I started off my last 5 days in New York City by making a trip to Chelsea on Sunday. Safae and I decided that it was about time we visited the High Line so we hoped on a subway and made our way to West Village. Considering we had left the house in the late afternoon, we got there there a bit after dark. However, before we got there, we got a bit lost and ended up in the Artists and Fleas shop in the Chelsea Market. While it was Insiders1‘s leather merchandise that attracted my attention on the window display, it is probably Pamela Barsky‘s witty and rather sarcastic pouches, wallets, and purses that had me stick around for longer than planned. I absolutely loved the place and would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in NYC.
Anyway, back to The High Line! I particularly enjoyed it because I got to take some pictures of the traffic that I have wanted to do for a while but never got them “quite right”. I also decided to play London Grammar’s High Life just because I thought it would be funny. I guess the brisk cold wind, the music, and people’s conversations drowned out by the distant sounds of the city made for a rather cinematic moment.
After getting off the High Line, Safae and I joined Ali who was in Midtown shopping. We walked towards Madison Square Garden/Pennsylvania Station in order for me to go to my bank before we made a few stops at different gift shops on 6th Avenue and then heading home.
The following day was rather uneventful. Safae and Ali went shopping in the morning as I slept in and when they came back, we had a quick lunch and then headed over to the airport to pick up our friend Kholoud who will be doing her exchange program this Spring term in University of Dayton, Ohio. Since Kholoud was tired and jetlagged, we stayed in the neighbourhood and had Caribbean food for dinner.
Unfortunately for me, my migraines made a badly timed appearance and kept me up all night. It is safe to say I was very cranky on Tuesday. For Kholoud’s first full day in the city, we decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, which Safae and I still had not done so it was very convenient, crowded but convenient.
I have to admit that one of my favourite moments throughout my whole stay in New York was when it lightly snowed as we were crossing the bridge! Too bad it did not stick though. I really wanted to see a snow covered New York City.
Next up was Central Park on a particularly cold late afternoon/evening. Of course we could not go to Central Park without stopping by the playground for a little while. I have to admit the park is rather beautiful around twilight. After that, we made the rounds of the gift stores near Penn Station yet again, before heading back home for dinner and an episode of How to Get Away With Murder. That was around the time my mood was changing towards the better. I owe that to the blues guitar player at the subway station (no videos available since I was too busy dancing!).
On New Year’s Eve, I decided to go to the movies so I made my way to the BAM Rose Cinemas (the right building this time!!) to watch Wild. Although I have mixed feelings about the movie, I have to say I loved the venue. It is just ridiculously beautiful and I would recommend it for anyone in New York. It is on Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. The rest of my afternoon was rather uneventful as I stayed home, had dinner, and then got ready to go out around 10 PM. When I took the subway I ran into a group of 10 Argentinians and 5 Americans and we became somewhat friends as everyone started singing Lion King songs after I introduced myself. I left the group somewhere in Lower Manhattan and made it to the South Ferry terminal just in time for the 11:30 ferry towards Staten Island.
I spent the last minutes of 2014 and the first seconds of 2015 racing a bunch of strangers for the best seat to see the fireworks. From where we were, we could see the fireworks in Lower Manhattan, New Jersey, and Brooklyn. It was magnificent. When I made it back to Manhattan, I walked around town for about two hours. By the time I saw about 3 passed out people on the street, I decided it was time to head back home.
For my last full day in New York, I decided I was not going to take my camera with me because I wanted to feel the place rather than see it through a viewfinder.After packing my bags so I wouldn’t worry about them on my travel day, I made my way to Williamsburg. I got off the subway on the southern side of the neighbourhood and just walked around aimlessly for about an hour and a half. I think that because it was New Year’s a lot of the stores were closed, which was a shame, but that did not stop me from enjoying the place.It definitely made it on my list of favourite places in NYC.
Next stop was Grand Central Station. My initial plan was to sit down at one of the coffee shops in the food court and people watch for a little while. However, because
again it was New Year’s, the place was packed and people watching would have been pointless so I decided to make my way towards the Public Library/Bryant Park instead. Of course, because it was around 7PM and a holiday, the Library was closed. I ended up walking around the shop displays in Bryant Park before leaving the area. My favourite display was that of Momo Glassworks. Their glass earrings are absolutely beautiful!
After Bryant Park, and a well deserved coffee, I made my way to the Columbia University campus. I kind of wish I got the chance to be there during the semester to see what it is like when classes are in session. But empty campuses have always held a certain charm that is appealing to me. And charm is definitely something that the Columbia University campus has!
My before last stop was Washington Square Park. I got off the subway at Christopher St. and made my way to the park through Greenwich Village. I’m really glad I did that because I ran into the Bleeker Street Records store which offers a huge number of records, t-shirts, and anything music related. It also has an enormous collection of vinyl records for 99 ¢!! If it were not for luggage weight limitations I would probably have ruined myself in that store. When I got to Washington Square, all I could think of was the movie August Rush. I think it was pretty interesting to be there around 9PM that day. There weren’t too many tourists but sadly no street performers. I did get to find the 1st and 4th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution written with chalk around the main fountain.
My final stop in New York was SoHo. I think that after Crown Heights, SoHo and Williamsburg are a tie when it comes to my favourite neighbourdhoods in NYC. I think part of my liking of SoHo comes from the fact that a few side streets reminded me of Copenhagen. Between the cobbled streets, the bike racks, and the street lamps, I could have sworn I was back in the Danish capital. Sadly, my time in town was coming to an end as I had to meet my friends who were coming back from a day in Philadelphia at a subway station. However, one wrong turn made me make an hour long detour. I ended up walking through Chinatown, Little Italy, and finally reached Tribeca before hopping on a subway and heading towards Crown Heights. But hey, at least now I know where the Tribeca Film Festival takes place!
That was it for my New York experience. My only regret is not having ran into Brandon from Humans of New York.
I made my way to the airport the next day in the early afternoon and caught a red eye flight from JFK to the Casablanca airport where my parents picked me up. Three days later and I am still struggling with the worst jetlag I have had to date. Let’s just hope I fix my sleep schedule before going back to college this Saturday!