Memory Lane: Here’s How You Haggle

It’s the end of an era. In just eight days, I’ll be leaving New York – possibly for good. In honor of my upcoming trip (and in a valiant attempt to put off packing), this week I’ll be telling some of my favorite New York memories, as nominated by friends, family members and co-workers. Hope you enjoy the trip down Memory Lane: NYC Edition.


Here’s where we’ll start: On a Saturday night in 2011 with me and a friend celebrating our hard-earned promotions with some wildly overpriced cocktails at an upscale lounge in Flatiron.

Perhaps we should have ended the night before we ordered $22 drinks that contained lavender and egg whites. Certainly we should have done so after. But we didn’t – and that’s why this is a story worth telling.


This is not the fancy egg white drink. Nor is it the fancy egg white bar. It’s just a drink garnished with mint and cracked pepper that I ordered over the summer. Because I never learn my lesson, that’s why.

Instead, we decided to go to another bar. And when our group of eight couldn’t find a cab or two to take us there, we did what most New Yorkers have done at least once: We commandeered a limo.

“How much to go to 3rd St. and 2nd Ave?” my friend asked when the driver rolled down his window.

“Fifty bucks,” he replied.

“Forty!” we replied in perfect unison.

Advice we needed yesterday: When haggling, start low. Because judging by how quickly the driver accepted our offer, he would have done it for twenty.

Regardless of whether or not we overpaid, I’m convinced that our ride was well worth it. I mean, has anyone ever not had an outrageous amount of fun in a limo?

In fact, if you and ten of your closest friends haven’t yet packed into one just for the hell of it yet, I suggest you try. And if you really want to make an entrance, consider taking one to a dive bar. It’s a great way to raise some eyebrows. Speaking from experience.

Once inside the second place, my friend wasted no time pushing through the crowd and climbing onto the bar.

“It’s ok!” she yelled, pulling me up next to her. “I know the bartender!”

“I don’t think it works that way!!” I shouted back, shaking my head. I looked to the bartender for backup, but he just shrugged as if to say, “This place is called Whiskey Town. We’ve seen worse.”

With his blessing, my friend and I then spent the next 20 minutes having a walk off on the bar. We did this because no one told us not to.

“Your turn!” I shouted after I finished stomping my way across the bar to meet her at the opposite end.

“My turn!” I yelled to no one in particular when she finished.

It was only after my third or fourth pass that I realized another co-worker, a guy who wasn’t part of our group, just so happened to be at the bar that night and was watching us from the crowd. Interestingly, he too had been promoted, though he seemed to be doing a much better job of playing it cool.

“WE’RE CELEBRATING!!!” I screamed as I squatted on the bar in front of him.

“Congratulations,” he replied – a courtesy I repaid by whooping directly in his ear and then using his shoulders to assist in my dismount.

“YOU’RE WEARING A NICE SWEATER!!!” I shouted, as I tried to balance myself.

“Thank you,” he said. “Hey, are you the people who came in the limo?”

“We are!” I said, nodding vigorously. “Best $40 ever!!”

And it was. Unless we’re counting the whiskey shots that got us back on the bar an hour later. Though I’m not sure we actually paid for those.

That’s what happens when you know the bartender.


More mini-memories to come this week. If you have one you want to hear, leave a comment or send me an email: Because, yeah, I guess I’m taking requests now.


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