When I last left off, I mentioned that I returned to a place that I had once visited before. Well I’m sure you’ve guessed from the title, but I once again went to New York City, although this time only for a day. The trip was organised by ISSS, so we had to catch a bus that left from Collins Circle at the very early time of 7:15 am! I had to set my alarm very early that morning as I needed a shower before leaving. Needless to say I think I woke up the entire apartment with my loud alarm, so I got out of there as fast as I could feeling rather guilty.
Myself, Hugo and Oda made our way to Collins Circle and met up with Caitlin and Christina on the bus. I was NOT looking forward to the bus journey that would take around 3 hours to get there! The views of the New York countryside were really refreshing though and made up for the long bus ride somewhat. When we got there, we were all dropped off at Bryant Park and then made our way to Times Square, where we scattered into our own little groups and could go off and explore on our own.
After a detour to a hat sore and the Nike store (not my idea, the Nike store was painful to walk through, they had loads of pictures of Rodger Federer and those of you who know me know my opinion of him!…), I returned to my paradise: Central Park!!! We unfortunately only stayed there for a bit to eat lunch, but this did allow me to take in the whole contrasting majesty of city and nature. After a short but sweet stay, I had to say farewell to Central Park once again.
When we were walking around we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and ‘Bills Bar and Burger’ which was strangely surreal and made me feel nostalgic for some reason, as I had been there only 2 weeks ago. Trump Towers was interesting, as there was both protesters and supporters outside showing what side they were on, there was one guy dressed up with a Donald Trump mask dressed as a…. (I’ll let you guess as what, or if you can see in the picture below)
We then decided to go to the Empire State Building, like last time I saw it, I didn’t think it was that amazing when you’re right underneath it. Anyway, on our way there the girls decided to go into a Zara store for what felt like hours! Whilst they were doing that, there was a street artist doing her thing on the sidewalk, it was amazing to see how she did her work with mainly spray paint and a canvas. Hugo even bought one of her works, a really creative image of the Joker (you would have like it Howard 😉 ). I bought a $7.00 banana, orange and pineapple smoothie as I got thirsty and tired of waiting. After what felt like forever, the girls came out and we were on our way again. After arriving at the Empire State Building and feeling rather underwhelmed, we deliberated for a while on what to do next.
We eventually decided to take the subway to Chinatown and Little Italy, places that I hadn’t yet visited in New York City. It took us a bit of time to figure out where exactly we were going and how everything worked, but we got there in the end. Once you walked out of the subway you could tell you were near Chinatown due to all the Chinese people trying to sell you things. We were aiming to go for Chinatown first but only saw a portion of it and then we were suddenly in Little Italy. Walking down the street gave me the feeling of being on holiday in Italy or Spain, as there were restaurants and cafes going on for several blocks on either side of the street.
We stopped and had an early dinner at one of the restaurants (the cheaper the better), I decided to be different and had a calzone that was very cheesy. The food was very good but the long waiting time and the 15% tip charge (which said it was optional on the menu but was added anyway, rude!) put a bit of a dampener on the whole thing. We hopped on the subway again and made our way back to Bryant Park (not before the girls went to Urban Outfitters and Hugo had a picture taken with a cop 😀 ) and headed home to Albany . My feet were quite sore once again and I was very tiered, more than I’d anticipated.
I will admit that this trip to NYC was not as good as my first time there. The fact that we were under a strict time constraint prevented me from enjoying everything. The reason for this was because I felt like we couldn’t take a break or we’d waste time not seeing things, unlike the fist time where there was enough time to stop and take everything in. When I got back to my apartment, thankfully my roommate wan’t bothered about being woken up really early, which was a big relief.
Sunday the 4th of September, was a much more calm day compared to yesterday. The only thing I really did was go to the library and do some of the readings required for my classes. I also did my first weekly paper required fro my U.S. Public History class (600 words a week can be a bit of a hassle, but it could be worse). After doing that I tried and failed to print my paper at the library, as I needed to have some money on my UAlbany ID card, something I didn’t have.
Monday the 5th of September marked my first ever American Holiday: Labor Day (it pains me to spell it that way but that’s how it is). I was very happy to get a day off so soon into the term, as I could really do anything or nothing if I wanted to. From what I gathered Labor Day was just a day for relaxing, and that’s just what I did for most of it. I once again went to the library to do some more reading, but on this trip I asked someone at the help desk to help me out with printing. This was very important as I learnt that there was a machine you can use to put money onto your UAlbany card, so I printed my paper and went home. I think there was a party going on downtown, but I planned on doing as little as possible in order to fully immerse myself in the Labor Day spirit. I did however continue my trend of watching old TV shows that I really enjoyed and miss. This time it was Being Human (The UK one not the US one) I watched about 4 episodes in one sitting, a perfect way to end Labor Day.
You can tell this is an old TV show given the fact it was on BBC 3 (the Florence & The Machine inclusion in the trailer is always a plus)
Hope you enjoyed this somewhat shorter entry about my return to New York City, I’ll try and have a much longer one for next time (having assignments each week can make writing a blog difficult at times, but I enjoy having and keeping one). Until next time.