A Quintessential New York City Nightlife Experience

What started out as a few rounds of drinks with a friend ended up being an amazing excursion. This is a tale of a journey across NYC, throughout the night and several lounges,.. ending with the most amazing (underground) Chinese food at 3:30am.

Brief Backgrounder: I was on a trip from Miami to NYC, with my family in tow. After a long day of museums, shopping, eating, and a minor spat with the wife,… I was armed with an unsigned hall pass to go out. Someone say Carpe Noctem? Someone must have whispered that in my ear, because I made a few calls and hopped into a cab an hour later. My goal was to stay out until the sun comes up…

My first stop was at 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge. What a great view of the skyline, you can see just about everything from here. More than a few women were trying to emulate the women of “sex and the city” with their hands wrapped around tall martini glasses.

I met up with good friend Justin here for a bit, got to relax for a while and have a couple of drinks to usher in the early night. I’ve done business with and known Justin for years, but never had the opportunity to hang out (especially in his stomping grounds). Justin is a nightlife/entrepreneur who founded Coyote Promotions NYC, so he knows the city very well.

While I was at 230 Fifth, I got a call from Rudy (another local friend), who was running errands around the city and wanted to meet up for a drink.  Rudy was fresh from cleaning… so he smelled like a pine forest! Funny! It was almost like we were walking through the forest. After a brief sidewalk chat, we decide to check out some outdoor venues in the city – We’re headed to the meat packing district.

Justin and I caught a ride from Rudy and his friend Eddie to another bar… the Frying Pan. Its almost midnight, and the night is just starting to really pop!

We get to the place and what…??? The Frying Pan closed at 12? Justin tweets this is LAME, I second that motion. What bar closes at midnight? On to the next one!

The Standard Biergarten was awesome, full of people drinking beer and  having loud, fun conversations. I opt not to indulge with a beerstein… and pressed forward with my Dewars and water mix. This was a great place to hang out and catch up with old friends. You could tell everyone was having a good time here, even saw a couple of drunken ladies getting loose over at the ping pong table.  A friend of Justin joined up with us – Deon Lynch is up in the mix.

After a few more rounds, the standard closes for the night, and we’re all left with a strong buzz and the need to find a new spot. After thinking for a moment, Justin suggests we head to a new watering hole around the corner…

The Brass Monkey (seems like a college bar), but really its a B&T Crowd bar where people go to get hammered and sloppy. So when in Rome, do as Romans do! More rounds of whiskey later. On par with the mindset and the territory, we witnessed a nice girl letting it all loose with a nice boy she just met. Classy!

Tired, a little drunk at this point, and not ready to go home… Justin says that he just can’t drop me off yet, not until I’ve experienced Wo Hop. He says this is the “Quintessential New York City Nightlife Experience…we have to do it” – and off we go.

Apparently, anyone who knows that this place even exists is already “in the know” and the word here is that this is the BEST Chinese food EVER, and especially in New York. While somewhat doubtful (moreover inebriated), I go with my eyes wide open and my stomach growling.

We parked in what was obviously Chinatown NYC, and walked up a street and towards an old stairwell to an inconspicuous location (more like the subway/underground) that led to a busy restaurant. Not a soul outside standing….

We walk down the staircase to Wo Hop… This place was busy! Part of me was just unsure of how this was going down, as I couldn’t believe that there were actually people grubbing late-night chow here… Especially at this hour, but they were doing just that. I had some of the best egg drop soup EVER, and Deon ate some kind of amazing noodle dish. I forget (literally) what Justin ordered (but he told me later it was Vegetable Chow Fun – yet another popular noodle plate here); I had sweet & sour chicken.

As I’m a connoisseur of sweet & sour, I have to say this was some amazing Chinese food. We all cleared our plates and headed out a little after 4am. Not quite sure really, as passing out was really my only remaining option at this point.

Tired, buzzed, and filled with all that good Chinese food, I was ready to sleep. Sounds alot like ordering breakfast at the Waffle House… “…I’d like mine scattered, covered, and smothered, thanks!

After a brief walk back to the Range Rover, and another ride across town I get dropped off in front of the hotel before 5am, and I slip into the room as quietly as possible,.. didn’t want to wake up the wife or the kids.

As I’m finally putting my head on a pillow, I think to myself …”Now that’s a night out in New York city” !! Can’t wait to do that again.

More Pictures...

…The Biergarten at the Standard

…The Brass Monkey Bar & Lounge (around the corner from Biergarten)

…guy passed out in the doorway on the way to Wo Hop

… Inside the fast-paced kitchen at Wop Hop

… Other people enjoying Wop Hop in the middle of the night

By Louis Wing

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