine even living there you’d feel this way. Always something new to discover or someone else unlike anybody you’ve ever met!

    • February 28 2014

      Seriously! No wonder move here and never leave. Haha.

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