Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(How sad is it that I had to separate the posts for Day Two?! HA!)

After I stuffed myself with cupcakes, I went out to look for Gina. She had ran into a bar to meet Laya, who was seated with a beer. Of course, I found them, and joined in. Carrie and Aydee stayed behind at Buttercup to wait for our other friend who was in town, Donn. So there we were sitting at P. D. O'Hurley's (174 W 72nd St., b/t Amsterdam & Columbus), an Irish pub with a real Irish bar tendress!

After a while, Donn finally arrived at Buttercup, and the three of them walked over to O'Hurley's. We all got re-aquainted, and another round of drinks came. Aydee and Donn decided to swoop-in next door at Grey's Papaya (2090 Broadway, b/w W 71st/Amsterdam & W 72nd) since Ay had never been. Next thing you know, we were on to round 3 at the bar. Knowing that we had a list of things to do still, I closed out the tab, and then we were off. Laya wanted to take us to a special "cookie" place that had been featured on The Food Network. We crossed Broadway, and headed towards W 74th. She took us to a tiny doorway to Levain Bakery (167 W 74th, UWS b/t Amsterdam & Columbus), a little shop that serves specialty cookies.

The shop's sign above the stairway

Going down the stairs into the tiny shop

The most amazing cookies EVER!

After the quick cookie-run, we walked toward Midtown. But first, Gina, Laya and I made a quick stop back at O'Hurley's to use the bathroom... AND to grab a shot. We drunk-walked towards Midtown, and I stopped in at a shoe store which Laya spoke highly of. Not even 5 minutes later, I walked out of the store with a new pair of boots, to which the gang applauded and called me "sucka!" Whatever. We finally reach a train station, and hopped on the next one headed to 42nd St.

We ascended from the station below onto the wrecklessly busy streets of Time Square. The alcohol plus the growing crowds, and the deafening sounds of car horns and chatter were making me ill as we walked toward Donn's hotel (Hilton Garden Inn). We stopped in at his hotel lobby to use the bathroom, then we were on foot again. We walked a few streets over to a place called Say Cheese (649 9th Ave., Midtown), which Ay also wanted to try. Half of the gang sat down for a bite, while the other half of us walked into Mercury Bar (659 9th Ave., Midtown) next door.

Gina and I sat down and each ordered beers. Carrie went to find a peanut vendor. The other three (Ay, Donn and Laya) sat down for grilled cheeses next door. When Carrie came into the bar, she sat down and instantaneously I had a feeling that she would make some kind of connection with our bar-tender, Jonathan. And sho' nuff, next thing you know they're chattin' it up while me and Gina keep making faces at each other as this was all happening. When Jonathan left a drink in front of Carrie, me and Gina stopped and listened in on their conversation:

IE: What is this?

JONATHAN: What's your name?

CARRIE: Carrie.

JONATHAN: It's called the "Carrie," then.


By the time the rest of the gang arrived at the bar, Carrie had downed her drink, and Gina and I were on round 3, with a set of shots being poured out. We brought the rest of the gang up-to-speed with the Carrie/Jonathan banter, and somehow someone had blurted out that it was Carrie's birthday. It might've been Ay or Laya.

AY or LAYA: It's Carrie's birthday tonight! Give her a shot of tequila!

JONATHAN: (to Carrie) Oh, it's your birthday? I'll give you more than a shot of tequila... tonight.

Apparently, we all heard that last line, EXCEPT FOR CARRIE (of course). So in our drunken state-of-mind, we each reiterated the importance of coming back to Mercury Bar that night: so Carrie could get her swerve-on, and we could get our drink-on. There's something for everyone in NYC. Something for everyone!

We finally left, but we stopped to take a picture with a pig statue outside a place called Rudy's Bar & Grill (627 9th Ave., Midt
own). Random, I know.


Gina and I with the pig statue outside Rudy's

We finally hopped on a train back to downtown, and got to the hotel to get ready for Carrie's birthday celebration. While Gina helped Carrie finish getting ready, Ay, Laya and I headed down to the hotel bar for a round of drinks. (Oh yes.) I closed the tab once G and Carrie made it down, and then we were back on a train headed toward NoLita. The restaurant we originally planned to go to could not sit our large party (which had grown as the night progressed). So thinking quick on our feet, we ended up at a spot right across the way: La Cave des Fondus (20 Prince St., NoLita b/t Mott & Elizabeth Streets). The restaurant is located underneath another restaurant/bar, so we had to descend a stony staircase lined with tea lights. It was almost as if we were going down some dank lair where a coven of vampires awaited us (I'm not obsessed with vampires; really I'm not). At the other side of a Medieval-style iron door was a quaint dining area with a bar, furnished in the style of an old French countryside inn: stone walls and floors accented with wooden pillars, tables and chairs. The strong scent of cheese filled the air, and the chatter of those already dining meshed along with the background music. As we waited for our table, we congregated by the bar, drank more, and caught-up with old friends from college (my old college roommate Rithy, and my FCA "ading" Donna to name a couple). Once we were seated, the wait staff went right to work. We ate like the French, which basically means that we ate minimally. And at $31 a pop, it was no joke that we were still unabashedly hungry. But we were out in the name of fun, so it didn't bother us.

After dinner, we skipped
the original spot where we were supposed to grab drinks. Instead, we hopped on a train back to Midtown, and stopped in at The Cellar Bar @ The Bryant Park Hotel (40 W 40th St., Bryant Park). Laya's boyfriend, Bernard, got us in through a friend that was working at the lounge. Little did we know that the bar would turn into one of the city's hot spots at night. While the space was swank, it was crowded like no joke; seriously ANNOYINGLY so. But still, we did a round of drinks there before we decided that we should head out. We eventually found our way back to Mercury Bar (on foot), where we met up with another friend, Gwen, who had moved to the city. There, the party continued... the drinks flowed... and Jonathan did his part: he hooked us up with a couple of drinks, gave Carrie some "special" drinks, and even took a couple of pictures with her (pictures that I do NOT have). Gina and I won the award of being "the drunkest ever" that night, while Carrie slid on by.

Not realizing that we were losing an hour, and because NYC is super cool and did NOT call out "last call," we finally stumbled out around 4AM. We went to some random diner next door, which wasn't all that. Then we finally parted ways with our friend, Rithy, as he headed home to New Harlem, and we caught a cab back to the hotel.

***Photo of La Cave des Fondus from thrillist.com
***Photo of The Cellar Bar from worldsbestbars.com

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