Preface – I originally started writing this in the thick of winter. It is now Spring, making all talk of snow redundant. The lesson – I need to finish what I start on a more timely basis!
Today I woke up to a flurry of snow outside my window in London – uncomfortable and cold as it may be when you’re caught in it, the sight of falling snow is one of the most magical little pleasures of living in the northern hemisphere (at least for someone from Australia)! Given the conditions, today is not the day to go wandering the weekend markets so instead, I’m currently cosily holed up in one of my favourite local cafes Paper & Cup (which, btw, is a wonderful not-for-profit neighbourhood initiative that also sells local art and 2nd hand books).
Another place that’s been seeing some snowy action at the moment is New York, and with that segway, I will continue on with my recount of last October’s adventures in the Big Apple!
Time in one of the world’s fashion capitals would not be complete without a shopping trip, and Abi and I wasted little time heading out to hit up the stores. For a USA-newbie like myself, the sheer product range (some of which was marked at pretty ridic prices) led to my credit card taking a bit of a hit, the brunt of which was inflicted by Sephora and the designer outlet Century 21 (a must visit for anyone looking for some bargains!). Now I completely understand why all the aussies I know who’ve visited the States end up coming back with quite a haul!
On the topic of fashion, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the fashionistas in Manhattan. While the women in Paris are effortlessly chic, the Milanese enviably stylish and Londoners a mixed bag of refined classiness and retro, I found NY to be full of women who brimmed of confidence, in style and attitude. As Abi and I trawled the stores and walked in the streets, we met women (and men…) numerous times who didn’t hesitate to approach us to ask where we bought something or to pay compliments on a look or outfit. This was part of the friendliness and forwardness that I was surprised to discover in New York, that people, albeit strangers, will tell you exactly what they think – which can really go both ways I suppose.
But fashion isn’t the only aspect of NYC’s amazing culture; the arts are totally thriving too. An afternoon can be well spent at Barnes and Nobles peacefully reading, listening to a guest speaker or enjoying the range of books.
An evening can be spent at MOMA being inspired by the scores of creativity on show across a plethora of mediums and forms.
And a night on Broadway is must do, theatre buff or not. Hamilton was next to impossible without selling a kidney, so our choice was the femme fatale Chicago. Not quite Lin Manuel Miranda but an amazing display of talent nonetheless.
While fashion and arts are definitely fields of interest,the dorky professional part of me was totally geeking out at the chance to finally visit the financial epicentre of the world. – Wall Street. Love it or loathe it, so much has happened here that has shaped the modem world. It was a surreal moment to be in the place that’s pretty much the embodiment of the precarious, complicated balance between economic and human prosperity/disaster.
And the food, oh man. I was initially wary given previous experiences at “American” styled restaurants (where quantity > quality). However, the food in NYC blew me away, from the dirty soul food at Shake Shack to swanky Japanese at Morimoto in Chelsea (where you must try out their sea bass – it will change your life!) and Cuban sandwiches Cafe Habana in Brooklyn.