Not quite, but now that the maybe apartment is finished and we're up and running, we've vowed to make the most of this fair city. After all, it's the city that never sleeps. I'm prepared to say that New York must be the easiest place in the world to stay up all night, should the need hit you. Why, just in our little enclave there are hundreds - hundreds, I tell you! - of bars, restaurants, and diners that are more than happy to serve you at all sorts of hours that I would generally consider as belonging to the nutter breed, along with delis, wine shops, mini-marts and pharmacies that will happily cater to your every need, no matter when you're experiencing them. Particularly the pharmacies, which carry so much stock they pretty much do away with the need for those same delis, mini-marts, and wine shops. Nothing like buying a hefty dose of processed sugar and some cigarettes with your antacids.
Anyway, even though I have yet to require these all night services, I really like knowing they're there. It's a welcome change from London and its tendency for all the best places to close at 11pm*, and a good feeling, knowing that if you wake up at 3am with an insatiable desire for sushi, it's easy to get hold of. If you really want to, you can even stop for a drink on the way. Of course, the same applies if you happen to still be out and about at 3am, but in my world, the idea of that happening is just laughable. I like my sleep, and I only get a solid eight or nine hours a night as it is.
So we've taken to going out quite a fair amount**, enjoying the surplus of, well, everything, at the same time as being quite overwhelmed by it. There's just so much choice. It's a good thing, of course, but does leave one in a quandary when trying to decide where to try next. We're kind of desperate to try everything, even things as little as different sushi places (the one closest to our apartment is the best so far - result!) and in order to stop us flitting indecisively from one place to another, never staying long enough to actually get a handle on whether this is the place destined to become our new favourite brunch place/casual bar/dinner with friends destination/romantic dinner alone destination/party hard bar***, we've had to lay down some ground rules. These range from the just downright common sense (no eating in restaurants that advertise on TV) to those that we've had to add in along the way (no drinking in frat boy bars because nobody likes being hit on by a 19 year old from Nebraska) to those that H1 thinks are silly, but I need to keep me in line (no eating in places where 80% or more of the appetizers are deep fried). I have no self control, you see****.
Slowly I think we're getting there, although we're grimly aware that at same stage it will be necessary to leave Murray Hill (oh, it's the new Fulham, didn't you know?) and repeat the whole experience in another neighbourhood. We might make friends who live in a different part of town (we have no friends here, we can't afford to be choosy). There might be a concert or gig we really want to see that takes place somewhere else. Our friends who happen to be in New York this week may not believe that Murray Hill is all of Manhattan (of course it is, look, there's the Empire State Building, and this patch of grass is Central Park - yes, mmmm-hmmm, it is smaller that you would think, isn't it?)
Good times. In all seriousness, I am totally excited about making this city mine. All of it, and all of the amazing things it has to offer. The theatre! The dance! The music! The food! The maybe apartment!
I will keep you updated.
*Places I liked to go - not the sort of places you'll find on any 'best of London' list, in other words.
**For us - we go out a fair amount for us. Don't get too excited.
***HA HA! The last one is, of course, a joke.
****When it comes to deep fried food, not 19 year old Nebraskans.