*This was originally posted on my leisurely updated travel, culture + humor blog, Battle Mountain.*
I vowed to make 2012 a year to fully embrace my endless wanderlust. I think I did a pretty decent job. Here, I’ll attempt to prove just that. I’ll be running down my top travel adventures of 2012 … slowly but surely. In no particular order, here’s Vol. I, the last of my year’s adventures: THE BIG APPLE.
Ah, New York City. No other metropolis can make you feel as little and insignificant as an obedient ant in a bustling farm, yet as big and bold and alive as a caged animal set free to roam the most exotic of concrete jungles. It’s noisy, hectic, and vibrant. It never sleeps, so neither should you (and we didn’t… much). Our adventure in NYC was a quick one, but never lacking in good times.
We took the Amtrak from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan’s Penn Station two days before New Year’s Eve. Along the route, it sleeted and snowed, meaning our last-minute decision to take the train vs. renting a car was a helluva good one, and I’d highly recommend this, even if it seems a bit pricey (for us it was $158/person).
We stayed in Times Square the first night. Ate at the famous Carnegie Deli (get the Woody Allen sandwich!), took in the pine-fresh scent of the tree at Rockefeller Center, drank fresh cocktails and tequila shots at the cozy and colorful Mexican spot Toloache in Midtown (I recommend the fresh blueberry and hibiscus-infused margarita), and got down to hot Latin sounds at the Copacabana (partly picked because of its one-block reach from our hotel).
Freshly boogied-out, we headed to Times Square. It was roughly 4a.m. December 30th. The calm before the ball-dropping storm. We were pretty much alone here. Temps below freezing. Gates all set up for the big party. Advertisements on their nonstop brainwashing loop. No drunken revelers or crazy kids or silly tourists (aside from ourselves).
Now that is my kind of New Year’s celebration.
The next day, we took the subway to Brooklyn. We grabbed some delicious gingerbread pancakes at Pegasus Restaurant in Bay Ridge, then headed back on the subway to hipster haven Williamsburg. Once there, we ran (literally) to get a chocolatey cookie from Mast Brothers before closing time; I found a great vintage leather Italian bag at cute boutique About Glamour; we ran (again) to Beacon’s Closet to find some thrifty goods; we ate so-so/kinda burnt wood-fired pizza at Fornino (should’ve just had a slice at Vinnie’s!); and closed the night off with a glass of wine at the cozy Brooklyn Winery.
Reminder for next time: Allow more time for food, drinks, and shopping in Brooklyn!
AN NYC MIX:
Cat Power, “New York”
Santigold, “Shove It”
Beastie Boys, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
The Strokes, “Last Nite”
TV on the Radio, “Wolf Like Me”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll”
Liars, “No. 1 Against the Rush”
Sonic Youth w/ Chuck D, “Kool Thing”
The Velvet Underground, “Sunday Morning”