Ten Days in New York
If there’s one thing New York is not, it’s slow. So ten days, felt more like three - but I made the most of what time I had. It’s one of those places that felt instantly familiar as soon as I arrived in midtown Manhattan for the first time, and saw all the lights, buildings, yellow cabs and people - but I attribute this to the countless hours of my life that I’ve spent watching a certain New York based 90’s sitcom, from which I may have also found the diner so I could have my photo taken out the front. Everything looks just as you’d expect it to - and the city sounds like thumping music, blasting car horns and overheard conversations generously peppered with every expletive under the sun. But it’s amazing fun. Anyway, in ten days I…
- Spent hours wandering around the different areas of Manhattan, Upper East Side, Lower East Side, West Village, East Village, Soho, Noho, Uptown, Downtown, Greenwich Village, went to a few galleries in Chelsea, and walked through the enormous Central Park three times without seeing the same thing twice. I also spent a couple of mornings checking out some different areas of Brooklyn.
- Ate big slices of Pizza, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese, lots of great Vietnamese food, burgers, noodles, an enormous pastrami sandwich, with about 90% Pastrami and 10% bread in a busting Jewish deli at 2.30 in the morning
- Took in some incredible views from the top of the Rockefeller Centre just on sunset
- Caught up with my friend Kate who’s also passing through from Melbourne and had a fun Saturday night out on the Lower East Side
- Visited the 9/11 memorial, which, due to the well thought out monuments that have been constructed, I found a rather peaceful place despite the events that happened there.
- Visited MoMA, the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Frick Collection - an early 20 Century mansion facing central park which was once the home of a wealthy financier with a fine taste for European art and Asian antiques
- And on the last evening, I had a sophisticated drink at Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel - a bar that’s decorated with murals by Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the beloved ‘Madeline’ books. Bemelmans once lived upstairs in the hotel - and the setting was gorgeous, with a piano player tinkering away in the corner. I just took two or three quick snaps - it felt a bit unsophisticated to go around taking pictures in such a classy setting.
I don’t think that it’s truly possible to have a real taste of the Big Apple in only ten days - I think that it’s one of those cities like London or Paris that you have to live in to truly experience - but the tiny slice I had was pretty damn good, and I’ll be back for more, for certain.
And that marks the end of my ‘big adventure’ - ‘one year’ overseas, which ended up being something more like 2 years, one month and 23 days away from home. I never imagined that I’d get to visit all the places and have most of the the experiences I’ve had - living for a short time in Paris, then working in London for the best part of two years, visiting Berlin and Copenhagen twice, Stockholm and Budapest just to name a few - not to mention making a lot of new friends from all over the world, who I hope keep in touch for a very long time. In two hours I’ll be on my way to the airport to fly back to Australia - so with that - until the next adventure.