If you’re from NY, you understand my half-hearted argument that long lines are both a norm and an inconvenience.
We will walk miles for fun or to save a few dollars. We don’t like to wait for anyone when it comes to commuting yet if a food item is legendary or a spectacle is big enough, we’ll casually wait for hours in whatever the weather.
Last weekend reminded me of the virtue of patience, especially because I had no other choice in order to enjoy true quality time with true quality friends lol.
It all began with brunch in Flatiron at tbsp & Spoon. Ream and I were taking my not-so-little little, Nat, out on a mentor/me tee date (he teaches her design and I’m her leadership contemporary). The “15 minute wait” came close to 45 as we witnessed people who came after us get seated before us. But no matter, we finally got our food and took our sweet time to dine and talk.
Yes, the food was worth it.
Ream got the Farmer’s Plate which in essence is the hearty American breakfast platter.
We also treated Nat to an Irish Coffee (a la Jameson), and the orange juice pictures was fresh. SN: the extra slice on the side was a nice touch — my inner Florida girl was happy!
Anyway, we took time to outline Nat’s hopes and dreams for the next year. Her passion projects and goals in leadership are ambitious and heartwarming all at once. Being someone who has been on executive boards every year since high school, it always means to much when I can advise people and get to the root of their visions, because not too long ago I was in their shoes, too.
After brunch, we went to the Met Bruer museum that recently took over the old Whitney location. Unfortunately, the interest of the “Unfinished” Exhibition, in which famous artists’ unfinished works were on display to exemplify the creative process, was a bit lost in translation by the vibe of the crowd. Many people were judgmental and obviously affluent, making a lot of our experiences with the museum slightly uncomfortable. But isn’t art for everyone? Expression is priceless and accessible, yet the sad thing is it’s lost on this generation a lot more often than not.
So we left and began wandering. We stopped in Central Park to take photos by Bethesda Fountain (I’ve been teaching Ream some photography skills), and then walked down to Columbus Circle, and even further to Hell’s Kitchen. Upon arriving at the next stop on our itinerary, Bibble & Sip cafe, we were greeted by a line out the door that was not worth the wait. Initially, I wanted to grab a few of the matcha cream puffs that this cafe had become famous for, but it seems the Internet once again did not let us have nice things.
In an effort to save the day, we all decided to head down to SoHo and visit the Pop-Up “Life of Pablo” store that Kanye tweeted about. That line was TWO blocks long. But again, we realized it wouldn’t have been worth it because the items were probably way above our price range and also being worn by many people of affluent status; an interesting contrast between the music in the album itself and the social status of those who claim to “know that (rap) life.”
Now I know what you’re thinking. This post is a huge vent about not having enough wealth and social discrimination and so on and so forth. While yes, I do have opinions on that, my inclusion of it is more support for a later argument, not my main point. So read on, friend.
Eventually, we started to get hungry so we decided to go to Black Tap in the Meatpacking District and wait in line for the infamous burgers and even more famous foot-tall sugar-rush milkshakes. That wait was two HOURS and a HALF long. But that was probably my favorite wait of the day, because it was the one that reminded me why this whole day started. It didn’t matter how cold we were or how aggy everyone else was — we got to all spend time together and it was so much fun. While everyone else in line was getting impatient and mad at each other or the staff, we knew that getting upset would only take away from our enjoyment of what was to come.
The line was so long that we actually laughed about how this was such a New York thing to do. In fact, the line was so long that we called Iris, another friend, to join us! And when we finally got inside, we ate till our hearts were content, full of all those bad things that make food taste so good.
I got the Greg Norman burger, made of wagyu beef, arugula, and blue cheese; the milkshake is the Sweet n’ Salty combo featuring a rim full of M&M’s, pretzels, and Reese’s cups.
At the end of the day, it wasn’t about the money or how fast we could be served. It was about how much we got to talk, the food we got to watch, and the shit we went through together out of the pure insanity that is being a New Yorker.
None of us may be affluent just yet or living large in a penthouse apartment. But we can do life at any day or time and our busy schedules are never that much of an obstacle to overcome. We have dreams and goals and we’re getting closer every day, one table talk at a time. One day, when we do make it, the struggles of today will seem so trivial and we’ll laugh just like we used to.
And that’s something I’m glad to say. I’m proud of my friends, of myself, of us. I’m proud that being a true New Yorker means making every experience, whether expected or spontaneous, ideal or inconvenient, into a genuine story. Just like this one.