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Saturday, 13 September 2014

NYC: New York, New York!

I spent the last week of summer with two other friends in the concrete jungle they call New York! I try not to believe the hype about countries or places I have never visited before but this trip was truly incredible. The first day involved a lot of walking through and around many blocks as we were eager to see what the city had to offer. It was also important we stayed hydrated as the climate was ranging everyday between 20 and 30 degrees. New York is a state on the north eastern region of the United States, the prestigious city is made up of five boroughs Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. We stayed in a lovely apartment in Brooklyn, thanks to Air bnb, which is a useful platform to use when looking for accommodation anywhere, as the prices are varied depending on what you are looking for. The subway was our main mode for transport. As for the subway I will leave that to another post, its was the most convenient and economical method of transport but I wouldn't say it was the easiest or cleanest in comparison to what we were used to (The London Underground - seriously I will never complain about TFL again! Now that I have experience the subway, NY).

More about the city, it was interesting to compare the different boroughs we visited such as Brooklyn,Washington Heights, Bushwick, Manhattan, they all had similarities to one another but the differences were also evident in the people for example in appearance and the pace of movement amongst people would differ from slower or faster depending where we were. One of the first venues we went to was at Paper Box in Brooklyn where we got an insight into the unsigned musical talent in the US as a number of artists performed at this intimate gig. Which was really chilled, to be honest I like anywhere that doesn't require me to wear heels. I was initially worried what the night life would be like, or more the idea in my head of how it could have been which was us ending up in 'touristy clubs' with painful head banging music. But to our luck we met a group of fun New Yorker's who were our guides to the real hot spots, which made the experience much more exciting and fulfilling in the sense that I felt as if I experienced the real New York and not the image painted of NY.  I would say we had a equal balance as we were pretty much tourists in the day and New Yorker's at night.

 I've never really been a fan of American food, there is something about it that tastes different (different in a not so good way) even the vegetables, well in comparison to the meat and veg we eat here (UK). But on that note, New York has a wide varied in culture and food, so as long as you are willing to spend extra dollar on food, you will have no problem finding something. My favourite restaurant we ate at was a Thai restaurant at East Village called Klong, it was amazing! If you are a sea food lover the - Seafood pei noodle special is very good as well as generous! The 1st September was Labour Day, which is a West Indian American day where they celebrate their pride and culture (similar to the UK's Notting Hill Carnival) there was so much choice for food on this day especially as the carnival celebrations was on our door step, as the locals prepared BBQ's and food stalls. I still remember how good the pineapple sticky rice was from this day we ate silently enjoying every bite.

The people I encountered in New York were friendly and willing to help when we got lost (which happened the majority of the time). I'm grateful for meeting a lot of the people I did meet during my time in NY as many of them had a portfolio career of some sort (more than one job, but in different fields) and were continuing with their passions outside of work hours such as painting, jewellery making and fashion designing etc. which was inspiring. It reminded the importance of perseverance and how to utilise your passions to achieve what you eventually want.

From seeing our pal Libby (The statue of Liberty), to art exhibitions, shopping and even doing a quick photo shoot for the iconic NYC boutique Patricia Field. I feel as if we really made the most of the time we had, but NY is a big place so I would definitely love to go again someday! I have included summary of photos of the trip. Enjoy!

Brooklyn Bridge

Times Square

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn baby!

Ground Zero - 9/11 memorial

Wall feature inside Thai Restaurant, Klong - East Village

The view from the Empire Estate Building


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