A birthday is like a cat…you wake up one morning and it’s right there in your face

Welcome back to Ari’s Adventures In The Big Apple!

So a lot has changed since my first post, America’s education system is now run by ‘Derek Zoolander’, New York had a pretty intense snow storm and It was also my birthday on Wednesday so lots of change in the air.

Now I’ve started doing something on my birthday the past few years and it’s getting harder every year and that is finding the song for my age. The best and easiest example is turning 22 and blasting Taylor Swift’s 22 all year-long. As much as she annoys me at times, that song is an absolute tune and a perfect description of being 22 and ‘happy free confused and lonely at the same time, It’s miserable and magical oh yeah’. So last year, it was Blink 182’s What’s My Age Again? and goes along the line of ‘Nobody likes you when you’re twenty three’ and I honestly felt that at times, career-wise but I also knew that I was heading for brighter days as I prepared for my graduate visa. I quit my shitty job in Dundrum cinema and left for bigger and better things and that’s probably the best thing that happened to me at 23. I turned 24 on Wednesday and apparently the song for 24 is Bowling for Soup’s 1985 as it goes ‘Her dreams went out the door, when she turned twenty four’ and I really hope this isn’t true because I am busting my ass in this city and hustling everyday…so far however, 24 has been pretty good!

This post is now gonna focus on my birthday adventures and the treats that were in store for me as well as featuring really cool places to check out if you ever visit the big apple yourself ;). So I really celebrated my birthday last Saturday as I had the whole day off which is  a rare occurrence.  Now first things first on a Saturday and that’s BRUNCH! We went to Little Park in the Tribeca area and it was delicious hands down, the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had in a long time and they have an extensive cocktail menu so it caters to everyone’s needs. City Hall Park is nearby by so it’s the perfect little place to stroll afterwards, bonus points for spotting Santa’s abandoned village amongst the shrubs…in February as well.

After brunch we headed to the meatpacking district of Manhattan for my next surprise. I had a suspicion that it involved The Standard Hotel but yet as we were early for our ‘appointment’, I suggested a walk on the High Line. It is one of my favourite places in New York and it’s such a gem too. It consists of a linear park built upon an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad. If you’ve never been, GO NOW! Everything about it is incredible! The views are breathtaking as you can see the New Jersey skyline, the Hudson as well as peering down at the streets of the West Village. You can start at 34 Hudson Yards (which is perfect for me because hello 7 train straight to Queens) and walk forever. There is also lots of artwork as part of the High Line Art program which commissions public art projects around the park; if you happen to be a budding artist, you can apply at http://art.thehighline.org/about/.

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So yeah check it out and then you can head to the Whitney Museum of American Art afterwards for some amazing exhibitions. They also have a really cool wind garden outside where you can climb to the top of the building and get some panoramic shots of the city too. The Whitney however, was not my surprise. I was led into The Standard Hotel and up to the 18th floor which holds the infamous Top of The Standard, A classy, breath-taking and eloquent bar that gives a 360° view of New York, New Jersey and the Hudson. Conor had reserved us a table overlooking the Hudson at sunset… and it was pretty spectacular. I highly recommend doing this as it was a glorious setting with a glass of bubbly (minus the New York City Centre For sanitation below).  As you can see yourself….I even had to wear my Ray-Bans indoors cause the glare was pretty bad, yeah I know #basicbitchalert

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No birthday would be complete without something sweet, mainly cake but also cookies, specifically cookie dough. Most of you might have seen a video or an article of this new trendy spot DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections in the Tribeca neighbourhood and if you haven’t well look it up because it’s fantastic. The only downside is the massive queues outside the shop that was a block long and it was also -4° and ain’t nobody got time for that. So unfortunately I did not get any cookie dough but one day, one day I will!  Nevertheless, my sweet tooth was aching and the hunt so sweets continued and what did we decide to do? Naturally continue to walk in -4° tempature to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and get ice cream in the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. It was so worth it though and then we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge Park for our final stroll and amongst the lights from the bridge and the skyscrapers, it was quite magical.

We were quite relived for once to get back into the subway and have a chance to thaw and b warm up. The day was not over yet as we went on our way to meet up with friends at Beauty Bar. This popular hang out is located near Union Square on 14th Street and is the perfect place for a girly drink in the evening as you can get a martini and a manicure for $10 but on saturday night, it become a messy, loud and crowded hub of drunken people so be warned.

My actual birthday day celebrations were also lovely. After work, I enjoyed a twilight walk in Central Park. I am very blessed to work right beside it as it’s a massive plus to the job. After grabbing a delicious burger at Bill’s Burger Bar Restaurant, we went onto Beetle House, a lower east side bar inspired by the whimsical world of Tim Burton’s movies. It was so cool inside with lots of artwork adorning the walls and the original BeetleJuice gravestone placed above the bar.

They were also playing the original film soundtracks and it was amazing. The menu is also inspired by the films too. I had a Alice’s cup o’ tea cocktail  which consisted of Peach vodka, Gin, rum, tequila, peach schnapps, sour mix, and a splash of coke.  It was an unreal drink and the bar is a must visit for cult followers of Burton’s work. The only bad part of the bar was the rude and racist staff :(. I am obviously anti racism and don’t need that shit on my birthday or any other day for that matter therefore Irish people be wary because they have no problem bad mouthing us and our ‘ridiculous way of talking’ while you sit at the end of the bar and stare at them. The joke is on them though because I stole all their toilet paper and did not tip them. The main point to remember is that this is not how Tim Burton feels and he is not associated with them; I should know because me and Tim are best friends. See Exhibit A below. Apologies for the shit quality of the photo, my American phone is a piece of shit!

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I did have a great birthday overall, the day ended with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of prosecco with a chocolate oreo cake. Happy birthday to me!

More adventures to come 🙂

Ari

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