New York Travel Diary

May 10, 2015

A city so beautiful that it makes the stars fall in love. Frank Sinatra, Lana Del Rey, John Lennon. There are so many songs about this famed city and I was just dying to know why.

I arrived on the blistering cold night of St Patricks Day. New Yorkers were outside smoking with their jars of ale, seemingly unaware of the sub-zero temperatures that began to burn my face. I struggled to walk against the wind, dragging my suitcase to The Jane Hotel.

The Jane Hotel was warm and cosy even though it had high ceilings with what seemed like high staff dressed in bell boy uniforms. This was where the survivors of the Titanic stayed after the ship sank. With my make up smeared and my bottom lip quivering, it wasn’t hard to imagine what it felt like walking into this hotel after a big ordeal. After the copius amount of paperwork was finished I headed to my cabin room and fell into a deep slumber.

Its hard not to be compelled by the most iconic building in the city. The Empire State Building. Scalpers and guides stood seeking out lost tourists in its shadow, hoping someone will buy their tickets which they boast is better than anyone else’s. My London instinct knew better, and I decided against engaging with these people.

The wind blew me away while I was at the top of the Empire though everyone was in good spirits looking at a view that you could just melt into. I’m fascinated by the American temperament. The way they can still make a joke and a laugh when everything isn’t hunky-dory. But maybe that’s just a comparison to the grumpy English. I managed to take a few snaps before I ran inside to admire the view through a window. My leopard print coat wasn’t enough to save me from the cold. I longed for elbow length gloves, fur coats and Marlboro lights.

The sound of jazz filled my ears back down on the streets. Buskers have to endure a competitive audition process so New Yorkers are always serenaded to beautiful music.

I was shocked by how many people worked outside. A hot dog van resided on almost every street corner of Manhattan allowing New Yorkers to never go hungry. One hot dog van Papaya King had been serving the city since the 1920s. Though, throughout my time in the city, I began to crave vegetables and food that wasn’t artificial. Even the apples appeared to have been processed in a laboratory.

I found a beautiful place called Hamiltonsthat prided themselves on soda. It was decorated with mint 50’s decor and served fresh authentic food. Perfect for a light lunch.
Of course I naturally was compelled to see Lady Liberty who stood gallantly in her turquoise dress. A ferry carried me across the water, away from the car horns and buildings to a peaceful stretch of island. Many ventured inside her, but I argued that the best views are beneath her championing pedestal.

In the nightime this city remained alive and electric. The lights shone on buildings like diamonds on noir platforms. It was beautiful to watch the sun slide behind the city from the Brooklyn Bridge where many were making their way home from work. I grabbed a cocktail in Nurse Betty. A small burlesque bar that was lined with framed pin up girls. It was fairly priced and a welcome cove in which to shelter from the cold.

Steam rose from the subway, reminiscent of Marylin Monroe’s white dress moment. It got me thinking about the silver screen stars that roamed those New York streets back in the 50’s and 60’s. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s that embodied living in the city as a single but fabulous girl, whereas Andy Warhol ruled the creative world. This was a city where you weren’t chained to the kitchen but to culture.

Beyond the skyscrapers you can find serenity and inspiration in Central Park. The most divine way to see the park is by grabbing a Horse & Carriage which cost fifty dollars. A small price to pay for a quiet wander through the roads with the background of clopping of horse hooves.

There seemed a slight desperation in people here though. Amongst the muffled voices and conversations I heard, people really wanted to make it here. The American dream. It felt as though people’s eyes were sown shut. They were chasing beauty but was already surrounded by it. From the way the lights glowed at night time to the mustard yellow of the taxis.

I could see why so many people fell in love with New York, it was divine.

Best Hotel: Jane Hotel
Best Food: Pastrami Sandwich
Best Restaurant: Hamilton’s
Best Shop: No Relation Vintage

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