Before I launch into my travel tales, it’d be remiss to overlook the fact we’ve just ticked into a new lunar year yesterday – So, happy year of the rooster to you all! May you find prosperity and happiness in whatever comes your way 🙂
And a belated Happy Australia Day to my fellow country people! While we didn’t have sunshine, barbies and beaches to hit up (it was a chilling 1 degree in London in fact), the patriotism was still bloody strong, with Triple J’s Hottest 100 pumping through the day and a night out at Bogan Bingo ensuring that there was plenty of beer, fantastically inappropriate Aussie humour, air guitar and blaring Acca Dacca tunes to remind us expats of how great our beloved Straya is.
And congrats to Roger Federer for taking out the Australian Open title!! The exciting 5 setter made the tough early Sunday morning wake up completely worth it 😀
Since NYE, I’ve spent the past month in London (a record number of consecutive weekends here), which should really give me ample time to catch up on things here. Yet London is such a buzzing city with so much to do, that it’s hard to make the time to sit still and focus on 1 task such as writing a blog. But it’s now a very peaceful Sunday night and my flatties are off adventuring in Iceland – so what better time than now to start reflecting about my time in another city that feels even more hectic than London; New York!
I ventured to the Big Apple last October, my first ever time in the United States. At the time, the upcoming election somewhat fuelled my urgency to go sooner rather than later, and I managed to visit (and leave) 2 weeks before the most abhorrently under qualified, ignorant guy was made the leader of the free world. Despite my disappointment and disbelief at what’s now transpiring, my visit to NYC made me fall in love with America, the hustle and the dream. Furthermore, the Americans who I know or have met make me really want to believe that xenophobia, religious prejudice, sexism and inward thinking is not what the USA represents!
Anyway, the night before I left London I was at a gig down in the Brixton O2 catching The Chainsmokers who incidentally hail from New York, which was a perfect pre-party to the start of my American holiday! 1 regrettable hangover later, I was on a 7 hour flight to JFK, where I was to meet my friend Abi, a girl from Las Vegas who I had befriended when we were both living in Hong Kong last year. Being my first time in New York, I had this preconception that people would be quite cold and unfriendly – but my first encounters with the people at immigration and at the diner while I waited for Abi’s flight were seriously nothing short of warm and friendly!
We were staying near Wall Street at the Sheraton Four Points Downtown, and as pricey as it was to stay in Manhattan, I’d highly recommend splashing out that little bit extra if you’re a first timer to NY who has limited time (as opposed to Jersey or Brooklyn). There is simply way too much to see and do and if it’s viable, it definitely pays to be close to the action. If we had a chance to book earlier, it would’ve been perfect to stay further uptown, but that’ll be a lesson learnt for next time (don’t try to book a NYC hotel last minute!!).
After arriving at the hotel quite late in the night, we went for a “pie”. NTS – a pie does not mean a meat pie or dessert pie in the US, but a pizza! We then settled in for the night, and I got to do something so trivial, yet so exciting – after years of following the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers on Youtube and odd replays on Aussie TV, I finally got to watch these Late Night talk shows in real time on US Television!! It was little moments like these over the course of the next 5 days that made me pinch myself, as I was in such a state of disbelief that I was finally in the iconic, distant land of America, experiencing things that I’d grown up only ever seeing on TV and in movies.
If you’ve gotten this far in this lengthy write-up, then I’m really sorry but I’m gonna have to end it here for tonight. Having been distracted multiple times, it’s now getting late, and I had such an excellent time in NY that I wouldn’t do it justice by trying to consolidate it all in 1 entry. Stay tuned for more excruciatingly detailed recaps (but with proper pictures next time)!