The New York Optimist
January 2009
Eve: New York Experience
Eve Krupitsky- “Bizarre NYC Experience”

Veronica’s sunny Californian smile was a stark contrast to the gritty JFK airport and, as she shuffled out of the revolving doors, hauling her
Louie Vuitton luggage behind her, I sensed that this was going to be a very interesting weekend for this unsuspecting girl.  “Of course,” I
remember thinking, “three days in
New York for Veronica is considered a pilgrimage. She probably took enough outfits to clothe all the city’s
homeless.” This was Veronica’s first time in Manhattan without her parents and, as she was a family friend of my boyfriend, Ilya, he had the
responsibility of showing her around. Little did Veronica know that she was about to get a taste of the real New York City. She would come
to understand that New York can be a place of glamorous highs, but also disappointing lows.

Her first experience was the infamous subway which differed quite a bit from her father’s
Bentley. I assure you, we had the best intentions
when we decided to take the metro instead of Ilya’s car because Veronica had never taken a train before and we thought it would be novel
and interesting for her. However, as it turned out, all we ended up doing was sending Veronica into a conniption fit. A group of scraggly
urban street performers entered our train car and began to rap and dance, ignored by almost all of the city’s immune passengers. However,
Veronica went pale in the usually tan face, dug her nails into Ilya’s arm, turning it a light shade of blue as the circulation began to stop, and
started to violently shake. “They are dangerous,” she yelped, “Look at those bandanas! Maybe they are in a gang? They might want to rob
us!” It’s safe to say Ilya stuck to driving from then on, for fear of causing Veronica permanent physical and emotional damage.  

The following day we tried getting into one of
New York City’s exclusive nightclubs. We stood online for half an hour under the rain,
watching people experience the self esteem demolition which is “face control,” sighing at the cruel ways of the tyrants behind the velvet rope.
Though we knew it was possible that we would be turned away, our nervous energy did not falter; we were three people on a mission to
conquer the city’s elite club scene. When it came our turn, loud mouth Veronica went up to the huge black bouncer and sensually asked him
to light her cigarette, batting what seemed to be ten inch eye lashes. He lit it, but wouldn’t let her in, claiming that he was not the one who
decided our fate. We then walked up to a short balding man with a clipboard. “We are looking for someone to let us in,” Veronica said, her
voice dropping down a couple of levels, giving it the raspy quality of sexual vixen. “Me,” said the blasé Tiny Tim with the guest list, without
even bothering to look up. He asked us for the name on the list, but, because we were so preoccupied with Veronica’s visit that week, that
we hadn’t bothered to sign up! We were turned away, egos bruised with the sweet sting of New York City’s dark sense of humor. The
whole way home Veronica demanded to know if she was “sexy enough” for Manhattan and all of us reassured her that she was.

Ilya and I felt terrible that Veronica, the party animal from
San Francisco, hadn’t had the opportunity to go out in New York, so we tried
again. We had no idea, but that night would be the “calm before the storm.” We went to dinner at a
Thai restaurant and then to Mansion, a
massive club that had just opened and had a ring of scantily clad girls and trust-fund baby guys, shivering in the February cold as they waited
to get in. We were let in within a matter of minutes because the bouncer actually smiled at Veronica this time, falling for that outgoing West
Coast charm she exuded with every giggle. The club was fabulous and the drinks kicked in just in time for us all to witness Veronica climb up
on a speaker (next to a half naked go-go dancer in a thong) and dance like an energizer bunny. Toward the end of the night I was incredibly
relieved and a bit suspicious that, finally, one day of entertaining Veronica had passed without any bumps in the road. I wish I would have
known that one very bizarre “BUMP” was yet to come.

Veronica, my best friend, Marina and I were walking arm in arm back to our car. Ilya walked ahead of us, running to warm it up. Suddenly,
my incredibly matter of fact boyfriend stopped, pivoted, strode back toward us, and announced: “Guys, there is some drunk guy asleep in my
car.” On some level I knew that the night we had just had was too good to be true; somewhere deep inside, I sensed that this city would find
a way to “have a chuckle” at our expense. I ran to the window of our car and saw a blonde young man of about twenty drooling in the back
seat. He had on a blue shirt and his jeans were half off, exposing his tight white underwear. He smelled like a well stocked bar and mumbled
incoherently. We three very different girls had three very different reactions. With my low tolerance for idiots and stupidity, I shrieked that I
was going to find the police. Marina, the epitome of a photo loving
paparazzo, practically exploded from laughter and pushed everyone out of
the way so she could pose and take pictures of this drunken man. She lovingly named him “Johnny” because he looked like typical prep
school attendant. Veronica’s reaction, however, was one of pure California glee. “This never happens in San Francisco! This is so awesome!”
Throughout all this, poor Ilya had to shake Johnny awake, careful not go get any of the man’s spit on his coat and had to be the bearer of bad
news: the Thai food I took home as a doggy bag was crushed by the inebriated scraggly Johnny, unsalvageable under the weight of his ass.
The last image I have of Johnny is of him swerving amidst a sea of yellow taxi cabs and I remember thinking that this city was like a beautiful
woman: alluring, but certainly cruel if one lets her take advantage of him.  

We drove home in silence, three native New Yorkers surprised by the night’s events and one California tourist, thinking about the night she
would never forget. Veronica finally understood that New York was not only the Mecca of culture, fashion, night clubs, and restaurants.
Through her sheltered eyes she saw that the city could raise you up, break you down or, like in Johnny’s case, make a drunken fool out of
you. NYC is like a rollercoaster that sends pangs of excitement through your entire body as you climb upward. However, as you drop, you
realize how ephemeral the excitement truly was.  It is rare when one hears a New Yorker say “I’ve never seen that before.” However, this
was probably the strangest experience any of us have ever had in this city of excess.
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