#NicInNYC – How to survive Halloween clubbing on your own

This time, last year, I spent my Halloween in NYC. And one of the most satisfying things to come out of the trip was the confirmation that I’m actually very capable of doing things on my own. Take transatlantic flights, watch a Broadway musical, eat multiple courses at restaurants – I was such an independent woman, it hurt. (Literally – at one place I ate so much I got a scar on my belly from where the back of my jeans button dug in so hard. #goals)

However, there’s one solo activity that I honestly was super proud of achieving on my own – and that was turning TF up at a club, on my absolute ones.

The thing about going OUT out is that it’s undeniably a social affair. From the getting ready process, to ordering rounds of shots, to the greasy post-night out takeaways, everything about my clubbing experiences up until then had been with at least one other person. Unfortunately, since I’d decided to travel 5,500km away from everyone I knew for a holiday, I didn’t have that luxury available to me – but what a bummer it would’ve been to go all the way to Manhattan and not give the nightlife a go?

So for Halloween night, I put on my glad rags, topped up my Metrocard and made my way down to Chelsea for a Big Night Out – solo style. And you know what? It was great!

Here are the major keys to getting through a night out alone…

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Get drunk 

After leaving my coat and scarf in “coat check”, I made a beeline to the bar. If I was going to make it through this night, I wasn’t going to be sober. I was far too aware of the fact that I had no-one to glance over to when a great tune came on – and while folks were singing ‘that’s my best friend’ to their crews, it was comforting to have a TUMBLER full of tequila in each hand to get me feeling pumped.

Fancy dress 

Halloween is the ultimate opportunity to dress up – even if you’re not going for full-on gore, Cady Heron-style, it’s your chance to pay homage to a beloved character or cultural icon from the year. And while in NYC, I was Cookie Lyon, matriarch of a show I have a very complicated relationship with: Empire. At a mostly Black party, this was a very popular costume choice – and luckily for me, a ready-made conversation starter.

(PS, I found that hat RANDOMLY and it made the outfit. Fate, eh? Thank you, Party City.)

Fake it ’til someone invites you in their Snapchat

Confidence is all about tricking your brain that you have it together, despite the fact that inside, you’re in a corner breathing into a Primark paper bag. Ahem.

I knew that if I looked as nervous as I felt, I’d end up feeling more and more awkward before scrambling for refuge in the toilet the entire night. And no good stories come out of doing that! So I strode forth onto the club with my head and chest high and two-stepped with as much confidence as I could. Somehow, after making smiley-eye contact with fellow partiers, it worked – and voilà, I had some friends for the night!

Because I didn’t realise that you can save Snapchats back then, this blog entry is missing plenty of photos of me, a California native named Denise and her best mate Daniel having a good ol’ dance to some trap. Who knew what a unifying force Future could be?

Mission 

Mine involved a selfie with the host of the party, YouTube sensation-turned-podcast king Kid Fury. When I was at the start of my year abroad in Germany and wondering whether I’d done the right thing, his videos dissecting the lovable trash that is Love And Hip-Hop: Atlanta and his hilarious rants on any and everything that gets on his nerves kept homesickness at bay by consistently keeping me laughing.

Having been an admirer for years, hearing that he was hosting a Halloween bash in NYC, the very weekend that I was in NYC, made it a foregone conclusion – I was going to this party, and I was getting this picture.

And lo and behold – I MADE IT HAPPEN! Turns out all it takes to get a pic with your fave is a bunch of compliments and a ‘nice British accent’:

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Me and Kid Fury! Look at the total joy in my eyebrows
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Assanté to the left, Dustin to the right. 2/3 of The Friendzone podcast

And with this achieved, my night was a certified blast. Not only did I make some new internet friends, but I left with the ability to tick a new experience off my list and a feeling of smugness contentment.

It really isn’t impossible to have a good night out alone. The possibilities of awkwardness is higher, yes – but such is life! I know I would’ve regretted not going, and though I have no plans on making a habit of it, if needs be, I know I can survive a night on the town on my own – and hopefully, I did Miss Cookie proud!

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