Bright Lights, Big City? New York can thank nightlife. Like the bagel and the subway, New York nightlife is classic, and sharing those adventures is what made this job. Growing up in Manhattan and hitting the night scene at a very young age means I’ve collected lots of stories (and opinions) – and there’s no point in having all this knowledge if it’s going to remain locked inside my head!
One late Thursday night, I rolled into PKNY, the tiki bar on Essex Street, and plunked down at the bar. I noticed the bartender had quite a few gold charms on a single necklace, so I commented on how kitschy-awesome they looked and we started chatting. He’s from New York, I’m from New York – and we didn’t stop talking until it was time to close the bar. As we were leaving, I gave him my name, and he said, “Oh, and I’m Richard,” oh so casually. Later, when I wrote the review, I did some research just to make sure I had my facts straight about the bar – and that’s when I discovered that Richard was Richard Boccato, not just the owner of PKNY, but one of New York’s hottest mixologists right now. Never would’ve guessed from his lovely, laid-back, cool demeanor!
I still say real New Yorkers don’t get up before noon, so my perfect day is to roll out of the house just as the clock strikes twelve and grab some form of coffee from the local café. Then I’d hit up the MOMA or the Lower East Side gallery scene, stroll through the streets of Chinatown for visual inspiration, play an afternoon game of tennis in McCarren park, and then have a post-game cocktail in Greenpoint. After that, it’s time to head home to doll up for a dinner in the West Village before descending on the East Village bar beat to wind up for another late-night dance-a-thon in Chinatown – and then hit the sheets as the sun comes up.