My Almost Boyfriend

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4 week—1 officially dating– with Blue flew by with the kind of blissful excitement that can only come out of a new romance. Nights spent in bed listening to alternative music, awesome dates at East Village local Chinese and Austrian restaurants, long easy-going walks and what was shaping up to be a very exciting sex life.

I was finally starting to feel like I could let my guard down. After all of my failed relationships, brief romances and hookups, this seemed to finally be shaping into something I could see manifesting into permanence. It was just easy. And I’ll admit, things moved fast. It may not have been the most intelligent or rational way to go about the relationship but the truth is, it just felt good. It felt good to move fast, to say sweet things and, most of all, to just be myself and let a guy like me just the way I am.

That’s one of the things I liked most about him, that I could just be myself. I wasn’t worrying about speaking my mind or being too forward. I didn’t worry about having too much fun with my friends or getting too crazy on the weekends. He seemed to like that about me. He seemed to really enjoy my openness, my free-spirited nature, my sharp sense of humor and my active social life.

He doesn’t talk much around other people. He’s stoic. That didn’t bother me. It was like he was the wind beneath my wings. Quiet, there if I needed him and never pushy or overbearing. I enjoyed it and I became very comfortable, quickly. It’s extremely unusual for me to let anyone into my life. I tend to live by the whole “No New Friends” mantra, content with my friendships, not really looking for anything serious in the romance department. So, this was different. At least for me.

And, over the last few weeks, I started to feel happy. Really happy. And strangely, it didn’t scare me to feel like that.

As it happens not everything could keep swimming along so easily. Reality had to come knocking and it decided to do that knocking this weekend, when I turned 24 years old.

The night before my birthday party was perfectly normal. My best friends, Blue and I all had dinner at one of my favorite burger places—it’s my party and I’ll have a burger if I want to!

Afterwards, we drank wine on my roof, and one-by-one my friends disspeared, off to bars or to bed. Blue and I spent a few more hours listening to Sam Smith (my choice, my birthday) and talking.

The next day was just as carefree. We laid in bed for most of it, and then took a long walk with my friend GH, who was staying with me from Paris until the following Monday. After Blue left to head downtown, GH told me Blue looked like a husky puppy. His hair is almost completely grey and he has stormy blue eyes I can’t get enough of.

My birthday party was a blast. I, of course, was very drunk. It was my birthday, what better excuse could I have? My roommate and best friend since childhood, ON, had words with one of my friends but other than that, a drama-free evening flowing with too much red wine and champagne.

My new roof neighbors, a group of young twenty-something guys, were also having a party and we all joined together to make one muddled, wildly fun gathering. I don’t really remember going to sleep, but I remember having a marvelous time.

A great way to bring in the arbitrary age of 24.

The next morning, my actual birthday, was when things went terribly wrong. Blue bluntly said, “I don’t think I can keep up with your lifestyle.” Dizzy and still slightly drunk, I recalled he’d gone to sleep early, leaving me to dance the night away with my incredulous cohorts. His words were sharp combined with the searing sunlight of mid-morning. It took me a moment to understand what was happening: he was breaking up with me.

What happened next, and I can’t recall the entire conversation for having been so exhausted, was a back-and-forth of how it wasn’t fair to judge my lifestyle by what I did at my own birthday party. He commented on my drinking and I shot back that I don’t even drink during the week. Also, I’m 24 years old. If I want to drink on the weekends with my friends, I damn well will. All I kept thinking was, It’s my birthday.

He said if my drinking habits were something I wanted to work on then he wanted to be with me. And in those early hours of that Sunday, I couldn’t think. I wanted to go back in time. Or, better, I wanted to erase the last few minutes altogether. To make them never exist. To make it so he had never said those words. But he did say them and I didn’t want him here, near me. Not now. Not now that I was so exposed. I was being judged. His judgement made my skin crawl. It made me want to fade away from him. It made me want to undo every decision I had made to put me here in this moment.

“You should go.” I said. He gathered his things and left without saying anything more.

Over text, we decided to see each other that week, try to talk things through, try to forget or fix whatever it was that had broken between us.

Over the next few days I did a lot of thinking. I tried to stay busy with work, to try and fill my days with as many tasks and assignments as I could so that I wouldn’t have to process my emotions.
But, when night crept in and everything was quiet in my apartment, when all I could hear were the muted sounds of the city through my glass porch door, the thoughts would creep into my mind. For days I lay awake thinking, feeling.

My heart began to close again. An icy frost slowly slithering over the exposed ventricals and mixed emotions until there was no pain at all. Only logic.

I knew that I couldn’t trust this relationship anymore, that we had become too happy to fast and that broken thing Blue and I were meant to discuss later in the week was not just something between us. It was us. We were broken. Broken after only 4 weeks. And what can you do then?

The more I thought about it the more I realized this couldn’t be fixed. At least not right away. We couldn’t just go along in some dreamland pretending like nothing had happened. My trust was gone. It had evaporated like the alcohol from the half empty bottles on my porch.

I knew that no matter what he said, no matter what words, that if I even touched alcohol in front of him I would feel guilty, I would feel judged. And that made me angry and it made me sad. I had almost had a boyfriend. He had almost been something. But it wasn’t meant to be. Like Juno put it, he was a piece of furniture in my weird life and no matter how much I wanted it, he just didn’t quite fit.

I knew I had to end it.

He called Wednesday night. The conversation was brief but I was firm. I know he felt badly. I wish I could say I didn’t think he deserved to but he did. He managed to sabotage something that I actually began to want after so many weeks of doubt. Now doubt was all there was left.

As the rain came down in icy sheets against my porch, washing away the residue of yet another New York day, as I lay in bed, alone again with my thoughts, I knew that this was for the best.

We’re still friends. I’m sure we always will be. We care about each other, that was never a question. We just didn’t quite work. The idea was there, the execution, lacking. I think he’s a very nice person and he still thinks the same of me. There was no nasty, heart wrenching, crying-for-days breakup. Just a realization early in the game.

That’s the thing about almost boyfriends: they can always be your friend because they never even finished the race.

5 Things Learned From My Ex’s Ex

I dreamt I would hear from her; I fantasized she would reach out to me. I made my online identity public enough that with some basic Googling, my email address would become readily available. Still, I never dared to hope that it would actually happen, that she would really come to me.

So, when her email appeared in my inbox that Thursday morning, I felt completely stunned. There it was: an email I’d only ever thought to receive in some alternate universe. It was blinking in front of me: an email from my ex-boyfriend’s most recent ex-girlfriend.

A few weeks ago, I wrote him an open letter, thanking him for all of his psychotic antics, because even though our relationship was riddled with emotional abuse, having to deal with someone so unstable and narcissistic actually made me a better, more self-aware person.

My ex-boyfriend’s most recent ex-girlfriend thanked me for writing the article and said she was grateful to know that his psychological problems were not only prevalent in her relationship, but mine, as well.

We corresponded by email for the remainder of the day, comparing notes and telling stories. It was the kind of “we’re in this together” swapping of information that can only come from being screwed over by the same, deluded individual.

I knew I needed to meet her. I knew I needed to speak to her, to see her and to talk to her. I wanted to be there to help her grieve and to help her clearly see that this debacle of a feigned partnership was by no means any fault of her own. So, I asked her to go to drinks.

We met at a small wine bar between our two apartments on the Upper West Side, 10 blocks north for her and 20 south for me. It seemed almost romantic, like meeting on the dividing line of our separate worlds.

Summer was exactly how I’d pictured her: petite and brunette, with a good head on her shoulders. We talked for more than three hours and, admittedly, got completely wasted on the wine. I mean, what else could possibly happen when you’re sitting across from the only person in the universe who understands the emotional trauma you went through with your ex, on a personal level?

With each and every passing moment I spent with Summer, I began to learn and understand the things that you can only learn from your ex’s ex. I walked away that night feeling free, but also feeling a nostalgic loss.

I regret nothing about meeting Summer that evening, and I hope she feels the same. We’re bonded now in a way no one except two ex-girlfriends can know.

Here are the five lessons I took away from meeting Summer on a late summer evening:

1. There are demons you never knew were there.

Now, they are demons you have to face. Summer found our ex’s porn stash, an event she humorously referred to as “Porngate.” It included a bounty of skeletons that I never imagined could hide in this man’s closet.

Sure, he’d been sadistic and lightyears away from my level of emotional maturity, but the things she iterated via email and told me about at the candlelit wine bar haunted my soul like a lingering ghost. She confirmed what I’d always known in my gut: He was a cheater and a liar.

He was as dark and twisted, as I had grown to understand more clearly the longer we stayed together.

There are problems in all relationships — twisted habits and behaviors with which you most certainly have to deal — but meeting your ex’s ex might be akin to opening Pandora’s box. Though these demons may be shocking and may open old wounds that you long ago healed, they will never really go away until you have all information in front of you.


2. She’s a human being, too.

Meeting Summer was like nothing I ever experienced. Upon meeting her, I was able to make her human and to relate to her as a fellow human and sufferer.

I’ll admit that when I learned that she’d been stalking my writing for the last few months, it made me feel exposed and slightly embarrassed, but then, I felt powerful. She’d been sizing me up, seeing what I was about and comparing herself to me.

She was human. She was susceptible to being self-conscious.

Your ex’s ex-girlfriend also gets hurt and feels damaged, just like you. She’s not some strange mirage that has no true form; she’s just as human as you are. It’s important not to let that fact make you feel superior to her in any way because you are not.

You fell for the same lines; you also stayed when he became emotionally distant, and you, too, dealt with his self-centered bullsh*t. You were both tricked, and you both now share the same mistakes.


3. She’s proof you are not insane.

She upholds the very tangible truth that you are not insane. She is a well-adjusted human who can confirm everything you already knew in your heart, but didn’t have the backing to prove (other than those screen-grabbed text conversations).

Your whackjob of an ex-boyfriend pulled the same sh*t with her, meaning he’s clearly the crazy one, not the two of you. Embrace this knowledge. Own it.


4. She isn’t necessarily your friend.

You may feel like besties now, but remember what you went through, what you fought through and how much you obsessed over his ex-girlfriends when you were the current one. Remember that though you now feel at ease, her scars are fresh, and up until a few days ago, you were the enemy, not your shared former “partner.”

Be aware that though she’s here now, speaking to you like a friend, she isn’t necessarily your true friend. She’s your sister in fellow empathy. Lend her your shoulder and lend her your advice, but we wary of your trust.


5. Meeting her is what you needed to shut this chapter of your life — for good.

She gives you the finality you never even knew you needed. It has been so long that your current relationship with her very recent ex feels so far away, like the crisp air after a passing storm that you remember while looking at a photograph.

At the end of it all, you realize that this person came after you. It was just another relationship. What once seemed so special to you about your relationship no longer feels special.

As you compare experiences and notice behavior patterns, you realize that this was just another frighteningly similar version of your own f*cked up situation.

She is the bookend, where he was a final chapter.

Originally Posted On Elite Daily

The Science Of Giving A Shit

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I woke up Saturday morning and kept my eyes tightly shut, consumed with desperate prayers that when I finally let my eyelids crack that I would be faced with the familiarity of my own apartment.

I didn’t get so lucky. Since I didn’t remember getting to this apartment I instinctively knew that something awful has happened last night. That I had had too much to drink, in all likeliness had acted absurd and obnoxious and was now going to be forced to face a situation I wanted absolutely nothing to do with.

I’ve been seeing Blue for a while now. I probably should have acknowledged his presence in my life on this blog before today but I didn’t expect that this was going to end up being something and figured I could just hash it out later as things would come to an end sooner rather than later. And I guess part of me didn’t want to jinx it. What did I do to even deserve an actual nice guy?

I’m a sex writer and have a blog where I openly discuss my life and the events surrounding it. What man in their right mind would want to date a person who does what I do? Obviously, I wouldn’t want to be with a man who didn’t accept my work and acknowledge the value that it brings to the world without dismissing it as vicious smut., but I didn’t really think there were many men out there who were actually understanding and, honestly, appreciative of my work.

But Blue is different. He cares about my writing and seems to care about me as well. I plan to post some of his writing here as he’s currently grappling with the realities of dating me: an emotionally unavailable millennial female.

I’ve resisted him as much as possible. I didn’t have any interest in having a relationship and certainly nothing serious. I guess reason has won out.

When the going gets tough it’s easier to run away and not deal with the situation than it is to actually confront it. I’ll openly admit that I am great at running. I could have a PHD in Running The Fuck Away.

Waking up this morning I laid very still for several minutes deciding what I was going to do and how I was going to make my escape from Blue’s apartment to the salvation of my walk up on the Upper West Side.

How far am I from the train, again? Is it too early to get home so I’ll have to explain what happened to PW? Would Blue wake up if I tried to sneak out? Shit, my backpack with all of my stuff was in the living room. Could I be quiet enough to get dressed and peace out?

My panicked thoughts were abruptly halted by Blue’s voice. He sounded somewhat annoyed, clearly perplexed and obviously frustrated.

We’d gone to a comedy show the night before, prefaced by a happy hour with my best friend from Paris, GH, and a bottle of wine with the steak we had at dinner. I didn’t need any more to drink at the show but I did—because I’m an asshole and have issues with limits.

Blue related what happened. A cringe-worthy mixture of obnoxious screaming and tears. I was mortified. I couldn’t even look at him.

Up until now I had nothing to lose. What the fuck did I care about this dude? Who was he to even get me to feel this shameful about my actions? I hated how vulnerable and emotionally raw I felt. I wanted out and fast.

“I’m leaving.” I declared and started putting on my clothes in a hurry, desperate to hightail it to the train even though it was raining and I had a terrible headache. “Why?” he asked. I explained that I was uncomfortable, that I didn’t want to be there anymore—the usual speech I give for why I don’t face my mistakes and instead run away and pretend nothing ever happened.

He asked me to stay. I kept getting dressed. I wasn’t staying there. Hell no. I looked at him lying there. He was confused and upset and asking me to stay despite the fact that I had been a complete jackass the night before. I didn’t understand why he was even asking me to stay. I brushed it off, curtly, as his being polite.

When he asked again I stopped in my tracks and just stared for a long moment, deep inside my head. Why was I running away from this guy? It was easy to run away before. I never gave a shit about anything enough to make it better. I didn’t have time to pick up the pieces. I just had to leave them there, messy and broken and move on to the next chapter, storing away those unwanted memories in the back of my mind. To admit that I cared meant that I would have to take action and set off on a course to (hopefully) remedy the situation.

What I felt next made my cheeks warm and sweat collect on my brow. Holy hell. I cared. I actually gave a shit. I didn’t want to run away. I wanted to mend the cracks and make it better. I wanted to fix it. And I wanted Blue. I didn’t want to never see him again as I had been planning only a few minutes earlier, as I lay plotting my escape.

I put down my things, climbed back into bed and legitimately had a real conversation. I admitted I was wrong, that I was red hot with embarrassment and sorry I behaved like such a petulant child. And what was crazier was that I meant it all.

He forgave me, which made me like him even more because it showed an amount of character uncommon in most of the men I’ve dealt with in my (almost) 24 years on this earth and nearly 5 spent in New York City. I acted like a dick, he was angry, I apologized and we both cared enough to make it better.

I call that progress. Progress for my maturity and progress for my sometimes-unmanageable pride. To admit defeat was the first step. And admitting defeat didn’t mean that I was defeated. It meant that I was a human being and human beings are flawed.

Anyway, I guess I have a boyfriend now. This is territory I haven’t been in in a very long time and I’ll admit I’m terrified while still being excited.

I’m grateful my heart wanted something enough to master the science of giving a shit.

Gay Men Are A Girl’s Best Friend

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I’m not knocking on my lady friends here, nor am I looking to generalize all gay men into one category or push them into certain stereotypes, but there is a lot to be said about having a gay man as your BFF.

My best friend and I have been super close since we were 12 years old and living on Maui. We both moved to New York for college and have lived together ever since.

He’s my main source of support, my rock in this concrete jungle.

I know I can depend on him for anything and he knows the same about me. We’re like brother and sister, Batman and Robin, Seth Rogen and James Franco. In short, we’re unbreakable, unshakable and remarkable.

I have to say that I think a lot of what makes us such a power couple (he’s clearly my gay husband) is the fact that he, as a gay man, shares so many fantastic qualities with myself, but from a male perspective.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gay men are the best. They have all the emotional wherewithal of a female, while having the same kind of power that we feminists are trying to achieve in the workplace and in relationships.

They’re like women 4.0, and I adore them all. I know that it isn’t fair to lump all gay men into one (although absolutely perfect) category, I just think that gay men make the best friends for any female. Here are the eight reasons why I love having a gay best friend:

1. They always support you

My gay best friend wants me to be the very best that I can be. He isn’t afraid to push me, to challenge me and to make me fight for my goals. He’s been the greatest safety net when I’ve felt my most afraid and my shoulder to cry on when I’ve felt my most vulnerable.

Gay men aren’t afraid to show their emotions; that’s what makes them a lot like girlfriends. There’s no hard exterior or “Mr. Cool Guy” act going on; they just generally want to be there to support you unconditionally.


2. They want to gab about boys, etc.

I love that I can talk to my best friend for hours on end about boys and about my relationships. Likewise, he wants to talk to me about his relationships. I never have to worry about being tuned out, judged or embarrassed about anything I divulge.

Not to mention, you know we have fun playing with his Grindr app while we pregame.

Your gay best friend is the easiest person to talk to because he doesn’t care you were making out with that rando at the bar last night because he was right there with you. This is a time when having a gay best friend is like having a best girlfriend; he’s always up for anything and is always right there by your side.


3. They are (relatively) drama free

I tread lightly when I say this, but gay men just have less drama than women. They are no-nonsense, get-to-the-point kind of people.

I love this about my gay husband. If I do something to set him off, he tells me how it is. He’s not into sitting around, being passive aggressive and talking a bunch of sh*t behind my back. He just tells me what’s going on and how he’s feeling, and we mutually find a way to remedy the situation so we can hightail it to happy hour.


4. They tell it like it is

If I look like a beached whale in my horizontally striped, mid-length, body-hugging dress (yeah, not my best fashion choice), my gay best friend is going to tell me straight up that I look like Shamu.

I love that he doesn’t lie to me because what service does it do me to spend an entire Friday evening out on the town looking like Rosie O’Donnell?

I appreciate the honesty I can always count on, even if it does sting a little.


5. They’re clean

Hygiene in the gay community is non-negotiable. My gay husband is borderline (okay, completely, sorry!) anal. It can be a little annoying since I tend to be a bit of a slob, but I appreciate that he wants a clean home and is always clean-shaven with a trendy haircut and smelling like Burberry Homme.


6. They dress to impress

My gay husband is impeccably dressed. I can’t even deal with all of these straight men in their high-tops and jerseys. Give me J. Crew, tailored jeans and V-neck sweater kind of guy any day.


7. You always have a shopping partner

Okay, not true of every gay guy, I know. They don’t all love shopping, but my gay husband LOVES shopping. It’s so nice to be able to spend a carefree day with a male who I know is going to love hitting up H&M and won’t mind holding on to my purse while I’m trying things on.

He also won’t hesitate to tell me my ass looks fat in those jeans.


8. You always have a handsome +1

I love being single. When I get invited to fancy par-tays, I can always rely on my fantastic, gorgeous BFF to be my arm candy for the night. Sometimes it can be a little tricky finding nice boys since they tend to think he’s my boyfriend, but it’s so worth it for all of the awesome photos we’ll take throughout the evening.

Hopefully we’ll both get lucky.


An Aside–

My only lament about having a fabulous, amazing gay husband is that all of these things aforementioned are the qualities of nearly every hot guy in New York. Sigh, I feel like all the good ones are gay. It’s actually quite depressing sometimes, but at least I have the best friend I could possibly ask for.

I love you, PW!

Originally Posted on Elite Daily

The Best And Worst Moments Of Living With My Brother

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You’re cut from the same cloth, but you’re two different people. You may be undeniably close, and you may even consider your beloved brother or sister to be your best friend.

I know I certainly do; my siblings and I are like a covert crime network, always in constant contact and always up to cheeky no good. That’s how we’ve always been: incredibly close and 100 percent there for each other.

We know each other’s darkest secrets, our greatest desires and our far-reaching dreams. We’ve laughed together, cried together and we’ve seen each other change dramatically over the years.

We aren’t the little children we once were. My little sister isn’t the same tiny tomboy who insisted on wearing boys’ bathing suit bottoms with no top, and I’m certainly not the 8-year-old demon who pushed a classmate into paint for no reason.

We’re adults now; we’ve been molded by the experiences of life, and changed and shaped like rocks close to shore. We went to different colleges: two to Boston, another in Ireland. I chased my intense itch to be a writer all the way to the Big Apple.

I’ve been separated from the people who have been an intrinsic part of my life for the last 18 years. When you’re far away from the familiar, you’re forced to be on your own, make your own life, meet new friends and develop your sense of independence. As a result, we’ve all unquestionably changed in our respective ways.

It’s not like I’m a completely different person now; only so much alteration can occur from across a coastline. I still laugh every time my brother does his impression of Stephen Colbert; I still like to drink Diet Coke at 9 am and read old Russian novels. But still, things are different.

I’ve been on my own for over five years. I’ve developed a new life for myself, and I’m following my dreams and discovering new ones.

Having my brother move in with me seemed like the only logical thing to do. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Frankly, we did have a great summer; though, I rarely saw him, save for weekends due to his intense internship.

But there were also challenges: the kinds of challenges that can only arise when you’re living with someone who knows you so well inside of your newly constructed world.

It’s not the same as when you’re home with your family; that setting has already been established. It’s the comfortable world the child-version of you understands.

Living with your brother or sister as an adult is an entirely different experience. Though I wouldn’t trade having these past few months with my brother for the whole world, we definitely had our ugly moments.

With that being said, here are the ups and downs of living with a sibling:

You have a constant companion

The Upside:

You always have someone to hang out with. My brother and I have been taking these really amazing creative walks where we brainstorm different artistic projects that we’re working on. This article, for instance, was a product of a long, invigorating conversation.

Having your sibling live with you means you’re never alone. You always have someone to binge-watch “Breaking Bad,” to tag along with you to CVS and you always have someone to talk to.

The Downside:

You always feel like you’re obligated to invite him or her to everything and to make sure he or she is having the most fun possible. It can be a lot of fun having someone around all the time, but sometimes you just want to chill with your own friends.

Living on your own means being independent and doing things on your own. Having a sibling living with you means you never get to just do your own thing.


You have someone there who provides unconditional love

The Upside:

Your brother or sister is always going to love you, so you can basically be as ridiculous as you want and he or she is going to be forced to stay by your side. It’s great to have someone around who’s always going to have your back in everything you do. Blood is thicker than water, after all.

The Downside:

Things can get out of control when you’re with someone who will love you no matter what you do. This can result in constant fighting about the most petty of things. You also might even be comfortable enough to get harmlessly physical with a sibling, which can result in slapping, smacking, kicking, etc.

We also like to make unintentional comparisons to other family members to piss each other off: “I’m smarter than you!” “You’re exactly like Mom!” “F*ck you!”


You can share everything

The Upside:

With siblings, “what’s mine is yours” definitely applies. When my brother got pudding cups, I could have a pudding cup. When I got shampoo, my brother used the shampoo. With a sibling, you share everything. You have the same mentality as when you were kids: Sharing is caring.

The Downside:

Sometimes when you’re sharing everything, it can be really annoying. I mean, I’m fine with my sibling eating some of my cereal, but using my towel? That is not something I want happening. I mean, you wipe your butt with that.

Not to mention how many times my socks got wet in the morning because SOMEONE doesn’t know how to use a shower mat. I love that I can share everything with my siblings, but sometimes sharing goes a little overboard.

With roommates, you know that what you buy belongs to you (unless you have really terrible roommates), so when you cross that sibling/roommate binary, it’s difficult to tell where the line is.


You can talk to each other about anything

The Upside:

When you’re sharing your apartment with your sibling, you know that you always have someone there who isn’t going to beat around the bush and tell you like it is. You can count on complete honesty because your siblings have known you for your whole life.

The Downside:

Sometimes things get a little too real. Since your siblings love you and care about you, they think they have free reign to constantly comment on your behavior.

Anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written knows that Mama loves her wine. I do drink a lot — I’ll admit that. Once the day is over and I’m exhausted, I just want to take some wine to the face and unwind.

My brother thinks I have a drinking problem, and that’s totally okay. He’s entitled to his opinion and obviously it’s coming out of a place of love. What I do have a problem with, however, is being constantly harassed over it.

Every time I have a drink in front of my brother, he feels the need to tell me what an alcoholic I am. It’s exhausting; I’m an adult, and I can make my own decisions. When you’re used to being independent and doing anything you feel like doing, having someone constantly bring up your supposed flaws can be extremely frustrating.

Originally Post on Elite Daily

To My Emotionally Unstable, Certifiably Insane Ex: A Thank You Letter

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Dear Crazy Ex Boyfriend (AKA: Grey),

How are you doing? Still insane, I assume. That’s okay. You were always delightfully batsh*t.

Anyway, I wanted to take the time to write you a letter. I know what you must be thinking: “Oh no. She’s about to go full on Carrie on me.” Actually, you’re wrong. What I actually want to say, in this long overdue message, is thank you; thank you for everything.

Thank you for treating me like I was worthless. For the longest time, I was dependent on you. I yearned for you and every terrible thing you would say to me. You were my everything.

Once I came to my senses, however, I finally realized that I am worth so much more than you could ever dream of and it was you, in fact, Ex Lover, who was so unworthy of my love.

For making me as Herculean as I am today, I thank you.

Thank you for every time you told me that my dreams were crazy, that my writing was a joke and that my career was doomed. Thank you for giving me the drive to prove you wrong.

Thank you for making me feel as accomplished as I do now and for my having a solid body of work at only 23 years old.

For making me so fiercely ambitious, I thank you.

Thank you for crazy ups and downs; the mood swings and the undo spouts of vicious anger. You made me concretely aware of my own emotions. Instead of becoming unhinged, you made me sane. I recognized that the fault was with you and that I wasn’t to blame.

For making me intensely aware of my own feelings, I thank you.

Thank you for all of those strange and creepy nicknames. They’ve made for stellar inside jokes with my friends.

Though every “pet name” was bizarre and somewhat degrading, they eventually made me see clearly that you were wrong for me and that you had deep-seeded emotional issues that you refused to address.

When I look back on the whirlwind year and half I spent with you, I hardly recognize the person I once was — today, I am far different from her. Though you were a terrible boyfriend and a textbook man-child, you made me a more mature and well-rounded version of my already fabulous self.

For that, I thank you.

Thank you for that true gem of an awful email that you decided to send me after I dumped you. I was definitely feeling shaky about the decision. After all, you were my whole world and my best friend for those past 16 months.

It’s very hard to accept that someone who once meant so much to you for so long is no longer part of your life. But that email, my dear, made leaving you behind the easiest thing I’ve ever done. You told me I was a worthless POS (yet again).

You said everything you thought you should say to really hurt me, to serve me up some piping hot kryptonite in 10,000 words (yes, it was that long). Instead, you made our relationship a mere blip on my radar, a speed bump along my journey to greatness.

For embarrassing yourself and making yourself out to be the true bastard that you are, I thank you.

Thank you for sucking so hard, really. I can truly never thank you enough for making my life a living hell for so long. You made me aware of what a bad relationship looks like. You made me want more from my partner and more from my life.

Never again will I settle for anything less than I deserve and never again will I allow myself to be treated like anything but gold. I am grateful to you for being you because you are exactly what every girl shouldn’t want.

Whenever I meet another guy, all I have to do is compare him to you and I’ll immediately know if he’s worth my attention.

For my next great love, I thank you.

I sincerely hope that my relationship with you has made you a better person. I dream to think that maybe the way you treated me was a wake-up call to be a better boyfriend. I doubt that’s what happened, but a girl can certainly wish.

I feel bad for whichever girl is your next victim and, at the same time, I’m happy for her because with any luck she, too, will be a stronger woman for having dealt with you.

I wish you the very best, you scum-sucking, basic b*tch, and I wish you all the success and happiness in the world. Just kidding, I don’t at all.

Cheers!

Gigi

Originally Posted on Elite Daily

Things I Learned About Men From The First Love of My Life, My Dad

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My dad is the greatest man I have ever known. I don’t think there are too many girls out there who can say that. He’s been my greatest advocate when I’ve needed support, had my best interest in mind and never failed to help me mend a broken heart.

My daddy has every characteristic a girl should look for when seeking out a partner. He’s the kind of man who will insist we make a detour on the way home from the movies because he wants to bring my mom her favorite specialty candy.

He’s the kind of man who wants to watch old movies with me a million times. He’s the kind of man who will do my taxes because I’m too inept to figure them out myself. I hope the man I end up with shares many qualities with my father.

Here are 11 lessons about men that I learned from the best man I know:

1. Never settle

My dad taught me that settling is not an option. His kindness, generosity and understanding heart have always been qualities that I admire and adore. I could never settle for some Jo Schmo who specializes in the mundane and has a Ph.D. in boring.

I want someone who will sing and dance to the Spice Girls with me and someone who will support me in everything I that I do; someone who will challenge me and always be my biggest cheerleader.


2. Marry a man who loves children

My dad can cradle a little bundle of joy to sleep in a matter of minutes while cooing love songs. I want to marry a man who loves to play with our kids, who wants to take them to the park and who wants to build them awesome rocketship beds.

A man who loves children is a man with a pure heart and an infinite amount of compassion. Watch how a man is with children and that’s how you’ll be able to tell if he could potentially be a worthy father for your own someday.


3. Don’t date that hot assh*le

That “bad boy” might be a good kisser and his awesome tattoos might make him alluring, but truthfully, it’s the nice ones who deserve your time. The nice ones are the ones who will bring you chicken nuggets when you’re hungover at work and pick you up when you’re drunk and lost at 3 am.

I want to marry a man who isn’t afraid to show his emotions, hold my hand and treat me with genuine understanding and kindness. They say that the nice guys always finish last; well, the nice guy will always end up stealing my heart.


4. Intelligence is the sexiest trait a guy can have

My dad is extremely well read and knowledgeable. My mother used to call him “Dr. Daddy” because of the precision and care in which he fixed my cuts and scrapes. I remember thinking he was a real doctor because he seemed to know so much about medicine.

He also seemed to know everything about history, science and math. He is the smartest man I have ever met and I still learn new things from him every day. Intelligence is one of the first things I look for in a man.


5. I deserve to be worshipped

I deserve to be with a man who adores me and who is in awe of me. I want to be with a man who wakes up next to me every morning and thinks, “Wow, I am the luckiest guy in the world.” I’ve never seen anyone look at his wife the way that my father looks at my mom.

It’s a look that communicates that he has no idea how on earth he ended up such an amazing woman and is constantly thankful for his good fortune. I hope my man will look at me in the same way.


6. Only date readers

If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have a lot of books, don’t f*ck ‘em. – John Waters

You shouldn’t, indeed! If there’s anything that my father’s endless books and thirst for literature have taught me, it’s that books contain the magic of other worlds. When I fall in love, it will be with a man who loves to read as much as I do.


7. Marry someone who wants a partner

You should want a person who wants to be your equal and who wants just as much out of life as you do. You should want a man who supports your dreams and encourages you to pursue your greatest desires.

You should want a partner, but you should also want someone who wants you and loves to take care of you, as well; someone who will bring you chicken soup when you’re sick and hold your hand when your dog dies. Likewise, you should always be willing to offer that same level of care and support for him.


8. Only give your heart to someone who will treasure it

The heart is a delicate, complicated entity and it is easily broken. Only give it to someone who will handle it with care. We may pretend to be strong, but we girls have fragile hearts that need tender loving.

Of course, love is always a risk and a leap of faith, but when you find the love that you want to last forever, it should be with someone who will unabashedly adore you.


9. Never be afraid to stand your ground in an argument

You should never feel like you are not able to speak your mind in a relationship. If he’s done something that makes you angry or said something to hurt your feelings, don’t be afraid to tell him. Relationships are about communication and without it, they fall apart.

If you think he has messed up, tell him. The man I’m going to love won’t be afraid or too proud to apologize for hurting me, and he will try everything he can to make me happy again.


10. Fall in love with someone who surprises you

Life is too short for the unexciting. Sure, you’ll fall into a routine. Go to work, come home, have dinner, (have sex?) and go to bed. But, don’t let the excitement die because of the repetition. If you get bored, you will lose that spark.

My father is always surprising my mother with special date nights, flowers and kisses (which gross me out, but are still adorable). I’m going to love a man who keeps me guessing; who loves what we have together so much that he’s always thinking of little things to keep me on my toes.

A girl should want a man who is always asking questions about the world around him; a man who is constantly challenging himself and trying to improve himself. A man worth marrying is never stationary for very long.


11. When he does thoughtful things for you, take note.

Don’t let the sweet things a man does for you go unnoticed. I will appreciate that single rose left on the kitchen table for me when I get home because it’s the little things that count. It’s the little things that are important.

The man who will win me over will think of me as my dad always thinks about my mom.

Originally posted on Elite Daily

Here Are 15 Weird US Drinking Laws Because, Why Not?

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America has always had a very strange, love/hate relationship with drinking. I mean, Americans love to booze it up and yet, we were a country that (kind of) embraced Prohibition.

With a national drinking age of 21, you’re allowed to sign your life away to the service of this country, but you’re not old enough to have a beer. The global average drinking age is 15.9. With the US stuck with a drinking age of 21, that’s 5.1 years older than the global average.

Okay, America.

As a result of our bizarre, ever changing relationship with drinking, it can’t be too surprising that we also have some weird laws to reflect that relationship.

After some careful Internet scouring, a genuine bounty of curiosity and as a self-proclaimed Alcohol Aficionado, here are 15 of the weirdest drinking laws in the United States.

1. In Ohio, it’s illegal to get a fish drunk

This gives the term “fish bowl” a whole new meaning. Just because you can’t give Sonny — your metaphorical gold fish — any Jame-O, doesn’t mean you should stop drinking like a real fish.


2. In Tennessee, picking up the booze means two stops every time

For some reason, this state wants to make getting your cocktail ingredients as difficult as possible. In Tennessee, you can’t buy any sort of mixers in the same location as where liquor is sold.

So, if you’re planning a trip to this Southern state, get used to the idea of multiple stops in the quest to get drunk.


3. In Iowa, it’s illegal to “run a tab”

A “tab” for those of you who were born and raised inside of a cave, is when you leave your credit card at the bar so that you can continuously order drinks throughout the night and pay one lump sum once you’re ready to go home (aka: never.)


4. In Alaska, you better not be giving alcoholic beverages to a moose

Why would you give a moose Grey Goose? Are you trying to get that moose real loose? Well, you should know that if you’re feeding shots to your horned animal friend on “The Last Frontier,” you could be doing some embarrassing jail time as a result.


5. In Massachusetts, Happy Hour doesn’t exist

There is no happiness in Massachusetts. Happiness is dead.


6. In Colorado, you can’t ride on a horse while intoxicated

Horses are animals. Large animals. So, if you’re “heavily” intoxicated, riding one of these majestic beasts could certainly be as dangerous as driving a car. So, if you’ve been swilling down a six-pack of Natty Ice in Colorado and then you decide to make a beer run on your trusty steed, think again.


7. In Texas, your chugging has some serious limitations

For whatever reason, Texas has a law that says that you can only take three sips of beer while standing. While this won’t affect your game of Aces, you can bet your alcohol tolerance that it’ll put a damper on  a wholesome game of flip cup. If you’re visiting the good old land of the cowboys, you better rely on shot gunning while seated.


 8. In Louisiana, you had better stay away from glass containers

There are essentially zero laws enforcing a curb on drinking in any real sense in the Pelican State. Remember those pesky open container laws that kept you from drinking Four Loko on the train? Forget those!

If you want to carry your beverage from one bar to the next, go ahead, man, we’re all good here. BUT! Not so fast: If your cup is made of glass, all of this liberty goes out the window.

Glass is breakable and, therefore a “safety hazard” so, if you want to embrace the legality of strolling down the street with a Mai Thai, you better remember to bring your plastic, grown-up sippy cup (yes, I have one. Why are you looking at me like that? It says it’s for adults). Forget that brawl taking place four feet from you, as long as you’re tumbler is plastic, you’re safety is clearly ensured.


9. In Pennsylvania, you can buy wine from a vending machine

When I think of Pennsylvania, I think of endless miles of wooded forests, log cabins and warmth from a crackling fireplace, not Space Age wine vending machines. (So, when am I moving to PA? JK, kind of).

Equipped with a Breathalyzer and an ID scanner, the state’s supermarkets are home to high-tech liquor robots that are like something out of “Star Trek.” Just step up, prove you’re not already drunk (and not stealing someone else’s identity) and you could be clutching a bottle of white zin in a matter of moments.


10. In Oklahoma, your beer is going to be warm

If you live in Oklahoma, patience is more than just a virtue; it’s a survival skill. In the good ol’ (ironically named, considering) Sooner State, any beer that’s over 4 percent alcohol — ahem, any beer worth drinking — has to be sold at room temperature.

Why is this a law? I have no idea, but I would suggest buying a bottle of whiskey so that you can enjoy a friendly neat while your beer is chilling in the fridge.


11. No drinking on Election Day in South Carolina or Kentucky

This seems a bit sad for both the winner and the loser of said election. No enthusiastic champagne poppin’ with the confetti flyin’ nor sad whiskey swigging alone in your dark bedroom while you cry over a Danielle Steele novel.


12. In Missouri, you can’t put your drugs in your cocktails

I know, what a bummer, right? If I head down to the old Show Me (your hands!) state, I’m going to miss my cocaine n’ Corona specialty.

Why is this a thing the state government officials felt they needed to pen into the books? Was there some huge drug and alcohol mixture conspiracy in Mizzou that I’m unaware of? Someone comment below and tell me!


13. No discounts on alcohol in North Dakota

The use of coupons on alcoholic purchases is absolutely not allowed in the northern of the two Dakotas. You’re SOL, coupon fiends.


14. Nebraska is not cool with your drunken tomfoolery

You cannot husk the corn of the cute bartender in the Corn Husker state. Nebraska law forbids any sort of PDA between bar employees and the bar’s patrons. So, in other words, the most fun thing about heavy drinking is outlawed in Nebraska. Nebraska: Killers of fun.


15. Florida proudly supports the Red, White and Blue

Florida may be a lot of things, but one thing it is not is unpatriotic. The Sunshine State allows military members to import up to a gallon of hooch without having to pay taxes on it. Other citizens have no such luck.

Originally Post on Elite Daily

7 Ways That Going to College Far From Home Changed My Life

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Going away to college in a far away place can be a scary thing. You’re out of your comfort zone, you don’t know anyone and you don’t have your family or old friends as safety nets.

It’s easy enough for some high school seniors to pick a place within driving distance from their hometown. While it may seem like the safest decision, it might not be the best one.

To choose a college far away from home can completely change your perspective on life. You’re out there in the big, bad world alone, but you will grow stronger because of it.

Here are seven reasons why going to college far from home is the best:

1. You get to spread your wings

Going to college far from home is definitely intimidating, but that shouldn’t stop you from flying the proverbial coop and getting out into the world.

Being on your own forces you to grow up and learn to depend on yourself, to trust your judgments and learn from your mistakes. By the time you get out of college, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead (maturity-wise) of your friends who decided to stay near the nest.

This is the time to build yourself up so that you can become the strongest you can be.


2. Mom won’t show up to the dorm with a casserole, unannounced.

When you’re at college, you’re doing college. So if Mom and Dad can just randomly show up any time they want, it might become an issue.

While you’re all cracked out on energy drinks and anxiety while studying for exams or “accidentally” sleeping with a guy down the hall, you don’t want your parents to interrupt.

If you choose a far away college, you are fully safe potential from unplanned familial awkwardness. Can I get an amen?


3. You can make a life that’s entirely your own

Sure, being near home has its advantages. You get free food and you’re near your friends — but in college, being near friends isn’t necessarily a good thing.

This reality puts you at risk for staying in your old routine, seeing the same people and going to the same places.

Being somewhere new forces you to meet new friends, make connections and learn a lot about yourself. Being far away doesn’t mean you’ll be forever alone — it just means you’ll start fresh and begin to build a life that belongs to only you.


4. You’ll learn how to grocery shop

You’ll learn a lot of things when you’re in college, out there in The Great Unknown. Some of the things will be tasks that you probably never had to do while you were growing up.

Well, now you do. You’ll learn to buy your food and then (GASP!) cook your food. You’ll learn how to clean your bathroom and will finally realize when you need more toilet paper.

It can be tough to take care of yourself but ultimately, it’s totally worth it.


5. You get to follow your own rules

When you’re far from the watchful eyes of your parental units, you get to live the way you want to live.

Whether that means spending all day in the library (yeah, right) or hitting the local dive bars until 4 am, no one is there to give you side eye when you walk through the front door or question where you’ve been all night.

You’re an adult now — plain and simple. You can do whatever you want and that is a beautiful thing.


6. It forces you to find adventure

You’re now in the wonderful world of the undiscovered, in a new place where you’ve never lived before. Think of all the amazing new things you’ll try and bars — I mean, places — you’ll get to see.

Going to college far away from home is like an exciting four-year adventure. So, get out there, in the open air and breathe it all in.

Maybe you’ll fall in love with this new place and want to stay forever. I definitely did.


7. Leaving your high school boyfriends at home

No. Packing them is not an option.

When you go away to college, you get to leave all of those boys behind. Who we are in high school and who we are in college tend to pain very different pictures. If you’re holding onto past loves, it’ll likely stunt your growth.

There are plenty of other guys out there on that new campus, many, many miles away from home.

If you choose to leave home and cut the cords, you’ll be that much more ready for the next phase of this journey called life.

Originally Posted on Elite Daily

13 Brunch Spots for Broke Single Ladies

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If there’s one thing we New Yorker’s know about in this city, it’s that brunch is taken very, very seriously. But taken even more seriously than the food is the cocktails that come along with brunch.

Saturday and Sunday, between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm, nearly every New Yorker can be seen sitting at an outdoor café with a mimosa in hand, enjoying some eggs well into the afternoon.

In New York, you don’t screw around with brunch. The problem is, when you’re in college/a new professional and on a depressingly low budget, you have serious limits on what you can afford.

Brunch can be an elusive and out-of-reach activity for you, that is, unless you know where to look. At $8 to $12 a pop, you can’t possibly go boozy brunching just anywhere. That’s why we’ve come up with the 13 best brunch spots in New York for when you’re broke as a joke.

Sláinte, dear slave to higher education and the workforce! May the 10 pm hangover be with you!

Calle Ocho

This awesome Cuban place would never seem like the kind of establishment to be frequented by thirsty college students, but do not be tricked by the glam decor. It is, in fact, an amazing spot to not only stuff your face, but to also get your drink on.

Offering complimentary sangria with your entrée, and you and your friends are sure to have the most fun. Go for the empanadas; they’re delicious and light, yet filling and savory.

Location: Upper West Side, 45 W 81st St, New York, NY 10024


Kittichai

Kittichai is one of the trendiest South Village brunch spots in New York. For $23, you get an entrée and unlimited mimosas or bloodies.

The Asian five-spice French toast with Thai basil and fruit compote may sound complicated, but trust me, it’s like heaven for your taste buds (and the ultimate cure for any ratchet hangover).

Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time, as they tend to fill up quickly, and the last thing you want to do is curse the brunch gods in addition to your headache.

Location: South Village, 60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012


Scallywag’s

Scallywag’s may win for most unassuming, kickass brunch spot in all of New York City.

Its awkward midtown location and lack of outdoor seating would make it the last place you would expect to find an amazing spot to munch and chug. Disguised (but not actually disguised) as a normal Irish Pub, this place lets you add on $12 to any main course and drink your face off.

The adorable, Irish waitresses will let you sit there from 11 am to 4 pm because the Irish know how important it is to drink excessively in the middle of the day.

They also play amazing 90s music (I love you, Aaron Carter!). Get the classic burger with Gruyere cheese; it’s arguably the best burger I’ve ever tasted.

Location: Midtown West, 508 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018


Garage

This adorable little spot is a super laidback, fun place to come with friends and get drunk.

Whatever you choose off the menu is $16.95, and if you add $6, it’s all-you-can drink. They also have really fun live jazz on Sundays, so you and your friends can kick back, throw back and have yourself a merry little brunch time.

Have the surf and turf eggs benedict for a real experience in reasonably priced decadence. A piece of filet, lobster and hollandaise? Sign me up, please.

Location: Greenwich Village, 99 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014


Agave

For $27.95, you can choose any one of Agave’s phenomenal brunch specialties while drinking as many mimosas and bloodies as you can swallow in an hour and thirty minutes.

Though there’s a time limit, their service is noteworthy enough to ensure that your glass will never be empty. Personally, I can’t be tempted away from the huevos rancheros. With savory pork and beef, it’s the quintessential combination of meat and eggs.

No matter if you’re hungover or feeling spry, you will walk out of here feeling like Superman (or Superwoman).

Location: West Village, 140 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014


Queens Comfort

One acronym sums up exactly why Queens Comfort is a splendid place for your weekend brunching: BYOB.

Yes, my friend, you can bring your own booze to this heaven on earth for the desperately hungover. This reasonably priced little spot also has some of the best comfort food you may ever taste.

All of the portions come in quadruple sizes, so you and your buddies can share a variety of tasty liquor sponges. Go for the salty pork benedict.

Location: Astoria, 4009 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103


Lavo

Looking for the opposite of relaxed? Looking to keep the weekend going with dancing, loud music and plenty of food? Cue what I like to call, the disco brunch.

The best part about this brunch is that you can go for free if you know the right people. Knowing a promoter is common knowledge when it comes to the club scene, but only a select few have the in with the promoters who also provide brunch the next day.

Those mass texts suddenly just became more bearable, huh? Going to Lavo is like going to a club in the middle of the day. All the girls are in sky-high heels and everyone is dancing on chairs.

If you’re looking for a mid-day dance party, this is the place for you.

Location: Midtown, 39 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022


Il Bastardo

For $39 for an entrée and unlimited drinks, Il Bastardo may seem a bit pricey, but the food is so good that it’s worth the splurge once in a while.

It also has the perk of being very conveniently located to most of the west side trains on Manhattan, making trekking there with a hangover worth the price.

Help yourself to their frittata with caramelized onions and zucchini. It’s a Spanish pie with no regrets.

Location: Chelsea, 197 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011


Rayuela

Honestly, Rayuela would still be a winner without its two-hour, $15, unlimited sangria meal addition, but it sure is an added bonus.

The Latin food is very reasonably priced, and that’s just what you need when you’re looking to sit, relax and enjoy your sunny weekend (and possibly to destroy your hangover).

Order the arepa con huevos, which consists of a sweet corn arepa topped with sunny-side-up eggs, chorizo and tetilla cheese sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Location: Lower East Side, 165 Allen St, New York, NY 10002


Day and Night

Another disco brunch arena in which you can push your blood alcohol level to the max, Night and Day is a perfect location for your brunch antics.

Once again, knowing the right people is key to enjoying this kind of mega-crazy wonderland. If you go with a promoter (or if you know someone who knows a promoter or owner) you’ll get to dance, drink and eat for free.

Just make sure you go home and take nap before hitting Meatpacking later on!

Location: West Village, 25 Little W 12th St New York, NY 10014


The Sparrow Tavern

The Sparrow Tavern doesn’t offer a bottomless brunch special, but don’t stop reading! Even if you only have one, get yourself a spicy bloody mary because those bad girls are fierce!

Combine that with their smoked salmon omelet and nothing in your life will ever be the same.

Location: Astoria, 24-01 29th St, Astoria, NY 11102


Cascabel Taqueria

Sometimes you just don’t want eggs when it’s 2 pm, and that’s okay.

At this adorable Mexican place you can have some of the most delicious tacos and guacamole that I’ve ever tasted, and trust me, I know my guac and tacos.

For $15, you can add on all the brunch cocktails you want — scratch that, need — for as long as your little heart desires. Its breezy outdoor seating makes for thoroughly delightful people-watching because we all know the Upper West Side has its fair share of crazies.

Get some guac to share for the table and the steak tacos for your main course. You can thank me later.

Location: Upper West Side (Near Columbia), 2799 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10025


Essex

Essex is super trendy and looks far more expensive than it actually is. For $23.95, you get your choice of three bloody marys, mimosas or screw drivers. Go for a classic with the huevos rancheros.

There’s nothing like some black beans and eggs to really get your day going (at 2 or 3 pm). The lively atmosphere and cool location make for a great brunch experience.

Location: Lower East Side, 120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

Originally posted on Elite Daily