If you are in New York City surrounded by skyscrapers but unable to find your way through oddly empty and criss-crossing cobblestone streets, then you’ve successfully found the Financial District. Wall Street, Ground Zero and Century 21 are all places to know and visit downtown. On weekends, when the traders and investment bankers aren’t rushing around in their power suits and ties, FiDi is amazingly silent. But if you stopped by the neighborhood this past weekend, you would have heard a small ruckus coming from what is arguably the best little street in this money-making neighborhood – Stone Street.
On any given Thursday from Memorial Day through September, Stone Street is a great choice for happy hour. The bars (Ulysses’ Folkhouse, Stone St. Inn – to name a couple) that line the three-block hotspot have picnic tables out on the cobblestones and take their business to the open air. This past weekend Ulysses’ Folkhouse and other neighborhood joints took the merrymaking up a notch with the annual Stone Street Oyster Fest!
I met up with a co-worker, AJ, shortly before 5:00 on Saturday afternoon. She and her friends had arrived a little earlier and staked out a spot – which was quite fortunate, because as I rounded the corner from Broad Street and saw the throng of happily buzzed New Yorkers drinking Guinness and shooting oysters from the shell, I was thoroughly convinced I would never be able to find her. I swore I saw her about five times as I pushed through the melee, but my eyes were only tricking me (it didn’t help that every other person was blonde, like AJ). Eventually I found her, and we jumped right in with the Guinness and the oysters. At $12 for half a dozen oysters and Guinness galore, what’s not to love?
The fresh oysters in a half shell – so delicious! With a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of cocktail/tabasco sauce, they are one of the tastiest snacks you could throw my way. I almost couldn’t believe my luck when I learned there is a whole festival centered around these yummy creatures! (Naturally, though, this is New York, so… I can.)
For those who were not so keen on seafood, there was a wide array of other beer-appropriate food – delicious mac and cheese, pizza and fried veggie spring rolls. AJ and E braved the crowd for a food run and returned declaring they had made a whole bunch of new friends on their way back from the food booth. Everyone wanted to meet the girls with all the fried goodness!
What better way to make new friends then to park at a random table with a of plate oysters? Sounds friendly and fun, but it can be quite the opposite. A guy randomly set down his plate next to us and started slurping his oysters without the slightest attempt at befriending us! Awkward. We bumped into old friends though, so this guy’s rudeness wasn’t really an issue. L disappeared into the masses for another glass of Champagne, and returned with M! I’m continuously amazed that in New York, despite it’s size, you’re always bound to run into someone you know when you’re least expecting it. I, on the other hand, had the more unfortunate experience of seeing an ex of an old friend instead of the old friend herself (is it bad that I ducked behind AJ so the ex wouldn’t see me??).
And that’s one of the things I love the most about events in New York. You never know who you may meet, or who you may run into!
All in all, it was a rockin’ event (crazy, slightly tipsy crowd included)!