Ever since I was a little girl, the idea of New York consumed me. “The city that never sleeps“, they called it. How convenient for me! I’ve been a bit of an insomniac my entire life. I always imagined myself living in a little brick apartment and taking taxis to the oh-so-glamorous job I was convinced I would have. Any movie that took place in New York was sure to be watched by me. New York photographs were abundant on my Pinterest. I even had a ‘Bratz’ video game that I would play over and over again as a kid solely because the last level took you to New York during the holiday season, which has always been my Dream. I would stop trying to reach any goals afterwards, just so I could hang out in that part of the game. Admittedly, I only stopped playing the game just before I moved out of my Mom’s house.
About eight months ago I told a boy about all of this. I barely knew him, (Unless you count some of the awkward high school encounters via mutual friends we had several years earlier.) but he told me “I’m planning on visiting New York again one day. If you don’t think I’m crazy by then, I’ll take you with me.” Well lo and behold, this past December (2016) he DID take me, and I DO think he’s crazy, but in the best way.
PS: In case you haven’t caught on, the man I’m talking about is my boyfriend and to make things easier on myself, his name is AJ.
After saving for a couple months, and AJ’s lovely mother lending me all the long johns and heavy jackets she had, we were on the road the day after Christmas. The drive was a safe, and dare I say, relaxing one. We even stopped in Virginia for a night to visit my father and take in the winter of the south before we braved the frigid cold that is New York. Mind you, I have NEVER been anywhere beyond Virginia so the drop in temperature was a totally foreign concept to me. I was nervous, but also SO excited. I wasn’t sure which emotion was stronger than the other, so to sum it up, I was an anxious, talkative, scatter-brained mess.
The reality of it all didn’t even hit me until we were crossing a bridge. (Not sure which one exactly but I know it wasn’t the Brooklyn Bridge.) I saw the Statue of Liberty only just miles away from me, and my mouth was instantly agape. I’m pretty sure I shook the car in excitement, but in my defense, my life time dream had just become a reality. After about an HOUR of being stuck on that bridge, we made it to the apartment in A) EXHAUSTION, and B) FREEZING. However we did make it a point to go to a White Castle restaurant because AJ had been looking forward to that for a very long time.
Aside from the beyond cold air outside, one other thing I was not prepared for was the attitude of some New Yorkers. I’m not saying this is typical for every Big Apple resident, but any restaurant cashier/store associate/person I bumped into, was shockingly aggressive. AJ just laughed at me and explained that Southern Hospitality was a real thing, and I didn’t know anything besides that since, you know, I’ve never been out of the South. (Unless you want to count the couple of plane trips I took to Wisconsin when I was young. Even then though, they are some polite people.) I always thought I was a tough individual but this trip made me realize how much of a powder puff I can be. I was truly surprised when I said “Sorry, excuse me” to all 1000 people I ran into and NO ONE reciprocated. I think the most eye opening experience was when I visited a Dunkin’ Donuts. I thought this was going to be a familiar experience for me since I literally visit DD so much before work I have a ‘Doughnut Wife’ at my regular store. But alas, I was wrong. The lady never even said “Hi, how are you?” She just lifted her chin at me and said, “What do you want?” JUST LIFTED HER CHIN. WHAT IS THIS BLASPHEMY? I wouldn’t say the behavior and quick pace in the city made me homesick, but I definitely developed a new found appreciation to the slower way of life. However, I did get quite used too it after a couple of days and will definitely be prepared next time we visit.
As for everything we did, it would be difficult to go into extreme detail since we packed so much into just a few days. This is why I took so many photos, basically the story without all of the words. I will, however, summarize my experiences. The first day we delve into the city was nuts. I walked right in to Times Square and didn’t even realize it! I went shopping in the XXL versions of my usual favorite shops we have at home, including Aeri, Urban Outfitters and H&M. (Which I was not aware they had a home goods store?!) We visited the Museum of Sex which was interesting to say the least. My favorite part was mostly the cheap drinks they had in the 1970s room. “70’s cocktails at 70’s prices“, one of their little menus read. Good enough for me! We retired onto a subway back to our home for the week after about four hours or so because overwhelmed was an understatement about how I felt. Also I had mega blisters which is incredibly awful for me because I’m a flip-flop girl.
To wrap things up, I went to Central Park, (AND IT SNOWED), I ate a New York Hotdog, spent $50 at a Sandwich shop, rode a bunch of subways, got a street portrait drawn, saw the Tree at Rockefeller Center, basically had the most authentic NYC experience I could have. Although I didn’t get to see the ball drop on New Years Eve (We weren’t aware you had to be in Times Square at like 10 AM just to get a spot.) We found a bar called One Horse Saloon that we stayed at since we have one with the same name at home. Afterwards we explored Wall Street while it was dark and empty and all in all, still had a fun night.
Well, I’m getting tired of typing so much so I will leave you all with this. My New York experience was everything I had hoped and I owe it all to my amazing significant other. I wouldn’t have made it so soon to the City That Never Sleeps without him. Enjoy my photos!