I want to be a part of it…

28 06 2010

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New Yoo-ooorrrrrrkkk!

Yeah, so New York City was pretty great. (and yes I’m aware I just quoted two different songs).

Mark and I were both going a bit stir-crazy by this stage, as it had been a really long time since either of us had had a friend around. So you can imagine our relief when we arrived in NYC to be joined by Hannah. Insert MASSIVE sigh of relief here. Finally, we had someone to talk to besides each other!

That whole week actually went by in a bit of a blur. There was lots of shopping – far more than I should have allowed myself if I’m being completely honest. The area around Chinatown should be avoided at all costs when you’re trying not to waste your money on absolute crap. Far better to take a stroll down Fifth Avenue, where you don’t have a hope of being able to afford anything anyway. It’s a strategic move.

Of course, we went to MoMA – the tightarse way. That is, we lined up to get free tickets. Saw the Tim Burton exhibit while we were there, which was great but would have been way better if I’d been able to view the artwork without feeling sexually violated. Yes, there were that many people there. Oh well, it is New York – what can you expect?

It was a wonderful, wonderful place – one that I felt really at home in, and don’t think I could ever be bored in. It was also one of the cheapest places we went to, surprisingly. Yes, the accommodation costs are high, but if you’re smart, you can do a lot really really cheaply and have an amazing time without really spending much money at all. The subway is brilliant, and gets you across the city so quickly.

I wanted to go to the Magnolia Bakery in the West Village (where Carrie and Miranda ate pink cupcakes outside), so we did – it was absolutely packed, but the cupcakes were yummy, so that made up for it. I loved the West Village – it was very green and leafy, some nice parks and lots of the quintessential New York brownstones that the city is famous for. Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment is located here, too.

For all of the wonderful areas of New York, there are plenty of completely dodgy areas, too. On our second time in the city, we stayed with the lovely Penny in her Brooklyn apartment. One day we had to go to the post office, and we had to walk through an area of town where I felt as though we could be mugged at any point (and that would have been one of the nicest things that could have happened). I very nearly convinced Mark to get us out of there. That’s the side of America I really didn’t like – the darker side, where you can genuinely feel scared for your personal safety. That sort of thing makes me really appreciate how lucky we are in Australia – there are so few places like that back home, even in the roughest parts of the country they barely scratch the surface of the rough parts in the States. Made worse by the fact that guns are so readily available. People don’t get shot back home, they get stabbed. Not in the USA. It’s a sobering reality.

Aside from that one moment, I felt perfectly safe everywhere else. There are just so many people around that it’s difficult not to feel safe.

A guy we met while travelling said ‘if you can’t find something you like in New York, you’re doing something wrong. The city has everything.’

I’m inclined to agree.

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