....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,
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.