Thursday, November 18, 2010

Empire State of Mind...Or Not?

It's official--I am FINALLY no longer a New York City virgin. I just got home from my first trip to the Big Apple...minus the one I took when I was like 8 with my parents, but does that really even count since I can't remember much?

What with this being a work trip, I didn't get to venture to as many parts of Manhattan as I would have liked, but I definitely brought home a few stories and an awesome bruise on my right thigh as souvenirs.

My hotel was just about a half block off of Times Square, so there was plenty to see and do in a very small area. My first experience of the square happened just after the sun had gone down on Saturday night. Now, I am not an easily overwhelmed person and I can generally handle new situations without looking like a lost and confused puppy. But when I stepped onto Times Square at 5:30pm on Saturday night, I was in complete sensory overload. The throngs of people were crushing, loud, and fast. It was basically a sea of faces, none of which I had time to register in my head. Add that to the flashing lights coming from every angle, and random street vendors trying to get your attention ("You like comedy? Miss! Miss! You should come to our show!"), and I couldn't keep my focus to save my life. (Nevermind the nasty head cold I was fighting...that certainly didn't help with the fog in my head.)

Mind you, at this point in time, it's just me and a friend. (Yes, just a friend. I have lots of them.) My friend is familiar with the city, and decided that he would show me around a bit. We had dinner reservations at 7:30, but I was hungry and so we stopped in some little pub for a drink and an appetizer.

Fast forward through dinner, and this is where the catastrophe happens. After dinner, we decided to check out the square a bit more and came across a dueling piano bar. It was on a side street, and to get to the bar, you had to manuever down a flight of dark stairs into a basement. Here's your equation:

New Heels + Rubber-Coated Stairs



Yes, my right heel slipped out of my shoe, caught my stiletto on the corner of a rubber freakin' step, and I tumbled down about 4 stairs. I imagine I looked a bit like a rag doll as I flopped my way down--not nearly as graceful as a slinkly would have executed it's descent. The contents of my purse went flying and it took me a good couple of minutes to get up and shake it off. My reward was the giant bruise on my right thigh. (It's now varying shades of purple and red. Fancy.)


If you aren't snorting coffee out your nose by now, then you must be dead inside. Ha!

Night One in NYC: Big Apple-1, Me-0.

The rest of the trip was basically without incident. I was working a trade show (yes, I was sober and on my A-game for the working portion of the trip), and it went quite well. I did manage to squeeze in a little more fun on Monday night, as I was off on Tuesday and didn't fly home until later in the evening.

On Monday at the show, our neighbors across the aisle at the Samsung booth finally introduced themselves, and I found myself invited to their VIP customer party that evening. As I was already planning to meet up with the Mistress of NYC, I thought that an open-bar party would be a decent way to kick off our evening. We headed to the Time Warner Shops (way cool building, by the way), and met up with my new friends from Samsung. The bartenders had a heavy hand, which made watching the 3D televisions even more fun.

After the party, we caught the subway (being the big city girl that I am) and headed down to the West Village for a cabaret show. It. Was. Awesome. The guys on stage were so incredibley talented! And did I mention that another of my new friends from the show joined us? A tall, dark, and handsome fellow from Chicago who approached me at the booth, pretending to have a question about the products, but who really just wanted to ask for my number. Smooth.

Our evening progressed to a rooftop bar in the village, which had some pretty awesome views of the city, then finally back towards the square. The evening concluded at a dive bar where the guy whose booth we stole immediately began puking on the floor. Keep it classy, NYC.

My final assessment of the big city is that I was not as enamored by it as many people seem to be. I was very happy to get back to Cincinnati and to sleep in my own bed with my dogs. I've been to a lot of cities throughout the country, and I can definitely say that New York is not (yet) on my list of places I would move. Maybe next time I'll get to see more of the neighborhoods and my mind will be changed.

But for now, I'll keep my shenanigans in Cincinnati, thankyouverymuch.

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