9:19am: I’m in bed. Our room at the Hudson is a tiny cave, with walls of dark wood and one window. Raised the blinds a few minutes ago – flooded with sunshine. It’s going to be a beautiful day in New York City.
11am: Today we are tourists. We go for a ride on the subway, exploring. Have lunch: lentil soup, chicken caesar salad & wine. Ride the Staten Island Ferry, see the Statue of Liberty. We stroll through Central Park, visit Times Square, and see the holiday tree going up at Rockefeller Center.
7pm: We have some of the best pizza ever, at Angelo’s (same building as Letterman studios), where every song reminds me of high school. It somehow makes things a little awkward with my Miss Travel friend, who doesn’t know any of them. We go back to the hotel and watch Truman Show. He falls asleep while I am getting ready for a night on the town with Becky Jean and her crew.
10pm: Don’t have time to finish Truman Show. Grab a cab to meet Becky Jean in the Meatpacking District, for dinner and dancing at Catch. Find each other outside, wait together for the rest of her group to arrive.
11pm: Our table is over-loaded… mountains of salad, sweet & sour deep-fried shrimp, green beans, french fries in truffle oil, salmon, and stuffed chicken breast. Everything tastes amazing. Soon the food is cleared and replaced with (more) bottles of champagne, vodka and mixers.
Midnight: Dancing commences. Our table is surrounded by models, and two dudes. A few additional friends come and go. Everyone’s stuff is in a pile, nearby. When I see a random chick take a seat by our belongings, I keep an eye on her… Must’ve blinked for a moment though, because suddenly my purse is wedged behind that broad and the wall. And I can see that it’s open.
Oooooh – I am pissed. Giving her my meanest stink-eye, I pull my purse from where she’s hiding it and make a break for the restroom (for an immediate inventory check). My money is still in the back pocket, caught her just in time. The restroom-attendant isn’t surprised that I was almost robbed.
“Not everybody goes out for the same reasons,” she says, deeply. “Last week a lady lost her purse and we later found it in the bathroom stall, completely empty.”
With a sympathetic nod, I tell her, “It’s sad.” Suddenly I realize, “She must’ve been after my secret stash of dark chocolate! Good thing she didn’t get it, or we’d have to fight.” Shake my fist with a grimace.
More drinking and dancing ensues.
2am: The crew moves to another hot spot, SL, not far from the first place. Drink, dance, repeat. Then things get fuzzy…I only remember lots of brightly colored flashing lights. Grab a cab back to Hudson, pass out.
Noon: My Miss Travel friend is going home today. We have a simple lunch, go for another walk in Central Park, pack our things at the hotel and part ways. Cab it to Becky Jean’s.
2:30pm: Becky Jean’s place is a 3-bedroom apartment, occupied by a bunch of models, one dude, and a little dog. Oddly enough, the Truman Show is on. It’s close to the end, exactly where I left it back at the hotel. Watch in awe. Model-roommates come and go, a wide variety of darlings.
I’m in one of two bunk beds in Becky Jean’s room. We have a much needed de-briefing of my stay with our new Miss Travel friend: He was very generous and never pushy or intimidating. I felt no pressure to get outside my comfort zone. He was a rare find, a true gentleman.
5pm: Becky Jean and I get dinner at the market, pick up socks, look for the nearby street vendor who sells perfume. When she sprays her signature scent I ask, “What is it?”
She replies elusively, “It’s what every man loves, because it reminds him of his mother.”
7:45pm: Rolling out to meet Becky Jean’s friend, Thatcher, at a tequila tasting event, on the top floor of some fancy hotel. I am wearing my blue velvet (magic) pants and a black top with a red cumber bund.
One of the girls in the apartment (and former Top Model contestant), Sara, gets a kick out of my magic pants. She says they look great!
“They’re even better to touch,” I say, “Go ahead. Help yourself.”
Pause while she touches my leg.
8:45pm: Arrive at the tequila party destination, meet Thatcher, discover we are at the wrong place entirely. The tequila tasting is at a nightclub called Hustler, which I realize is a strip club. But Becky Jean and Thatcher have no idea. And believe it or not, neither of them have been to a strip club before! We don’t stay long.
Thatcher has a dinner to get to, he splits. Becky Jean and I bop around Meatpacking District, me taking baby steps – feet achingly tired of wearing tall shoes. The rubber nubs on my heels have worn down to the nail, so I sound like a pony! Trit-trot-trit-trot. We gallup over to a spot called Key, where there’s a beautiful blonde lady, very glam, perched on the bar, flapping big, baby-blue feathered wings. Watching her is hypnotic.
The most handsome guy I’ve seen here, is across the bar, looking at me. Heading toward the exit, his cohort invites us to join them at another club. He introduces his friend, who kisses me on the cheek. He smells exotic and delicious. Give him my card.
Midnight: Becky Jean and I reunite with the rest of her gang outside the next club, called Darby. It’s got a honeycomb decor – like we’re inside a beehive! We drink, we dance, we make merry. Game on.
2:30am: Migrate to a bigger, louder, more crowded club, 1 Oak. I’m having a blast, playing Spot the Hottie with the girls. We don’t have NEAR this kind of selection in Portland. I’m a kid in a candy store…
4am: Make our way back to the apartment. Stay up until long past dawn, humoring a few of Becky Jean’s friends. One of them is rolling on the floor, basically in tears laughing.
I take it as a compliment.