|The Meatball Shop, 3:55am on a Friday morning.|
1. Eat at The Meatball Shop. It’s possibly the most fun dining experience I’ve ever had, for the simple reason that they give you a bunch of markers, you get to draw on your menu, then your fellow diners, and then your waiter (but only if he or she is in a particularly good mood). I’d recommend ordering the classic beef meatballs with mushroom gravy on top of mashed potato, with a peanut butter cookie/chocolate ice cream sandwich for desert. And the best bit? They stay open till 4:00am.
2. Walk the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan – if you, like me, are terrified of heights, then it’s the best aerial-ish view of the city you’ll get without having to stand on the balcony of an insanely tall building.
3. Go to Cafe Gitane and order the avocado on toast with lemon juice and chili, and while you’re in there, try and steal one of the bartender’s blue canvas worker jackets. Both are amazing.
4. Check out the offering at C’H’C’M‘ and geek out with the store’s absurdly knowledgeable (but not in the least bit pretentious) owner Sweetu Patel. Brands carried include Ovadia & Sons, The Hill-Side, Drakes, Levi’s Made and Crafted, Monitaly and Sunspel. It’s my favourite store in New York City.
5. Sing karaoke at The Woods on a Tuesday night. I’m always there and I’m always looking for someone to be the Mariah Carey to my Boyz II Men. Any takers?
6. Eat the chicken quesadilla or the pulled pork sandwich at Cafe Habana. It’s one block away from Cafe Gitane in Nolita and it is the best. Movie trivia bonus: Mila Kunis’ character takes Justin Timberlake’s character there when he first arrives in town in the film Friends with Benefits.
7. Walk the Highline with a date. Hold hands. Marvel at the serenity just metres above the busy streets, and at the avenues stretching out all the way to the horizon. Kiss for a while. This is particularly good at sunset, as the sun’s going down over the Hudson River.
8. Since you’re already in the neighbourhood, go to The Standard Hotel for dinner, then up to the Boom Boom Room for a nightcap. Drink lots of fluids. Go to the toilet. Marvel at the floor-to-ceiling glass walls as you’re using the facilities (boys, I recommend you pee sitting down so as to maximise the view).
9. Order five dollar chicken over rice from one of the fifty thousand billion Halal food trailers on street corners everywhere. It’s cheap, it tastes better than anything and it’ll keep you going for hours.
10. Go to MOMA and spend your entire visit on one floor (I’d recommend the level with all the 19th century paintings). Don’t try and see everything, you’ll end up seeing nothing. Sit in front of Monet’s 10 metre wide Waterlilies triptych and contemplate the universe. It’s a good time.
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