The perks, obviously! Tell someone you’re reviewing their establishment, and suddenly they become much more accommodating. The turkey-apple burger at The Ainsworth, the Ella at Ella, the beer margaritas at Carteles under Cienfuegos – all free thanks to the power of the written word. Working with Party Earth also gave me an excuse to branch out and explore parts of New York I might have otherwise overlooked.
Cienfuegos, my favorite assignment, also made for the most colorful memories. I brought a friend along with me in an effort to blend in. We sat near the center of the cocteleria and acutely observed the scene. The gentleman to my right turned out to be a chef from a different restaurant doing his due diligence. I discovered this after he angrily asked why I insisted upon taking pictures of his plantains. After explaining to him that I was in fact a critic of the utmost stature and importance, he offered to let me try a plantain. And so, a beautiful friendship blossomed. Luis Gonzales, executive chef of Cienfuegos, also took the time to show me pictures from his travels to Italy, while I daintily nibbled on Tres Leches cake; quite the affable host he was.
I’d say I’m most like Emma. Those who know me might insist that I’m more of an Adriana, but let’s say, for the sake of argument, that those people are wrong. I love new experiences, new places, new people, and I especially love singing “Like a Prayer” at karaoke bars.
On a mild autumn day when the sun is shining and the birds are tweeting, taking Elvis – my hybrid bicycle – on a brisk ride along the West Side Highway to invigorate my mind and glutes. I’m then able to enjoy a guilt-free brunch at Meatball Shop on the LES. One plate of chicken meatballs and a pitcher of sangria later, friends and I might go poking around for vintage threads at The New World Order or one-of-a-kind duds at Some Odd Rubies. Completing a perfect day means checking out a live music act at Bowery Ballroom or Webster Hall.