The Time I Had a Couple of Freaks from the Internet Come Stay with Me

Filed under all of my friends are prettier than i am, living in new york is neat, par-tay

My longtime blogfriend Ellie found me because my old LiveJournal icon was a still from the movie Grey Gardens. My longtime blogfriend Kinard found me because we both had an unnatural-yet-totally-not-fangirl-ish love of the band Jump, Little Children, and she sat next to me at a concert without introducing herself. They found each other when Ellie moved from Oregon to South Carolina, and I told her to look Kinard up. They became fast friends and left me in the dust.

Until Ellie’s birthday approached, and they decided that the perfect way to celebrate would be to spend a few nights not doing touristy things in NYC with me. We planned extensively and then totally changed our plans. We watched the TKTS discount ticket listings and tried to convince Kinard she didn’t really want to see Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone on Broadway. I woke up the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Ohio and clicked repeatedly and extensively on the Momofuku Ko reservations website until I secured us a dinner spot after mentioning to Ellie and Kinard that it’s the most interesting restaurant in NYC and finding out that they knew of it and wanted to go but never thought we’d be able to get in. We tried to figure out a way to eat both truffles and caviar while they were here. I didn’t tell them our living room still doesn’t have blinds after a year and that they’d be sleeping in full view of our nosy neighbors.

My roommate/landlord/co-worker seemed totally fine with their visit until he realized halfway through our workday on Friday that:

1) I had never actually met either of them, and
2) they were alone in his condo.

But they didn’t steal anything that we know of (not that my candy wrapper clutch is interesting to anyone but me), and I met them and my other blogfriend-turned-real-life-friend Kim at Tocqueville for dinner. It’s one of my favourite restaurants ever, despite what our chef at Momofuku Ko said about it being stodgy. HE HAS NEVER ACTUALLY BEEN THERE. HE DOESN’T KNOW.

We ate hearty squash soups and roasted Brussels sprouts over succulent chicken breasts and truffled grits with dunky eggs and were plied with bowls and bowls of ice creams and sorbets on the house until 7:59 p.m., at which time we decided it was time to leave for our 8 p.m. Broadway show, which was Seminar starring Alan Rickman of Harry Potter and Love Actually fame. It was basically what I wanted every one of my college writing seminars to be and made me nostalgic for a time when people thought I had potential and I wrote on actual paper.

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Afterward, we unintentionally walked out into Times Square, and while Kinard and Ellie acted like they didn’t care about it, I definitely caught them doing this:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

And also this:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

And this:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Even Kurmudgeon Kim was having a good time:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

But then Pedophile Mickey Mouse showed up

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

and we had to go.

The next day, we rode the train into Madison Square Park

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

and ate sloppy Shake Shack burgers

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

and cheese fries with little wooden forks:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

An evil squirrel came within inches of Kinard’s candy cane/hot fudge/marshmallow shake

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

but there wasn’t a chance that thing was wrestling a bite away from a girl enjoying her dessert this much:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Ellie, meanwhile, was trying to play it cool and succeeding wildly:

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

We spent the afternoon at MoMA, which I’ll have to recap in a post of its own, and then stopped at a nearby coffee shop to refuel for that evening’s big dinner at Ko. There was nowhere to sit in the coffee shop, so I had the brilliant idea of leading us down a few more blocks to Rockefeller Center, where there are sprawling plazas full of unoccupied benches.

EXCEPT DURING CHRISTMASTIME, OF COURSE. The streets were brimming with families leaving the Rockettes show at Radio City Music Hall. There were barricades at every corner meant to corral traffic that only succeeded in making the sidewalks unpassable. We finally did make it to 30 Rock, only to discover that the “sprawling plaza” was packed with strollers and women yelling, “Someone’s going to get HURT!” It was, to say the least, a mistake.

So we took the train down to the East Village, made a couple of laps from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue and back again until it was time to meet Kamran at Momofuku Ko for the girls’ first Michelin-starred-restaurant experience. Dinner was phenomenal: cheese-flavored broth with bone marrow over brioche, snail and chicken sausage on top of hand-torn pasta, the famous frozen shaved foie gras over fresh lychee and Riesling gelee, just to name a few. Plus that first taste of caviar Ellie was looking for, served in a heap next to a smoked egg. Ellie and Kinard were pros; they ate everything without question and said that some things they hadn’t liked so much in the past were made to taste delicious at Ko.

Kamran said I was being a snobby show-off at dinner, and it’s true that I complained to our James-Franco-look-alike chef that when we were in two weeks prior, the guys beside us had an embarrassing lack of knowledge about food, and yes, even James Franco told me to stop being a snob, but he hadn’t even eaten at Tocqueville, so I think my snobbery is deserved. No? Really? Okay, fine. Ellie and Kinard took it in stride, though, because I imagine they expected me to be a total braggart, anyway.


We spent the rest of the night visiting dive bars and pretending like we’re the kinds of girls who do shots. There was, for some reason, a surprising lack of people out anywhere, so I think NYC came off as this nice, serene place where you can just walk into a bar and actually get a seat and/or service from a bartender. Must have been the cold.

The next day, we went to Artichoke for pizza, because:

1) it is delicious.
2) it’s unlike any other NYC pizza.
3) normal NYC pizza is bland and dumb.
4) some people call it the best pizza in NYC (maybe me, too).
4) I wanted them to have an awesome insider pizza-eating experience.

So of course they were naturally like, “This pizza is okay, but we were really looking forward to getting the bland and dumb pizza Ellie’s boss recommended.” And then I died.

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Ellie and Kinard's Visit

Look at that! So cheesy and creamy and thick-crusted! How could they not love it?!

But we followed it up with karaoke, which they were awesome at despite Ellie’s poor choice of Neil Diamond and my even poorer choice of Cat Stevens, and fries from Pommes Frites in the courtyard of St. Mark’s Church and a quarter-ton of frozen yogurt topped with mochi cubes and peanut butter cups and gummy bears from 16 Handles.

And then instead of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge like we had planned, we went back to my apartment and watched Jackass 3 and “The Virgin Diaries“. Like not-tourists.

And then they left the next day without having seen any New York friends other than me. I win I win I win!

Happy birthday, Ellie, and happy four-days-since-meeting-me anniversary, Kinard!


  1. Scooter McButterButt says:

    Hey! I know that Ellie and that very same Kinard too! Thank you for showing them such a good time. I’m hoping that it made Ellie overlook the fact that I never wished her a happy birthday…. umm…. dammit.

    • Serial says:

      Dude. When you comment on someone’s blog that I link to, you could at least throw in a random compliment about how great and smart she is, too. I mean, I love that this is all about me, but. You know. Just work on it a bit.


      • katie ett says:

        You’re the special one here. No worries.

        But obviously I’m never writing a post about you again.


    • katie ett says:

      I imagine that’s what you’d be doing if I’d posted about having Ahmadinejad over for tea or adopting a baby rhinoceros, too. Isn’t all post-pregnancy crying and eating and crying?

  3. Serial says:

    I’m so glad that you played off our movie night at your apartment as us being too cool for tourism, and not “too lazy to walk around any more.” Though we did put in a good 5 miles while you were sitting around at WORK yesterday. And also ate two lunches followed by a giant dessert. I’ll share photos of that adventure when I get around to blogging.


  4. Jessica R. says:

    I smiled throughout this whole post. It made me so happy. I love it when blog friends become IRL friends.

    Speaking of, we really really need to have a gathering of me, you, Cass, Bluz and MBG. It has to happen!

    But I think your tour of NYC sounds amazing. Good food, tiny forks and Alan Rickman. Yes please!

  5. stela says:

    Ah so awesome! so jealous!!
    And that pizza looks amazing. You should probably ship one my way!

  6. Ooh it looks like you had such a fun time!
    I’m jealous of your food and that you were able to see Alan Rickman.

  7. Megan says:

    This looks like it was so much fun! Thanks for sharing your pics :) Looks like there was a lot of good food and good times. Love the pic of them in Times Square :D

    I love hitting up dive bars and pretending to be the girl who takes shots… awesome!

  8. Red Stapler says:

    I am super jelly.

    Sometime when I’m back in NY, we need to meet up. It’s criminal that in all the time we knew each other on the webbernets, it was long enough for me to leave New York before we met.

    There’s a Katie-shaped lack in my life.

    Also, I want a FABULOUS ADVENTURES blog post! :-p

    • katie ett says:

      I’ve always kind of worried that we’d meet and I wouldn’t be nerdy enough for you, but I was also worried that I’d meet Kim and wouldn’t be snobby enough for her, and that seemed to work out, so . . . bring it on!

      Except every time you’re in town, you’re all, “I’m extreeeeemely busy, so if you want to see me, you have to come to this one bar on this one night, and all of my real friends will be there, and you’ll feel like a weirdo outcast.” So I never say anything. But we need an adventure!

      • Red Stapler says:

        Aww, don’t feel shy. Honestly, some of the raddest “my friends becoming friends” stories have come from those bar meets. Consider this a formal and Katie-specific invitation to my next one.

        And also possibly lunch while I’m home. (Which will be 12/23 – 12/28, should you be around!)

  9. caropal says:

    “My roommate/landlord/co-worker seemed totally fine with their visit until he realized halfway through our workday on Friday that:

    1) I had never actually met either of them, and
    2) they were alone in his condo.”

    I love this part, because it reminded me of the first time I met Emily, when I went to Austin for Thanksgiving in 2007. I told my family that I’d be meeting an internet friend, and they all had freak-outs because HOW WELL COULD I REALLY KNOW HER etc. Granted, I didn’t have much of an argument as I didn’t even know what she looked like since, at that time, she never posted pictures (as opposed to when I met Aaron a couple of years later, and he looked exactly like every photo he’s ever posted, dur). But she drove up and looked ADORABLE (as she is wont to do), we hugged, and I said, “Come inside, so my family knows that you’re not a 60 year old man.” And Emily happily replied, “Okay!” bounded inside, and charmed the everloving pants off of everyone (as she is wont to do).

    What can I say? We have good peoples here on the internet.

    • caropal says:

      Also, please be aware of my extreme jealously of both of you having met each other. EXTREEEEME.

    • katie ett says:

      I mean, really, we should introduce each other to at least one person who shows up to Thanksgiving with our families and knives all of them. Just to confirm the suspicions.

      Ellie and Kinard are EXACTLY like you think they are. And you therefore should be jealous. You and Jill, who commented above you, are basically the oldest Internet friends I have yet to meet. Actually, I think you specifically are THE oldest.

      • Serial says:

        Yes, I am returning to this post to read comments and find out what else you said about me.

        I like this one.

        On a related note: shall I write a guest post about how Katie is exactly how you would think she is *except* for the fact that she delivers all of what I imagined were dryly sarcastic jokes in this delightfully sweet and poised voice??


  10. Sounds fun! I’m a manager at a mom and pop pizza shop…I think when I work tonight I have to try and make that pizza. It looks so good.

    • katie ett says:

      What a fun job! I mean, I definitely don’t need constant access to pizza like that since I’m already a fiend, but if I had the means to make spinach and artichoke pizza just like that, I’d never leave work.

  11. I know so little about gastronomy I can’t even spell Michelin.
    It’s true (I totally coppy/pasted it).
    Jackass 3, however…
    (Yes. I am that classy.)

  12. Dishy says:

    This is too cool! Now I know who serial is! Happy birthday to you!! Katie, I think you should give insider yours of NYC. People would seriously pay for that. Like Kramer in Seinfeld, when he gave the j peterman tours, but better. Your guests would get gourmet meals instead of a bite sized candy bar & pizza bagel. A+