I was pretty much counting down the days. I always do when my trip back home approaches. Generally, I head that way about every three months, and the nineteenth of February would have been exactly that long since I was last there. But as often is the case, my plans changed. It's for the good, though; I'll be in the Philippines, working with what is surely to be one of the hottest spots in the entire country. So New York City will have to wait. This time until March.
The thing is I get a bit fuzzy for the city every now and again. I wouldn't say homesick; I've never been one to ever really experience that feeling--that's how I knew as soon as I started traveling that it was something that fit me so well. But you know that warm, fond, fuzzy thing that happens to you when you think of something or someone that has been briefly absent from your life? Well, that's what I get when Manhattan crosses my mind.
So of course my brain brings me back to my last return visit. I was there through Halloween and left as it neared Thanksgiving, just making it back to Southeast Asia to experience the American holiday in an Irish pub, being fed cranberry sauce and stuffing and unrecognizable vegetable matter (good thing I don't eat meat; that was much worse) made by Thais. It didn't do any good at suppressing that fuzzy feeling.
Since then I've been to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and all over the north of Thailand, and New South Wales, Australia. As I said, I'll soon be in the Philippines--Manila mostly--and surely another two or three countries in Asia before returning briefly to New York in March. And along the way, I see some incredible places. Some of them I will certainly be revisiting, others have already been happily forgotten. But the while, New York draws me in.
The general feeling there is changing, of course, with the current economic situation--as it is all over the world. But people are drinking great cocktails and talented barmen and barwomen are putting them together for us. The pictures on this page are bar shots of Butter and Double Crown, in the East Village and Bowery, respectively. They're a few of my current favorites (a mix of new and old), along with PDT, The Smith, Pop Burger in the Meatpacking, Pegu Club, Tailor, Kemia, Norwood, and Ara. It's what I have with me of the city right now. At least until I head back in March.
So here's to whatever it is that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling now and again. There's probably a cocktail that someone does somewhere nearby that can bring you a bit closer.