So I’ve been in this incredible city a mere 3 days and I’m already addicted to coffee, a regular at the local vegan café and bossing the subway like a native New Yorker (something I thought I would most likely totally suck at – but turns out I’m more logical than I otherwise presumed).
On my first morning, I woke up at 5:30am because my body clock was still tuned in to UK time and boy! did I take advantage?! I was up and out of my accommodation by 06:30 and straight into Central Park, videoing, taking pictures and just enjoying being in pretty much the only green space in this entire city. Whilst there, I actually had a bizarre experience which involved a Donald Trump fanatic….I had my earphones in, playing my ‘New York’ playlist at full volume and was just smiling at everyone and everything, when a woman began talking at me. I took my headphones out and she said, ‘Why are you smiling? Is it because you are a fan of Donald Trump?’ Hmm…it was then that I noticed her red baseball cap with the bold letters ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN‘ sown across the front. ‘Oh dear’ I thought. She’d clearly mistaken my innocent grinning for a smile of political agreement with the statement she was publicising. ‘No. I’m not a Trump supporter,’ I replied very quickly, ‘I was just smiling because I’m happy…’ At this point she looked very uncomfortable and I added, ‘I’ve nothing against those who support him, each to their own and at the end of the day this is a democracy. I just don’t agree with his policies and attitudes personally.’ I didn’t want a political debate. As I turned, the lady took a few steps closer to me and thanked me….turns out she was baffled that I hadn’t shouted abuse or insulted her (as I’m sure she’s been used to, wearing a hat like that). The woman then proceeded to walk with me for about 10 minutes, asking me about what I thought of her city and why I was here etc. We had quite a pleasant conversation and I left her reflecting on my reason for being so obsessed with New York, ‘The diversity of cultures and the people is what makes this city so magical‘ – I don’t know how that fitted in with her political views but I just felt the urge to say it.
Anyway, aside from that I did really touristy activities all day – I saw the Flatiron building, the Empire State, Grand Central and The Met!
I’ve already met lots of people from all over the world, who live in my accommodation which means I now have tourist pals to sightsee with! I went shopping in Macey’s with a girl called Alex, who’s come all the way from Brisbane, Australia! (I resisted spending all my money…for now, but highly doubt that’s going to last long)
My take on the subway? – It’s no secret that I hate public transport – trains, buses, trams are just not for me. But, the subway is actually something I’m alright with (I’m sure it’s a lot to do with the fact I’m in New York). It’s much cleaner than the London Underground for sure and it smells 100 percent better (no stench of urine hooray!). Additionally it’s actually much clearer where and when you’re getting off. So that’s been a successful experience. You’ve even got an friendly American voice announcing each stop and saying “Please watch out for the closing doors” in a slow, exaggerated New York accent.
I’ve done one shift at work so far and it’s going brilliantly! I’m working with guys who’ve been involved with reporting on the entertainment industry for as long as 20 years and they really know their stuff! I’ve observed the speed they have to work at in order to confirm the accuracy of sources and the tips they rely on from PRs and celebrities themselves. It was fascinating and exciting to see the way news works in the 21st century! I even managed to speed up the report on a particular story due to the fact I was religiously checking the celebrity’s social media account for the breaking of their silence on a particular matter.
I have lots of plans for the rest of the week too. Tonight I’m going to a Korean restaurant and then on to a karaoke bar. Fingers crossed I’ll also be seeing a Broadway show at the end of the week, and visiting the amazing ‘Century 21‘ (a retail discount store which literally reduces brands like Valentino and Dolce & Gabana to a mere $299/399 from a whopping $1599 !) Brooklyn is also on the cards! So I’ll see where the New York wind takes me.
Whatever I do end up doing, I’ll keep you posted.