Crossed off the list 22nd, 23rd & 24th December, 2012
Wow! What an amazing city…The Big Apple is truly one of the most energetic, magnetic, eclectic, and all-out FANTASTIC cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting (and I’ve been to some pretty amazing places this year!). The frenetic pace of the city and the people who inhabit this crazy, condensed, and magnificent island called Manhattan is both mind-blowing and addictive at the same time. To say I didn’t want to leave is an understatement…I had to force myself to get on the train at Grand Central to leave, a monumental effort on my behalf!
Empire state Building…View from the top…
During my epic 48 hours in NYC, I was able to tick off some pretty amazing experiences off my list (see details below!), as well as some other pretty amazing little extras, such as…
+ Going to the top of the Empire State Building (the view is, quite simply, breathtaking)
+ Surfing the subway system like a pro
Subway surfing selfies…
+ Paying my respects at the World Trade Centre memorial site (I wept tears of sorrow and offered up my deepest prayers for the victims of this terrible atrocity against mankind)
The new towers at the WTC site
+ Walked the famous streets of Broadway, Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue, Wall Street, and Park Avenue, swooning over the gorgeous displays of the world’s greatest designes (ahhh, Prada, how I love thee…)
+ Wandered the adorable Christmas markets on Columbus Circle on the outskirts of Central Park (a happy coincidence, as I had no idea they were there until I emerged from a subway station right into the middle of them)
Central Park at dusk
+ Indulged in some NYC specialties: cannoli, coffee, hotdogs, macaroons, and of course, the quintessential NY slice (since I am such a sucker when it comes to pizza)
Best. Pizza. EVER!
+ Made friends with the manager at the Billabong/Element store in Times Square and scored a 40% staff discount (once a part of the Billabong family, always a part of the Billabong family, no matter where you are in this world, apparently!)
+ Caught up with my darling former GC housemate, Dave, who just happened to be in NYC that day (he’d been on exchange in Florida this semester), which was wonderful
GC housemate love in NYC
+ Meandering through Central Park, taking a gazillion photos of the magic scenery and stopping to play with squirrels…
+ Unintentionally caught the wrong subway and ended up in Brooklyn…which was quite an experience, let me assure you!
+ Felt my wandering adventurer spirit soar for the first time in months, which made me feel like a million bucks…
No. 72 – See a show on Broadway…
Mamma Mia! Great show. Great music. Great theatre. A lifelong dream come true…made me miss being on stage so much…
No. 144 – See the bright lights of Times Square.
Bright lights in the Big City…
In a word: WOW. A total oh-my-God-this-is-simply-one-of-the-most-amazing-sights-I’ve-ever-seen-in-my-life kinda experience. I felt myself being literally pulled towards the bright lights, feet eagerly pounding the pavement in a near run, mouth hanging open in awe, eyes darting everywhere, trying in vain to see everything at once, overwhelmed by the sheer magnificence of what is actually quite a small space (just keep looking up: like all the best things in this world, everything is up…).
For two nights in a row, I sat, mesmerized, in the middle of Times Square, looking all around me, trying in vain to keep up with the madness all around me, drinking in the sights, sounds, and smells of one of the coolest places on the planet I’ve ever been. It was like I was grooving on the vibe of the city and all the energy of the people in it. If you want to feel energized, alive, and enthralled by the spirit of NYC, then Times Square at midnight is the place for you! It took all my willpower to pull myself away at 1am every night and walk back to my hotel…seriously, I could have stayed there all night.
No. 158 – Have breakfast at Tiffany’s:
Ok, let me clarify a few things:
1. There is no actual food at Tiffany & Co.
2. I was aware of this fact before I added this to my list, as I have read Truman Capote’s book and seen the Audrey Hepburn movie (duh).
3.I didn’t wear a long, black, Givenchy evening gown, gloves, and a tiara like Audrey did (sorry, must have left that in my other backpack). I did, however, wear my big black sunnies in salute to Audrey’s style…the best I could do with my limited means (and besides, in my mind, I was dressed in Givenchy with a tiara…this was my fantasy, afterall!)
4. This was more of a metaphorical goal – I wanted to have my own iconic NYC moment, drawing inspiration from one of my favourite movies of all time…I wasn’t expecting to walk into Tiffany’s and order breakfast, as some people have suggested (once again, I must add a ‘duh’ here).
On Monday morning, after picking up a croissant and spiced chai latte (and maybe a sneaky raspberry macaroon) from one of the best cafes on 5th Avenue, I made a beeline down the street to the flagship Tiffany & Co store, the site of one of the most iconic scenes in film history. Standing outside the opulent and classically-styled storefront, gazing at the gorgeous window displays, and doing my best Holly Golightly impersonation, was one of the most frivolously fun things I’ve ever done on this list, and brought me such joy that I actually giggled out loud – I mean, c’mon, how many people can say they got to recreate their girlhood dream scene in New York City? And on 5th Ave, no less? This was a moment just for me, for that inner ‘Audrey’ inside of me who is always polished, elegant, and optimistic…and in that moment, I ceased to be a poor, back-packing uni student and felt like I was an icon of beauty, grace, and style (even in mittens, jeans, and winter boots).
Channeling my inner Audrey…
Well, that sums up my New York experience – it certainly was a magical way to top off my travels around the world this year! I only wish I could have had more time in this gorgeous city – 48 hours just wasn’t enough for this girl! – but I know that I will be back to explore its amazing streets and boroughs very soon.
I Heart NYC, forever xxx