Art, Adventure & Apotheke – A Long Weekend in the Big City

IMG_0611Long weekends. Oh how we love them. As New Yorkers work hard, we also play hard, and when a long weekend like last week’s Columbus Day rolled around, I was so excited to have yet another Monday (or any day for that matter) off. The only problem is, what do you do with all that extra time?

Well, if you ask me, I’ll have no problem whipping something right up for you. And it goes a little something like this…

Friday – As the rain poured down, I couldn’t help to think to myself, “What a shitty moway to start my long weekend!” But after just a few hours, the rain let up and soon we were on our way to a beautiful next few days. Now, that’s not to say we let the rain get in our way. Of course not! Here in New York, ain’t nobody got time to let rain stand in the way of you and your plans.

So as we jetted out the door and on our way to an undetermined happy hour locale (we just knew we were headed in the direction of the East Village), we had our umbrellas (and weekend mode celebratory hats) in tow. I chose the East Village for a few reasons – 1. It’s close enough to my ‘hood without being in my hood, 2. It has a plethora of great bars and restaurants I keep reading about in Time Out 3. I keep going back to the same neighborhoods (usually Chelsea or West Village), so why not?

We ended up at some not-so-swanky bar, The Ninth Ward, but hey, it was two for one, so why not get the night started that way. No, actually, we ended up there because we were waiting for our table at the highly recommended, Booker and Dax. When we first walked into Booker & Dax, we were told there was a wait and that we couldn’t wait in the bar for our table. So we putzed around the neighborhood and well….

When I got the text from Booker & Dax, we returned and were immediately seated. This quaint and rather quiet little spot on 13th Street off 2nd Ave, was a cute little spot with some really yummy cocktails. A bit too quiet for three girls looking to get their TGIF on (Note: better for a date), but enjoyable nonetheless.

IMG_0432Knowing it was going to be a LONG long weekend, we decided to call it a night. Early Saturday, my friend who was visiting from out of town joined me to go cheer on my roommate who was participating in the Brooklyn Rock and Roll half marathon. Despite our honest efforts to get there in time and meet her at the finish line, let’s just say we didn’t quite make it…ok, so we took the wrong train to the wrong part of Brooklyn. Isn’t that what being a new New Yorker all about?

Searching for the pizza place she was at, we practically toured IMG_0439all of Prospect Park (I’ll be back for another blog post). This cute, little neighborhood was everything I imagined it to be – perfect. It didn’t hurt the day was beyond gorgeous adding to the already existing charm. We finally found our way to Enzo’s (terrible service) and had some lunch (and a Nutella pizza).

After that whirlwind of a tour of Brooklyn, we made our way back to “the city” (as Manhattanites and non like to refer to it) and I spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the beautiful, crisp fall weather in one of my favorite parts of my hood – Madison Square Park. I sat on the bench, watched the squirrels, the people and all the rest of the world float by, as I relaxed and enjoyed.IMG_0445

As night approached, I started to get ready for a fun night ahead at one of my favorite hotspots in all Manhattan – La Esquina. This speakeasy “taco joint” sits just beneath a real taco shop located on Kenmare and Lafayette Streets. The cool, yet chic vibe is just as great as the food and drinks they serve while bangin’ beats play overhead. This joint is definitely a “See and be scene” kind of place. IMG_0514

With a full belly and buzz, the night had just begun. Somehow, we ended up at Russian restaurant, turned club called Onegin. Though not my typical kind of spot, it was fun to experience, but time to go home after one more drink. After all, I still had two more days of fun ahead.

lifeWhen “Sunday Funday” rolled around, I made sure I rested for the first half of the day. As soon as I got my bearings again (around 2pm), it was time for some more (but rather muted) action. We journeyed to brunch (nothing to write home about), and then to the Mr. Brainwash exhibit just under the highline. I can write an entire post about the exhibit, but in the effort of conserving time and energy, I’ll just tell you – You have to check it out! Part modern art, part surrealism, this exhibit is all the rage! Followed by a quick walk on the High Line up to the doors of the Standard Hotel for some rooftop sunset sips at Le Bain, I must say, Sunday was my kind of funday!IMG_0568

And finally, we arrive at Monday. Columbus Day. Not really sure why we still celebrate that day as a “National Holiday”, but hey, I’m not complaining. Having the day off gave me the opportunity to jump on a City Bike with my girlfriends and explore our surroundings, stop off at Central Park for a picnic with a little Schramsberg and a visit to Strawberry Fields in honor of John Lennon’s 75th birthday, complete with a live guitarist singing Beatles songs and an artist making small sketches of images like Abbey Road and other popular Beatles’ memories.IMG_0647

As the day, and a great weekend, came to a conclusion, we couldn’t end it without one final stop at another speakeasy in my quest to check off my “list”. Just after dark, we made our way down what looks like an alley in Chinatown, to 9 Doyers Street, a door where a “Chemist” sign hung. IMG_0650

Inside was Apotheke – a cool, pharmacy lab style bar where mixologists whip up complex cocktails much like they would a secret potion. The drinks were cleverly named and tantalized the taste buds, and with a list of cocktails as long as the alley they’re located in, there’s something for everyone at Apotheke.IMG_0652

And just like that the weekend was over. Though I must admit, we covered some ground. To be continued…

For more adventures, tour ideas and secret spots, please follow me as I continue to discover the Big Apple!

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