So I may have been a bit quiet on the blog front for a while. The reason? Well, I turned 30. I know, I barely look 21, but it’s true. Turning 30 involved throwing a party in Bristol (I came home to pictures of me displayed on the wall in the shape of a ‘30’ courtesy of my flatmate Lizzie; she asked me for another special mention on this blog. So here you go Lizzie, there’s even a picture of you down there), travelling up the Scotland to spend the big day with my family and my girls and finally travelling to New York. Yep, life-long dream realised; I’ve been to New York.
I spent my time in New York feeling like I was walking around on a film set. The stop/walk traffic signals, the yellow taxis, the red brick buildings with the fire-escapes on the outside, fire hydrants… We did typical tourist things; Top of the Rock, Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero, bus tours, the Museum of Modern Art, Times Square, a Broadway show, the Highline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
There was something that felt very momentous about standing on Liberty Island next to Lady Liberty herself and looking across at the iconic Manhattan skyline. It was a beautifully cold day with clear blue skies. So cold, in fact, that when I took my hands out of my gloves to take a picture the cold bit sharply on my skin and ached the joints in my fingers. This is a view that populates many a postcard from this city and I was seeing it first hand, in real life, for myself. I got an amazing picture of Manhattan, taken from Ellis Island, with an American flag framing the picture on the right, see below. On the ferry on the way back it became very apparent just how cold it was as we navigated through the ice that had frozen on the Hudson, see the picture my mum took below.
Ground Zero. I expected this to be a sad place. We all remember where we were the day the two planes crashed into the twin towers. We all remember the horrific pictures that were released following that day; people jumping, people bloodied in the street, firefighters searching the rubble for signs of life. I wanted to go there and think about all the people who lost their lives on that day. Instead, I stood there watching all the other tourists grinning into their selfie sticks. It felt very commercial, slightly cheapened. Yes, it’s a tourist attraction now and that’s not a bad thing, I just wish that people would treat it as a memorial, a place to show respect, instead of a photo opportunity for selfie!
I loved my time in New York and when it was over I was grateful for the rest. We were non-stop for six days and even the flight home was too turbulent to be restful! But there is more that I want to do, I wish we’d managed to go to a sports game, to spend more time in Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, I didn’t get to run in Central Park because it was too cold! So what to do to remedy this? Well, I’m going to have to go back. Maybe in Spring/Summer. Any excuse, really.
A few friends of mine went the week before me and one of them, Jen, blogged about their time here. Head over and see what they got up to 🙂