Mimosas, Drag Queens, and Death & Company in New York.

nyc lights2Sounds like just your regular weekend, right? Friday afternoon at around 5 pm, I finally made it on the NJ Transit train to New York City.

You can never spend just one night in NYC. Originally, my plan was to go Friday afternoon and leave Saturday morning. Somehow this plan got completely thrown out the window, and I instead didn’t leave the city until 10pm Sunday night.

lips stageLet’s jump into this post starting with Friday night’s adventure – a drag queen show. Yes, you read that right. If you are wondering how this exactly got on the agenda, I can’t honestly say. My friend Alex, the girl I was visiting, just basically informed me earlier in the week that this was where we were going for dinner and a drink or two to start. So that’s how we ended up at Lips – a drag queen diner joint. I can honestly say I wasn’t sure if it would be fun. When we got to the place I was pretty shocked with how packed it was! It was full of people, and a lot of the tables were pretty close to each other. This isn’t the sort of place to sit quietly. This is a loud dinning experience both in the decor, the “ladies”, and your neighbors at the table next to you. Here you’ll laugh with strangers and cheer on the singers. There is both a cover and a minimum order for the tables. One of Alex’s friends joined us so the three of us shared some pretty regular appetizers – calamari, chicken fingers, and coconut shrimp – that pretty much tasted like they do in every restaurant chain that exists. It was good though. We ended up having three women from Texas as our neighbors. Daughter, mother, and grandmother. Let me tell you. That grandmother was having a ball. She was cheering, dancing, and singing. She would constantly lean over to chat us up in her southern drawl. I had a great time talking to them, and think it’s really awesome to be able to have a fun night with easy going people you just met. The show itself came on without a lot of wait, and consisted of different “actresses” who dance and lip sing. One of the drag queens though can actually sing, and was even on one of those reality shows for it. Here is a short video clip of one of the lip singers:

Now, as for the second day-that-was-not-supposed to be. Saturday was a lot of fun. We went to brunch at a restaurant called Essex. As you can see from the picture below, tennis balls are glued to the wall here. It’s New York, so every place has to have it’s quirk. The brunch is around $24 for breakfast plus 3 drinks; either mimosas, bloody mary’s, or screwdrivers. In reality, though, they refill your drinks the whole time you are there. The food is pretty good although I have only been there twice and I am certainly no expert. I like almost everything. Yet it is crowded, and down right impossible to get seated. We had a reservation and we still waited for a while. It’s a little bit easier if you’re ok with sitting at the bar.

I ordered the Mexican Matzo Brei which is scrambled eggs with tortilla crisps, monterey jack, avocado, black beans & pico de gallo. I absolutely love avocado. This tasted great together, and it also came with some sour cream. I probably could have used a little more avocado and sour cream than they give you but even still I would order it again. Everything they serve that I have seen people order so far seems to be very fresh, too.

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A few of the other girls ordered three eggs any style which also includes fresh fruit. That seems good and the fruit looked wonderful. My friend Alex ordered Shrimp ‘n’ Grits – with poached eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese & biscuit. I actually have never had grits before so I asked to taste it. It was great! To be honest even until writing this post I wasn’t completely sure what grits were. One girl mentioned she thought it was made from corn, but it seems to be one of those foods people never really know what it is. I had to look it up on Wikipedia:

“Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta or the thinner farina. “Instant grits” have been processed to speed cooking…Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer siftings being grit meal, and the coarser being grits.”

Eventually, we met up with our friends Matt and Jess who were getting out from seeing the play Cinderella. We picked them up near the theater. Let’s just say I was feeling pretty buzzed by this time. All the while on our walk to the bar we were going to I took a ton of pictures and did a few cartwheels. I have a habit of doing cartwheels when I drink. Mostly because cartwheels are fun, and at least when people say I am slightly crazy I have an excuse. Jess was insisting that the ground was too dirty to do cartwheels on. Considering I haven’t had a tetanus shot in a decade or so this might have been a valid point, but I ignored her nonetheless.

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When we finally got to the bar, I noticed it had a mechanical bull there. Now, I realize that all these bars with mechanical bulls have them for girls to ride. And I also realize that they purposefully make them a lot slower for girls than when guys ride them. Even still, I have always wanted to do it. So when we walked in and I saw that I just decided what the hell. They make you sign a waiver. When it was my turn I lasted a few seconds over a minute, which I guess isn’t too bad.

All in all, NYC is always a fun time!

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