Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is It Normal?......

....to cry when you experience your first Anthropologie, J. Crew and Restoration Hardware store?....and to exclaim out really loud when you accidentally stumble upon Grand Central Station when you weren't expecting it on 42nd St...... I think I actually swore?!......and to be scheming already on how to send for your children and never go home?

More than I ever expected..this place......is beyond words. Truly. I kept telling every New Yorker who crossed my path today how lucky they were to live in such a fabulous city with EVERYTHING at their fingertips! It's not as crowded as I expected it to be...well yeah, Times Square is, where all the tourists are...but the streets are so wide ....and off the beaten track, it's quaint and full of so many delightful surprises.

I put in a big day. My feet aren't blistered, they're bruised right through to the bone. I walked from 7am to 9pm non stop. I started my day down in Lower Manhattan after a subway ride down the R line. I met a delightful gentleman also waiting for the same walking tour guide. He was from New Orleans, visiting his daughter, who is a District Attorney here in New York. We had an hour to kill until the tour so he thrilled me with stories of his childhood, growing up in Newport, Rhode Island. I am almost considering heading up there? It's only just over 3 hours by bus from here. Wish I hadn't booked and paid for all my accommodation here!

 

We spent the next 2+ hours exploring Lower Manhattan, Wall St, the New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park and Ground Zero. Oh those reflection pools! ....such a moving tribute. After the tour, when I was on my own again to explore, I wandered into St Paul's (the oldest church in NY and the only one to survive all those damn fires) to find memorials containing all the people missing posters that were put up on the black iron fence of St Paul's when the towers first came down. St Paul's was used as a command post for all the volunteers during the clean up and volunteers actually slept in cots and ate there. There is a memorial featuring all the badges of the volunteers involved during that time....moving stuff. Spent most of the day, wiping away my running mascara.

After another subway ride up town, I grabbed a burger after realising I had not eaten a thing since the night before. Is this jet lag? ..not being hungry? That's my only symptom! The burger joint was a traditional diner..so I sat and soaked up the atmosphere and chatted to a well spoken, suited, Wall St type, looking gentleman who told me all about his adventures in Australia...not nearly as thrilling as my adventures here in NY but I didn't have the heart to say anything of course. Oh, and the burger was soooo good. Good, good, good! That smokey, chargrilled flavour?....taking that back home as a memory. The finest burger I have ever experienced. Big statement, but true.

I joined a Greenwich Village walking tour for the next 3 hours and hyperventilated over all the beautiful town homes that have been used in so many movies and TV shows. Saw the apartment block that Monica and Rachael from the TV show Friends lived in, the front steps of the house used in The Cosby show and the front steps used for many a movie, even ones starring Audrey Hepburn. Robert De Niro just sold his house in the same street for just under 10 million. It was originally listed for $16 million. Tough times. I saw the off Broadway Theatre where Barbra Streisand was discovered and the club where Jimmy Hendrix started off before he was shipped out to the UK.

We wandered through Little Italy and then parted ways at Washington Square Park..... and from there I embarked on a monstrous walk back up 5th Ave from below 8th Street to 49th, through the Flatiron district, stopping to admire (and cry over) every beautiful store I had only even dreamed of seeing in real life. I will do a separate post on 5th Avenue...as I thought you might like to wander with me on that walk and enjoy the sights too!

My feet were KILLING me by 42nd St but I had to take a peak at Grand Central Station when I stumbled upon it. Breathtaking. More tears. Maybe that's another symptom of jet lag....a highly emotional state!

I'm now back at my hotel in Times Square. It's 9.36pm. I seriously need to shower and sleep. I'm off to THe Hamptons first thing tomorrow morning. Looks like its a chocolate bar for dinner. I can't walk another millimetre.

My hotel bed is the most comfy bed I have ever slept in....big statement ....and the shower pressure? .....perfection. The stars have aligned for me this trip. I am ever so grateful to be here.

Speak to you once I get to Southampton and put in some walking miles there. Sweet dreams!

Actually,good morning! I had to wait until this morning as my photos aren't loading well onto my iPad and i had to get some sleep. They take too long to load so I am only sending through snippets as I don't have the time to wait for them to load individually. I have a million photos which might have to wait until I get home to be shared in all their glory!

I slept 6 hours last night, waking at 4.30am. I think my body clock has set already. No jet lag at all! I will share my secrets in another post. Dont want to get too cocky! I might get a delayed response today!?

I need to eat as dinner last night was a chocolate bar as I could not walk anywhere to scrounge for something. I am sorry that I am not replying to comments on instagram and here. I just have enough time to do a crude post each day and that's it. I am so grateful to have you sharing this with me. I took some fashion photos yesterday and Bruce (New Orleans walking companion) chuckled as I chased a woman down the street to get a photo of her fabulous ' New York hair' ....it was glossy and long and volumous and big!

I said I have a duty to my readers!

I'm off to The Hamptons. Dream coming true....just about now. I have to catch the bus on 59th st which is 10 blocks from here so I'd better get a move on. See you there,

A-M xx

Ps I am not sitting long enough anywhere to use free Wi Fi and that stupid Travel Sim, that all Australia Posts flog to you when they know you are heading overseas, doesn't work. I knew it wouldn't. The help desk are useless. It's a rort. So I am just loading up snippets when I get back to the hotel late at night. Will have to do. No time! See you in The Hamptons!

Pps I am loading up photos on instagram when I can so theres more over there, under TheHouseAmBuilt ... I think... I've forgotten my instagram handle! Sorry about the punctuation. Rushed.

31 comments:

  1. It's all so exciting that I know I'd be crying too if I were there. I'm really looking forward to seeing and reading more. The pools at ground zero look very moving. Jeep well x

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  2. I fell to my knees in one store I visited in the usa. It's sensory over load my love! Absorb every thing! These memories will cheer you for years and years as you drift off to sleep at night.
    xx
    H

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  3. I'm so glad you are having such a great time. I first visited NYC in 2002 when September 11 was still quite raw and recent. Ground Zero was unbelievably sad. And I too cried when I saw Grand Central Station. It's just so beautiful. Soak up every moment, the memories will stay with you forever. Fx

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  4. Oh so exciting, i love that youre chasing people down for us even if it is for their hair. Your detailing everything to perfection and I am longing for a hamburger for dinner. Cant wait to visit the Hamptons with you......yay,

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  5. I am loving your adventures in New York!! Love your blog A-M, and love this trip you are on, thanks for sharing it. Make sure you eat!!

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you A-M for sharing your excitement with us...I am on a virtual tour of NYC and now I'm off to the Hamptons...who would have thought!!! XXX

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  7. Won't waffle on just wanted to say how I'm enjoying every Instagram and word, almost feel like I'm there with you!
    xx

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  8. I am so enjoying your enjoyment!!!
    Want to hear all about anthropologie when you get back...think it will require a phone call!!!!!
    Keep enjoying, your enthusiasm is contagious!!! xx

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  9. Hi gorgeous AM,
    I promised that you are not even in 1/10 of the city. Central Park takes you double time §:-)
    Remember, You're still far from SoHo... OMG... Macy's, Bloomingdale and the 5th Ave, is absolutely long way to walk.

    Just enjoy and shop till you drop. GB

    Hugs from D´Nics

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  10. We felt the same when we went into Restoration Hardware too... We stumbled upon it when we were exploring Georgtown in DC about 5 years ago... And just wished they shipped to Australia ! Have a magical time In NY & The Hamptons!

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  11. I read your blog all the time, but I've never commented. This time however, I want to welcome you to the U.S. I hope you have a wonderful trip and that you continue to experience what this beautiful country has to offer.

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  12. Living vicariously through you! It was the quaintness and off-beatness which bowled me over in New York too, I want to rent (swap?) a tiny apartment for at least a couple of months so I can really get to know it, flying visits are too tantalising. The best of big city fixes!

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  13. Loving the total whirlwhind that is you in New York!

    My siblings have both lived in Newport RI. My brother played rugby there for a while and loved it. The mansions along the coast are out of this world.

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  14. I love this post so much - your excitement is infectious and I feel as if I'm tramping the streets with you (we went to NikeTown to buy new shoes as we wore ours out - the perfection of everything, even NikeTown for heavenssake - made my daughter and I feel tearful too!). Know just how you are feeling, but I've never seen the Hamptons, so eagerly await your next post! xxx

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  15. :) welcome to the US!! Aren't those stores just great!? Reminds me it is time for a visit to the big city nearest me!!

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  16. Your impressions of NYC remind me of my first trips there in the 1980s (on business trips - my company's home office was located there). I had scary taxi rides from the airport to downtown Manhattan though - not as nice taxi drivers as you had. A coworker and I stumbled into Rockefeller Center and stood there in awe when we finally realized where we were. We saw three Broadway plays - "The King and I" with Yul Bryner and another one with Richard Chamberlain. And the play "42nd Street" - fantastic! So glad to see you are loving NYC. Enjoy the Hamptons - that's on my bucket list!

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  17. A-M, your excitement is palpable. I am so thrilled for you that you get to experience all this. I too still get teary eyed when I step into an Anthropologie ;) Off to the Hamptons you go... can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

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  18. A-M you are a darling! I am laughing and tearing up at the same time. NYC is special - as I have said to you many, many times. Can't wait to see what you get up to next. Please eat though! Rx

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  19. Wish I was there with you- sounds fabulous!

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  20. You are so funny, A-M. Big statement, but true! :) I hope you haven't turned black and blue from pinching yourself!

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  21. Ok, I just noticed that Ben Hur-sized chandelier/orb ...did you have palpitations?

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  22. I am enjoying seeing New York again through your eyes. For me it is a trip down memory lane. Envious........ If you get down to NoLita before you come home you must visit Rice to Riches. They sell only rice pudding. The best rice pudding in the world. I still dream about it

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  23. Oh gosh i am feeling like i am standing right next to you.
    Thanks for sharing so much....
    Now get going and explore some more. hehe
    Pen x

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  24. loving these travel blog posts! x

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  25. Thank you everyone, for your lovely comments. I am enjoying sharing this all with you. A-M xx

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  26. I love the part where you said is it normal to cry at your first visit to Anthro and Restoration Hardware. I LOL. One tip I learned when walking all day is to change shoes in the middle of the day to change your pressure points. Have fun. Heidi

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  27. it all sounds so wonderful! we visited NYC for 2 whole weeks - loved it! we stayed on the UWS, then midtown and spent our last 2 nights downtown - we wanted to experience all Neighbourhoods – so much to see and do!!
    The walking tours are great, we did a food one too – so much fun!
    I cant wait to see your pics from the Hamptons, hope you get inspiration for your new home!

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  28. Hi AM - The chandelier in the second photo from Restoration Hardware is the exact one I am looking into shipping over for my entry ... please tell me ... is it as good in real life as it looks in the pics?

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  29. Oh A-M!! I feel as though I am experiencing this holiday with you!! Thank you for sharing your photos and adventure with us all xx

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  30. I'm heading to NY for the first time in 5 weeks and I'm getting so excited reading your recaps! Just wondering who you did your walking tour with?

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  31. I'm off to NY for the first time in 5 weeks - loving reading your recaps. Just wondering who you did your walking tour through? There are so many options!

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx