With just under 4 weeks to go before I return home to Manchester, after the biggest adventure of my life (so far), I have been desperately squeezing in the rest of the activities I wanted to do whilst in New York.
Of course, these activities are dominated by various brunch locations across the city that I have still to dine at BUT as I’ve said to many, there is more to New York than just booze and brunch (despite how often I do just that). With the weather now starting to heat up, we all made our way to the iconic Coney Island on Saturday. The beach was truly beautiful – I definitely didn’t feel like I was in New York anymore, think more along the lines of the Canary Islands! The theme park itself was very old and the rides a little too rickety for my liking, however it was on my bucket list and if you’re ever in NYC for the summer, I’d recommend going at least to see the sea! I’m obsessed with the ocean, call me a cheesy romantic but there’s just something about it that seems to wash away all my worries and just fill me with an inner clarity. It can be calm, yet also unpredictably violent and aggressive, beautiful yet spoiled with pollution in certain areas, just like our lives – maybe that’s why I like it so much, it’s my inner poet making comparisons between this power of nature and human existence.
Sunday was unbelievably warm, especially considering the fact that it was snowing 2 weeks ago – that’s New York for you. After yet another brunch with Charlotte (who has literally become my New York partner in crime) accompanied by Bloody Mary’s at an Italian place called Aurora, we went to the water separating Brooklyn and Manhattan. The pair of us also bought some ice cream on the way (dairy-free for me), because is a sunny day ever really complete without getting a cone and having it melt all over you? Nope.
After soaking in some rays, it was onto the next part of our Sunday – NO REST FOR THE WICKED! My first ice hockey game was the final activity to tick off the agenda and it was simply brilliant. The atmosphere in the Barclays Centre was electric and when the National Anthem was sung at the beginning, I felt genuinely moved as fans stood out of respect and love for their country. The stadium was filled with families and adoring fans who bonded simply through one common interest – the New York Islanders. It made me realise that despite us being made to feel like humanity is in tatters, ripped a part by tragedies, political corruption, terrorist attacks and fear, the simple aspects of our lives are filled with untarnished moments that really reveal unity and togetherness. We often overlook these moments, just as Hugh Grant points out at the beginning of Love Actually, but we can’t afford to underestimate them anymore as they have the power to shine through the darkness and make us feel hopeful again. The simple, undignified instances I witnessed yesterday, when people didn’t think anyone was watching were genuinely such a revelation to me – when a husband tucked his wife’s hair behind her ear and kissed her on the cheek, or when a little girl no older than 6, held her younger brother’s hand as they walked up the steps, or the moment two random fans hugged each other in celebration of a win for their home team. These moments reminded me why we love this little thing we have called LIFE and why we must make the most of every second.
*This really wasn’t meant to be a profound blog post but I just felt like I had to share that, especially given the recent events we’ve been watching on the news*