New York Does Sleep
By Jade Walker

"They" have struck again.

You know who "they" are. "They" tell you things, and because "they" say it, it must be true.

Who are "they," really? No one knows, and I've come to learn that "they" can be full of baloney.

Before I moved to New York, I was told one whopper of a lie. "They" said that New York is the city that doesn't sleep. I work the vampire shift, and let me tell you -- it's a total myth.

Right around 3 a.m., just when I got the urge for a bit of pork lo mein or a chalupa, I tried to find a place that would deliver. Alas, no one was open. Apparently around 11 p.m., all of the theatre restaurants in Manhattan serve their last meal of the day, and the fast food establishments empty of all help, except for some poor schmuck who has to mop the floors.

My first clue should have been the gates. You see, each storefront has these ugly, accordion-shaped metal sheets which act as overnight security for restaurant windows. If the city were always open, why would there be a need for such late-night protection? It's like putting a lock on the front door of a hospital or a police station. These places never close. So what's the lock for?

"They" said the city doesn't sleep, and I really wanted to believe it. I even tried to prove it. I searched through the phone book and made dozens of calls. I found one Times Square venue that's open until 3 a.m., but the specialty was tongue. For $25. Ick.

I borrowed everyone's local delivery menus and searched for hours of operation. The delis closed at 2 p.m. and the other places shut down around 11 p.m. (10 p.m. on Sundays).

I even browsed the Internet. That brought a bit of good news. You see, the Internet never sleeps. I say so, and you can believe me.

According to the Dominos Website, my local store will deliver a pie in the middle of the night. Simply choose the toppings you want and click Send. How wonderful is that? I was their first online customer.

But Dominos is a nationwide chain. I wanted to take advantage of the city's world-famous cuisine. I yearned to order fettuccine rusticana from Little Italy, and fajitas from the Tex-Mex dive down on Broadway. I craved an egg and cheese combo on a croissant, freshly made at a local bakery or some shrimp teriaki and a California roll.

Yet nothing was available. My only other option was to live on junk food from the vending machines, or order half a dozen bagels from Kozmo.com.

So it seems "they" don't know squat. Or else they've never actually lived in Manhattan. If they had, "they'd" know the city not only sleeps, it practically snores.

Let's just hope "they" don't work for the Big Apple tourist bureau. People tend to believe what "they" say. A few more mishaps like this, and "they" will lose all credibility.

As for me, I'm still awake in the middle of the night, and boy am I hungry.