The thing about NYC is, even if you've never been there before, you think you've been there before. Everything looks familiar! The crowds were a bit overwhelming but I expected that. The biggest surprise was the "non-parallel parking" lots where they stack cars on TOP of each other with this forklift-like-thingy. And yay, there's a Starbucks about every 3 blocks. Get a clue, Cleveland!
So on my last evening in New York, to say good-bye to the city, I walk--
--and walk all the way down to Times Square--
--and walk and walk some more--
--and then turn around and limp all the way back. Forty blocks in the same sandals I've been wearing for years, but you'd never know it by my bloody feet. After a quick trip into a drug store for bandaids, it dawns on me I'm starved and that I only want one thing, something you just can't find in my neck of the woods: a bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato, and onion.
I stop at a deli where they throw together a HUMONGOUS sandwich (it's after 8 p.m. and the last thing I ate was some Chinese at the BEA where I poked myself in the eye with a chopstick) and then head back toward the hotel, now dying of thirst...
And what's the best thing to drink with a bagel and lox?
AN ICE COLD BEER!
I wander into one place that turns out to be strictly a liquor store. Oops. I try to back out discreetly but I'm stopped at the door: "What are you looking for?"
"We sell beer."
I know, I saw it: packs of six, twelve, and twenty-four. Hello? I already have 180 pounds of books to haul back. I am not schlepping beer. "I only want one," I confess.
He jerks his thumb. "Two doors down."
Jackpot! I buy a single can of Coors (wrapped discreetly in a brown bag) plus a bottle of water so I don't come off as a hardcore lush (like they care). Mouth watering from the delicious aroma of fish and onions, I drag my filthy, sweaty, exhausted self back to the Holiday Inn, spread my feast on the bed, and happily dig in. I can honestly say that THIS was the best solo meal I've ever had in my life.