Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wednesday Words: Fun In The Big Apple

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New York!

New York was three years ago and I can't quite believe how fast the time has gone. I still think about it from day to day of all the fun things we got up to, and how my heart absolutely aches when I think about going back. I need to go back so, so badly.

A lot of people ask me exactly what New York is like, and I can be honest and say it is stunning. I often find cities too busy for my liking, too dirty and too rushed, but New York is different in that it's got a really unique, effervescent feel to it - it feels like the bubbles in a glass of cold Coke, always rushing and bubbling away merrily. But it's exciting watching the bubbles fizzling in the glass, and that is exactly the atmosphere of New York. Exciting. Different. Fun. And big.

When we first arrived in New York we took our prearranged taxi to the hotel, and the drive from JFK airport, through Queens, took at least two hours because of the midday traffic. But we didn't mind, because of the things we saw along the way. A baseball pitch on the right hand side with a huge globe monument that was used in several films, yellow taxis driving past us, a vicar cleaning the doorway of his church with a sweeping brush... although weirdly I still felt like I was in England! When we finally made it over the Manhattan bridge we saw so many little corner shops, one filled from floor to ceiling with cans of fizzy drinks in the window. Oddly enough we also ended up being stuck behind an ice cream van, which made the hilariously funny taxi driver mad! Throughout the journey our taxi driver told us plenty about New York and baseball whilst driving on the opposite side of the road in the passenger's seat...

Our first evening was a really early one - after a meal out in TGI Friday of burger and chips (had to be done) we ended up crashing out at about 6pm New York time, and waking up at 7am the next morning... jet lag still upon us, but secretly celebrating the fact I had slept in until 2pm UK time, we had breakfast in the hotel and were more than enamoured by the bagel toasting machine and the range of soft cream cheeses. I also managed to try out the pastries and a cake, which I was completely unsure of what kind it was, but it was yummy anyway! The plain Greek yoghurt was sadly a miss though, it just didn't taste right, no matter how much I stirred it with my spoon. But the orange juice was yummy!

Day one in the Big Apple, we ran around Madame Tussauds, which was at first one of the most freakiest experiences I've ever had (although seeing some celebrity waxwork being carried down the stairs by two members of staff made me giggle) turned into a "Ooooh! Take my photo with *insert random famous person's name* please!" session. I still look at the photos now and both cringe and laugh. I got a bit carried away there. Funnily enough my brother got mistaken for a waxwork and a man had his photograph taken next to him... "So, who is this, honey? I have absolutely no idea!" "Yeah, me neither," my brother replies, making the man jump back and exclaim in shock.

We then went on an open top bus around the city. This way we got to see loads of New York - the Library, the Post Office (biggest post office ever), along Soho and Greenwich Village, and parts of Lower East Side and Chinatown. We saw a rather large group of men stood in a circle on the pavement kicking a ball to one another which was amusing. At one bus stop a man ran up the stairs of the bus and sold us all water and roasted chestnuts. By this point I realised I had totally forgotten my dinner completely (it was nearly 4pm) as we got off at the Rockefeller Center. It was then time to check out Top Of The Rock.

After a short queue, we went into a room where we watched a short history of the Rockefeller Center. The next thing we knew we were going in the lift with about ten or so other people. The man who guided us through to the lift told us to look at the ceiling. So, within about a minute we watched a beautiful short video projected onto the ceiling. It only took a minute to get to the top!

The views from the top are incredible. You really do feel like you're on top of the world.

After our time looking through the binoculars and taking photos we took another short lift ride down to the bottom floor. I made friends with a sign outside Banana Republic (as in, I tripped over it) and we went outside and watched the ice skating rink for a bit, before stocking up on Swedish Fish sweeties and then checking out Magnolia Bakery! Yum. I had a peanut butter cookie and a chocolate brownie with white fudge icing. Mmm. If you do visit New York please visit Magnolia Bakery, it is so worth it. The sugary scent of the shop will stay with me forever.

Next week, I shall tell you about the biggest boat ever and our journey in the Park.

Wednesday Words is my new attempt at writing a little bit every Wednesday, documenting untold stories from my life and some of my own personal embarrassing moments.

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