A few of my UMD girlfriends planned on going to NYC for the weekend and told me to come along. Of course, I was down! I took a noon Metro North train from the Waterbury, Connecticut station and arrived in Grand Central by 2:15. In tow was my new Vera Bradley travel tote that my parents gave me for Christmas.
It’s so beautiful and I’ve been dying to use it! It’s a world of a lot better than shoving all of my clothes into a my teeny purse and have it burst at the seems. Vera Bradley even tweeted at me on Twitter!
finally get to use my @verabradley travel bag! ??? pic.twitter.com/dcT8jrVj8I
— Tanaye White ✨ (@tanayedubz) January 23, 2015
@tanayedubz Safe travels!
— Vera Bradley (@verabradley) January 23, 2015
I met my close friend Suad at the apartment where she stayed the night before. I must say, it has a beautiful view.
|My beautiful friend, Suad.|
|Suad’s friend’s apartment. What a view!|
Because some drama had unfolded before I even stepped foot in the city (what girls trip exists without drama?), we planned on getting a hotel where we would be drama-free! We walked for a half hour to our friend Magdelene’s boyfriend’s apartment. And after chatting for a bit, we decided to find some place to eat. Me, Suad, Magdelene, and her boyfriend’s friend Amit (All UMD students/alumni) took the subway to Williamsburg where we stumbled upon a German bar.
|The coolest bartender I’ve ever met.|
She was great; giving us life advice and talking about the pros and cons of the bartender life. However, the bar did not serve food! At this point, I could feel my stomach eating my insides. Diana handed me a folder of menus from restaurants in the area and said I was welcome to order food. But, I knew delivery would take longer than my stomach could hold on for. I needed food A.S.A.P. and I was getting “hangry”. So, while my friends shared some drinks, I took the opportunity to book a hotel room at Pod 51. And after that, we left to find food.
A subway ride on the L brought us to the Lower East Side of NYC. We walked for what seemed like an eternity looking for a certain bar, and on a whim decided to go into Hop Devil Grill around 5:20pm. It was spacious but empty, which was fine with us. We sat at the bar and to my dismay, the bartender told us the kitchen wasn’t open until 6pm. By this time, I was screaming (inside my head). She, too, told me I was welcome to bring in food from elsewhere so that’s exactly what I did. I ran out to the next door pizzeria and ordered a large slice of Margherita pizza.
|Me, Suad, Maddy, and Amit.|
Afterwards, Maddy and Amit went back to their place and me and Suad made our way to the hotel. We made a stop back at her friend’s apartment complex to pick up our luggage from the front desk. On our way to East 51st, we passed several stores. I bought a burgundy mini skit from H&M for $5.00 (I love a bargain) and she bought a champagne-colored dress from a local boutique. Of course we would wear them that night!
Upon arriving at Pod 51, we were surprised. We were nervous about the quality of the hotel because our room only cost $90 for one night– $45 for each of us (Shout out to Travelocity). But, once we stepped inside, we were shocked. It had a hipster vibe with comics stretched from floor to ceiling. It was beautiful! There was a brief moment where I almost had a heart attack because the desk attendant couldn’t find our reservation but all was resolved!
|Pod 51 Desk Area.|
Our hotel room was small. Extremely small. Scratch that. Our hotel room was a dorm room. Literally. We had bunk beds and the bathrooms were down the hallway–communal style. We laughed at how bourgeoisie we were acting towards our room. What did we expect for paying $90 in NYC?! We would only be there to sleep anyways. We got ourselves dressed up, waited for Maddy to arrive, pregamed a little, took some selfies, and went on our way.
|The dorm… I mean hotel room.|
Our plan was to go to Marquee. We had our names on the guest list and everything! That plan did not work out. First, we stopped by Dive Bar to meet up with Suad’s friends. They weren’t there due to some miscommunication. Annoying. And apparently the street we were on is a difficult street to hail a taxi because we were flailing our hands around for 15 minutes before a cab driver who had finished eating dinner said he’d help us. He was so nice, and when we asked him if he could play some “turn up” music, he started blasting Punjabi music. It was so much fun.
|Fish tank at dive bar.|
|Endless taxi rides.|
When we headed over to marquee, there was a problem. Apparently the entire block had a water main problem. The promoters who greeted us told us that the building was flooded and closed. We and about 30 other girls in mini-skirts were bummed and also freezing. But one of the promoters named Frank told us not to worry. He bought us a taxi ride to a pizzeria next to 1 Oak and had us (and the other girls) wait 30 minutes for the O.K. to go inside. That O.K. never came and was specifically clear after the bouncers, on their high horses, told everyone outside the building not to bother trying to come in unless we had a reservation. We were beyond pissed. Not only were we freezing in heels, but our plans had dissipated into thin air and we were in the middle of the city at 1 in the morning with nothing to do and snow sprinkling on our hair. Frank told us our last bet would be to go to P.H.D. down the street, but he couldn’t help us because he’s not a promoter for the bar. I wanted to go back to the hotel because I was starving again, freezing again, and had to pee very badly. But, my girls convinced me to give it one last try.
We tottered over to the front entrance of PHD with our confidence low. We knew we wouldn’t get in. The group of people in front of us were told they would need $2,000 to enter. There were also two beautiful girls who were also denied entry. However, when the bouncer looked at us, he only asked how many of us there were. He looked each of us up and down, asked for our id, and let us through! With no cover to pay! We were ecstatic! He stamped the back of our hands with a black-light smiley face and told us to enjoy ourselves. And that, we did. Sort of.
PHD is a club in Dream Hotel in the Meat packing District. It’s beautiful. But the people….. not so much. The majority of the room consisted of young women in their twenties. About 10% of the room consisted of men in their twenties. A good 30% of the room was made up of men older than my Dad. Visibly older than my Dad. Awk. I’m not an ageist or anything, but dancing with old, graying, wrinkling, balding men is not my forte. Sorry not sorry. So after making a bee-line for the bathroom, that’s exactly what we faced. We danced for a couple of songs before an older gentleman named Ricky approached me. He told me he noticed me the minute I stepped in the room and would like to buy my friends and I a drink. I allowed it. That was probably a bad idea. After buying drinks for us and chatting with us for a little, he proceed to talk to me about how I’m so cute, how he wants to take to me Miami (where he’s from), how he wants to introduce me to his Mom, how he’ll give me the time of my life, and constantly suggested me and my friends staying with him at his hotel room. I joked around with him about it in a very sarcastic way but I guess alcohol is blind to sarcasm because he also tried biting my neck a few times which brought out Naye Naye (my angry and blunt alter ego).
I pushed him away from me after one too many comments. He tried to pull my arm back but I wasn’t having it. I ripped myself out of his grip, but he tried to pull my arm again. At this point, I was about to tell one of the stronger younger men near me that this man was harassing me and ask if they could help me. But, Ricky let go before it got to that point. He came up to me and apologized a while later but I pretty much sat in the corner with Maddy the rest of the night because our feet were on fire. Suad, luckily found a guy who was younger and friendlier, so we stayed until she was ready to leave. We walked outside to find an inch of snow on the ground. It was so cold that we couldn’t feel our toes. After finally getting a taxi, dropping Maddy off, and arriving back at our places, I was so cold and hungry that I just climbed in the top bunk and knocked out, while Suad went to find some food. What a night!
I spent the rest of my weekend meeting my other friends all the way from Harlem to Times Square, and I left on Sunday afternoon.