The last time I was in New York City, I was checking into a brand new hotel with the World Trade Center looming in the background of our room window. My family and I sampled the tourist circuit as first-timers to the concrete jungle often do. We scaled the Empire State Building, admired Rockefeller Center, scooted through Battery Park (Razor scooters were hot back then), slurped up noodles at some Thai restaurant in SoHo.

Back then I was unimpressed, overwalked and like my burgeoning taste for the world beyond my pacific island home, a developing palate.

Now, on my most recent visit to the city I welcomed the kaleidoscope of fall leaves, interesting people and the even more provoking dining scene. Below, part one of a three-part summary of my trip through a sample platter of NYC’s eats, served with a side of antics, as twenty-somethings girls often do when they get together.


PART I: Brunch at Maharlika, East Village

The scene: A lovely ladies brunch at Maharlika, one of three Filipino restaurants on the same block. On tap: remixed dishes of traditional fare I recognized; a Flip’d fried chicken and ube (sweet potato) waffle with macapuno (coconut) syrup and bagoong (Google it hehe) butter. A plate of lumpia (egg rolls) to share, and generous servings of main dishes which we consumed, blissfully unaware of what was about to transpire.

Three hours later, we gingerly made our way back to the subway, or tried to. Turret-laced outbursts erupted shortly after we stepped back into the crisp sunshine. There was waddling, two of the four in our party hunched over at times.

“Shit! It hurts…I’m so full!” and similar exclamations uttered, on the precipice of derailing. Another few laborious steps forward…

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Photo credit: Maharlika NYC

And then, right there on the streets of the East Village, we completely unraveled.

There we were, the four of us, two gluttons trying to come to grips with the sudden expansion of their bellies. Sammy and I are pleasantly satiated, yet bursting at the sight of our fluctuating friends.

“Oh my god, I’m gonna pee my pantssss….!!” she says, gripping my arm as she staggered back, face contorted in a silent laugh – are those, tears?! She’s crying, cry-laughing rather.

Now the two are attempting (unsuccessfully) to stand upright. And now it’s my turn.

I drag Samantha, who is still gripping my arm to a nearby fence; we’re (maybe just I am) hyena-shrieking, coughing, absolutely failing to regain composure.

End scene. I can’t wait to do that all over again.



Read I Love NY Moments: Part II.