The first week here was great because I felt like a tourist and left the job hunt right at the back of my mind, it got cosy back there getting to know my student loan. We packed a lot into each day which was extremely tiring and made jetlag A LOT worse.
The first two days didn’t really seem real as I was in a daze. We managed to master the subway pretty quick and have managed not to get too lost. Catching the subway is one of my favourite things to do in this city, there are so many interesting people that you just don’t see in New Zealand. Try not to make eye contact though, as they think you are staring and yell at you. This is a true story.
Our first day was spent exploring downtown Manhattan and torturing myself with cheap shopping. I picked up an amazing woollen jacket, scarf and gloves for like $60 total. Ridiculously cheap – this does not work in my favour.
We walked up Broadway just exploring, then like 40 blocks later ended up at Time Square. The feeling in Time Square is completely different to the rest of New York because it is all tourists. It’s just a constant buzz of energy. My first encounter in Time Square was typical New York. All throughout Time Square there are people dressed up as either characters or impersonators. At first I thought “oh how nice”, this was until Smurfette and some other character approached me being absolutely adorable and lovely. They asked me if I wanted a photo so I went along with it, what a stupid move that was. They then completely switched and starting hounding me for money that they could split between them. I only had a dollar so I chucked that at them and run away. See how happy I look in this photo..yeah that soon changed.
Apart from that being here was a surreal experience. For years I had watched Time Square on webcam dreaming about one day being able to visit. Then to be sitting on the red steps watching it all around me, ah somebody pinch me!
Walking round literally felt like we were on a movie set, here were all these buildings and famous areas that I am so used to seeing on TV. Crazy business I tell ya.
Wednesday was probably one of my favourite days. We started out by catching the train to Dumbo, which is right on the water in Brooklyn and gets AH-MA-ZING views of the skyline. You can walk along Brooklyn Bridge Park which is beautiful and see all 3 bridges and all the skyscrapers. We walked around here before heading to the Brooklyn Bridge and crossing over to Manhattan.
On the bridge you get amazing views of the whole city including The Statue of Liberty. Our lovely scenic walk was soon interrupted by 4 NYPD helicopters, police sirens and 2 NYPD boats – typical New York. I have no idea what was going on but they were circling the bridge looking for something. Willem and I joked that there may be a bomb on the bridge. I say joke, but I was deadly serious and hurried to get to the other side.
To top this day off we went to Justin Timberlake that night. My inner 16 year old could hardly control her excitement. It was at Barclays Center which was just amazing to see, such a cool atmosphere. We eventually found our way to our seats with some help from a worker who exclaimed “YOU HAVE AN ACCENT” and then proceeded to show us to our seats, which were very close…to the back of the stadium. My poor eyesight didn’t help but it was still incredible. Part way through the show the front of the stage lifted up and began to move over and out in to the crowd. No wonder he hasn’t come back to NZ that shit is expensive to pull off! And to make thing even cooler one of my all-time favourite people – Jimmy Fallon was there! I fan girled big time. Not even ashamed of it.
The highlight of the day probably came when we were leaving the stadium to catch the train home. We walked out and there was a group of about 5 or 6 black girls fighting, like throwing punches and pulling weaves fighting. I couldn’t believe it actually happens. I was so content with life at that moment.