Last night our hope was to go to The Moth down in East Village / Lower East Side. Unfortunately we got there and into the line about 10 or 15 minutes too late to get into the venue, which is kind of a drag since we've been wanting to go to a Moth event since right around the point that we knew we were moving to the city. But if you can't get in, you can't get in.
So instead we traced our steps back to Zaitzeff, where I had seen a sign proclaiming "All Bottles of Wine, $15." According to the very cute and friendly waitress, their liquor license isn't being renewed, so they are trying to burn through the wine stock before it becomes an issue, and most of their bottles were normally $30 or $40 (so at $15, counting for restaurant markup, it was probably just about at their cost.) In any case, we sat at a beautiful table in the evening, split a bottle of wine, and at some point (maybe before the wine, now that I think about it) it was decided that we should just try to stay up all night/day in order to finally kick us into EDT from PDT. So while we enjoyed our wine we poked around for stuff to do to fill the time.
First stop: cupcakes. Victoria found (via yelp) sugar Sweet sunshine just a couple blocks away. We were convinced to get the strawberry w/ peanut butter buttercream frosting, and the Bob (yellow cake with chocolate-almond buttercream). OMG so delicious, and it was really nice that they were actually cupcake sized (and priced). These were definitely the best cupcakes I've ever had, and even Victoria agreed that they were in the running against her One True Cupcakery, Red Velvet in D.C.
Next stop: entertainment. We walked another few blocks to sneak into Punch up Your Life, a stand-up comedy showcase hosted in a bookstore/cafe, only $3. Definitely funny stuff, and at least one of the comics was out-and-out hilarious. A great way to spend the evening.
Finding something to do for cheap when the show let out at 10:30 or so was apparently beyond us. We eventually settled on a late movie showing at a movie theater up in midtown near Times Square. But we apparently didn't have the presence of mind to check on subway status, and the station that we headed to in order to maybe make it to the theater in time turned out to be closed. So we wandered through Little Italy as things closed up, and found ourselves on Broadway a few blocks below Houston (thus, SoHo). And not having anything better to do, we decided to just walk up Broadway until we tired of it. And so we walked all the way up through SoHo (stopping at Gonzalez y Gonzalez, apparently a NYC version of the mexican place in the NYNY hotel in Vegas that we've been to a few times), Union Square, Madison Square, Herald Square, and into Times Square, something like 50 blocks. Got to Times Square, did some shopping at the open-til-2am Forever 21 (which, weirdly enough, has a men's section), and then walked back to our apartment.
Lots and lots of walking, lots of empty streets. Walking from Times Square down Broadway and 6th ave at 230 in the morning is a different experience. But one of the things that I find very striking about the city so far is that, by and large, things just don't feel unsafe. It's never completely empty, there are (even late) almost always other people around. And the people that are walking around don't generally seem threatening. In all of the miles that we put on last night, there were only two situations that really triggered my awareness: one of a guy walking too purposefully in our direction on Broadway in the mid-30s, and one of two guys that were stumblingly drunk walking our way, swerving all over the sidewalk and looking both a little rowdy and a little too likely to puke. (Oddly, it was difficult to tell whether they were drunk or zombies, with the staggering and all.) Other than that, things felt very safe. Lots of cops around, no obvious drunk drivers, nothing too rowdy. Just people, doing their things.
And as for the being up all night: we caught an hour or two "nap" right around dawn, got up and made breakfast (OMG, french toast with good challah is magnificent), and will probably have an easier-than-normal day today, and hopefully make it to bed early. And if all goes well, this should help the screwy sleep schedules. And if not, then at least we had a pretty interesting and fun night.