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When all else fails, have a martini…or two

Last weekend, my friends and I drove up the Parkway and jumped on the Staten Island Ferry to head into Brooklyn to check out my good friend Nathanael’s, (of, submission to The Sketchbook Project 2011. We figured afterwards, grab some food and drinks here and there.

Starting with the horrendous traffic crossing the Verrazano Bridge, we should’ve known that things weren’t going to go as planned. To make this long part of the story short, we never made it to the Brooklyn Art Library because of all kinds of subway detours. We rode on the subway for what seemed like forever (but was probably like an hour and a half). Anyway, we made it to Brooklyn at some point after 9PM – the library closed at 8 – and so we stood outside (like on the windiest day ever!!!) in Brooklyn waiting for a train that never seem to come so we could go back into the city to get some food – and more importantly drinks! I was still fighting a sinus infection, poor Nathanael was at the start of a cold and starting to look more miserable as the night went by, we all had to pee and we were hungry.


I shot this picture from the hip, and ended up being attracted to the sort of symmetry it has.


After some delays/detours, we decided to stop subway surfing and decided to surface at the next stop so we can find a place to eat. Chinatown! We walked around trying to figure out where we would eat – oh and a bathroom! We walked into a place that looked sufficiently filled with hungry people and looked appealing (most anything looked appealing at that point). Because the place was more suitable for takeout, we quickly ordered some delicious steamed shrimp dumplings and pork and chive fried dumplings and ate them at the counter – finally – FOOD (a status update Nathanael often places in his Google Talk – yes, our lives revolve around it). The bathroom, though interestingly decorated (as you’ll see below), was decently clean and now, I can continue in peace.

We’re still hungry – oh and we still haven’t’ gotten our drinks so…on to the next place…Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village (a favorite spot of my friend Becky). We get there at about 11PM, and the gentleman says, “Sorry, we have no tables open and we’re not seating anyone else since we stop serving at 11. You can go next door and get take out and sit there.” Really!? It’s only 11PM in New York City and you’re closing!? Ugh. I’m (we are) starving. I’m (we are) cold. I’m (we are) starting to get cranky! Oh and I still haven’t had a drink. Ok, so we grab an arepa and sit in their small take out area.

Where to now? We decide to walk a few blocks to some bar we had “yelped.” At this point, I don’t know if it was the fact that we had stood out in the cold for about 20 minutes waiting for a train, or that we walked about 7 city blocks on one of the windiest days of the winter or if the sinus infection was starting to get the best of me that evening, but I got chills up and down my entire body to the point where it hurt to continue to walk in the cold. As I’m thinking that I’m probably going to die any second, I look up and see “Simone’s, Espresso + Wine Bar.” AH! BAR! So, I stop my friends, and say “LOOK!” So we walked in and quickly got seated. We started to warm up and after we ordered our drinks and dessert, smiles started to form on our faces. The martinis we ordered were all nicely done and my cheesecake was good (yum). Nathanael and I each ordered a flight of martinis – I know he loved the Keylime Pie and I took a liking to the Ginger Lemondrop martini – enough to order another. of our favorites. My sister ordered a Passion Fruit martini and my friend Becky ordered a Lychee Martini. Mmm martinis…finally…


Chinatown restroom. I had to take a picture of the decor! Shot with my iPhone and edited with the Best Camera app


So we’re all good and happy now, so we decide it’s time to call it a night since the night has been quite rough on all of us and half of us aren’t feeling too hot. You’d think we would have gotten a break, but no…we walk to Astor Place and realize we can’t go downtown – again – arghh! So we go uptown to go downtown. We need the R train. R train never shows up – we can’t take the N or the Q because they go to Brooklyn and don’t stop at the Ferry (or so that’s what we checked on the map). So we wait…and wait. So, we navigate our way underground to the next station that will take us where we need to be. The train is departing as we arrive – err – so we wait – again. I’m feeling really bad for Nathanael now because his cold is taking a toll on him and we’re all looking beat. We stood there waiting, as construction workers buzzed, drilled and banged on the other side of the tracks. Finally, our train approaches. The doors open and we thought “YES! Finally!” Um no. The announcement that comes across the PA is “This is an express train – the next stop is…” I’m pretty sure she said Brooklyn and we with a bunch of other people heavily sighed and started to walk out of the subway. So once again, we had to find another way to our destination – which at this point was to grab a cab. So that’s we did and yes, we made it to the South Ferry station, just in time to catch the 2.30am ferry back to Jersey with a bunch of obnoxious and extremely drunk frat-like boys.

The next day, I woke up feeling pretty crappy but happy. After all that, it was a good time because I was with my awesome friends – you know it’s only with awesome friends that you can have a night go totally wrong and yet still be happy you’re all having a bad night together.

Oh, checkout Nathanael’s great sketchbook here (Nathanael, I REALLY wanted to see your sketchbook in person and on in display and I’m sorry we couldn’t make it).


After a long night, we finally got to relax and enjoy some martinis


3 responses

  1. Ahh you highlighted the two things that are universal to every visitor’s experience to NYC

    1) the search for a “clean” bathroom (hint: always go into a hotel they usually have the best facilities)

    2) navigating the subway system with all the scheule and route changes

    That bathroom was quite a piece of work.

    March 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

    • Indeed, Nicole. I am usually pretty good navigating the subway, i think we were just having one of those days. I think there’s even an app for finding clean restrooms in the city. This bathroom was actually in decent condition, despite the look.

      And yes Nathanael, those martinis were yummy. That or we just really needed anything w/vodka. Haha

      March 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

  2. You’re so right Mela. There is no way I would have had so much fun (due to the freezing cold and crappy subway, and being sick) if it weren’t for the great company. I think I finally hit my pillow at about six in the morning, but it was well worth it. Great photos of the night! Those martinis look very appealing right about now, especially since I remember how delicious they were. Yay!!!

    March 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

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