New York, New York

Trip Start Aug 09, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Z NYC Hotel

Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waking up around 6am on the coach to look out the window and see nothing much but cloud & mist and the faint tops of trees was a bizzare but slightly exciting experience. It was completely different to the landscape we left behind in Toronto and it meant we were fast approaching New York, though driving through cloud in a valley was not what I expected to wake up to. Apparently Ness had woken up slightly earlier & it had been so cloudy she couldn't actually see past the window, even stranger an experience when you've only just woken up! It looked pretty magical on the other side, as the sun was rising above the cloud & casting light on the tree tops. 
Arriving in New York at 10am, exhausted after what little coach sleep we managed to get & not looking quite as glamorous as one would have hoped, but being too tired to care, we got straight in a famous yellow taxi and headed across the water to our hotel in Queens, Long Island. 

My first thought of New York was that it's so much calmer & friendlier than I thought it would be. I don't know if this is because I'd prepared myself for it to be one of the busiest and most intimidating cities we were going to visit and so in comparison to that image, it really didn't seem that bad. 

We'd chosen our hotel purposely to be able to look across at the New York skyline, particularly when it would be lit up at night. The room was definitely one of, if not the, best we'd stayed in. After showering & freshening up, we managed to pull enough energy together to actually do something and not waste our first day there. Ness had the sensible idea of having a relaxing day just visiting Central Park & Times Square. 
I was a little too excited approaching Central Park, having featured in Friends, Gossip Girl & several films in my DVD collection, I was finally going to be there myself! A very surreal feeling! As we walked in, it was exactly as it appears on screen. In addition to this, there were all sorts of musicians & jugglers, singers, little children running & playing, a newly wed bride & groom having professional photos taken, squirrels scurrying everywhere, statues, a large fountain, boats on the lake, horse & carriages trotting along the roads through the park, and a heck of a lot of joggers & cyclists. 
New York would be such an amazing place for a date...rowing boats on the lake & horse drawn carriages through the city! If people could direct any future love interests to this site we'd be most grateful :). 

After walking around and exploring what felt like the whole park, but could only have been a small section of it, we walked to Strawberry Fields to visit the John Lennon memorial and then flaked out on the grass for some sunbathing & napping: Yes I was responsible for the latter. Despite several people passing by, it felt so peaceful & safe there, and with several security & police around, you can tell they really try to maintain that atmosphere across the park. 

After a couple of hours in heaven, we took a leisurely stroll across several blocks to the famous Times Square, which was quite bustling but not intimidating: our walk through Las Vegas last year made the crowds really not seem so bad. It was exciting being amongst the bright lights. We saw the famous red steps covered with people, along with gathered crowds surrounding street dancers, and several people wanting to sell or hand out tickets for shows & the recording of shows. If we had longer in New York, going to the recording of a show, preferably Ellen Degeneres or Jimmy Fallon, was definitely on Nessy's to-do list. 

After seeing these places on tv & in films, you expect to be let down by them in real life, but we really weren't at all. They completely lived up to expectations! It was only our first day in New York but i think we'd both already decided that we were definitely going back! Especially as it's only a 6hour flight!! 

For dinner, we met a couple of Nessy's friends from Brazil who are currently working & studying in New York (yes we're very jealous of them!) We ate at a quirky but relaxed Thai place where the food was divine & much needed! It was lovely for Nessy to catch up with old friends & it was great to finally put faces to the names I'd heard so much about for the last few years. 

Back on the metro, which was possibly the most stifling & stuffiest underground we'd ever been on, and ignoring the "do not run up the escalators" signs, we justtt made it back in time to get the free bus from the city to our hotel! We both felt like we'd made a lot of our first day in New York & headed to bed ready for a jam packed day tomorrow that we couldn't wait for! :) 

Lots of Love, Jess (& Ness) x
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