I was kind of DL about it so you may not have realized that I spent all of last week on the other side of the country for some quality time in our sister city and with team GofG NYC. During my trip, I got some great insight into what NYC life in the summer is all about and furthered my studies of the region as a born and bred Los Angelite. Starting out in some hippie-dippy weekend retreat, a place called Montauk, which is literally the furthest end of the Hamptons, and figuratively the furthest thing from Beverly Hills, and then back in Manhattan proper, I had another wonderful set of New York adventures since my last trip in December. I took much away from my time on the right coast, so, without further ado, here are some more things this Angeleno learned about NYC living.
1. In Montauk, "Surf" Does Not Entail A Break or Waves
Although not NYC, I did what New Yorkers do on the weekends and went to some place called Montauk in the Hamptons over the Memorial Day Weekend where we visited a hotel called The Surf Lodge. As you may have inferred, the theme of the weekender's retreat is surf culture, with the tagline "Kooks Since 2008" printed across the spare tire covers on the hotel's fleet of trucks. As a California native, I assumed from the name that it would be located on or beside a beach, like, with waves one can surf. To my surprise, the natural body of water nestled against The Surf Lodge is actually pond, without a break. When I mentioned this to the group of New Yorkers I was with, they paused briefly, exchanged the "oy, she's from L.A." faces with each other and continued on with their conversation as I made one take a photo of me next to some driftwood (left) as proof to my friends and family I had made it to Montauk. I didn't stay long enough to find out whether any surfing actually takes place on this glorified marsh puddle, but the fact that the place has gotten away with such a flagrant misnomer since 2008 is all I needed to know.
2. It's Socially Acceptable To Eat Food Off Of Strangers' Plates
I have this friend named Josh Flagg, perhaps you've seen him on Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing"? Josh's special brand of entitlement makes him think asking strangers sitting nearby at restaurants for a bite of their food, you know, to see if maybe he'd want to order it for himself, is perfectly reasonable and appropriate. One time at Il Pastaio, he had every intention of asking the table next to us for a taste of their Penne Arrabbiata until my friend and I urged him not to and threatened we'd get up and leave if he embarrassed us like that. I mean, I was mortified that he was even considering it and thought it was a symptom of a larger issue he had. [Josh Flagg, Josh Altman photo via]
But what I discovered during my time in NYC, at one particular dinner at Minetta Tavern, was that Josh, in his infinite eccentricity, was actually onto something. As we sat down to dine at the Greenwich Village restaurant, my friend and I kind of swooned at a gorgeous souffle that had just been brought to the table beside us. The couple of perfect strangers who'd ordered the Grand Marnier souffle were raving about it and asked if we'd like to have a taste. A taste? We thanked them and politely declined their offer but they wouldn't hear of it, insisting we reach over for a bite, and told us not to "be ridiculous". Ridiculous for being uncomfortable with eating off of a stranger's plate of food in a fine dining establishment? In NYC, evidently, yes, ridiculous. [Minetta Tavern photo via]
3. Drugs Find You
Not that I'd know this firsthand, but from what I've heard, getting drugs from your dealer in L.A. is essentially a sport. Sure, there are lots of drugs and dealers in this town but arranging a transaction in advance, as opposed to one that occurs out of chance and simply being at the right place, right time, is anyone's game, and can often prove fruitless. Strategy, approach, and timing are critical to the drug transaction process, I've seen people kill entire nights trying to make them happen with flaky pushers. But in NYC, none of this is necessary if you're looking to party like that because the drugs find you. I learned this as I was walking into The Jane and a man on the street asked if I was all set with "party stuff" for the night. Did I look like I was in need of drugs? Maybe, but it didn't matter. I was just a chick walking through the West Village on a Tuesday night. Obviously, I know better than to take drugs from strangers—they should always be loose acquaintances or at least acquaintances of acquaintances—so I shook my head and continued on my way into the Jane.* The point is, I totally could've scored some expensive baking soda disguised as yayo just like that, because I was walking down the street, without even doing anything.
*Oh c'mon, that was for comedic effect. But if you're going to be a dick about it, I do not advocate drug use or buying drugs from anyone, ever. Drugs are bad.
4. The Williamsburg Park Is European Style
Maybe you thought you needed to travel to Europe to experience topless parks and beaches, but you needn't look any further than a little place called the East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, ideal for working on a summer tan, I realized I'd made the fatal mistake of wearing a onesie (photo at top) when I saw a duo of shirtless men sitting nearby sunning their entire upper bodies, breasts and all. These two were taking advantage of the hip Brooklyn area's liberal attitudes and culturally advanced laws which include "European-style" parks, and getting some great, seamless color on their moobs.
Had I been aware of the park's policies on this, I would have made sure to wear separates so my tatas, which have barely seen the light of day, could too achieve a golden, sun-kissed glow. But seeing as I wore a one-piece, it wasn't happening. Let this be a lesson to all who venture across the WIlliamsburg bridge seeking some rays. My boobs will just have to wait 'til my next trip to the East River State Park, or Europe, to get some sun action.