Every fear I had about New York City was true. Times Square – though I’ve been told that it’s much more magical at night – was a saturated shudder-fest, with everything seemingly hedonistic surrounding you: towers smothered with flashy promotions and posters of celebrities, insistent half-nude street performers (I’ve honed an impression), and junk food everywhere, all wrapped up in a frame of hot sun and a small dash of claustrophobia. But yes we’re ~*here*~! To explore possibilities and make dreams come true in the city, you guys!
JK because the parts of New York City we visited weren’t exactly my steez, but I’m back in a couple of weeks for the Wine Bloggers Conference so there’ll be more exploring. My cousin lives here and he led us around, thank god, because this city seems like a hopeless nightmare for someone with a terrible sense of direction i.e. me.
Mind you, we only hit up all the major touristy things that we could, as you would if you only had just a school day’s amount of time in the city. Busy yes, but really enjoyable, because my first steps in NYC at Rockefeller Center were charming and the view from the top was amazing on a partly cloudy day. And then St. Patrick’s cathedral was just a hop and a skip away, even though such a religious building was teeming with passers-by which felt especially weird during some form of Sunday mass. It’s like all the spiritual vibe was cancelled out by people walking in and out, plus there was a teenaged girl just outside who excitedly declared that she saw a Topshop in the distance.
I think it was around this time that my dad asked some police officers if he and mom could get a picture with them and their car, and then I turned away and pretended not to know them for just a few seconds. DAD.
There was more walking and pointing and looking, not unlike a montage of a ~*tween’s first time in the city*~ complete with flashy camera angles, upbeat music, and appropriately wide sidewalks to strut down. A TMZ-themed tour bus with dancing guides turned around the corner and it immediately gave me a bit of the creeps – and, as if the bus was the waving of a magician’s hand, I was suddenly aware of the people around me. There’s just a little more glamour, here, and it’s great that people are much more open and gay and carefree and unworried about it. This I like. But maybe it just seems like that because because there’s a higher concentration of people here in general. This I don’t like.
Large billboards with YouTube stars on them. Kinda bizarre. How many years do you think it’ll take before “washed up YouTube star” will start to be a legit usable term?
I was a bit devastated that I left my ID at home, four hours away, because we came across a cool wine store (Chelsea Wine Vault) at the Chelsea Market, which was basically a super-hip upscale food court that looked like what I imagined the inside of an equally-as-trendy Manhattan loft to look like (idk). We didn’t have much time so I didn’t get to go inside, nor did I get to peek at the restaurant that I realized was run by a Master Sommelier, but I did find weird futuristic Yaletown-esque sushi and decided to go for it, mentally creating a you’ll-still-be-hungry-after-this disclaimer, but it was surprisingly satisfying. So far, sushi on this trip is either shitty or successfully experimental. Raise your hand if that sounds like your love life.
The day was nearing its finish line, so we visited Ground Zero and then took the ferry to Staten Island, the latter just to say we did it, I guess, and so we could glimpse at the Statue of Liberty before eating fun pizza on the long bus ride home. I got a bit of tomato sauce on the carpeted bus floor and did my best to clean it up, but then we drove past some of the messiest alleyways I’ve ever seen in my life and I immediately felt okay.
I’ll be back, New York! It was a fun burst of activity. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to live here because it seems so fast-paced and hip and I don’t think I am, but then again we barely explored much of the city and I’m coming back in just a couple of weeks anyways for wine reasons.
But speaking of wine my wine game is still awful. Some in the next post, I think.