Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Murray Hill Madness

Just saying hi in case you're not, as I assume, out of my league

New York, just like any other city, has areas that have certain stereotypes attached to them. Everyone knows that the hippies hang out in the Village and that the investment banker yuppies go out to the Meatpacking district and spend an exorbitant amount of money for bottle service and the freedom to fist pump their worries away (and oh boy, do they!).

But perhaps, my favorite land of stereotypes is that of Murray Hill, the East side of Manhattan in the thirties. On the weekdays, it's pretty mellow, and people who work in midtown wander over there for happy hours and dive bar food and beer. But then on the weekends it transforms into a veritable haven for the bridge and tunnel crowd. Hoards of people from New Jersey and Long Island literally pour into the bars and commence their energetic muscled poundings to Bon Jovi, Journey, and Billy Joel.

I swear, I have been in a bar that was by all accounts mellow at 9PM and suddenly at 11PM, Livin' On a Prayer comes on the jukebox and suddenly everyone's fists are in the air, emphatically singing along to every word about Tommy and Gina.

For this reason, I have tried my best to avoid Murray Hill on the weekends as much as is humanly possible.

Then, a few weekends ago, my friend R convinced me to go to a party at her friend's apartment in Murray Hill. Ok, in truth, there wasn't much convincing to do once she told me there would be free booze. I'm a sucker for free beer (and hey, you can stop your judging right there - I am not a freshman girl getting lured into the fraternity parties with the promise of free beer - the cost of alcohol really adds up in the city so a girl's gotta take all the free beer she can get!)

The party turned out to be not so much of a party as a gathering of about ten people, but there was a lot of free beer, so I had no problems sticking around and meeting R's friends from college.

So at some point, we were all sitting around the coffee table and talking when one of the guys pulled out an empty beer bottle and announced, "Everyone ready? Let's play Spin the Bottle!"

R and I glanced at each other, laughing, but he wasn't kidding. Once he put the bottle on the table and made his first spin, I started looking around incredulously a) to see if everyone else there was going along with it and b) to see if I had suddenly entered a time warp into the seventh grade.

But apparently, this Classy Murray Hill crowd (Classy with a capital C, obviously), was used to this, because they were all into it. So I'm going to attribute it to the free beer I'd been drinking and my latent seventh grade desires to fit in that I actually went along with it and played the game.

Later, R and I would wonder if it was worse that someone had actually proposed that we played Spin the Bottle, or that her and I had silently opted to play the game after all.

Funnier still, the game turned out to be very PG-rated. When the bottle landed on me, I literally gave the guy a very quick closed-mouth peck. I think I've gone further with our pet dog than I did with him. However, not all the guys turned out to be such gentleman. When it was my turn to spin and it landed on a stranger, he went all out and literally attacked me with his tongue, to which I made a strangled yelp and leaped back to the couch, much to the amusement of all the witnesses.

Two weeks later I randomly ran into the guy at a bar in Murray Hill and he didn't remember me. I actually had to say to him, "Remember, you tried to make out with me during a game of Spin the Bottle? You had your tongue in my mouth!" I'm still not sure that clarified things for him since the Spin the Bottle is apparently a regular occurrence.

The whole night in general was reminiscent of my prepubescent years, sitting around drinking beer in someone's living room at a time when hanging out with the immature, armpit farting boys and playing Spin the Bottle with them still seemed like a good idea. I had previously held the lofty delusion that I had matured a lot since those days since I am now all of twenty and six, but it turns out, nope, not so much.

The whole excursion has not done much to improve my opinion of Murray Hill, and if anything, I'm more judgemental than I was before of the inhabitants and visitors of this area of the city.

And inevitably, of myself.

No comments: