Coney Island

This weekends exploration took place at the glorious Coney Island. There is something quite wonderful about being able to hop on the subway in the city and end up with your toes in the sand. Coney Island is known for it’s boardwalk, beach and amazing amusement park – the Wonder Wheel Ferris Wheel being it’s main fixture.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

We didn’t go on any of the rides as they were a little outside our budget. Especially because when Summer ends it gets extra cheap – so we’ll go back then. But it was still amazing just walking around and taking it all in. Coney Island tends to be open from April to October each year but the boardwalk and beach are open year round. There is such a diverse culture out there. Spanish, Jersey Shore alums and New Yorkers wanting to escape the crowds that just end up with a different much bigger crowd.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

An event Coney Island is famous for which I know made the news back in New Zealand is the Annual July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition. This years winner finished off a whopping 61 hotdogs including the buns! ‘Murica – you disgusting but impressive son ova bitch. Of course that meant for lunch we had to try Nathan’s hot dogs – they did not disappoint. While we were eating we met a little kid called Jacob who told us he thought hot dogs were disgusting. He also wasn’t very fond of soup. So there ya go!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Coney Island has the most incredible energy and it is constantly thriving. There are so many stores selling beach equipment like buckets and spades, rubber floats for the sea, towels and memorabilia. It plays the tourist card but does it well. I will definitely be visiting again and getting my butt on all those rides!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Until next time friends..
x

Posted in New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What NYC Has Taught Me

I wrote a piece for MASSIVE Magazine. The student magazine for Massey University where I went to school in New Zealand. I talk about what living in New York has taught me and how easy it is for New Zealand students to make the move too. Check it out here!

photo 2 (1)

Posted in New York, Travel, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Falling In Love All Over Again

As you guys know and as I have well vocalised, New York City and I have had a turbulent relationship. A love hate kind if you will. One day she’ll surprise me with a gorgeous street and phenomenal busker at my subway stop. The next she’ll charge me $200+ for a 10 minute doctors appointment and fill that same subway stop with the stench of urine. Then I’ll threaten to leave, pack my bags and head for the door and she’ll quickly change my mind by reminding me why I fell in love with her in the first place. Classic us.

photo (5)

After going through a tough couple of weeks and battling incredible homesickness, my love for this crazy city is alive again. I have been spending my weekends wandering aimlessly through tree shaded streets, deciding at the last moment whether am I am going to turn left or right. It may sound like a simple decision but each ways takes you down a completely different path and tells a completely different story.

I’ve been exploring Greenwich Village frequently, reliving the once musical hub of the 60s. It was on these very streets that Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix rose to fame. Both finding their start at Café Wha on MacDougal St. Bob Dylan’s famous The Freewheelin’ album cover was shot very close by on the corner on Jones and W 4th. The history of artists in this place is incredible and I can’t help let my mind wander, imagining what it was like to be in the city during those times and wonder if they knew history was being made. The streets in The Village make my heart jump, it’s these kinds of streets that began my love affair with NYC. If only Manhattan real estate wasn’t so ridiculous.

photo 1

I’ve been exploring The Upper East Side and The Upper West Side, the area of the rich and the even richer. All the way uptown, roughly 80 blocks from Greenwich is the home of Central Park, Gossip Girl and some of the richest people. The perk for me of exploring these areas was getting to see The Dakota apartments. It was here that John Lennon lived with Yoko Ono and owned a mere 5 apartments. I should state that the cheapest apartment going at The Dakota today is about $7million. God damn Manhattan real estate. It was also here where John Lennon was walking home from recording and was shot dead. Again, I can’t help but let my mind wander. From here I strolled over to The Carlyle Hotel. The reason I went here is because a lady I loved lived here for years, a lady who lunched – Elaine Stritch. A Broadway brassy broad and 30 Rock star, she was the last of her kind, the essense of New York glamour and recently passed away. The Carlyle was also made famous by Woody Allen who featured it in his classic film “Manhattan” and apparently performs there from time to time. To carry on with this exploration of the rich and famous, it was on to 740 Park Avenue. This address is notable because it has had a documentary and book made about it. Why I hear you asking? It is considered to be one of the most luxurious and powerful housing complexes in New York. It houses CEOS, heiress’s, novelists, fashion designers and other ridiculously rich people. If you get a chance definitely watch the documentary, not because of the rich people and their glamorous lifestyles but because the way they treat others and think they are above everyone else. It’s fascinating watching.

The Dakota

The Dakota

photo (6)

photo 3

I’ve been exploring 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Well as much as they’ll let me. Will and I got tickets to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon which was pure fluke and determination. We are HUGE fans of the show so it was such an amazing thing to be able to tick seeing it live off our list. His guests were Heidi Klum, Ethan Hawke, Mike Birbiglia and Temples. We were second row which meant we got the perfect view of Jimmy when he came out and did his monologue. He interacted with the crowd heaps and it just proves what I already thought which is that he is the most genuine, down to earth celeb around.

photo 4 (1)

So there you have it, for now me and this fierce being that is New York City are on good terms. But soon, it will be time for the next adventure. I better make the most of it.

Until next time friends..
x

Posted in New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take A Hike Buddy

To be honest with you it is quite the miracle that I am home safe and sound writing this. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Because of the constant energy New York has it can get quite tiring and sometimes you need to escape, so Will and I did just that. Before leaving New Zealand I would quite regularly go for hikes in the Waitakere Ranges which was amazing. When we caught the Metro-North train upstate I was expecting hikes of the same beginner-intermediate intensity. Well let me tell you, this shit almost killed me. It was a day filled with wrong turns, mishaps, stunning views and by the end of it extremely sore legs.

DCIM104GOPRO

I had wanted to get out in to nature for a while so did some googling and found this link. We decided on Bear Mountain State Park as we had seen photos that looked incredible. The Metro-North train only stops at hiking stops such as Bear Mountain on the weekend and only one door of the train opens for you to exit. We missed our stop. Manitou was the stop we were meant to get off at and then walk across Bear Mountain Bridge but the conductor was a real shithead and didn’t explain that you had to be on the small area between train carts that specifically says “NO STANDING”. Go figure as to why we thought that’s not where we should be waiting. Any who there was an absolutely lovely lady passenger on the train who told us that a couple stops away was another hiking trail and she explained exactly where we needed to go. It wasn’t our trail of choice but what the hell.

DCIM103GOPRO

Everyone in New York must have been needing to get out into the wilderness because so many people got off at the next hiking stop. We followed the ladies directions which lead us to a desk with two rangers at the beginning of trail helping people. His first words- “This is an extremely challenging trail which involves rock climbing where you need to have your arms and legs free”. Nope. Not happening. My response? “Is there an easier option”? There was! Hallelujah! He showed us on a map where we needed to go, how long it would take and where the best views were. When we asked if we could take a copy of the map he said “Sure, for $2″. Obviously we weren’t THAT far out of New York City.

DCIM104GOPRO

Even though we still managed to get extremely lost, it would have been a lot worse had we not purchased that map. The first part of the hike I found incredibly difficult, it was mostly up hill and we climbed 1000 ft. We were also idiots and only took a 500ml bottle of water each which we almost finished just on the train ride. It was tough. As Will kept pointing out, you can last two days without water and we are complaining and dreaming about our next beverage after 20 minutes. Fair call. Our lunch spot was incredible. Sprawling views of the Hudson River and other state parks. I packed tuna for our lunch but stupidly left the can opener at home! So Will being the Survivor fanatic he is put his hours of watching to use and bashed the can open on a rock. My hero.

DCIM103GOPRO

P1130906

P1130922

After lunch was when things started to go wrong. The ranger had told us to start on the Yellow Trail till we get to the White Trail. Follow the White Trail for 10 minutes until you get to the Blue Trail. From there continue on to the Red Trail. It took us hours to find the White Trail. Each point where a new colour would appear was very confusing and the map did not give us a good indication of where to go. We eventually got to the White Trail and then to the Blue but we took a wrong turn. After what must have been 3 hours of hiking we thought we were coming to and end but instead ended up at a kids summer camp. We exited the park on to a huge green field with a climbing wall and soccer goals. Surely this couldn’t be the finishing point. It wasn’t. But it had water fountains! So after our run in with severe dehydration (not really), we ran to the fountains and guzzled that cold water like never before.

DCIM104GOPRO

We managed to find some people who gave us directions how to get back to the train station. This involved walking through the entire camp which was incredible! It was just like the summer camps you see in the movies. It turned out to be one of my favourite things I have seen while I have been here. At the end of the camp we ended up back on the trail…for another 2+ hours!! That’s not even the best bit though. Once we finished the trail we still had a 30 minute walk to get to the train. I slept real good on the way back to the city, reeeeal good. It was a great day though, filled with adventure which included me sliding down a hill on my ass. That happened when we took ANOTHER wrong turn and had to trudge through thorn bushes. Ahh nature. You can’t beat it.

P1130948

What other hikes should I get lost on in NY State? Please let me know!

Until next time friends..

xx

Posted in New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 7 Cons Of Having Ryan Gosling’s Babies

Just wrote this for BuzzFeed! If ya feel like sharing it around so I can try and get featured on their front page that’d be pretty darn good of ya! Go to the BuzzFeed link and share from there. Thanks friends :)

enhanced-8857-1404963179-1

 

 

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fourth of July

Well it is certainly getting hot here in NYC! Today we had a scorcher of 32 degrees. Urgh, it was disgusting. This pasty lady is not meant for sweltering heat. We celebrated Independence Day here in ‘Murica and it was fabulous. My favourite holiday I’ve celebrated here so far. Most New Yorkers leave the city for the long weekend so we made the most of the quiet streets and no lines for restaurants. Ironically my day was spent surrounded by Kiwis rather than Americans. But what a great bunch of Kiwis they are. photo1 The festivities began at The Essex in Lower East Side for a boozy bunch. It was delicious, food always puts me in a good mood. Lots of laughs and mimosas later we were on the move but the rain stopped us in our tracks and ruined the fun outdoor activities we had planned. Never fear though, off to Brooklyn it was for Cranium and shelter! Our kiwi clan spent the afternoon drinking beer, playing games and eating pizza, so we got a little bit of American tradition in! photo1 We finally got the weather on our side and the clouds began to clear. Each year New York has an incredible fireworks display for the fourth of July. Usually in the Hudson River but this year they were in the East River which is between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Lucky for us we have a rooftop that gets sprawling views of the city, so once the sun came out we hiked up 6 flights of stairs to finish the night off on the roof.

photo5

photo3

photo6

photo2

It was a splendid day, with splendid people in a splendid city. I bet the word splendid sounds funny to you now.

10474866_10154331551510384_8047486564116207590_nPhotos thanks to Vinesh K Photography

Oh and in case you missed it – I got published on HelloGiggles.com. Click below to check out my piece “The Pros and Cons of Having Bangs”. HelloGiggles Until next time, friends.. X

Posted in New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fan and the Band

I’ve always been obsessed with music. From a young age I’ve always followed certain bands and artists and had a strong knowledge of music. By strong I mean, I know a lot of weird and useless facts about a variety of music. All of which will never come in handy. I can credit this music obsession to my parents and older brother Lawrence, who all had good taste and shared it with me. This love of music came in to full swing at the age of 15 when I discovered Fall Out Boy. Before Fall Out Boy I only listened to music that was easily accessible to me by radio or TV so this meant the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child and The Black Eyed Peas. So ya know, all that cheesy pop stuff. Fall Out Boy introduced me to a whole new side of music, a dedication to music. Not only did I fall in love with Patrick, Joe, Andy and Pete, I fell in love with all these other bands that I discovered through them. I would scour local record stores for CDs by new bands I had discovered, spending every last cent of my limited money. I loved the feeling of coming home putting my new purchase on repeat while reading the sleeve cover to cover. Then late at night I would relentlessly search the internet on MySpace and Last FM to find new music. This was back when it was dial up too so that’s what I mean by a dedication to music. But the fact that I had to wait overnight for an album or a song to download didn’t bother me. I was so excited to get up in the morning and listen to it.

Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Say Anything, Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria, The Academy Is and The Used were all such a huge part of my teenage life and my teenage relationships. Some of my fondest memories are driving in my car with my best friends screaming the lyrics to our favourite songs. These bands shaped who I am today and my love of music. So when it was announced that Fall Out Boy and Paramore would be touring North America together this summer as part of Monumentour it was a no brainer – I had to go. Never mind the fact that it was in Long Island and I had to hire a car to get there. The 15 year old that lives quietly but still very apparent in me got an extra special treat when she saw you could purchase meet and greet packages with your concert ticket. Again, it was a no brainer – I owed it to the girl who used to listen to Fall Out Boy daily, and chat on Fall Out Boy chat rooms (embarrassingly so) daily. The ticket was purchased and off I went. Alone may I point out, I went to this show alone. There’s that dedication to music again.

tumblr_mzbhyfhtYz1qznis6o1_500

I wasn’t really nervous because in the email it explained it would just be a quick thing where you walk round once and get something signed then you walk around again and get a photo. Willem dropped me off at Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach which is the most incredible outdoor venue I have ever seen. Absolutely incredible.

2009-NAJBT-Stadium-Stage600

I picked up my tickets and meet and greet pass then I hopped in line. Straight away I noticed I was in a strange minority. The minority being my age. The first people I spoke to were Mums who I got on really well with btw. Probably because I felt I could relate more with them than the other alternative – 14 year old girls. My first question to my new 14 year old BFF that I made waiting in line was – How do you even know Fall Out Boy?! I mean it was 2006 when they were really huge and the world went nuts over Pete Wentz. I filled her in on the whole Pete Wentz era when she was confused why we weren’t allowed to give the band hugs. But anyways she said she got introduced to them through another band that she listens to. I loved hearing her say that because it gave me a smidgen of hope in young people and their music choices these days. I totally thought they were all listening to One Direction, Austin Mahone and whatever other tweens are putting out music at the moment. However, this was my only moment of respect for the 14 year old population at this concert.

FOB

Waiting in line for the meet and greet these girls were playing it cool like it was any other day, but when they came out from getting something signed they were completely different. Some were in tears, others were skipping and jumping with joy. I just couldn’t stop thinking what a weird fucking thing this whole ordeal is. I have paid MONEY to meet these PEOPLE. That is all they are – PEOPLE. Fame is the most bizarre thing in the world. Some how because these people are in front us constantly that makes them better than everyone else and they deserve special treatment. It blows my mind. Don’t get wrong the guys were absolutely lovely and so patient and understanding with the hysteria happening around them. I think the reactions of everyone else made me really calm coz I was thinking “Wow these girls are going to be freaking these poor guys out”. But then again, they will be used to it. My new 14 year old BFF went in before me and broke out in hysterical laughter. This blew my mind even more. Why do we get reactions like this over famous people who are no different to us other than the fact they are way rich and well known. If I had the chance to meet Fall Out Boy when I was younger and my love for them was in it’s prime, sure, I definitely would have had the same reaction of hysterical laughter. However, now that my mind functions properly and I can see that this is the strangest thing I have ever done, it’s completely different. I just kind of walked on through, smiled at the guys, asked them how they were and then I was on my way. They must have thought I was sedated compared to the other company in the room. But that wasn’t even the weirdest part of the whole experience, that came at the show itself. After the meet and greet I lined up to get into The Pit which is right at the front of the stage. Quick side note: I have decided I am too old and completely over getting General Admission tickets to live shows. This show made it clear to me. I got my space about 4 rows back from the front surrounded by 14 – 16 year olds causing a whole lot of ruckus. I finally found some kindred souls when I overheard two girls talking about all the 12 year olds pushing them. We became instant friends. After opening band New Politics finished their set, Paramore came on stage. They put on an amazing live show. Personally I prefer them as a three piece and feel they just keep getting better. They had multiple confetti bombs go off and giant balloons bounce on the heads of the crowd. My favourite part of their show was then they got a crowd member on stage to sing part of Misery Business with them. This girl did great. But what impressed me more was how much love Paramore show to their fans. They looked like they had so much fun up on stage with the fan and constantly thanked the crowd showing gratitude. It was second time seeing them live and they are just a great band to see live.

Hayley

Now when Fall Out Boy came on, that’s when things got weird. Seeing the girls around me and listening to them talk made me feel so strange. For one, most of them cried when the band came on stage. I kept turning around during certain songs and just saw a sea of mascara stained faces.

FOB on Stage

The relationship fans have with bands is an odd one. I don’t know why we put them up on a pedestal or why we see them with such authority. I mean, I think music is incredibly important and understand a strong love of songs and lyrics. But the way bands are treated and seen is phenomenal. Perhaps it’s the mystery behind them, the lives they lead that we want to and can only dream of. Fans can probably tell you more about a member of their favourite band than one of their own family members. Which is crazy, sad and true. The show was closure for me. I met a new generation of fans who hopefully find a love of music through their love of Fall Out Boy but lose the obsession with the members of Fall Out Boy. I said goodbye to that 15 year old fan girl with teased hair that was once lived inside of me and left her at the show with no ride home.

The 15 year old with teased hair that I speak of

The 15 year old with teased hair that I speak of

Posted in Music, New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment