V-Day, City Style Part 1: Lunch

New York City is one of the most romantic places in the world, especially if you know what's what. Sex and the City nonsense aside, this town is crawling with youngins arm in arm, drunk on love. It's enough to make you puke at times, but hey, love can evoke all sorts of feelings, can't it?

Now this is some grown up stuff here. If you're going to spend the day in this City with the one you love, you've gotta start it off right. First stop, Madeleine Patisserie on West 23rd St. If you don't know about French macarons, then you just DON"T KNOW! Madeleine's selection changes daily, but if you hit it on a day where the pistachio and/or caramel fleur de sel is offered, load up! Aside from, well, France, this is the supreme, eye of the tiger place to get them. If you're a dude bringing your gal there, believe me, bet and set; you're good as gold. Ask for them to go so you can bring them to your lunch destination.

I have to say, my lunch suggestion is a little odd considering I was a vegan for years. Having recovered from it, I've developed quite a fondness to the pig. Porchetta on East 7th St. is the cat's pajamas when it comes to a tasty pork sandwich. It's a limited menu, I know, but that's how freakin' good it is. Don't be a sissy. Just do it. And be sure to chase it down with some of those macarons.

After the delirious sugar and pork high wears off (and it will with all of the walking you're going to do), it's high time for a drink. There are loads of cornball places in Manhattan (I was in one recently that reeked of hipster lameness), so beware! Don't go walking into the first place you see. For my money and comfort, I love me some Swift. Best Guinness in the City, hell, maybe even the country. The bartenders are friendly and the ambiance is just what it should be; relaxed and cozy. Drink enough and you'll forget you're even in Manhattan (I do anyway). This is a serious place to go and have a beer. It's clean and tidy, but you're not going to find a cosmo sipping crowd here, and that's a fact.

Every outing needs the perfect outfit. Remember, we're talking lunch here kids. Low key. Al Green easy-peasy style. Don't go throwing on those Jimmy Choos just yet.

{top; jeans; boots; belt.}

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