Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Press Lounge, New York City

I thought long and hard as to whether I wanted to have this as a separate post or as part of my series of blog posts on my (not so recent) trip to New York City. As I generally detest staining my travel posts with any sort of bad vibes, I decided that I am going to do a separate post on The Press Lounge. 

We decided to do drinks at The Press Lounge on our first night in New York because we had dinner at Print downstairs and wanted to check out the nice view from Press Lounge. We were greeted by a lady at the entrance and she told us that it was free seating. The indoor area was mostly full, save for a long table which was only half occupied. We headed to the outdoor area which was shielded from the cold with thick plastic curtains. It was spring when we visited New York City (late March - early April) but the weather still hovered around 1 to 2 degrees. The outdoor area was completely full, every single table was occupied. 

We looked around and gathered that there was seriously no available seating aside from the long table indoors which was only half occupied. We moved indoors again and started to shift into the empty side of the long table. My boyfriend, being the courteous man that he is, decided to ask the group at the other end of the long table whether it was okay for us to sit at the unoccupied end. The gentleman replied yes and asked us to go ahead. 

AND THIS IS THE SHOCKER. The lady at the door marched over, gestured to my boyfriend to back off, told the gentleman not to worry, and asked us to leave the table (!). What? Is there a minimum spending before we can sit indoors? Or that we cannot share a long table which was clearly only occupied at one end? She did not give us a reason and just simply told us to back off. 

All right. At this point, I thought to myself that no view was worth this sort of horrible service. A guy (who I found out later was the manager) appeared at this moment and told us that he found us some space outdoors. We followed him and realised that he had asked a group of young adults to move along the couch so that we could occupy the other half of the table. So... ok, certain groups of people can be asked to move so that we can share a smaller table, while certain groups of people can occupy one end of an enormous table and nobody else is allowed to use the other end? What is the logic in this?

We sat down, looked at the menu, and attempted to order. I use the word "attempted" because none of the wait staff wanted to take our orders! They brushed past us, strode past us, saw us and flicked their eyes away, and basically ignored us. Perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Eventually I managed to get the attention of the manager and told him I wanted to order drinks. This was when I found out that he was the manager hence he could not take our orders. In light of this new discovery, I asked him to get a wait staff over. He failed to secure one himself so he took our orders eventually. We completed the rite of passage of trying to get around rude wait staff, horrible (and perhaps even discriminatory) service, and received our drinks. 

I read reviews which said that the drinks were expensive. Well, the drinks are not considered expensive if you are used to paying Singapore prices for alcohol so it was not a big deal for us. The view was nice but it was not worth having to put yourself through this horrible rite of passage. 

So there Press Lounge. 

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