We were up before the Hot-dog stands on the Saturday and ready to tackle NYC.
We never went into the Subway system, except to ask a nice lady with a huge Afro to change a $5 note and to stare at the turnstiles and gasp: “Oh, so this is a Subway”, what tourists! Anywho, we preferred to see the sites of old NY whilst traveling so used a combination of open-top-ultra-touristy-bus and the classic Yellow Cab.
Planning on an NYC excursion? Get a bus ticket! They’re hop-on-hop-off (imagine that phrase in a Queen’s accent, lush) and you get to see EVERYTHING, plus there is a running commentary from the ace Tour Guides. We trundled on down through Time Square to The Garment District. You know the place, where Fashion Ave. is? The Garment District is called thus because it used to manufacture clothing, now it is home to the designer show-rooms and advertising agencies.
We visited The Empire State and met Kevin Bacon who took us on a helicopter ride around New York. I’m serious. It’s called New York Sky Ride, a simulator on the 2nd floor of the Empire State that takes you around the city via air. After regaining balance and supressing the urge to vomit we made our way to Macy’s Herald Square flagship. The only place to be at Christmas.
My preconception of Macy’s was based on Cole’s Department Store in Miracle on 34th Street. I was not disappointed. The store was magnificent and the staff, as usual, were exceptional. I bought a winter woolly jumper from their Menswear Store and we had a Starbucks (one of many) on the mezanine staring at the insanity of the consumer-hype. I was a happy pea.
After a bit more shopping in the chains around the store we headed uptown on Fifth Avenue for New York Public Library. I know, the literary in me came out here. After passing various fashion shoots on the infamous steps we went inside and were, naturally, searched by security. The library was beautiful. I’ll stop there because you’re probably yawning. For those of you that appreciate Sex & The City, however, these are the steps that Carrie ran down in film 1.
The rest of the day took us to Grand Central Station (immense) where I resisted the urge (rather successfully) to not scream “Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station, Tonight I’m not taking no calls ‘cos I’ll be dancing!”
Later that night we hit a gorgeous little Italian near Central Park and after a bit too much Pinot hopped aboard a Horse and Cart for an evening trott with Junior the horse and the driver (whose name escapes me).
I’m back, from the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. It was rather fantastic.
Everything I had imagined New York to be was true, but better in the flesh. The streets really do steam, the city really does never sleep, it really is a city so great, they named it twice! New Yorkers are so lovely too, they’re widely considered the rudest Americans, but that compares nothing to how awful Londoners are! (not offense, you know it’s true!) New York is a small city and is easily navigated, it reminds me of Manchester, a slightly bigger, and strangely not a necessarily busier, Manchester. I felt right at home.
We stayed just off Time Square on West 47th Street and Broadway, pretty much as central as you can get. Upon arriving we dumped our bags with the bag-check and headed for Time Square. It was just ridiculous. A theme park. Did you know, it is a legal requirement to have your building covered in advertising in the Time Square area? I know, right! We headed for the Disney Store (obviously) and were blown away by the lovely American people telling us to have a Magical Day. By the last day Mother was saying it to everyone…
That evening saw us meander the Time Square area and have dinner in the thick of it. We were exhausted and couldn’t wait to start our next day. I’ll let you in on what I bought and where I bought it over the next couple of posts. But for now, look at our faces sat having coffee right slap bang in the middle of the centre of the universe….
So. I’m off to New York City on Friday (very exciting). Off for shops, culture, shops, SexAndTheCity tours and more shops. I’ve never been to the city before and am so looking forward to experiencing it for myself and to be able to say, “well, when I was in New York..”. Not so keen on the bed-bug scenario…I have bug-spray.
I’ve been studying the Stylist Magazine: New York Issue from back in May, it has been like a Bible, to meticulously plan every milisecond of my visit (much to the worry of the two poor souls accompanying me). It was great because it informed me of places I didn’t think existed, like Justin Timberlake’s (not-at-all-hurtful-on-the-wallet) restaurant in the Upper East Side or the Boat House Restaurant in Central Park where Carrie and Big fell in the pond. (yes there is a distinctive SATC vibe running through this trip, I blame Mother).
Want to see the preliminary itinerary?
I’ll post once I’m back. Be good.
The Autumn/Winter issue of VIVA Magazine is out from Wednesday and can now be read online here.
I have recently joined the team as the Menswear writer and you can see my latest column on page 44. I hope to see y’all abiding by my winterwear rules! Ha! No, really…
Pretty sweet ‘eh?