Other New York Highlights

Now that I’ve had twenty-four hours back at home and have hugged and squeezed my kiddos until they stopped breathing for a second (don’t worry. When I let go the air returned to their lungs) I can now look back on the trip to New York and say with utter sincerity: it was fucking awesome.  

Sorry for the profanity there, but sometimes, a girl just has to use it.


This was the first trip for me and Kealoha. I felt pretty confident that we’d be okay travelling together, but you just never know. You  can love someone but as soon as your trapped in a plane, a taxi, and a hotel room with them, you can end up wanting them to spontaneously combust or something, so much so that you say “Here, have another drink!” That didn’t happen once. Not once! I actually liked having him with me. We joked that he was my support team, but it’s true. He’d get us coffee in the morning, print things I needed for the conference. When I was brain dead and couldn’t think, he took care of finding us someplace to eat. But he didn’t control anything. In fact, when I was adamant about where the subway was and he knew I was wrong, he walked with me the extra five blocks until I saw the truth for myself, and he didn’t even rub it in. Man, what a good guy.


So here are some highlights:




On our first night there (I think) we walked around Times Square (see previous post for me and an M&M). It was loud and bright and filled with people and has that peculiar energy that I’ve only experienced in New York. I don’t know what it is. It’s gritty excitement mixed with awe. We walked and walked and then found this cool Cuban restaurant. They pulled us in with their neon sign. The mojitos made us fall in love. Not with each other, we’ve already done that, but with the restaurant. The mojitos came with mint and real sugar cane. And the dinner was delicious. I sometimes feign vegetarian, but this was not the place for that, although you’d have a perfectly fine veggie dinner. No. The evening called for meat and I had me some fine picadillo. It’s a spicy meat mixture with olives. That doesn’t sound appetizing, so they call it picadillo.



The next night was St. Patrick’s Day and people were pretty much drunk on the streets by 9AM. If you wanted to hear a good New Jersey accent, this was the time. I don’t know how many times I heard people shout into a phone “Are you fuckin’ kidding me? No fuckin’ way!” Or “We’re on MacDougal street. I said we’re fuckin’ on MacFuckinDougal Street!”


I was exhausted from the conference and the last thing I wanted to do was see a play, but Kealoha had already purchased the tickets, so in we went.


“Play Dead” is sort of like visiting that creepy relative’s basement, or worse, visiting your creepy relative’s subconscious. It’s dark and cobwebby and sometimes the lights go out. You sit in total darkness and suddenly your mind kicks in and starts freaking you out. Hearing audience members scream doesn’t help either. At the same time, watching the magic on stage, hearing true ghost stories, is at once horrifying and titillating…and I think that’s good theater. Add to that the unknown of a little audience participation, and you’ve got a great night. And don’t worry. The blood washes out.



The next night we met my cousins Mike and Tessa and our friend Arnie. We ate at the Back Forty, an intimate restaurant with a lot of wood and the magic of Christmas lights. It was so warm out we sat outside in the garden area for dinner. This is where Kealoha ordered the deep fried pork jowls. With a little of the spicy jam, they weren’t bad, although Arnie was right, they were a little mushy. We had wine and fish and laughed a lot and then decided to go to this secret tiki bar Kealoha had researched.


At this point, I’ll be honest, I was a little tipsy. By the end of the night, I was just plain drunk.


The tiki bar was called The Painkiller, and it lived up to its name. It’s tucked on a dark street and the opening looks like any graffiti-ed wall, but when you go down the stairs you enter a bar that’s like a bamboo womb. Great music plays and they have an extensive menu of $16 drinks. It makes sense though. The drinks are enormous, packed with alcohol and real juice, and so good I had two. Well, that’s all I can remember having. We were joined later by New York friends Ryan and Tristan. I hope I didn’t drool.


Not drool over Ryan and Tristan, although they’re very handsome. Just drool in general. Sometimes I do that.




The final night was just me and Kealoha. We were both exhausted, so we found the closest Indian restaurant, ate until we were stuffed and then waddled back to the hotel room. He rubbed my back and I fell instantly asleep.


So my trip to New York this time wasn’t marred by needing a root canal or doing anything terribly embarrassing…


Wait. I did moon the subway. I was wearing a green and black dress, walking shoes, and a mismatched sweater. I looked like Crazy Cat Lady again. A gust of wind tore through the subway lifting my skirt over my head and showing about a dozen people my very boring, almost granny-ish pink and white bikini underwear. So there was that.


At any rate, Kealoha and I came home to cats and kids, to knowing that we could endure travelling together, and I came home feeling a little more confident that someday, somehow, somewhere, I’ll have a book published by a big publishing house. Stranger things have happened.