So: here I am, fresh from my time in New York. What have I learned?
Well, for a start New York is pretty crazy. Everyone is always going somewhere. It did not take very long before I was somehow in that mindset myself and rushing everywhere. Because of this I got A LOT done. I was only there for three nights, yet managed to cram loads in-
Day One: Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, 9/11 Memorial Park, Liberty Park, High Line Park, Madison Square Park and the Empire State Building.
Day Two: Union Square, Williamsburg and the waterfront, Central Park, Times Square and a wander around Greenwich and East Village.
When you’re doing things on your own, you can really set your own pace. I could do things when I wanted, walking endless numbers of blocks, and spend as long is I liked there! Weirdly, it is quite enjoyable!
Saying that, I have set myself the goal of talking to a new interesting person everyday. Not just to be quirky and interesting, but also for my sanity! I have always enjoyed chatting to people in hostels, but I particularly like how everyone here is willing to have conversations without agendas. A woman from Pakistan I met in the hostel showed me around Williamsburg, and I got chatting to a guy in Madison Square Park about philosophy and dreams.
Here are a couple of things I worked out in this whirlwind:
– Selfie sticks are quite useful. And weirdly satisfying to use when surrounded by couples. Look at me being a strong independent woman.
– If you take the Staten Island ferry, you can see the Statue of Liberty for free. The ferry service is every 30 minutes and takes you right past, instead of the $20 or so for the trip to Ellis Island.
– Hiring a bike is great way to get around. I rented one for two hours and cycled around Central Park. It was obscenely hot and sweaty though-be warned.
– Do not bother going to the 102nd floor of the Empire State. Yeah it is cool, but not worth the extra cost.
– Oh my lord the Mosquitos. They have ravaged me. Please be prepared, New York is teeming with them.
– Finally (this is a good one) if you are planning to travel out here for any length of time, T-Mobile offers tourist packages. If you have an unlocked phone you can buy a 21 day or a month long package with data and international calls and texts. All you need is an unlocked phone.
I hope this is of some use to someone. More posts will certainly follow at some point. I am writing this in Philadelphia, drying off from the aftermath of a freak rainstorm, to the backdrop of casual British-German racism that has culminated in a game of Cards Against Humanity.
Until next time
– M x