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New York is an amazing city, but it could also be one of the most annoying, pain in the ass places to live. I ultimately reached a boiling point last month. I spent the entire summer job-hunting, and if you’ve ever gone through this experience, you know how close it pushes you to the brink of a mental meltdown. By August, a seed of frustration was planted inside me and eventually grew into a pestering thorn for this clusterf*ck of a city. I was tired of the noise, the people, and overall the city for standing in my way of my personal goals.

It was Friday afternoon and I didn’t want to submit another vile job application or send another dreadful email. I wanted booze. I needed fun. However, no one was available to jump start an early happy hour (#unemployedproblems). I never allowed a lack of company to deter me from making use of my time, so I jumped on the L train and headed east.

I consider Brooklyn to be my escape from Manhattan’s bullsh*t. It sometime reminds me of my beloved California, and I just felt comfortable being there. Williamsburg is losing some of unique flair due to the yuppie migration, but there are still a lot of elements that make it a great place to explore.

My mind tends to race during frustrating times, as ideas, regrets, and what-if scenarios collide in my mind. I tend to seek refuge in high altitudes, as being above everything usually sorts out my jumble of thoughts. I arrived at the Wythe Hotel and was greeted by a fair skinned hostess who showed me to the elevator to the rooftop bar. There are usually a number of tourists taking selfies with Manhattan’s skyline in the background, but since it was only 2PM, I got in before that nonsense. I grabbed a drink and basked in the warm, radiating sun, gazing at Brooklyn below. Sometimes I’m the cause my own frustrations.

After an hour of not having to worry about anything, I returned to level ground and stumbled upon a menswear store across the street called Kinfolk. It was a pretty cool shop with stuff I liked, but can’t afford, so I stuck to window-shopping. One of the workers informed me that their bar next door was opening up soon. It’s only 4, meaning it’s still happy hour.

I entered Kinfolk 94 and was impressed with its design. The space was pretty minimal, except for a wooden dome that covered the bar and sitting areas. Unsurprisingly, I was the only patron there and took a seat right in front of the bartender. She was cute. She was an Taiwanese girl, average built, with full sleeves of tattoos on both arms. I’m usually attracted to Asian women who don’t fit the Asian stereotypes (Asians who aren’t “Asian”, I guess), so I found great pleasure chatting with her. Suzie was also originally from California, and we chatted about the differences in coasts, our motives for moving the New York, the cons of bartending, and of course booze. It was a more staggered conversation, talking about a certain topic for a couple minutes then going back to our own private universes and reconnecting about 5-10 minutes later. Either it was the conversation with an attractive girl, the break from job hunting, or the 3 Jamesons on ice, but I felt better at the end of the day than I had started. Thanks, Brooklyn.

From the Wythe Hotel

From the Wythe Hotel

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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.