So much beer.
I rarely every make it to downtown Manhattan. Like…ever. Now that I live in Astoria, Queens (the best NYC neighborhood, don’t argue with me on this) I find it hard to find the motivation to go anywhere outside of the five block radius around my house except to go to work in Midtown.
But one weekend in September, my brother finally came to visit me for the first time, I had to take him on the tour of my old stomping grounds.
My first apartment was in Alphabet City. It was tiny, overcrowded, and overpriced. And I loved almost every second of living there. For those of you who’ve never been to New York, Alphabet City is a sub-neighborhood of the East Village. It is a place where the musical, Rent, is set. Back in the 1980s, most of the people who voluntarily visited Alphabet City were after one thing: drugs. The little park in the middle of the neighborhood used to be filled with junkies.
Now, the junkies have been replaced by hipsters and NYU and Columbia students. It is home to tiny boutiques and some of my favorite bars.
This year marked my second time attending the Jazz Age Lawn Party–a 1920s-themed party on Governors Island in the middle of New York Harbor.
Since moving to New York, I have become a sucker for theme parties. This lawn party is the ultimate themed event for me because I get to dress up, picnic in the park, dance the Charleston (poorly), and drink gin. These are some of my favorite things.
I have been fortunate enough to visit Fire Island, New York many times since I was a kid.
Fire Island is a narrow island (approximately 32 miles long and an average of one mile wide) that runs parallel to the southern fork of Long Island. There are only two bridges to the island, but in most of the towns, cars are not allowed. Most of the beaches are easy to get to via public ferry, but some of the smaller beaches are only reachable by private boat. This means that many of the beaches are miraculously empty, making you feel like you have the whole island to yourself.
I have to admit, when it comes to clubbing, I’m a bit of a party pooper. I’m always up for a night out at the pub or a sensible bottle of wine at the neighborhood wine bar. But when it comes to a loud music and a bunch of sweaty people dancing all up against each other…I’m not so into it.
But when I found out that one of my favorite places in Astoria, the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, was hosting a silent disco, I was all in.
For party poopers like me, a silent disco is perfect. At a silent disco, each person is given a set of wireless headphones with two or three channel options. Often, DJs compete for listeners. This silent disco had three different DJs broadcasting three different music genres: R&B, top 40 hits, and 80s/90s songs. While most clubbing isn’t conducive to socializing, if you wish to chat with your dance partner at a silent disco you can just remove your headphones. When you’re ready to head back to the dance floor, all you have to do is tune back into the channel of your choice.
This summer the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is hosting a silent disco every other Friday. The company that runs the silent disco, Quiet Events, is also hosting many other events around the city.
Ever since I was five, I wanted to live in New York City.
Around that time, my mother dressed me in my finest dress and my little string of pearls and took me to see the Sound of Music at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. From then on, I was obsessed with musical theater and, subsequently, Broadway and New York City. I would print out pictures of the City from the internet and make collages to decorate my room with. I would watch the Today Show with my mother, just so I could get a glimpse of the skyline. I would beg my parents to take me into Manhattan every time we visited my uncles who lived in New Jersey and Connecticut. I rarely got my way, but when I did I was enthralled with the City. I knew I was going to live in New York City one day.