Ok, so firstly I must apologise for the absolute lack of blog updates since my first week in New York. My very legitimate excuse is that staying in and writing prevents me from going out and exploring, and without experiences there would be no blog!
So i'll just give you a quick round up on the things I've been doing. Mainly my time here has consisted of a hell of a lot of walking. Just last week I walked about 150 blocks - from Soho/West 4th Street to Central Park, up through Central Park (with the full intention of making it all the way to the top end, when my camera battery ran out). After exiting at 101st Street on the Upper East Side, I then wondered down to 64th to meet some friends to go up the The Bronx and Yankee Stadium where we (a couple of Frenchie's, myself, and one lonley American) went to watch a New York Yankees VS Washington Nationals game. As you can probably figure, I was absolutely knackered by the next day.
The Yankees game was amazing! Although we had possibly the cheapest and furthest away seats could just about see the ball!) I had a great time and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting New York. Sitting so far up is ok really, you get to see everyone else prancing around in all their over-excited American glory, especially between innings when the cameras zoom in on the crowd and project them onto the 10ft high screen! Listening to the vendor's shouts of 'Get you're Cotton Candy, buy one get one full price' or 'Lite Beer, get you're ice cold Lite Beer!' is definitely one of those 'movie moments'. And with everyone around eating multiple slices of pizza, hot dogs, nacho's, fries, you can't help but relish the opportunity to be amongst a crowd of fast food eating, baseball obsessed Americans, especially when they stand to sing 'God Bless America'!
So that was the baseball. I've also seen quite a few of the other 'must see' tourist attractions such as The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), The Brooklyn Bridge (although I am yet to walk over into Brooklyn), Staten Island Ferry, South Street Sea Port, Battery Park City, Ground Zero St Pauls Chapel and Trinity Church, Wall Street, The New York Stock Exchange, Central Park, Times Square, Grand Central etc. But the most exciting part of New York is just walking.
I spend most of my days with the intention to visit a new area, not really knowing much about it, just going there, exploring and documenting with my camera. Yesterday I set off for East Village which is very near Soho, where I'm staying. I expected it to be a lot more grimy from what I had heard/read. It's actually totally opposite. I guess a lot of non New Yorker's still have their hang ups about certain areas like East Village, Hells Kitchen, Harlem etc because of their history or how they are portrayed in films. Most residents I come across tell me New York has improved so much in the last 10 to 15 years, safety-wise as well as in appearance.
Keeping this in mind, and trusting what I had learned so far about New York, having been out at night and walking on my own, I ventured further into Alphabet City and the Lower East Side (nicknamed Louisada by its Latin American/Hispanic community). Having my wits about me at first I began to relax as I realised although the it's a completly different dynamic to what I'm used to at home, the area is pretty friendly - full of Hispanic families and young couples in residential buildings a apartment blocks.
I was pretty glad I decided to keep going as, after about 20 minutes, I reached the East edge of Manhattan and the Hudson River. Walking alongside the river, up towards Mid Town was lovely. Occasionally I came across groups of young men fishing which I found quite odd considering the location of the river next to the highway. I didn't think anyone would have a chance of catching a fish until I came across a Chinese family who caught a huge one just as I walked past!! After taking in a spectacular view and breathing in the fresh salty air, I walked up into Mid Town and found myself once again in an amazing Mexican diner called Chipotle, on 23rd Street.
Later on I hopped on the subway up to 67th and Lexington to meet a Queens born friend who I met the previous night at a rather high society affair on the Upper East Side (more about that another time). Along with a group of his friends, I found myself sitting in a church basement watching a rather unique documentary entitled The Human Experience, a documentary about two brothers from the St Francis House in Brooklyn (a home environment for young men in unfortunate circumstances) who decided to go on an adventure to discover what it really means to be human. From a stint living homeless on the streets of New York to helping in a children's home in Peru to AIDs and Leprosy colony in Ghana, the guys interviewed and documented their experience in the hope that others would start to question their own priorities as a society and as individuals. It was quite a fitting experience for me personally, considering my current circumstance and the ideas going through my own mind as I travel and question what it is I want out of my life, a conversation I am sure I have inflicted upon many of you who are reading this blog.
So that brings you all mildly up to date with my New York City escapades so far. I will write more about other previous activities in future posts but for now I'm sure you have had quite enough!
Please do check back soon for more photos and updates. Only 3 weeks from now I shall be leaving with my friend Rachel for California, so that will hopefully bring more exciting stories!
Bye for now xxx