Tag Archives: NYC

Rain in the concrete jungle

Hiya! Day three over here, our final day in New York, and the first day of New York Fashion Week. I must say I fit right in wearing my waterproof poncho. That didn’t stop me being high fashion though.

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Following a really good nosey at the fashion elite (incredible bone structure everywhaaaaar) we returned to the High Line and walked in the opposite direction from yesterday towards Chelsea.

Then the most hilarious and terrifying experience of my life thus far occurred. Tom goes “holy shit, Hep look! There’s Tyrion Lannister!” (For those of you who don’t know him, he’s an actor from Game of Thrones) We were alone on the pavement about 100ft away and snapped a quick photo. He was busy hailing a cab so we didn’t want to bother him…. And then we received what I can only describe as an authentic Vulcan death stare, because it nearly killed us. He glared at us, his eyes watching us all the way up the pavement ( sorry, sidewalk)

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Following this, most of the day was taken up laughing about this episode. We also saw the LOVE sign and ate shit loads of food. Our flight to LA is at 7am tomorrow morning, and we’re getting picked up at 3.30am to get back to JFK, so went out for a much needed salad, had a quick last run round Times Square in torrential downpour and we’re now back at the hostel for an early night.

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(Enjoying some Kendalian weather. Home is where the rain is after all.)blogsignature

The city that never sleeps

I’m writing this at 7am, having been up since 6, due to slight jetlag. Flying west has meant that I’m up early, refreshed and ready to go each day, so it’s been quite handy really!

New York is surprisingly easy to handle on a small budget. Our hostel, the New York Budget Inn is great – reasonably priced and a 5 minute walk from the Emprie State Building. We’re in bunk beds, but that’s fine because there’s so much room for activities! We’ve given ourselves a budget of $50 each per day, which has to cover all food and any attractions. Street food has been mega cheap, we’ve used the subway to keep costs down, and the only other bits we’ve paid for so far are the Empire State and game at Madison Square Garden.

Yesterday we started by visiting the flat iron building, then took the ferry over to Statten Island, which takes you past the  Statue of Liberty and allows you to see Manhatten from the water. It was a really nice clear day for it. We then came back in land and went to visit Ground Zero.

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I really wasn’t prepared for my reaction to the site of the Twin Towers.  New York is so rammmed with enormous sky scrapers that the empty space where the towers were is absolutely vast. In place of their foundations are enormous waterfalls which flow down creating yet more negative space. The size of it is just so massive that it made my chest feel heavy. Around the edge are the names of everyone who died, placed next to their friends, or people they were with on 9/11.

We then walked along the Brooklyn Bridge, which was great, it’s such an iconic structure. It was a boiling hot day!

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The next thing we found was the High Line, recommended to us by the lovely Charlotte and Mark. It’s an old rail track that runs above the ground, and was used to transport goods around the city until the 1950s. Now, it has been transformed into a park space with loads of plants and great views. There’s also this giant Lego installation with 2 tonnes of white bricks where you can build your own skyline…. Interestingly there were only adults using it haha.

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In the evening we went to see the women’s basketball, New York Liberty vs Conneticut Sun at Madison Square Garden. After much confusion on my part (“is it baseball or basketball? Do they hit the ball with a bat?!) I have to say I had such an entertaining evening. Great atmosphere in such an iconic venue. My short attention span was satisfied by the way the game kept stopping and starting with interludes for “dance cam” where they zoom in on members of the audience dancing, dance troops running into the court and a huge dancing dog mascot.

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We wandered to Time Square to see it by night, and then went home to bed.

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Something that made me laugh:

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Tom and the lucky balls.

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Start spreading the news…

I’m writing this from our hostel room in New York City. Holy cow! (As my mum would say.)

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The flights were fine, except for our bags being left out in torrential downpour in Reykjavik. Ho hum. The toilets in the airport, however, were incredible. I overheard someone in the women’s loo saying “bloody hell, this makes Harvey Nichols look shit!”

We got to New York, and having navigated the subway, had a slap up meal and went to bed.

It’s been a jam-packed day today. Speaking of jam, if you’ve ever wondered how to get Tom out of bed for 8am, tell him that there’s complimentary donuts and coffee on a first come, first served basis.

Five donuts and an apple? I think that’s the perfect breakfast!” – Tom Copley 2015

We started by having a wander from our hostel. I was really taken aback by the sheer scale of the buildings. It’s like being in London but with each building having an extra 20+ stories slapped on top. Cue reverse vertigo, I did a lot of neck craning today! We are staying a few blocks from the Empire State Building, so we decided to go up the top and have a look at the view.

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To appreciate, please turn your head to the left. Unfortunately the wifi speed won’t allow me to twizzle the photo for your viewing pleasure. apologies!

We stumbled across various bits and bobs including the Natural History Museum, Central Park, the Gugenheim and the HOPE sign. Oh, and Ellen Degeneres doing her live show outside the Rockefeller. Then Amy Schumer popped up on ice skates and it got a bit confusing.

anyway. As for now I’m eating pizza and drinking a beer bigger than my head. Tomorrow we plan to see Ground Zero and Liberty Island, then possibly catch a basketball came in the evening.

Things that made me laugh:

– the curtain separating the business and economy class on the plane. I like the call this the riffraff curtain.

– having no bloody idea how to flush the public toilets until Tom explained it to me.

– $1 dollar notes. why?! And what is the point?

Things that have suprised me:

– Lack of fat Americans. (Sorry but true)

– Lack of crowds. It honestly feels no more crowded than Leeds!

– The heat! It’s around 34 degrees at the middle of the day. Good job we packed the sun cream.

 

N.B apologies for the poor photo quality – currently have no way of getting my photos off my big camera, so iPhone shots are the best I can do!

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Books set in NYC

As you may have realised, I like reading.

Yesterday I suddenly thought: I should write a post about books set in the places we’ll visit!

The first stop on our journey is New York, New York. So I wracked my bookshelves and realised I’ve actually already read tonnes of books set in the Big Apple.

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Stephen King’s The Stand – Not set in NYC for the majority of the novel so I cheated here, but had to include it because I loved it. A must-read for anyone who loves the King, The Stand is an epic post-apocolyptic horror novel. I love Stephen King’s characters, and Randall Flagg (the devil in human form) is one of my absolute favourites. Definitely a book for summer, as it’s over 1400 pages long. It took me about a month to get through, and I dropped it on my face whilst reading it  and nearly got a black eye. The things you do for love…

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close I adore this book. It’s definitely one of my top ten favourite books I’ve ever read. They recently made a really naff film adaptation with Tom Hanks in it. Don’t bother, just read the book. The premise makes it seem really depressing (a young boy looses his father in 9/11) but it’s actually wonderfully uplifting. The way the book is used as a medium is revolutionary. You need to get your hands on a copy and flip through to understand what I mean. It made me cry.

Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s – More of a short story than an actual novel, this is one of the few cases where I prefer the film to the book. Having said that, I imagine reading the story would be much different if I didn’t have Audrey Hepburn swirling in my mind. Still, a good story based in New York.

Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking – The only memoir in the stack, I read The Year of Magical Thinking just a few weeks ago. Didion is an author who looses her husband suddenly and tragically. The book follows her grief throughout the year after his death. This was a really harrowing read. I found myself touching wood constantly, so grateful to still have my nearest and dearest with me. It was a really interesting insight into how we grieve, set against the backdrop of the Big Apple.

Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar – Okay, so not really focusing on NYC really, but this is a must-read for any human being. I haven’t read it since my teenage years so it’s most definitely due a re-read. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love – The cover of this book makes it look really naff but don’t judge it by its cover (ho ho ho) I must admit, I really wanted to like this book. I read it when I was really busy and I didn’t give it the time it deserved. The result? I was really bloody confused by the whole book and missed the point completely. Whoops!

Others that I’ve read and loved, but couldn’t find on my shelves: The Great Gatsby. The Princess Diaries (admittedly when I was younger haha)

For the love of god you must read this book!!!!!!

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The reason I can’t photograph my copy of The Goldfinch is because I don’t own one – I listened to the audiobook. I fucking loved it so much! It’s a really long (33 hours) listen, but so great to have on whilst you do other things: I listened to it whilst I painted the living room last summer and it was wonderful. Made me itch to go to New York too, although I may avoid the art galleries…

Books on my to read list, set in NYC: The Catcher in the Rye, American Psycho, The Devil Wears Prada, Sophie’s Choice.

Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to hear. I also need to find books set in LA, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia.

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(And here’s a blooper from earlier hahaha)

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