Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Part #1

For those of you who regularly read my blog, you may have noticed my recent post Any tips for a first time aeroplane flyer discussing little old me and my future trip to the immense New York City! Well I’m back, and I survived! Just 😉
Thank you to everyone who gave me tips for my first ever aeroplane flight, they really came in handy and I probably couldn’t have lasted without them.
At the request of several bloggers, I’ve decided to share my once in a lifetime experience with the rest of you. I’ll try not to make it too reminiscent of those naff old fashioned slideshows where family are forced to plaster smiles on their faces while bored stiff 😉 Please note, all the pictures below are my own so please don’t use them without permission.
So without further ado…023

I landed in JFK wobbly and feeling slightly sick and disorientated from the eight hour flight. Without pause my group hopped in a van to Midtown in Manhattan where we discovered our hotel and unloaded our luggage. Not long after collapsing in relief on the bed it was time to get up again and begin discovering the wonders of New York. Nervously I stumbled through the hotels revolving do030ors and out onto the street.  Darkness had fallen and I was confronted with blinding lights, crisp cool air, and racing traffic. Endless rows of yellow taxi’s hurtled past beeping energetically. Restaurant and Deli signs flashed brilliant blues, reds and yellows and people queued impatiently for Starbucks on every corner. We weaved our way through crowds smothered by rich American accents in what appeared to be a never ending maze of dazzlingly mammoth buildings and paved sidewalks. (Which I would soon understand as  New York’s grid system of Streets and Avenues) Eventually we reached our destination: the Empire State Building. With a combination of all our walking and the help of two ear popping lifts we were rewarded with a beautiful landscape view of New York’s skyline. The sight was amazing, and something that has to be experienced to be truly believed. Endless rows of glittering lights……..I felt as if I had stepped into a fairytale, and stared transfixed at the view even in my exhausted state. The photograph pales in comparison:

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The next day I woke up groggily at 5am ready for my first full day in New York City. I watched the minutes on my clock tick by impatiently as my hotel room gradually grew lighter. When the rest of the world was finally awake I grabbed a quick breakfast to prepare myself for the day ahead, which consisted of a hell of a lot of walking. That’s the thing about New York, it takes a huge amount of effort to actually get anywhere.
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One of the first places we passed was Times Square. Screens and flashing lights were plastered on every available inch of free building. Adverts for TV shows played on repeat, pictures of brands like Pepsi appeared from all directions, there were even a couple of ads about Valentines Day. I had the distinct feeling of being a deer trapped in headlights. Albeit in a pleasantly stunned way. What I found the most exciting though, was seeing the Ball Drop  (which can be seen in my picture on the right) having recently watched the film New Years Eve at the cinema I found spotting it extremely exciting, and it really brought home the fact that I was ACTUALLY in New York where they FILM STUFF with FAMOUS PEOPLE! Haha 🙂
After that we passed several other landmarks/places which I won’t bore you by describing in detail but instead will show you in pictures.

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New York Public Library (didn’t get to go in it though 😦 )

120                                                           Chrysler  Building

                   091113
Bryant Park and walking along 5th Avenue
 134                                                             Rockefeller Centre

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Central Park

We were given the chance to stop in Central Park and mooch around for half an hour. It wasn’t the nicest day for it but there was still a calming atmospheric feel and it was so strange seeing the tree’s from the park juxtaposed against the towering buildings surrounding it. Again I was hit with a WOW I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M IN NEW YORK moment while passing several recognizable bridges that were used for films such as Cloverfield. While a group of us were resting we were approached by a man with a bronze spray painted hat and hair offering to shine our shoes. One of us accepted and as we watched him confidently rubbing in solution he chatted to us about his life in New York, and how he’d had to return to shoe shining after losing his job. This was actually one of my favorite moments on the trip. It was so unique, and also eye opening to realize that in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, not everyone is living the dream.

Shortly after this we travelled to Grand Central Station to have lunch, and I have 191to say wow, what amazing architecture! The way it’s been positioned perfectly so the sunlight streams through the window is just beautiful!

The last stop of the day was the NBC studio tour. For those of you who don’t know NBC, they have contributed to many famous productions including Will & Grace, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law & Order and Heroes.

If I haven’t bored you to death yet Part 2 of this post will hopefully arrive sometime in the near future 🙂

P.S. I watched some TV back at the hotel, and American advertising? SO WEIRD.

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24 thoughts on “Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Part #1

    • It really was 🙂 I’d actually love to go back their again, as there were still quite a few things I wanted to do/see that I didn’t get to because we ran out of time. Who knows? Maybe I will one day…
      As to the advertising, I think I’ve answered your question in my reply to TayMik23 below if you want to check that out 🙂

  1. It sounds like you had a great time! NYC can really be an awesome place to visit. One question, though, and I guess it relates to the above comment: how is American advertising strange (asking as an American myself)?

    • Ahh cool I didn’t realise you lived in America. 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking, which state do you live in?
      Haha, what I found strange about American advertising was the health adverts e.g. ways to stop smoking or pills. They would have this extremely happy person saying how amazing the solution was and how it had changed their life for the better, and then afterward they would list a huge amount of leathal side effects which to me, completely nullified the idea of the ad haha. Maybe there’s an advertising rule in America that you have to state ALL side effects or something?

      • Oh, yes, the side effects. We poke fun at that, actually; I know of at least one comedian who has a bit on the endlessly scrolling side effects to cure one thing. Really, though, since I’ve grown up with it, I didn’t think there was anything really strange about it before then. There probably is some sort of law. You don’t have any commercials like that in England?
        I’d rather not give out specifics, if you don’t mind, but suffice it to say that I live on the East Coast.

      • Haha yeah I can imagine it would make some really great comedic material. I guess I found it strange because after listing all the terrible side effects I’d be suprized if anyone wanted to buy the product! Our health commercials in England do list a couple of side effects sometimes, but not that often, they usually just say consult your doctor before using it.
        East coast, cool, I bet it’s nice there 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get to see more of America some day.

      • We lived in England from 1989-93. I was in the US Air Force (stationed at RAF Upper Heyford). We lived in Bicester, 20 minutes from Oxford and also lived in Upper Oddington (just a couple miles from Stow-on-the-Wold) for 6 months. We really miss England.

        The commercials in England, at the time anyway, always had great humor and were always over the top. Again, we loved our time there.

  2. Everybody’s going on about the advertising, what about those awesome pictures people?!!
    Becky that pic you took from the ESB is breathtaking!
    Ahh, the taxis and traffic jams -that was the one thing I didnt like about NYC, too concrete-jungley(is that a word?lol) for me. It’s a shame your time was limited; travelling when tired or jetlagged is not always fun but I guess it’s better than not travelling at all! Sounds like you had some awe-inspiring moments anyway and look forward to post number 2!!

    Ps. I’m more interested in NBC, did you see anybody famous? Or get to see any sitcom productions?

    • Aw thanks Nisha, I’m glad you like it. 🙂 I still feel like it’s mediocre compared to the real thing though, it’s impossible to capture it’s immense beauty through one little camera lense! 🙂
      Really? Interesting, I liked that about it (although not when being driven through it, thats pretty horrifying) but I kept waking up really early on the trip, usually around 5am and there was car horns beeping even then! Hehe, jungley, if it’s not a word, it definitely should be! 😛
      Haha yeah, jetlag sucks! Although I kind of enjoyed being able to say it when I got back, I kept going round saying I’ve got JETLAG, I’m JETLAGGED, because I’ve been on a REAL PLANE! Teehee. 🙂
      Unfortunatley I didn’t get to see anybody famous or any sitcoms while they were actually being filmed (darn party poopers) but we got taken around several sets of shows like Saturday Night Live, some kind of news room, and Football Night in America. We also got to see the room where Ashlee Simpson preformed and got caught lipsyncing, which pretty much ruined her career. Apparently Katie Perry was there a couple of days before we were (damn our timing!) 🙂

      • Haha you’re so cute. You can never suffer too much jetlag! 😉

        I Looooooove Saturday Night Live! Awwww I’m so jealous. What is wrong with these celebrities? They are never around when we are! They need to work on their timing…

  3. Everything in America is weird to us Englishers. Every single TV channel is unintentionally hilarious with the things they try to sell you.

    Nice pictures by the way. And I applaud your use of the word ‘juxtaposition’ as well.

    • You live in New York City? That’s awesome! Does the effect of it wear off after you live their for a long time, or do you still view it as an amazing place?
      Part 2 will hopefully be coming shortly, after I crawl out from under my weightload of Art Graphics work 🙂

      • It’s a great city to live in, but we are some of the most jaded people on earth.
        A blockbuster filming in midtown on a weekday is an annoyance.
        Tourists are occasionally reviled by the natives (especially when they stop in the middle of a busy sidewalk.
        But even with that, it still astounds. The music, the food.
        The fact that just about any virtue or vice known to man can be filled at two o’clock in the morning.
        It really is a great city. Just difficult to manage sometimes.

      • Haha yeah I can just imagine…
        I’m not sure if I would ever get bored of seeing them film blockbusters but I could definitely see the tourist being extremely annoying stopping in the middle of the street. And the busyness (if thats a word?)
        Ahh, I really wish I could have exprienced some of the music New York has to offer, unfortunately the majority of it being for over 21’s I didn’t get the chance. But hopefully I’ll get to expirience it sometime in the future.

  4. I LOVED reading this! Really made me feel like I was there with you. Sounds amazing, scary and over-whelming. I think it’s probably something that you have to experience first-hand to get the full effect. I’d love to go!

    • Yay!!! I’m so glad, I never get tired of hearing that. 😀 It feels like an age since I originally wrote this so I had to look over it again, it’s great being able to look back at this post to remember how I felt about it all. It sure was amazing, scary and overwhelming, I would love the chance to go back again at some point though if I ever get the chance.
      You’re right, nothing ever compares to the real thing, I hope you go one day because I think you would love it!

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