One day, instead of war stories, we’ll tell our grandchildren that 2020 was a year in isolation where we became dependent on video chats, TikTok, and making homemade bread. With bars and restaurants closed during quarantine, our lives stood in purgatory with strict stay-at-home orders that even celebrities couldn’t escape. Artists such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish sadly (and rightfully so) canceled or postponed their shows until further notice (without a new date to plan an outfit for). With social media recently flooded with videos of crowded clubs and sporting arenas at full capacity, it’s looking like the end of the pandemic is in sight. This also means that my FOMO is making a swift return.
I took my first flight in over a year to Florida (which could be a whole other article), where my hotel, the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, had its grand opening during the pandemic. Their rooftop bar has been selling out $1,200 tables (not including drinks!) and the sight of girls sorority squatting to snap that perfect rooftop Insta means that nature is healing, my friends.
The first night of my trip I went to a COVID-safe Foreigner concert and NGL, it was certainly an ~unprecedented~ experience. For one, the sitting area looks a bit like pig pens. Yes, I’m talking pigs on the farm swarmed by flies on a hot summer day, packed like sardines within metal bars. If you got too drunk at the show you won’t have to worry about losing your friends since you — like these piglets — are confined in a metal pen. I’m actually squealing, because I low-key loved being in this pigpen.
This contactless experience was a stroke of genius that really addressed the pain points of a pre-COVID concert. This should be happening everywhere, IMO. Let me explain why we should embrace the pig pens at outdoor shows and festivals post-pandemic.
Pushing Your Way Through Sweaty Crowds Won’t Be A Thing
While I do low-key miss the too-close-for-comfort crowds at a concert and scrubbing profusely in the shower when I get home, that soon will become a distant memory. When you purchase your tickets online, you get to select the location of your pod—which contains five seats and a small table. A lot of outdoor concerts and music festivals are usually standing room only, so it’s a game-changer when you can pick your seat before the show, and not have to worry about showing up hours before to stake out a spot.
Forget Waiting In Long Lines For A Vodka Soda
It’s about f*cking time that venues got with the times. Instead of waiting in line while missing your favorite song, you can download an app to order food and drinks that will get delivered directly to your pod. This is organization at its finest; whoever had this idea this clearly understood the assignment. So go on, buy as many beers and vodka sodas as you want… we’ve got lost time to make up for, and you don’t have to worry about juggling them back to your seat.
You Won’t Lose Your Friends In A Drunken Crowd
In the pre-COVID era, going to a music festival was a true friend test. Why? Because when the crowds rush in, that’s the moment when you find out who is going to stick with you and who is going to leave to push their way up to the front. Being sober (or not drunk enough), when everyone around you is sloppy and spilling drinks, is basically its own level of hell. With each pod numbered, you won’t have to worry about losing your friends. Guests aren’t restricted to staying in their pod, but a mask is required to go make new friends out in the wild.
There Won’t Be A Random Tall Guy Blocking Your View
There’s no buzzkill greater than when you get situated in a crowd (or have your lawn chair set up at an outdoor concert) and then some tall dude plants himself right in front of you. Like WTF man?! Then you’re left watching the jumbotrons, which is better than nothing—but if I wanted to watch a concert from a TV screen I would have stayed home. With the pod seating elevated off the ground, even people walking by won’t get in the way. It’s great to pick where you sit beforehand, and you definitely should splurge for that amazing view.
This pod philosophy obviously works and should be here to stay—long after the pandemic subsides. The new ‘make out with random strangers’ will be inviting them over to your pod. Will the opening line be ‘Pfizer or Moderna?’ Yikes. Maybe not. One thing that will make a comeback? Blurry IG Story concert videos. This is the one and only time we’ll give it a pass.
Image: Ibai Acevedo / Stocksy.com
When most people say they’re outdoorsy, they mean that they enjoy going on hikes. When I say I’m outdoorsy, I mean that I like drinking on rooftops. Maybe that’s why I don’t get many Hinge messages? Oops. Participating in my favorite pastime is obviously easiest in the summer where I can knock back rosé outside and tan, but doing it in the winter is obviously more difficult. Thank god for indoor rooftop bars, where you can get all the same NYC views without freezing to death. Here are some of our favorite indoor rooftop bars to hit when it’s f*cking cold outside.
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Just add you, your girlfriends and some jean jackets. We’ve got drinks & views on deck 😉 Open late, til 4am! #CrownNYC at @50Bowery // pic: @hypebae . . . . #CrownNYC #infatuationnyc #thirstynyc #LESismore #lowereast #50bowery #elizabethstreet #bucketlistnyc #nycbucketlist #cocktail #rooftop #nycviews #todoinny #rooftopvibes
Gerber Group’s The Crown is located on the roof of one of the few gems Chinatown has to offer, Hotel 50 Bowery, and it’s one of the only places in the city where you can get unobstructed views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. That means double the Instagrams that you can queue up to post later on—what more could you ask for? Inside, there are plush couches (and a neon sign, because who doesn’t love a good neon sign?) and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can still capture your candids. The menu changes seasonally, but when I went over the summer, their fruity drinks and lobster roll were really f*cking good.
Fun fact: Hotel Chantelle, the Lower East Side classic, is not, in fact, a hotel! Makes sense. Like my Bat Mitzvah, the rooftop is Paris-themed, but unlike the social event of 2007, Hotel Chantelle doesn’t look like a 13-year-old-girl’s wet dream. But unless you’re going there specifically for French feels, the decor doesn’t really matter. It just looks like a cute, small rooftop bar, which is more than fine by me.
If you and your work “friends” are into happy hour, Hotel Chantelle is definitely the move because there’s rarely a line before 1am and the deals are legit. For instance, $8 for a cocktail and $42 for a pitcher. There are also $8 food specials like chicken meatballs and white truffle flatbread. (Also, fun fact, they also have a good brunch with even better drink deals.)
Broken Shaker is my favorite bar in New York. I know no one goes to a bar for the interior design, but this place has noticeably cool interior design. It was giving me Tahiti vibes in the best way possible, and the drinks were amazing. I actually went here on my birthday, and because
I wouldn’t shut the f*ck about it being my birthday we were so sweet to the other bar-goers, we managed to snag a cocktail table with two wicker peacock chairs and drink all damn night. The views were sick, the drinks were delicious, and the bartenders were really hot. What else could you want in a bar?
The Water Tower
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We love both views; when the city lights illuminate the dark sky and river at night 🌃, and when the Sun ☀️ shows us in the light how beautiful city we live in. The Water Tower is open from 2 pm on weekends. • • • • #thewatertower #williamsburg #hotspot #hotelrooftop #thewilliamsburghotel #cocktailbar #nycnightlife #nycnights #brooklyn #rooftopbar #nycviews #newyorklike
Williamsburg is usually not on my list of places I want to go, because hipsters with micro-tattoos and ironic top hats aren’t really my cup of tea, but The Williamsburg Hotel is my exception. It’s hands down the coolest hotel I’ve ever been to, and I will gladly stay here when I make more money and can afford it. The Water Tower is, you guessed it, on the roof and it definitely fits with the funky aesthetic of the hotel. Even though most rooftops have pretty decent views, The Water Tower’s view is truly unreal because you’re looking across the East River at all of the Manhattan apartments you can’t afford. I’ll drink to that.
Also, unlike other misleading names, The Water Tower is kind of a water tower. No, it never held water, but it’s a giant glass structure shaped like one. So the views are too legit to quit because they’re panoramic. It’s kind of mesmerizing being in there because it feels like you’re in a bubble floating above the street.
JIMMY at The James
Unlike a lot of rooftop bars, this place looks like it was designed for the winter. By that, I mean it’s really cozy and decorated kind of like a super chic ski chalet. I’m definitely into that and will probably be holed up there all weekend. No, you can’t go in the pool this time of year, but that’s why they designed the inside to make it so appealing. And the drinks all have cute/weird names like Grapes of Wrath, Catch Your Pikachu, and Legal in Vermont. I don’t know what those last two drink names mean, but whatever. The drinks are tasty and the atmosphere is really cozy, so if you don’t feel like drinking a cocktail with a lame name at your apartment, go here.
Images: The Crown at 50 Bowery; jimmyatthejames, thewatertowerbar, brokenshaker, hotelchantelle, thecrownnyc / Instagram
For the past, say, decade of my life, the idea of sex clubs has tantalized my brain. Whether it was watching parts of Eyes Wide Shut when my mom thought I was asleep, or devouring every piece of Fifty Shades like the basic betch I am, something about kinky sex has always fascinated me. And the most interesting kink of all was the sex club.
As someone who is jealous 98% of the time, it made zero sense for me to hit up one of these places. I can’t handle confrontation, comparisons, or situations where my self-confidence will be tested in the slightest. Why did I go, then? The same reason anyone would: My husband and I were drunk, bored, and didn’t feel like going out for sushi again. Well, not that kind of sushi, anyway (sorry, mom).
We had no idea what we were getting into, but f*ck it, we were going. So, as a not-so-adventurous woman who recently lost her sex club v-card, I’m here to walk you through the ins and outs of my first time, and how you and your expectations might just be shook.
Expectation: It Will Be Painfully Awkward Walking In
From ordering the Uber (and most likely dropping the pin a block away so the driver doesn’t know where we’re actually going) to entering the club, the sheer thought of the nerves I’ll feel entering is already making my palms clammy. What do I do with my purse? I probably can’t wear Spanx, right? Will people be naked off the bat? Do we start making out on the dancefloor then go to a room or what? I have absolutely no idea how any of it works, and as someone who studies a restaurant menu for DAYS before actually going to said restaurant, the vast amount of unknowns is the scariest part of all.
Reality: Awkward Is As Awkward Does
There are two ways to approach this situation: embarrassed awkward or excited awkward. Either way, it’s going to be awkward, but you have the option to make it fun or weird. The Uber ride? Weird. Walking into the club and signing waivers and getting a tour of the nearly-empty facility? Very weird. Being set free post-tour to go to the bar and start flirting with strangers? Very, VERY weird. There’s no denying it—this was way out of my comfort zone. The thing to remember is that it’s strange for everyone the first time (at least, I’m assuming?). Instead of pretending it’s not bizzare, embrace the bizarre. Ask questions. Laugh at the strangeness. The only thing that makes it more uncomfortable is pretending it’s NBD watching real, live strangers hump in front of you for the first time.
Expectation: I Will Either Be The Most Or The Least Attractive One There
When I picture my ideal sex club, it involves a lot of people who are between the ages of, say, 22-37 and of the same general attractiveness as I am. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what we’ll be walking into. First of all, I live in FLORIDA. Second of all, hot, young people are probably too busy being hot and young to spend an ungodly amount of money to watch strangers have sex on a Saturday night.
After reading reviews of not only the club we’re going to, but every other club in America and a few in Europe, the results are: You have no idea what you’re going to get into (or what’s going to be getting into you, if you know what I mean.). We could walk in and it be all things nose hairs and liver spots, or it could be firm asses and strong abs. My thoughts? Me (a solid 6-8 depending on the day) and my husband (a 10 where it counts) will either be the stars of the freaking show or the stubby outcasts.
Reality: We Had NOTHING To Worry About
As a couple of twentysomethings in a state where the average age of residents is 42, we could have walked in wearing bags over our heads and still been one of the hottest couples in the room. Like in almost any other situation, the sex club offered a wide variety of people of varying attractiveness. The only difference? As opposed to a normal bar or public event, everyone actually tried their best to look good. With a firm dress code, the population obviously put effort into their appearances.
Sure, the majority of the guests were in their 30s-50s, but it wasn’t *just* people who saw the invention of the f*cking telegraph there. By going on a big event night (the club’s biggest Christmas party of the year), we figured there’d be at least a few other couples who weren’t covering up grays yet, and luckily we were correct. While, yes, there were a few uncomfortably attractive people in the mix, all in all it was a collection of normal people who were trying their best to look good, which is better than I can say for almost any other situation I’d find myself in on a normal weekend.
Expectation: It Will Be Expensive AF
if anyone sees me going to a bar with a cover in 2020, please slap me across the face and make me check my bank account
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) January 2, 2020
Now, obviously, as any closeted type-A could tell you, I know the prices of the club. I know how much it costs on any day for single females, couples, and single males (sucks to be you in this situation, gents). I know how much cover is, I know how much the drinks cost before 10pm, and I know how much they’ll price gouge us once it hits 10:01. F*cking duh. What does this look like, amateur hour? But, there’s still an element of the unknown. Will I feel so uncomfortable that I’ll have to down multiple $15 shots before I can make eye contact with anyone or will I be able to make both sexually AND fiscally responsible decisions?!
Reality: It Was Expensive AF
I knew the price of cover. I knew the price of the drinks. Hell, I even knew the price of how much the 30-minute Uber would cost to and from the venue. That still did not prepare me for looking at my credit card statement the next morning. My estimated cost for the evening? $175. The actual amount I spent over the course of the evening? Around $350. Between surge pricing, after-drinking munchies, and the fact that I become a shot-buying whore the second liquor hits my lips, the damage was as painful as my post-sex club hangover.
Expectation: The “Play Areas” Will Be Disgusting
From what I understand about how these places work, there are spaces where the sex happens and there are spaces the sex doesn’t happen. The hookup-free areas are basically like any other bar (loud music, crowded dance floor, sexual tension) and it’s not until you head to the play areas that things really get ~scandalous~. My vision for these areas? A lot of pleather and plastic that will instantly make me wish I brought my own Lysol wipes. Will there be a dungeon with cheap chains and posters of bars on the wall? Sure. Will there be beds with mirrors above them? You betcha. Do I think I’ll be turned on? Not in the slightest.
Reality: Disgusting? No. Weird? Yes
This particular place had two separate areas, the bar and the play areas. While the bar area was like any other bar I’ve ever been to, with pool tables and oldies-stocked jukeboxes, the play areas were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
It took us a while (and by “a while” I mean a lot of drinks) to build the courage to switch over to the non-bar side, but once we did, we were astounded. Room after room of plush, king-sized beds greeted us, each with a different theme (a space room, a safari room, a fully red room), a mirror on the ceiling, and a window where other people could watch you get it on. Beyond the private rooms were the group rooms complete with, you guessed it, black, pleather couches. So. Many. Black pleather couches. Beyond that? Again, you guessed it: a dungeon with multiple cages, sex swings, chains, and a wall full of things like whips, gags, blindfolds, belts, and clamps.
The one way it differed from what I expected was how clean it was. Everywhere you looked, hand sanitizer dispensers were mounted on walls, fresh towels were being laid out by polite-yet-detached workers, and the linens on the beds were being changed and the couches were being thoroughly wiped down. On one hand, I didn’t feel like I was going to catch something by accidentally brushing up against an armchair. On the other hand, seeing someone in latex gloves scrub down a chaise lounge after four couples orgasmed all over it was slightly unappealing. Overall, was it hot? Sort of, and also sort of not.
Expectation: I’ll Be Turning People Down Nonstop
I could expect this to go either way, but in my head, I’m going to be optimistic. As soon as we walk in, a spotlight is going to land on me and the entire bar will let out a soft, slightly sexual gasp. She has arrived and oh, isn’t she perfection? Couples will stampede over to me, tripping on their stripper heels and slipping across the lubed up floor to be the first to talk to me.
With pleasant, knowing smiles, my husband and I will graciously greet our new fans and politely tell them that *giggle* it’s our first time. *Giggle* We’re sex club virgins. We’re just here to observe for now, but we’ll see how the night goes. *Wink.* From free drinks and shots to private tours of the facility and endless compliments, we’ll be the most sought-after couple, not only that night, but to have ever entered the club.
Reality: “Nonstop” Was A Littleeee Optimistic
Did people hit on me? Yes *hair flip.* Was it nonstop? Not even a little bit. Turns out, the world did not stop turning the moment I crossed the threshold into the latex-scented caves. The thing is, the people at sex clubs are used to other people coming into sex clubs, especially the newbies. While multiple couples and single females came up to us, no one was especially pushy or weird. In fact, it was just like any other situation: Light small talk and downing drinks. The only difference is that after a few minutes people would ask if you wanted to f*ck them. The craziest part? A polite “no thanks” was all it took for them to smile and walk away. REVOLUTIONARY! While it felt a little uncomfortable turning people down at first, in this environment it feels totally safe to ask for sex and to casually say no. Again, REVOLUTIONARY.
Expectation: The Jealousy Will Be Out Of Control
If this boy breaks my heart I’m skipping the subtweets and just shooting him
— 𝖆𝖑𝖒𝖔𝖓𝖉𝖒𝖎𝖑𝖐𝖍𝖚𝖓𝖓𝖎 (@almondmilkhunni) December 30, 2019
As stated before, I am, as the French say, “a jealous-ass bitch.” Ever since my first boyfriend in second grade kissed my ex-best friend behind the slide, my trust issues have been out of control. So, the thought of walking around a venue where my husband would not only be looking at other women, but potentially be solicited by said women, seems like a special circle of hell specifically reserved for me. And bonus points? I get to pay for it!!!!
Reality: You Can Be As Cool Or As Jealous As You Want
In almost any situation, if another female so much as brushes against my man, I’ll be right there to casually elbow the bitch away and put my tongue down his throat. I had a feeling this would be the same, except elevated. In reality, removing the weird boundary that we *couldn’t* check out or flirt with other people actually lessened the jealousy. Sure, there was still some, like when the brunette wearing nothing but pasties was talking to my husband about finance for 10 minutes, but in reality, it just made things more exciting. With trust and communication, you got the thrill without the actual risk of cheating.
Expectation: I’ll Hook Up With Someone
Whether it’s my husband or someone else, that’s kind of the whole point of the place, right? Naturally, we have set up rules before entering this, as any couple who doesn’t want to break up in the center of the dance floor needs to do. We know what is and isn’t off-limits and we both have the right to say “let’s leave” on a moment’s notice and then we’ll hightail it outta there. That said, even with all of the unsexy and very rigorous boundaries in place, the whole point of this (other than internet fame and bringing shame to my parents) is to get laid. If I’m shelling out that much money for overpriced drinks and bad dance music, you better believe I’m going to get weird.
Reality: F*cking Duh.
All I want this year is to get laid more & cry less
— libra in the streets scorpio in the sheets (@garbage_babey) January 2, 2020
I was dressed like a slutty elf. I spent $350 on ONE NIGHT OUT. We started drinking at 5pm. Yes, I had sex. Yes, stuff happened with strangers. No, my husband and I didn’t break up because of it. Yes, it was a f*cking blast. Yes, it made our relationship stronger. No, I don’t think it’s cheating. Yes, I would HIGHLY suggest going. No, you’re not going to get any more scandalous details from me about what went down. Not yet, at least…
Expectation: Sex Clubs Will Become My New Thing
Considering my love of attention and my thirst for anything taboo, I have a feeling that once I step foot into my first sex club, I’ll want to keep coming again and again and again. Yeah, yeah—pun fully intended.
Reality: To Be Determined
While I’m not sure I’m going to purchase an annual pass to my neighborhood sex club, I’m also not writing the idea off. While I wasn’t obsessed with the venue, the clientele, or those freaking black pleather couches (ugh), there’s something to be said for branching out of your usual bedroom routine and trying something different. Whether that means a gang bang or just giggling with your partner in the corner, there’s something (read: orgasms) for everyone who is willing to get out of their comfort zone.
Images: Alexander Popov / Unsplash; uuppod, betchesluvthis, almondmilkhunni, garbage_babey / Twitter
In the LGBTQ community, there are always lots of important issues to be addressed. Equality and sexual health rightfully get a lot of the attention, but there’s something slightly less serious we need to talk about: should straight women be going to gay bars? Look, I get it–gay bars are fun. It can be tough to find spots with great music, a fun atmosphere for dancing, and a lack of dumb bros. I appreciate all of these factors, but there are some things straight women need to keep in mind when they’re planning a night out at a gay bar. Everyone deserves to get drunk and have a good time, but there are some ground rules you need to know.
If you learn nothing else from reading this, please just memorize this sentence. Do not go to a gay bar for your bachelorette party. Got it? Great! As much fun as it sounds to go dance to Britney Spears remixes with seven of your best girl friends, it’s obnoxious AF. If you’re in a group of straight women with zero gays, you should probably hang out somewhere else for the night. Not to get preachy, but gay bars exist because, historically, queer people couldn’t go to straight bars and be themselves. Luckily, we’ve come a long way since then, but gay bars are still safe havens for the queer community, so you shouldn’t be taking up half the dance floor.
Every straight girl walking into a gay bar:
That being said, I think women should be welcome at gay bars, and it’s ridiculous when bars try to institute men-only policies. Gender is dumb anyway, so get over it. If you’re a straight woman who is hanging out at a gay bar, though, remember that it’s not really your space. Drink, dance, have a good time–but don’t try to make yourself the center of attention. There’s no one here you’re trying to impress, so you don’t need to be twerking in the middle of the floor.
One of the best things you can do as a straight person at a gay bar is just give everyone their space. Realistically, you’re not going to find someone to hook up with, but that’s probably what a lot of people are looking for. If two guys are dancing with each other, it is not the time for you to jump in the middle. Just like if it was your girl friend and a dude at a straight bar, don’t be a cock-blocker. It’s just like, the rules of feminism (and gay rights). While you shouldn’t get in the way of your friend’s potential hookup, you also don’t need to try to find him someone all night. Gay bars are, like, the easiest place in the world to find a dance floor make out, so just chill out. I’m glad you think that guy over there is checking me out, but I can figure it out for myself.
Me when I see the guy my friend wants me to get with:
This might sound like a rant, but honestly, I love it when my straight friends come out with me to the gay bars. The LGBTQ community should be a place of openness and respect, and as long as you’re feeding into that respectful vibe, you should be welcome. It just falls into a grey area when “respect” turns into “let me grind on all these gay dudes because there won’t be any consequences.” Use your best judgment, and if you’re second-guessing whether something is okay, it probably isn’t.
That’s all, now someone please get me a vodka soda, extra lime.
For more LGBTQ news, pop culture, and advice, subscribe to the Everyone’s Gay podcast.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)
If you haven’t gotten on board with the athleisure
trend lifestyle yet, what are you doing with your life? It’s like, the best thing to happen to fashion since high-waisted jeans. For every girl out there who’s ever had the post-lunch questionably pregnant pouch, you KNOW how great high-waisted jeans have been for the culture. Anyway, besides being comfortable while looking stylish af, the other benefit of athleisure is the ability to purchase pieces that can be worn for both lounging and going out. (Okay, maybe not like “going out” to the club in Vegas, but “wearing out to a bar that doesn’t require heels” kind of going out.) I mean, a piece of clothing you can wear for both??? Like, talk about financially responsible! That being said, here are the pieces comfortable enough to lounge in, yet stylish enough to wear out.
1. Freepeople Second Base Tank
If you’ve ever worn anything from Free People’s Movement collection, then you know how comfortable their pieces are. This tank is the epitome of effortless style. The ribbed and distressed detailing make this tank more elevated than your basic tank. Wear it when you’re lounging with a cute bralette, or out with some sticky boobs underneath for a little subtle side boob action. Pair it with leather pants and a pair of heels and guarantee your drinks will be paid for all night.
2. X-girl Relaxed Flare Pant
I think I’ve said it more times than Scheana told us last season how quickly Rob can hang a TV, but neon is in. (Oh, it’s seven minutes by the way.) These pants are not only trendy, but also comfy and make for great loungewear. Pair with a loose cropped tee, like the one mentioned below, or with a sleek bodysuit for Kardashian vibes when going out. Either way, these pants are a must.
3. L’Academie The Jack Pullover
The best part about the athleisure trend is being able to wear a stylish sweatshirt out, especially in this brutal winter weather when you didn’t want to leave your house in the first place. Note: stylish sweatshirt. Don’t wear your college sorority sweatshirt out, that’s not stylish. Wear a pullover sweatshirt like this one paired with gold hoops, a tight skirt, and over-the-knee boots. It’s very Lala Kent vibes. And no, sorry not sorry for all the Vanderpump references. If you don’t know this about me yet, I’m a #pumprules die-hard, so take me as I am.
4. Princess Polly The Polly Tee
This T-shirt is cool, casual, and everything you could ask for from your loungewear. Keep it casual with some jogger sweats, or wear it out with distressed boyfriend jeans and a pair of cool boots. It’s pretty much the only T-shirt you need and, at a mere $30, you can’t go wrong.
5. Carbon38 Takara Leggings
I mean, get you a legging that can do both, am I right??? These leggings are chic enough to be worn out and comfy enough to wear around the house. They have rave reviews about how truly comfy they are, so you don’t have to just take my word for it. Not to mention, they come in a multitude of colors. So once you get your first pair and fall madly in love, you can go ahead and order a few more pairs with the rationale of them all being different colors, of course.
I don’t know how long the loungewear trend will last, but as long as the Kardashians are flaunting their absurd asses in comfy joggers, we can confidently say it’s here to stay for the time being. And, like I said, it’s actually responsible to buy these items because they’re multipurpose. So like, what are you waiting for?
Images: Dom Hill / Unsplash; Free People; Urban Outfitters; Revolve; Princess Polly; Carbon38
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
When I was a young and naive college student, every post-grad made me swear to live it up because everything goes downhill after you graduate. I assumed they meant that I should party a lot, so that’s what I did from day one until the night before graduation. I mean, when I was in college, all I had to do was not die, and boom, I’ve had a successful night out. Fast-forward almost three years, and I’ve realized the
washed-up frat boys young adults who warned me about life after college were right. Adulthood sucks, especially in a city like New York, where everything is too small and too expensive. And what terrible excuse for a human being decided that paychecks will be given on the same day rent is due? Show yourself! Anyway, as much as being an adult has ~changed me for the better~, I still like to have a good time on a Saturday night, so here are five places in NYC for you to enjoy your hard-earned night out when you’re not 21 anymore. Blessed be the fruit.
1. Sweet & Vicious
Ok I know Sweet & Vicious like, can be kind of a college bar, but if you go before 3am, you can have a great time while avoiding the underage youths ripping shots and engaging in disgusting PDA. This place also has a great happy hour starting at 2pm daily that includes not one, not two, but seven flavors of margarita. If that’s not a hard sell, you need to reevaluate what’s important in life. It’s also in a truly perfect location, so you can either enjoy a delicious, cheap, après-work glass of wine or ball out on vodka crans at 2am. You do you. I like this place because the DJ seems to only play music from like, weird years in music (remember 2008? If not, that was the year “Love in This Club” came out), but I’m not mad about it. Admittedly, Sweet & Vicious is never the plan, but if we are in the East Village, it’s always where we end up. I like to think that happens for a reason, and that reason is I’ve never paid for a drink there. I don’t think it’s because I’m like, beer commercial hot, I think it’s just because there is always a crew standing near me and my friends with an extra few hundred bucks to burn and we are clearly okay with free drinks. Again, not mad about it. One of the most alluring qualities of this place is that it’s right in the heart of charming and sometimes gross Nolita, which means it’s like three blocks from Prince Street Pizza, Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and my booty call’s apartment.
I went to Pulqueria for a birthday party and when the Uber dropped me off in front of a nondescript red door on a random, lightless side street in Chinatown, I swore my days of UberPOOL were over because the driver clearly dropped me off lightyears away from the restaurant to keep my co-rider on a more direct route. LMK if you’d sign a petition to end that policy immediately. Anyway, plot twist: the weird, slightly creepy red door was the entrance to Pulqueria. (If my Uber driver is reading this, sorry for the bad rating.) Ok so, the inside of this place is not to be believed, as it is the exact opposite of its slightly terrifying surroundings. Not going to describe the interiors (you’re welcome), but this place is insanely chic and that is all I will say about the decor. Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I was there for a birthday, so we had a Mexican feast of literally every item on the menu, several pitchers of margaritas, and the most incredible tres leches cake I’d ever tasted. Also, the only thing the birthday girl wanted on her special day was for everyone to get wasted and, because I’m such a good friend, I obliged. The margs were incredible and the tacos were…I honestly don’t remember, but I didn’t get food poisoning. So good thing everyone was sh*tfaced because after 10:30pm, half of the restaurant turns into a club complete with incredible music, dancing, a full-service bar, and beautiful people. I felt like I was in that Zoolander scene when Derek tells Hansel that he thinks he’s too cool for school, but news flash, he isn’t. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re too young. Go to bed.
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Ok I shamelessly love speakeasies. Judge me, I don’t give a sh*t because I have no shame in my game. They are always small, dimly lit, and filled with attractive strangers. What’s not to love? Plus, Soul is above a Five Guys in the West Village, which is a game changer if you ask me. If I can drink beautifully crafted cocktails on a velvet sectional all night and grab a burger on my way out—I think it’s safe to say I’ve struck gold. Here’s how I know Soul is a good time: I went there with my friend, her boyfriend, and another guy, who happened to be very attractive. It could have even been a double date, who knew at that point? However, he could not have been less interested in me and definitely made sure I knew that, and I still had a great time that night. We staked our claim in the back room, where they only played Kanye circa 2006 and didn’t let anyone else in after we sat down. If that isn’t good service, someone please tell me what is. Bottom line is Soul is fun and chic, so if you can hold your own in a swarm of Instagram models, whisper the password to the dude near the staircase and head on up.
Ok full disclosure, Feast is neither a bar nor a club. It’s a really small, posh restaurant on Third Avenue where the cocktails are overpriced and so small that they may as well be served in a thimble. But there’s something about this place that is just lovely, and that is the only way to describe it. Call me old
-fashioned but if having a delicious drink with a side of truffle mac and cheese is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Feast is where I go if I’m trying to impress a new boyfriend with my non-divebar taste (is anyone impressed? Text me back and LMK!) or if I’m done with dinner and am not ready to stop drinking/eating for the night. It’s right near Union Square, so if you don’t feel sophisticated enough to be here, there are a ton of sh*ttier options nearby to suit your plebeian needs. But back to Feast: the food is really good, the bartenders are all attractive and want to talk to you (but not in like an Uber driver kind of way), and the drinks are truly works of art. Did you know there are edible flowers out there? This place knows! If you want to have a late but chill and respectable evening, Feast is the game plan and I will meet you there.
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Just 2 more weeks of #nycrestaurantweek ! Bring a friend or come alone. Either way it’ll be a feast 🙂 . . . . . #nyc #restaurantweek #prixfixe #summerdishes #delicious #foodie #instafood #foodandwine #bar #wine #beer #liquor #cocktails #bourbon #rye #spirits #gin #tequila #mezcal #vodka #interiordesign #feast #feastnyc #goodtimes
5. Bathtub Gin
Honestly, the only reason I even went here was because it looked like a blast in Midnight in Paris and I wanted to party like Zelda Fitzgerald. To my surprise, it is actually really fun and there were no tourists in sight! There is always a line out the door and around the corner, so if you want to skip it, you better be wearing something that’s the equivalent of slipping the bouncer a $100 bill. I was legit in jeans and lingerie and, yes, I hate me too. Like Feast, Bathtub Gin is a scene, but like, a completely different scene. It’s a swanky bar whose specialty is gin cocktails. As an expert in all things alcohol, I can say that gin tastes like nail polish remover, but the cocktails have so much other, better tasting ingredients in them that you don’t even taste it. The only not-so-amazing thing about this place is that it’s like, so far on the West Side that if you get there and realize you’re not cool enough to be there, you’ll have to spend a bunch of time and money getting home. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Images: feastnyc, pulquerianyc / Instagram
January is my birthday month, so to fellow Capricorns, hello, you are the best. But really, we’re like the only sign whose “flaws” are actually compliments, ie too focused, too ambitious, too pretty, etc. Geminis are like, oh you’re two-faced and you’re also batsh*t crazy. Anyway. Being in my birthday month means I have to figure out something to do for my birthday that does not suck. I didn’t even bother last year because I was so over it. First of all, you never have any idea how many people are coming. All my friends are coupled off like Noah’s f*cking Ark. If you invite your friends, you also have to invite their significant others–even the ones you don’t like. And then everyone brings random friends, roommates, etc. It’s like, I’m going to have 5 people or 40, not sure which. Instead of having a horrible dinner where you can’t get seated because your “entire party isn’t here” (even though I explained that my friends are flakes to the hostess no less than 11 times) and people lying about their part of the check, or a house party where you’re cramming 5-40 people in your studio apartment, here are some way better ideas so you can actually enjoy your birthday.
Find a cool, laid-back bar that has food, a ton of space, and cheap drinks. You don’t have to reserve a table and you can just hang out all night. Tell your friends, hey, I’ll be here from 8PM, show up whenever. If they want to eat, they can get it themselves ordering at the bar and put it on their own tab. No one will kick you out, you don’t have to worry about everyone sitting down, and all of your friends can get in even if they arrive late because there isn’t ever a line at the door. They may even have live music. It’s the closest to having a party in your own house, except you get to leave whenever you want, and someone else has to clean up afterwards.
Wine Tasting Tour
I wanted to do a tour at a winery in Malibu for my birthday, but then it kind of burnt down (awkward). A wine tour is fun because if people don’t show up on time, you just leave them, so it’s really not your problem. It’s also usually kind of expensive, so you’ll weed out those people that you felt obligated to invite but don’t actually want to hang out with. There are so many different options, like the one in Malibu is actually a safari with animals (who thankfully are all okay post-fire, btw) AND drinking. It’s the dream! Think of it as a more exciting way to do a drunk brunch and also, everyone prepays so the check is not your problem at the end of the day.
I’m a huge fan of “I’ll be here, come if you want” types of events, mostly because I hate waiting for people. Having a party at the beach or a pool is soooo easy and casual, just bring some food and alcohol and tell your guests to BYOB as well. You can spend the day laying out, talking sh*t, drinking excessively, and swimming with no cares about reservations or your house being destroyed. As a January baby, I rarely ever even get this as an option (I mean, I live in LA, so sometimes it’s warm enough), but hey, with global warming it’s probably something to look forward to.
If you really want to call the shots, consider renting out a private room in a bar or even an entire venue for your birthday. You can pick the music, the drinks, how many people come, and no one can complain about late arrivals. You just stand around looking amazing having the best time, and your friends can come and go as they please. The only true downside is this is expensive. Consider teaming up with a friend whose birthday is near yours and doing a joint party to cut down costs, a la Stassi and Ariana. This is really the best way to do a birthday party IMO, but I cannot f*cking afford it. If only I “worked” at Sur.
Another way to weed out those people you don’t really want to see is to plan a birthday trip. Susan you sit next to at work won’t be offended you didn’t invite her to a trip with your besties to Vegas because, duh, she has 11 kids and could not possibly swing that. It’s the perfect way to cut down up your party list. Even better, book your hotel room with your boyfriend or bestie, and then just tell everyone else, hey, here’s where we’re staying, book your own room if you want to come. Don’t try to split a house unless you want it to be like the dinner check scenario but times a million. But hopefully it’s just your closest friends who you know will pay up ASAP, and aren’t terrible anyway.
Tell me in the comments some of your favorite past birthday ideas!
Images: Giphy (2)
The time has come. You bid all your friends a tearful goodbye because you cannot imagine being without them for seven hours, let alone seven days. You take a crappy flight/train/car ride back home, glaring at any strangers who attempt to make conversation. Look, random 30-year-old dude, it’s great that you love Stanford, but I really just want to sleep. I’m not in the mood to talk to you about how your start-up just received angel investors and is going to revolutionize the cryptocurrency industry or whatever. Stop hitting on me or networking with me or whatever the f*ck you’re trying to do.
If you live in a dorm, arriving home means you get to enjoy your first home-cooked meal in weeks. If you live in an apartment, probably the same because of ~Postmates~. Your mom is probably already yelling at you for not helping out with the dishes (like why do I have chores again?). That’s when your high school group chat starts blowing up with “Oh my god we haven’t seen each other in forever” texts.
All you want to do is watch Netflix and sleep until Thanksgiving comes. However. There’s a plot twist. Somehow, you’ve been coerced into going out. It’s the night before Thanksgiving, the most popular time to see everyone from high school that you were hoping to never see again. (Unless you’re one of those people that goes to college with half of your high school and never makes any new friends, *cough cough* half of my high school.)
You tell your parents you’re going out, and they:
a) Get annoyed because you’re missing out on family time. How could you not want to listen to your dad and grandfather argue about politics? What about a nice game of family Monopoly? Listen, mom, it’s not my fault my friends are forcing me to go out. TBH I would much rather be taking a bath right now and watching Friends for the 400th time, but you can’t have it all
b) Try to institute a curfew, which is weird because you’re used to staying up until 7am without anyone caring. Who the hell is home by midnight anymore? Parties don’t even get fun until 11:30. Time to remind your parents that you’re a legal adult and therefore don’t have to listen to anything they tell you. You then get a whole speech about how they still pay for everything. Therefore you def do have some obligation to listen to them.
c) Remind you to stay safe. Yes, mom, haven’t done this a hundred billion times by now.
After sifting through all your clothes (because you left everything cute at school), you find a decent crop top and your biggest jacket because HOLY SH*T it is freezing outside. You go and meet up at your one friend’s house that is not currently flooded with their entire extended family.
You see all your old friends from high school, which involves lots of hugging and screaming and rapid stories about a bunch of people you don’t know so that you, and everyone else, is clear that their life is amazing. Cue pretending to care about knowing the social hierarchy of all the sororities at your school. Totally not checking Instagram and ignoring you right now.
Now the vodka is starting to hit. This is gonna be a weird f*cking night. You and your friends take a billion photos, which you post to your story mostly because you want people back at college to think you’re actually having fun over the holidays. High school 5ever!
Depending on if you live in a boring town that literally doesn’t have any bars for people under 40 or in an actually exciting city, you head to a house party or a club and prepare yourself to see everyone.
If your high school was anything like mine, all the girls were absurdly tanned, aggressively highlighted, and a ripe five pounds. The boys will inevitably be dressed in high school apparel because you should rep high school forever, obviously. Best time of your life? Right?
Suddenly, EVERYONE is there. Like, why did Alice go that blond, it looks so fake? And Jesus, Nick already has a beer gut…so much for being the star athlete in high school. Every other conversation is “Omigod so good to see you we should get lunch sometime!” Haha, bitch never talking to you again. Time for more photos!
A decent song comes on and you all start dancing. You see a guy from your high school you once were, like, in love with. Then you wonder why because you’d legit never go for him now. Ew, did you even have standards when you were 16? Seriously, who the f*ck were you?
It’s 12am and you find yourself remembering that curfew your mom gave you. You hate following rules, but honestly, everyone is so lame anyway. You accomplished your goal of seeing the two people you still care about from high school.
You hug and lie to everyone that you’ll make plans and hang out soon. Then, you hop in your Uber back home to dream about Thanksgiving. Soon, you will be eating five flavors of pie, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing. You’ll be very happy you’re not wearing a crop top too. By the time you get bored of eating Thanksgiving leftovers (is that even possible though?) you’ll be heading back to your normal life. This weird trip down memory lane will have just been a dream… until winter break when you come home and do it all again.
Images: Giphy (3); Matan Segev/Pexels