Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple: Eating out in NYC

A visit to New York can seem overwhelming at first. You’re immediately greeted by a sea of bumbling tourists, sirens, scaffolding, filthy slices of sidewalk pizza and swarms of rats. All that, and THEN you leave your hotel lobby! The fact is, New York has a little piece of every part of the world, although it is always the piece that smells like stale urine. Nowhere else on Earth can you buy a real Cartier watch, a fake Gucci bag and a questionable hot dog all on the same 30-foot stretch of vomit-stained sidewalk. There’s so much to do and so much to see––and in the Big Apple you’ll do and see it all, whether you want to or not!

You New Yorkers out there are probably shaking your heads right now. I know what you’re saying: all these observations apply mainly to Midtown Manhattan, not to the other parts of the city where millions of perfectly nice people live and work. To that, I reply: If I never wrote uninformed, flippant and wildly off-base hot takes, I wouldn’t have a humor column now, would I? It’s this kind of clever, punchy, content-free schlock that keeps readers coming back!

Anyway, one great thing about New York is the amount of new and different types of food you are able to try, provided, of course, that you have a spare $25 lying around to pay for it. Bhutan, Yemen, Ecuador, California…all of these exotic nations offer up a version of their cuisine in the city, and you would definitely consider sampling it if you weren’t simply eating Italian food for every meal.

Or, at least, that’s what I do. My instinct while traveling is to seek out the most calorie-intensive meals I possibly can and consume them at least three times a day, but sometimes more. I need to build my strength up, you see, after long days of attempting to navigate with Google and deciding where to eat dinner. And there’s no better place to gorge yourself on garlic-buttery goodness than the Big Apple! Besides, the subway is best endured while under the effects of a heavy food coma.

Don’t have the cash for a big meal? Spent it all on the luxurious privilege of riding the subway? No problem! Simply stop by one of Manhattan’s many dollar pizza establishments (motto: “service with a glare”), or else join a large, tightly-packed and extremely dense crowd attempting to enter one of the city’s bagel shops. Really desperate? Here’s a #NewYorkHack: simply step out into the street and see just what it is that all those pigeons are fighting over. If you’re not run over by a taxi, you might get the best piece for yourself!

Between meals, the possibilities are limitless. You could see a Broadway show, visit a cultural institution or relax in Central Park. You could also, as I did, simply lie in your hotel room in a stupor, trying to recover from the effects of concentrated exposure to that “New York magic.” Either way, “the greatest city in the world” according to “Hamilton” is just a $20 train ride away for us lucky Vassar folks, and we should make the most of it. Or we could order a large, garlicky pizza and consume it in the Raymond basement while watching the rats frolic, which is almost the same experience. Honestly, next time I’ll opt for the latter.

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