So, with Denmark and Italy behind me, I spent 2 days with some of my favourite people in London. It’s always fun but tiring to come to London because I feel obligated to go see EVERYONE! It’s in my nature to try and make the most of things and it definitely applies to my travels.
Before I knew it, it was time to say good bye to family and friends. I packed my bags and headed to Heathrow to catch my flight to New York! Thought I was going home didn’t ya?! My friend and I had decided to spend Easter in New York and I thought it was an awesome way to round up the travels.
It was my first time in the Big Apple and the US of A, I was sooooo stoked! My friend and I were staying with a mutual friend from high school so it was a reunion of sorts as well. The adventure started off with the border security at JFK Airport who could not understand why anyone would travel with so many packs of instant noodles. I had to explain that one does not visit another without bearing gifts from the motherland. I may have been barred entry to my intended accommodations and rendered homeless!
My first glimpse of the city was in actual fact quite underwhelming. Meh. This is honestly why TV is a bad thing; left to me I would have witnessed at least 1 person trying to get through security to stop their one true love from getting on a flight, one drug bust, a car chase or at the very least seen P Diddy walking down the street. Instead I just had a normal ride to my friend’s apartment while I took in the foreign cityscape that didn’t look like any other place I had been to. I mean after traveling to a few cities in Europe you knew what to expect and would feel a kind of familiarity for the most part. New York was just different.
Three friends reunited at the apartment downtown, we spent most of the first night catching up on literally everything and making a few loose plans for the next four days. Day 1 and 2 were almost total write offs because finally all the travelling caught up with me plus the unexpected jetlag. Regardless, we soldiered on to go see the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem and eat at the legendary Queen of soul food’s restaurant called Sylvia’s on Malcom X Boulevard. Both experiences were pretty cool and it finally felt like I was getting a real feel of NYC.
Later in the day, we decided to buy a ticket called New York Pass which would allow us to see several attractions for a discounted price (or even free in some cases) and skip the ticket lines at most places. Alas the Statue of Liberty, the one site I was keen on seeing was closed. For me that did it and we decided to forgo the passes in favour of aimless wandering around with our trusty tourist map and resident New Yorker.
On day 2, we headed out to Time Square and my friends … this was the New York I was looking! Cue Kanye’s All of the Lights Woosh! It was like it all came alive as soon as we got there; so vibrant you could feel the energy and absolutely everything was supersized and in your face.
A few minutes after we got there we witnessed a bomb scare with a whole area cordoned off by the police. Finally I was in the New York I had imagined! Luckily it was just a scare and there was no need for us to run screaming all the way to the airport! At least the ruckus lead to us getting a picture with the Boys in Blue
We spent some time in the square people watching but after a while continued our little tour around the city and ended up at a pier watching the sunset. Jet lag won out and we headed back to the apartment for a nap before a night out.
We were invited to a party where my friend Bola’s back-then-boyfriend- now-husband was dj-ing so we knew it was going to be a good party. Refreshed we headed out to the party which did not disappoint! For the sake of all the now married women and now CEOs I shall keep most of the pictures in the archives. Not much has changed in the past 6years, women still go to check themselves out in the bathroom and take their best night out pictures in there.
We made our way home in the wee hours but sleep was not in the cards for us! We had to be up relatively early to go cheer on our host in a half marathon he was participating in. The finish line was somewhere in Central Park so we were happy to tick that off our list as well. We overslept so our timing was not quite right and he had already crossed the finish line. That didn’t faze us as we simply demanded that he go back a few meters and run through so we could take a victory shot, much to the amusement of other spectators! It was a rainy day so it wasn’t the ideal day to linger so it was right back home to shower and strategize for our last day in NYC.
Much later in the day our friend Bode decided to indoctrinate us into a chocolate cult. Two words… Max Brenner. I cannot even explain this place, everything chocolate you can think or dream of was there, I truly believe my relationship with chocolate went to a whole nother level after visiting this place. It deserves a whole post on its own but instead, I will just say maxbrenner.com if you visit the USA be there or be square, a trial will convince you, QED. LOL
Our trip ended with a great night out which was inevitable with 3 friends who love to dance and are not averse to cocktails! I would say it was a night to remember but honestly they were more like blurred lines (get it?). I do remember iconic yellow cab, a man in a black trench coat, pink lipstick, another yellow cab and that’s it!*grin* Sigh, where did all those days go? It was a slow start but for 4 days in New York it was definitely memorable and worth another visit!
Till next time…