New Thing+ #3: The Stonewall Inn

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I have to admit that there aren’t many downsides to flying to New York for an overnight work trip. Especially when I’ve only visited the city once before (and that was only for a fleeting evening stay).

I made sure to make the most of my time there and found myself walking all over the bottom half of Manhattan. It was around 9pm when I finally made it to The Stonewall Inn.

It’s one of those larger-than-life places that have existed in my imagination ever since learning of its existence. In this case it really lives up to that; it’s crazy tiny.

You’d think that the place that birthed the Gay Rights movement would be grande. But no, it’s just a quaint looking exterior with a pretty average gay bar inside. It’s dark, the service is slow and the bar rum is a travesty.

But as I sat there surrounded by men winding down after work, college kids chatting in the corner and the older crowd enjoying a beer at the bar, I realized how perfect it was.

Not a single one of them was afraid. Or ashamed.

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New Thing #175: Hartwood Restaurant, Tulum

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Well, today was my first day in Tulum, and after a few grueling* production meetings we all went out for dinner. Instead of just hitting the buffet at the resort, our production team brought us to a hidden gem down the road: Hartwood.

I don’t know the specifics, but the story goes that a talented young chef from New York packed it all in to open a restaurant of his own down here in Mexico. Thank goodness he did.

Not only is the food wonderful but the restaurant the most unique I’ve eaten at. It’s entirely outdoors; the kitchen is covered, but that’s about it. I don’t think that the traditional wood burning stove would enjoy a torrential downpour but the spattering of rain couldn’t deter us from eating there. The menu changes up daily, offering fresh, local ingredients served up rustically but full of love and flavour.

My dinner consisted of: Beet salad. Pam fried grouper. Mushroom tart. Chocolate pudding for dessert. Oh, and a Habernero Pineapple Margarita.

Yeah, this place is alllllllright.

*as grueling as meeting at the hotel bar can be

[Update] I know know the specifics, via Bon Appetit