Postcards Home – Week 64

To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,

For the past 10 days I have been visiting my best friend, Fiona in The Big Apple. Since she moved to New York in January, I knew I HAD to fit in a trip to visit her and this iconic city.

When I first set foot on Wall Street in Downtown New York (where Fiona lives), it was just as I’d imagined.

Glistening skyscrapers soared so high they gave me a sense of claustrophobia, business men and women dressed to impress power walked to work with a Starbucks in hand, the city’s archetypal yellow cabs zoomed past beeping and yelling at traffic lights, clouds of subway smoke swirled its way out of pipes and drains and the smell of food trucks selling American hot dogs and coffee wafted through the air.

It was an entirely different side of America to California where business and tall buildings replaced beaches and volleyball and I could tell I was going to like it.

After a refreshing shower and nap, I jumped on the subway to meet Fi for lunch.

She’d been recommended a café selling her favourite American snack – bagels doused in a ridiculous amount of cream cheese. We caught up over an oozing scallion cheese salted bagel and a fresh smoked salmon and plain cream cheese bagel, before heading to explore Manhattan’s Midtown area.

I walked through kaleidoscopic and garish Times Square…

And gawped up at the towering Rockefeller Centre before walking over Brooklyn Bridge with Fi to Grimaldi’s, a restaurant, which has been voted the best pizza in New York. We gauged on a deliciously cheesy thin crust pizza before heading back to the bright lights of Manhattan…

The next day I decided to go to the 9/11 memorial and museum to pay my respects to the victims of the harrowing terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001. The memorial that has been created where the Twin Towers once stood is a heart-wrenching yet, beautiful memento for the victims and their families as well as, as a reminder of what the city has gone through and overcome as a community.

After a sad yet, very informative 4 hours at the museum, I went to be reunited with a friend I met on my first trip to India in 2011. We caught up amongst the vibrant greenery of Central Park and reminisced about the years that had passed since we last saw each other.

Central Park was exactly how it has always been depicted in Friends, Sex and the City and any other iconic New York film/programme you can think of.

Fluffy foliage towered above our heads, saxophone players, rap artists and break dancers entertained passers-by, old school pretzel and hotdog trucks lined the pathways, decorated horse and carriages danced on by and rowers gently glided along the lake dodging adorable ducklings.

It was tranquil, relaxing and HUGE.

Next up on my New York bucket list was to jump on the Staten Island ferry to catch a free glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Although I’d already seen her from afar at a bar on the waterfront, I thought it would be rude not to give her a wave from up closer…

We spent the rest of my time in New York brunching, exploring, eating, drinking and then eating a little more.

With food being at the top of our priorities (in life), Fi ensured I sampled the best food NYC had to offer (one of the many reasons why we’re such good friends). From mac n’ cheese, tacos and ginormous, over-the-top milkshakes to bulging burgers, tapas and Chicago deep pan pizzas, I spent most of my time in the city in a continual food coma…

We ended my time in NY and my time travelling (I’ll save the details of this momentous news for another post) at the top of Rockefeller Centre with a crisp glass of rose in hand.

I couldn’t have asked for a better first taste of New York and will without a doubt be returning over the Christmas period in the hope of a white Christmas…

After 16 months travelling, I am now back in the UK (DUM DUM DUMMMMM) and am on the hunt for a job while I figure out what to do with my life…

Until next week…

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