Between the drag queens in blue wigs and the man who walks around the East Village with a cat on his head, nothing is shocking in New York City. You slinking down the street with a broken heel and a baggy button-down at 7:30 a.m. will not turn any heads. However, that doesn’t take away from how physically uncomfortable it is to be stumbling on one five-inch stiletto, last night’s smeared makeup and a piercing headache. Ahh … the pleasure that is the Walk of Shame.
What would make a New York City walk of shame worse? If the walk didn’t lead to your comfy bed because home just happens to be miles and miles away and the friend who’s couch you are crashing on isn’t answering your calls because they are also recovering from last night.
On-the-road one-night-stands are more common than you think. HostelBookers surveyed travelers and found that 52 percent of the men and 41 percent of the women have had one night stands while traveling. We aren’t that surprised. You’re in a new place, open to adventures, sometimes that adventure leads you to a stranger’s bed. But once the fun part is over, the challenge is figuring out how to get through the next day without wasting your precious time in NYC wandering the streets aimlessly and miserable.
This guide to the big apple’s best spots to walk off your shame will lead you to a surprisingly shameless day of discovery.
Where to Keep Going
You know what they say, the hair of the dog will cure any hangover. If you are a strong believer in that, keep up the drinking with the best bloody marys in New York. If your walk of shame happens to be on a weekend, head to the Financial District’s cobblestoned pedestrian-only Stone Street where The Growler offers a Build Your Own Blood Mary Bar for $12. If your uptown, Jacob’s Pickles will nurse your hangover with their Bloody BLT topped with bacon and an egg any day of the week ($13).
Where to Recharge
If you’re anti-alcohol right now (understandable, after the night you had), power up with a Gingersnap’s Organic Americano made with—you guessed it—organic coffee beans and homemade almond milk. Or go the healthy route and flush the alcohol out of your system with one of their juices, like the Green Smoothie made with spinach, kale, banana, celery, dates and coconut water. The best part? This West Village café offers phone chargers for those in desperately need of a boost, in more ways than one.
Where to Find Comfort
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Thomas Hawk
You’ll need some sustenance to soak up that alcohol. Feed your soul at the Upper West Side brunch favorite, Good Enough to Eat, which serves comfort food like buttermilk biscuits, waffles filled with bacon, and macaroni and cheese. If last night’s escapades landed you on the Lower East Side, visit the Jewish deli that has been attracting locals and tourists alike since 1903. Enjoy the city’s best corned beef sandwich and potato knishes within Katz’s Delicatessen four walls, which are covered in photos of their famous regulars.
Where to Freshen Up
Don’t get us wrong, you looked great last night, but do you really want to wait out your host’s liquor-induced coma in a pair of heels and a sparkly skirt? March your aching feet into New York’s famed discount department store, Century 21, to get a deal on flats and yoga pants. For those really suffering, avoid the mob scene that is the Financial District location and head to the refined Upper West Side safe haven.
Where to Hide
Photo courtesy of Flickr/jmm
If you were home, you’d be on your couch binge-watching Netflix’s latest additions with a bucket beside you. While the bucket might not be available, you can still enjoy a good flick. Plus, a dark movie theatre is the perfect place to hide from the glaring sun and NYC’s crowded streets. Turn it into a cultural experience by getting comfy at the Angelika Film Center in Soho, the most successful and recognized art house in the U.S. If your idea of relaxing involves plush red curtains and sparkling chandeliers, you’ll feel right at home at the Ziegfeld Theater. The original building was home to Florenz Ziegfeld’s live musicals before it moved down the block in 1969 and became a one-screen movie palace that resembles a grandiose Broadway theatre.
Maggie Parker is Paste Magazine’s assistant travel editor.