I see your Eiffel Tower and raise you an Empire State.

Disclaimer: You can't help but sound showy when mentioning Paris. This isn't intended to sound snooty. Also, a week in Paris isn't enough to get a full picture of the place but NY endows you with a discriminating mind (and I don't mean it as a bad thing as the Buddhists view it).  

You know you're afflicted by stage 4 of  "it's a helluva town" when shortly after your mini-vacay in Paris, you think to yourself, "Still, the energy and quirkiness of NY remain unmatched."

[Wha? The metro shuts down at 2:15am? (huff&puff). Not that my mid-30s self will be raging past 11pm but I still like to know it's possible...say after consuming three energy drinks. For the record, the Paris Metro is as well connected as the NYC subway.]

This conflicted, limbo state is awful. Here I am forwarding a digital collage of Paris pics to friends and family -  raving about Giverny - only to be mesmerized by JJ Hat Center in Flatiron-Manhattan on this new show.  [Wha? It's been around since 1911 and I didn't even know of its existence until a "No Reservations" meets "A Day In The Life" hybrid tells me about it?! Aside: This isn't an insult...I like the show (down, NY paranoia, down).] 

> Cue in native daughter guilt of not having seen/heard/felt/read/touched/tasted all things authentically NY prior to my leaving. < 

So, here's the ultimate truth: you compare every place you have been,  you currently are, and probably going to be next - to NY. I've tried suppressing/repressing/compressing this impulse that negates 'finding my peace' and 'living in the now' (note: spending too much time in the B&N self help section).

It's why:

  • my browser homepage is set to The New York Times
  • my closest chums are those I met in NY
  • my parents are only mildly impressed by other places
  • two of my young nieces proudly state they were born in Brooklyn
  • I still awkwardly half smile and mumble 'hello' when cheerfully greeted by strangers
  • I feel like I can blog about everything because I have an opinion about everything 
  • I mentally rank people according to their personal style and taste level
  • I want to make a memorable entrance everywhere I go (oh wait, is this more megalomania?)
    e.g. My car with sunglass windshield covers - instant conversation starter. 

So, yes, the croissants-coffee combo, the architecture, the breadth of history, the language, and the sophisticated style of ordinary folks 
in Paris are intoxicating but yet, custom cocktails are a fairly new phenom.
I know, right?[            ]Well, maybe, NY's divey/piano bar/loungey/rooftop/speakeasy/ring-around-the-rosie drinking scene* isn't the cultural equivalence I'm looking for.

How about its trend-setting mixologists, like the wunderkind Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit, and an accredited bartending school run by Columbia U? 

Now there's something authentically New York.    

*Please drink responsibly. 

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