Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Second Longest Post On New York City

Best I can do for a photo right now. The view from my hotel window this morning, overlooking 8th Ave.

Wednesday: Yay, 7 hours sleep! Only took me 10 nights to get it! I think I am finally on US time!

I am writing this post this morning knowing that I have not one photo from yesterday to put up with it, as my iPad has decided it is not receiving any photos from my phone any more. Might be the fact that I am not deleting the ever increasing number of photos on my phone, 'just in case'...and the iPad is just going 'not all these again.....over it'. So despite the 'do not transfer duplicates'...Mr iPad has given up. Pop over to my instagram feed to see some snippets of my yesterday.... @thehouseofam

Update! ....worked it out! Enjoy!

I'll work something out. Maybe publish this and then try to add images via Blogsy on my phone? Ah, travel problems. My biggest problem!

I have left every other problem behind in Australia and it is the most wonderful feeling. I feel like I am my 24 year old, backpacking self again ...waking up every morning with that delicious, 'what do I do today?' freedom. Its been so good for my soul. Now that I have New York in me, I am a different person. Where will this take me? I feel like I have been given another chance with something I don't know what yet. That's the delicious part!

Ok, so yesterday I let New York lead me on my adventures. It was a wonderful feeling to be swept up and taken where I was meant to go. I had plans of heading to NoLita (north of Little Italy) ....which I did so....eventually ...... via 'everything else'!

I set off down Broadway, as you do (any excuse to walk through Times Square, again and again, morning or night!) and ended up in beautiful Bryant Park, opposite the New York Public Library. I sat for a while in the park, soaking it all in and then decided to wait patiently for the library to open, with all the note pad toting scholars waiting on the steps. I met a teacher who told me all about her life. She told me anything I wanted to know...about her life in NYC, her standard of living, how expensive her life is. Interesting .....$80k salary pa with her rent only being $1000/month for a spacious 2 bedder in Manhattan. For $1000/month in Brisbane, you would not be in Brisbane. You might get something for that in Ipswich? Darra? She said life is very good for her in NYC as food is cheap as so are utilities. It seems that if you are not in the service industry, you do quite well here. The maritime lawyer I sat next to in the Broadway show last night agrees with me! He had such a smiley face and beamed about how much he loves living in Manhattan. Wouldn't all lawyers living in Manhattan have smiley faces?
My new friend Paul, from Washington, showing me the good stuff.
Further up on the steps of the library I got chatting to this gentleman from Washington about whether the walls were marble or just the floor. We mused about the carvings on the door while we waited for them to open and when they did he told me to follow him, before the tourists found the spot he was taking me to....straight to the foyer outside the grand reading room. The frescos and the carvings on the ceilings!!!....that's when I started to cry...and then the reading room itself?....strangers were handing me tissues to mop up my tears. Will I ever stop crying? Stop AM, stop!
I stumbled upon the Architecture Reading Room and peered through the porthole window in the door that said 'no tourists'. I sized up the grey haired, bun-wearing, stereotypical librarian glaring at the eyes staring at her through the door and thought,'stuff it, I haven't come all this way to miss out on anything'. I waltzed in there as an 'Australian architecture student' and got given the royal treatment.
Still no smile though. Her job is serious....taking books off the shelves for scholars (you are not allowed to touch the books, they fetch them).....very frowny, serious stuff. I noticed an unattended backpack and reported it to her and the following rigmarole with security kept her busy enough for me to take photos behind her back. Thank goodness for that backpack.
The planets aligned for me with the whole library experience..the people I met, the lack of tourists, the stories I made up that just rolled off my tongue!!!! Ha! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
I skipped out of there and headed to Lexington Ave, to get the 6 subway downtown. Once downtown, I just wandered.
Anna Spiro told me about a beautiful shop, John Derian, on E 2nd St so I hunted it down and delighted in its treasures and the stories of its treasures. I have decided that Robert Ogden of Phildelphia, is the bomb when it comes to lighting design.... John Derian was full of his beautiful creations. I will load up photos of them here when I work out this photo issue. If the voltage was not different here, my suitcase would be full of lights and not converse sneakers!
I had a divine lunch on the corner, at 'Peels, ....where all the waiters had a relative somewhere in Australia that they asked if I knew! I ended up knowing of one! ..related to one of the specialists I used to call on when I was medical rep back in my crazy days! Small world!

I chatted to a lovely Afro American grandma and her daughter who were visiting from the deep south...ooh, I picked their accent. I am getting good! She laughed so much at my taking photos of everything. I checked my wi Fi and for some reason I picked up someones wi fi on that street corner so I was instagramming the hell out of my lunch. She was most amused and said 'god bless' to me...and I am sure I carried that 'god bless' with me all day as everything that followed that lunch of mine was just heaven.

I wandered the streets of NoLita, Little Italy and Greenwich Village, delighting in the gorgeous shops and quaint eateries.
Up in Union Square I was stopped in my tracks by some seriously pretty frocks in a shop I had to venture in the most gorgeous 'aladdin's cave' ever! Dan, the assistant sized me up for my dress size in a heartbeat and was stripping off the window model to fetch me my frock before I could blink. They know their sizes here! He was a scream.....purple hair, gorgeous accent, giggled at everything.... I could have hung out with him all day. He kept telling tourists ' no photos allowed' and then told me to take photos of anything I wanted.

They had some striking lights above the dressing cubicles made out of the old whisks from an old bakery. They were gorgeous! I told him I'd blog about him and his wonderful shop, so Dan, here you are! on my blog! Anyone who wants to visit a gorgeous boho frock shop in NYC, full of fabulous independent designer stuff, stop by 'Ibiza', 825 Broadway, Union ....and say hi to Dan. He loves Australians so he will give you the best service.
Dan redressing the model he stripped of my frock!
As I wandered up town, I thought to myself how hot it was and how nice it would be to maybe lick an ice cream for the next 34 blocks (I was around 13th St and my hotel is on 49th!). Turned to my left... 'Eataly' I joined the gelato queue and chatted to everyone about the best choice of gelato. I ended up with the banana, choc chip half and half with raspberry. It was a spiritual experience slurping that thing up 30 blocks. Big statement coming....the best gelato I have ever had.
Long story short, got to my show, The Book Of Mormon' words to describe the experience....but I'll try! It was hilarious and so, so clever and sharp and tight. The choreography was sublime and the choruses brought tears of joy to my eyes. The leads were superb, mesmerising, alive, so full of energy. I was so taken with 'Elder Price', he was like a cartoon character, he was so animated and hilarious! You could tell it was written by the Southpark guys....straight to the point, painfully true, and seriously hilarious.. I laughed and clapped at did everyone! It's the most successful, popular Broadway show on at the moment. Booked out until 2014. I see them camping out from 7am on the footpath every morning for standing room lottery tickets drawn at 1pm everyday. I got a ticket! I saw it! Worth every cent and more. Wow, wow, wow!

Backstage, looking out!

And to top it off, I was one of only 10 people who got to go backstage and meet the lead!!!! ...who so happened to have relatives in the audience who I so happened to casually chat to during intermission! Of all the people to choose to chat to! They had a pass for 3 backstage and I was the third.

Blurry but a magical moment!

I met Nick Rouleau, who played 'Elder Price', in the show. What a blast. I told him he had 'it'. He was so humble.

I cried as soon as I left the theatre. How could I not? What an ending to such a wonderful day.

New York, you are being so kind to me. I love you with all my heart.

A-M xx



  1. What a fabulous day but I do worry that your tear ducts must be just about permanently dried up!! xx

  2. I love that description of leaving all your problems behind and feeling like your 24 year old backpacking self. Gosh, that resonated with me. What a feeling.
    I hope that feeling stays with you forever. I think it will.... x

  3. New York loves you back A-M! See what the universe thinks of you?

    $1000 a month rent for a spacious two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan... didn't leave a nought off there did we? Maybe she was rent-controlled. Of course Brisbane prices are high: I take that back, all Australian prices seem awfully high to me. California is meant to be expensive but it isn't a patch on Oz.

    1. Yeah, rent controlled! I forgot about that! She has a pretty wonderful life here in NYC! I never realised how expensive Australia has become until travelling as a non backpacking grown up. It's been 20 years since I last travelled. Times have changed. Paris last year and New York? Cheaper than Australia. Who'd have thought that would ever be the case! Xx

  4. I feel like I spent the day with you from this great post! I'm so glad that you're having such a wonderful experience! Enjoy the rest of your stay - can't wait to read more!

    PS - I agree with Tricia Rose, I think the teacher is in a rent controlled apartment. I live in D.C. and two bedrooms here go for way more than a grand a month.

  5. Love this post, will be fun the day I can return to NY! :-)

  6. It has really been so good for you - the enthusiasm in your voice is fantastic! It just makes me want to visit NY more that I already did :)

  7. I'm thinking nix the second suitcase.....get a container.
    I have really enjoyed today as its a world I haven't seen. i'm so glad you're meeting friendly folks. Also on reflection.... People seem to be more overtly religious & patriotic than we are in Oz.

    1. So patriotic Wendy! American flags everywhere. I'd be patriotic too, living here. It really is the centre of the universe. My suitcases are full and I still have 5 days to go. Famous last words of a non consumer! Xx

  8. Gosh A-M I am falling in love with New York through your posts. I now know where my next dream holiday destination will be. I don't want you to leave...will miss your adventures.

  9. Hi A-M ,

    I am a very shy and loyal reader of your blog . So many times I have tried to talk ( comment ) but end up deleting everything written, or experience writers block( though I am not a writer) and worst when. Ready to post the posting comment stops working( hope it doesn't today). You are like aalice in Wonderland ......only your name is AM and the place is New York:)

  10. Sounds like you are having the time of your life. NY is wonderful. However if you find some time for a day trip to Boston (can get there and back by train in 1 day) there is a stuning glass botanical collection at Harvard University in the Peabody Museum. It was created for the Botany department and it is the perfect replicas in glass of botanical specimens. Think of cactus with their tiny sharp spikes, the poppy with those fine black hairs down their stems. They were created so students didn't have to see faded pressed specimens and was created over 40 years by a father and his son in the 1880s. They also created invertebrate sea creatures too. Hope you get there, but anyway keep on having fun.

  11. Ok so now I just have to say.... I teach a group of students about world travel destinations. We have just been DROOOOOOOOOLING over your photos!!!!! they are a perfect reflection of a stay in NYC, how travellers like to discover all the little things (and big things) for themselves, how some tours are worth every cent, and other times just going for it yourselfis the go..... LOVE IT. You make me want to get on a plane RIGHT NOW (and the rest of my class too .... lol)

    1. Oh Lisa, how wonderful that you are sharing my iPhone photos! I have millions more but limited technology through which to share them. Last time I really travelled I was barely out of my student days. I had graduated and worked for 2 years to save up to head to Europe. The feelings of wonder and excitement just don't change with the passing years. It's like time has stood still and I am my young, vibrant 24 year old self again. The elixir of youth! Travel! Xx

  12. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I am so grateful to be here and to be able to share it all with you. I have 4 more glorious days here so I plan to pack in as much as I can. Stay tuned! A-M xx

  13. A-M - it sounds like the most perfectest glorious holiday ever - time to yourself to explore the eclectic and unique - keep on enjoying!

  14. A-M, I feel as though I have been on this trip with you, the way you write and present the photographs makes me feel as though I am there too! Looking forward to the rest of your trip and also the amazing things you are going to do when you get back here to oz! Mxxx

  15. I remember that joy of discovery and freedom so well. Optimism is a truly beautiful trait A-M!! Love hearing it in your voice.

    Dan is The Man!

  16. Hi A-M,
    Sooooooo glad you are enjoying New York. It sounds WONDERFUL.
    You are experiencing a little bit of universal love, everything is happening as it should. Keep with the flow and keep writing so everyone else can feel the magic too.
    Keep well and safe,
    Warm wishes,

  17. Thanks for your updating us on your New York experience. NY is an amazing place and the library is a treasure If you get chance go the the Frick Museum it is beautiful.
    Reading your blog is like revisiting NY again. Sure makes you realise how expensive
    it is here in Australia, why is that so.

  18. Another shy but loyal Brissie reader commenting for the first time too... I am loving your blog... Thank you for your beautiful photos and every word you write is pure joy. May the heavens keep smiling upon you every step of the way . ESP love the NYC blogs.... We will be there late September for a week a first timers!

  19. I love your appreciation and enthusiasm. You don't take any of it for granted and it shows. I would LOVE to visit New York one day, but as I'm 50, I should bloody well get on with it!


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