New York in 12 hours

Elizabeth
5 min readNov 30, 2017

Are you looking for unusual experiences quintessential of illustrious New York City? Here’s an easy way to spend 8 to 12 hours and at least $100.

Friends not required.

Beforehand:

Watch 1 hour of Netflix’s Chef’s table — Ivan Ramen

In your book bag:

  • Notebook for thoughtful reflection
  • Pen to twirl while reflecting
  • Thick book to read (or “ooh this person’s deep” reactions)
  • $20 Cash for 4th meal pizza

Map of the Places

Start at 12–2pm

Koneko cat cafe

$20 for admission to cats, $3 matcha cookie

Buy a cookie. The servers will ask you if you’d like to eat it in the cafe or on the 1st floor playpen of cats. Have it in the 1st floor playpen. The cats will swarm around the food and you can imagine a prospective reality of owning one of these felines, because they like YOU so much!

Bring your notebook and book with you to the playpen.

Ask for a cat toy so the cats will play with you.

Lounge in the lower basement level reading your book and petting one of the sleeping cats.

Ah serenity and cat hair.

1 skeptical cat and 2 sleeping ones tolerating me

2–3pm

Ivan Ramen

$16 Ramen bowl

The menu is simple — 5 cold appetizers, 5 hot apps, 5 Ramens, 5 Chef specialties.

It’s empty on a Wednesday afternoon. Sit at the bar and compare Kill Bill animations to the wall art.

If you don’t eat with chopsticks regularly, ponder the groves while waiting for your bowl of deliciousness.

When it arrives, mix everything. Bottom to top. The gravy is delectable — savor.

3–6pm

Free Time. Coffee. Shopping.

Pick a coffee shop and chill while you wait for bar opening hour (5–6pm).This is the East Village. Many establishments open at 4pm. Start early. Go crazy.

6–7pm

Please Don’t Tell

NYC’s famous speakeasies. Always inconspicuous from the outside, so non-locals have a requisite exploratory, where-the-heck-is-this-place look.

If your party is more than one person, the wait time will be at least 15min. Enjoy the vinyl and a hot dog. Then enter the warm enclave.

Buy a beer($7) or cocktail ($16). Buy a 2nd hot dog ($7).

I had the kimchi dog — it took a while to arrive. I nearly finished my beer while waiting, but when it came — a New York staple, warm white flour bun encompassing a pink nondescript meat product that’s crispy outside, soft inside topped with with fermented cabbage. It was good.

Was I a little tipsy from my 8.75% Amber beer and could be mistaken as to taste? Perhaps. But you can’t go wrong with New York dogs.

If you’re at the bar, talk to the bar tenders. They know their stuff and the area. Locals will never know the night life as well as the servers of the night.

7–8pm

Angel’s Share

It’s 10minutes away and I won’t say where.

The street is well known, but the speakeasy location unclear. Stand on the sidewalk for 1minute and you’ll spot locals with that overexcited walk of a person with a secret.

It’s beautiful inside. The bar is busier so the bar tenders won’t have the space of mind to chat, but the decor more than makes up for it.

The gin-based Bombay cocktail ($15) is delicious and much stronger than it tastes. A choice pick for your “I’m paying for one-drink max” friend.

830–1030pm

Small’s Jazz Club

A 17minute walk away and $20 for entrance.

You won’t get much talking done here, but watching the musicians is a treat. The breath control of Saxophone, the bobbing neck of the Double Bass, the seemingly singular notes of the guitar, the melody of the Piano, the obscured Drum keeping the tempo.

1045–1115

Joe’s Pizza

7 min walk. A New York institution (so I’m told) that only takes cash. Apparently, this is how you filter the imposters.

It’s $3 for a cheese slice. If you’re used to the $1 version, splurge with the rationale that this is where the copycats copied from.

Get a $3.50 Sicilian to even it out and a $4 pepperoni for good measure. After all, you’ve had at least 2 drinks — this is your payback to New York ensuring tomorrow morning contains only great memories and no aftertastes.

Sit on the right side of the shop with the photographs and guess who the actors are and their movies.

Typical conversation: “You know that guy…he was in that movie with that girl…and the girl was a master swordswoman”. Yeah New Yorker — thanks for narrowing that down.

1115–1145

Grom

1 min walk. If its cold outside, then buy a hot chocolate. If warm, buy gelato.

The hot chocolate is phenomenal. When they ask you if you’d like whipped cream, look back at them like that wasn’t even a question with an “of course” (substitution: “obviously!”) and as much gusto as you can muster. Ain’t your grocery store’s canned cream. Ask for extra.

They’ll give you a spoon for the hot chocolate. It’s necessary. You’ll see why.

Ask for water — get 2 cups for good measure. Palate cleaners with great food always remind you of its excellence every 5 bites.

You have just frequented 1 cat cafe, 1 ramen shop, as many coffee shops as you could fit, 2 speakeasies, 1 jazz club, 1 legendary pizza shop, 1 wholesome dessert shop to round off the night.

And it isn’t even midnight Cinderella!

New York in 8 to 12 hours. You are welcome.

Map of the Places

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Elizabeth

Founder @ EMO (Easy Mobile Onboarding). Product Teacher @GA. Co-founder @WomenWhoCodeNYC. Ex-software engineer @ Time Inc.