Day 25: Sleep No More. Literally.
After a slight snafu with our reservation at Salinas, we were lead into the middle dining hall which smelled deliriously of the fresh cut roses that filled the room and was illuminated by a sea of tea lights. Brian mentioned how this restaurant decor would not exist in an earthquake prone California where it would be disastrous for every tea light or vase to sit precariously close to an edge.
For dinner we split:
- Negros Y Cruijentes — Crispy vermicelli, shaved sepia, watercress, sofrito and beet powder.
- Nuestra Paella— Bomba rice, free range chicken, sepia head-on prawns, clams, sea scallops, mussels and chorizo.
- Porcella— Slow roasted suckling pig, watercress, frisee, grilled quince and px reduction
- Torrija Con Sorbete— Spanish brandy bread pudding, passion fruit sorbet, crispy corn tuile, mango emulsion.
Following this amazing dinner we walked several blocks down to the McKittrick Hotel, home of the Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. As the “hotel” is located in a giant warehouse with a tiny unassuming sign, it’s easy to miss it, except for the giant bouncers guarding its doors. We walked through the building, down many dark hallways until the room opened up into a beautiful intimate speakeasy cloaked in red velvet. Waiting to enter this fictional world, we were given white masks with the instructions that after passing through the elevator we were to remain silent at all times, speaking breaks could be taken but only by finding yourself back to the bar area for which we started.
The elevator operator explained that this journey was best explored as a singular experience and then snatched a woman from her boyfriend and tossed her out of the elevator at our first stop. About to close the door and head further downward, the woman pleaded nervously “not now” latched back onto her man’s arm, as another brave volunteer took her place.
Once we were in we could freely roam around 5 hauntingly decorated floors, allowing us to fulfill our voyeristic fantasies by following actors (the only people who didn’t have masks on) around as they sung, danced, fought, and murdered around us. This immersive show was unlike any experience I’ve had the joy of partaking in.
When we finally came out for air it was already 2am. We gabbed over yummy drinks about our experiences, as this beautiful soul performed a delicious jazzy rendition of Ducktales.
Brian of course detailed all the nudity he saw in a pithy fashion by only saying “boobies” and chuckling, where as Jen told of a torrid affair where was thrown up against a wall and necked by an actor. I apparently got a very PG-13 view of this world having only been dragged into an elaborate dressing room, poured a bloody cup of tea and cackled at.
After drinks, another fantastic band came on where the lead singer was so passionate about the music that he appeared to be showing us his vinegar strokes as he got into it. While I wanted to stay for the music, that face and the fatigue reiterated that it was already 3:30am and we needed to head home.
At the hotel we clean up and before bed I decide that the theme of the day was masks. I just happened to bring a set of moisturizing asian face masks just for the occasion! (Honestly, I’m often really random and do things like this all the time. I’m glad to have friends that humor me.) We tried to stifle the stupid laughs while taking selfies, none of which were flattering enough to post here.
When we wake the same day we pack up our things and manage to squeeze in before heading to the airport:
- Pizza at Grimaldi’s located in an old cathedral.
- A leisurely stroll through the High Line
Once at the airport, United yet again has a surprise for us. 3 hour delay with no prior notification. This would have been easier if the terminal was the same one that housed the Shake Shack, but this was the older terminal where the most delicious option to be snacked on was McDonalds. We imagined what we could have done with the extra time in NYC if only United had let us know earlier of the delay. Our flight got in to SFO at 1:15am, by the time I got back home it was 2:30am. The rest of Monday was going to be “fun”.
It was almost too easy not to buy things and probably a better experience without it. As zombified as I still am today, I think I have a new love, aside from shopping, and his name is New York.