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…
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 doors 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:
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.
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.
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 to 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.