All I remember about the first time I went to New York is a photo of me at the Plaza Hotel with bags of toys from FAO Schwartz, my mom doing her best to spoil her only child rotten. The second time was one of the most memorable nights of my life.
It was New Year’s 2005, and I went to visit Nikki, the girl I lost my virginity to.
– Come visit me. You won’t regret it; New York is crazy.
Nikki was a Beverly Hills High graduate living in a small apartment with three other people on something like 88th, in between 1st and 2nd. But not Upper East Side. So maybe it was 90th. It was definitely a shithole.
– I have to work tonight, she said. She was a bartender with a few part time gigs. This evening’s job was at one of those places that charges $100 for all you can drink and is littered with tourists and Ivy League jackasses. I was the best dressed guy in there by a landslide, and I was probably still wearing Von Dutch hats and Lucky Brand jeans. I think we were in Chinatown, or maybe LES or East Village...it was definitely SoHo adjacent.
– Scott, this is the best night of my life!
– I’ve been outside with that lady who was flirting with me. She’s a lesbian. We just made out for like 30 minutes. What was a 35-year-old woman doing making out with a 20-year-old boy who drank too much whiskey? She must have come to that realization, because all of a sudden she had a 7AM flight back to whatever planet she came from.
– Scott, Let’s go eat! I pulled him off his usual hot girl’s ugly friend.
– Fuck you, I’ve got this chick in the bag. We were no better than the Ivy League jackasses after all. I got a hold of him and we were gone. I remember walking by two Mets fans on the street and yelling at them.
– Hey! The Yankees signed Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez today.
– Fuck off, is that true? It was half true...the Yankees did get The Big Unit, but Pedro went to the Mets. – Yep, damn Yankees buying their way to another championship.
– Fuckin’ bullshit. Steinbrenner’s a piece of shit. Why was I even talking to these strangers? We ducked into a late night eatery but got kicked out pretty quickly.
– Toss this salad! I remember Scott saying that and a bunch of lettuce flying across the room.
– Speaking of tossed salad, Nikki’s calling. Must have been 3AM because she wanted us to come pick her up. I woke up the next morning fully clothed in the same bed with my two friends and the same Thievery Corporation song playing over and over.
– Somebody shut that off.
– Can’t move.
The third time I went to New York I couldn’t get in anywhere. It was 2008. I had significantly improved my style. I was told to go to this place named Sway. They played Morrissey songs all night and a bunch of cool kids sat around acting too cool, but apparently they knew everything and everyone.
– You just let that guy in before me.
– He comes here all the time.
– He’s fucking wearing Asics. I left. I met my friend Jon at the Box but we couldn’t get in. Jon blamed it on me. He said the girl I was with had dragon breath. So I spent the rest of the trip eating. And that’s when I fell in love with food. And it’s pretty much the only thing I care about every time I go back to New York.