This has been an exceptionally silent week because I have been coming off a sugar high induced by four days in NYC last weekend. I ate pancakes the size of the Starship Enterprise for breakfast every morning, liberally doused in maple syrup and with a side of streaky, crunchy American bacon. NOT Canadian bacon. My sister made the mistake of ordering that on our first morning and it’s the wrong sort. The meatier sort like you get in butchers here and eating that with maple syrup is like eating steak covered in custard.
It’s exciting going to New York, isn’t it? And I’ll tell you why I get so excited going there but it’s quite a long story so bear with me.
When I was 12 and at boarding school, I had a crush on a girl in the year above me. This wasn’t a lesbian thing. More that, in the absence of any boys our age, other girls at school were used as target practice for our rampaging hormones. I liked my crush because she had nice hair and Doc Marten school shoes. Other girls picked their crushes based on things like how good they were at lacrosse or drama. Once you’d admitted to having a crush (an admission which was generally dragged out of you in the dormitory at night), you had to go up to that girl if you saw her in the corridor and say ‘Will you be my crush?’ and she, hopefully, would reply ‘yes’. Have you ever heard of anything more peculiar?
Anyway, my crush and I would swap letters by pinning them on our respective common room doors. They were mostly about Friends, which she was obsessed with so, naturally, so was I. Chandler was my crush‘s favourite character, so he became mine. I don’t think we knew about poor old Matthew Perry’s painkiller addiction back then. There are 238 episodes and I know them pretty much by heart and still, if I’m sitting on the sofa at home while writing and need some background noise, I will stick one of them on. Either that, or Man vs Food.
Point being, the first time I went to New York, 13 years ago, I was mostly excited about seeing things I’d seen in Friends, like yellow taxis, Central Park, Bloomingdales and those weird steaming holes in the middle of the roads. And the same still applies really.
There was one hiccup this time, though. It was Halloween weekend and we’d been braced that this was A Big Deal over there. My bro was in NY for Halloween last year and he insisted that we all dress up properly – me, my sister, my brother and a friend called Charlie. Wigs, facepaint, black lipstick, fake blood and so on. Then Drum decided we would go to a restaurant called Catch in the Meatpacking District, where he went last year for an ‘insane’ Halloween party they threw. Jeremy Piven (Entourage) was there, he told us solemnly.
Drum had booked a table for 6.45pm because apparently that was the only one left. ‘But honestly guys, it’ll be worth it,’ he said. So we dress up, spraying fake blood all over our Air bnb apartment, and head out. This is what we looked like:
Scary, right? And then we get to the restaurant’s reception and get into the lift to go upstairs. Ping! The lift door opens to the restaurant proper and guess what? Not a single person was in Halloween outfits. Plus, because we were eating at a time traditionally reserved for toddlers and those in old people’s homes, all the other punters were quite old.
It actually didn’t matter in the end because we drank so much we could barely see and lolled a LOT. But just a tip for you if you’re ever thinking about going to NY for Halloween (if there is still an America after next Tuesday), they tend to celebrate it on the actual 31st, instead of the closest weekend. And then they go mad and party all night and if it’s a weekday everybody just calls in sick the next day. So someone told us that night at Catch. Once she’d stopped laughing at us.
Below is a photo of us in which we are wearing fractionally less make-up and also one of me with the famous Naked Cowboy who was playing outside Trump Tower last Friday. He is obviously quite an odd chap but then he called me a ‘good-looking broad’ and I rather warmed to him.
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