Finally managed to get onto a computer for long enough to update this thing! Apologies for it taking me so long!
So... Our trip so far... Eventful, tiring, my feet are killing me and I am really not relaxing yet... But I will, fear not, I will.
So, at Heathrow, after a tearful fairwell to my mum, dan and I made our way to the date. The flight was delayed, only for a bit, but eventually we boarded. Luckily we'd checked in online so our seats were set, we had an window seat and the one next to it. Quite cruelly, they make you walk through the plane- so you see first class and then you walk through a slightly less swanky version of first class (still with the beds though) and then a slightly less swanky cabin, with big seats and leg rests, then one slightly less swanky than that until you finally reach the smallest ever economy cabin I have ever seen in my life. TINY. But we found our seats and settled in for the flight, full of excitement.
After a few minutes... Okay, about 10 minutes, of waiting in our pool of excitement, the captain comes on the radio and tells us there's something wrong with the electrical system (Music to my flight-phobic ears) and we're waiting for it to be fixed. So no lights and no aircon. I neglected to mention that half of the mediterranian are in economy so it's full of hot-blooded people... Who are also quite warm... Lovely lovely lovely warm cabin. We took off 2 hours late and there was applause when the aircon came on- I think that says it all really.
On arriving at JFK we went through scary immigration. Well, scary for me. Dan had a breeze, getting an apparently nice woman who joked with him. I, as per usual, got a grilling. He asked SO many questions, in really quick succession. I'm sure I was sweating like a pig, I was probably shaking a bit too. It's an intimidating place. They take your fingerprints and everything.
But our bags were not lost (hurrah!) and we eventually got the shuttle bus/van (although the made us pay again, so boo to them) where we had the most ridiculous trip- the driver continued to text for the whole trip, and it took him nearly 2 hours to eventually drop us off at the apartment. It was funny to start with, but the driver's nochalant attitude to everything, including finding our street, did begin to grate a little eventually... But, coming over to Manhatten, we did get a truly picture-perfect view of the NY skyline back-lit by the reddest of sunsets. Beautiful. As a city it truly is something to behold.
So a late, late night and a long, long day. But, that being said, I was up at 5.40 am the next day because of the time difference! Eventually, Dan stirred and we went to get breakfast- some bagels/pastries and OJ. And we went for a walk. Saw Washington Sq. Park where they were apparently filming Seasame St.! Although I had no muppet-evidence to prove this, only a film crew... We also saw a busker there who looked suspiciously like Steve Carrell, so well done him.
Washington Sq. Park is right in the middle of the NYU campus. And I have to say, I loved my uni, but the NYU campus blows my beloved campus out of the water. It's stunning, and the facilities are amazing. Bravo NYU, bravo.
We also took a little stroll round Greenwich Village which is beautiful and which provoked my singing various themes from F.R.I.E.N.D.S looking up at the brick apartment buildings with their fire-escapes (like something out of a film!) I even got dan humming. HaHA!
Next we came uptown on the subway and took in some Central Park in the blazing sushine. I have to say, New Yorkers have the most awesome dogs. Also, so many hallmark moments in the park, it is really lovely to watch. Kids learning to ride bikes and play baseball, really really nice to see. We had hawt dawgs and an oreo ice-cream for lunch perching on one of those giant rocks you always see in films set in Central Park.
Once we were all walked and sunned out we returned home, planning to go to Little Italy for dinner. We walked most of the way there but the area started to get a little... Dangerous looking and we didn't fancy the walk back in the dark, so we turned on our heels and had a pizza in the village instead. Oh yes, with calamari to start- HUGE portions! And absolutely delicious. Yum. And then the pizzas... Not giant in circumference but loaded, and I mean loaded, with really good quality mozzarella. Neither of us finished ours but we had them wrapped up and ate them for breakfast this morning!
Noteable sighting that night- a saxophonist busking in the village, playing really great jazz for the people walking by. So cool.
So that was yesterday.... Today was also cool...
Noteably, we went to Greys Papaya for lunch, which was really yummy. In particular, actually, the pineapple juice was so good. I'm sure not many people would know about the juice, but the juice is good. Drink the juice.
We spent a little more time taking in the village, but then we came back up to Central Park and really explored. We saw the reservoir, the turtle park, the castle, lots of pretty bridges, lots of statues (check out the King of Poland), lots of tree-y areas, The Met (gallery) which is absolutely awe-inspiring in terms of the architecture. Just walk up the steps and into the foyer. With the high domed ceilings and sweeping staircase it will blow you away, really it will.
On the way back to the hostel, through the park, we also watched a lot of baseball. It's so cool to see. I love how the whole of New York is so proud of being American and from New York. They're all friendly, they're all proud of the things that makes America America and New York New York.
So far, I love New York. We're having a great time exploring and just taking our own routes through it's streets, taking in all the beauty and yet all of the chaos. We may have only been here 2 days but already it's been quite an experience. We have a lot more to come and a lot more to do, so keep checking this blog and I'll keep updating when I can.