Almost seven weeks in New York- thoughts & some of my favorite pictures

I feel finally ready to conclude my feelings about New York by listing some likes and dislikes. Before starting I should mention that moving to New York had long been one of my biggest dreams despite the fact that I had never been there before. I guess I have nothing but the countless amount of movies, songs and amazing stories to blame. 😉 Due to those I had of course formed some preconceptions but I tried my best to keep an open mind. I was also prepared to face the fact that I might end up hating the city. Well did I? No.

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Let’s start with the positive! Here is the list of things I loved.

  • People. Many people think New Yorkers are rude and ignorant but that is not true. The people are kind and extremely helpful- maybe sometimes a little busy but that is understandable as they are all trying to make it in the city.
  • The culture of polite and social. Quick compliments from people walking by on busy streets, “keep up the good work”- pep talks at the gym, small conversations about the weather by the water – small things that make a big difference.
  • Service. Especially in restaurants, coffee places and stores the service was great. I really felt that the staff in these places really cared and were there to exceed customer expectations. I do acknowledge that in some places the tip can work as a motivator but also in “tipless places” such as clothing stores the sales people introduced themselves and were always eager to help (even though you tried a million different pieces and didn’t like anything.. 😉 ).
  • It is so beautiful everywhere. No matter where you are you can take a picture to capture what’s in front of you- that will be beautiful.
  • Difference between areas. Manhattan is a surprisingly tiny island but it has several areas which are all completely different from each other. Areas like East and West Village consist of only low buildings and the atmoshphere is peaceful and town-like, whereas midtown is full of skyscrapers, downtown filled with financial corporations etc. Of course there are also Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, which all deserve to be mentioned. My favorite areas in Manhattan are Upper West Side, East & West Village and Gramercy Park but I also loved spending time downtown (or anywhere) by the water.
  • Water & Parks. Once more. The light breeze combined with the smell of water make me happy every single time. I feel so calm just by looking at the river or ocean  in addition to which I love the contrast created towards all the concrete. The above also apply to parks (especially the mightiest of them all: Central Park).
  • Music. Concerts, live music in bars, street performers- everything, all the time.
  • Inspiring people on the streets. I have never been so inspired that in New York. I wore the craziest outfits and came up with the weirdest ideas. So refreshing.
  • You can do anything at any time. Art, sport games, comedy clubs, all kinds of different tours, boat rides, bar openings, shopping, tv-shows.. “If you can dream it, you can do it in New York”, I heard.
  • Feeling of Freedom. Is there something better?

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UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_315dUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_30c5UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_38caA few things thatI did not love…

  • The Subway. Yes it is very handy, I admit that, however the rats, dirt, heat and aggressive people make the rides slightly less enjoyable..
  • Places with a lot lot of people. To be honest I am not the biggest fan of Times Square or any other place that is constantly fully packed with people. Gladly there are only a few such places and so much more.
  • The heat. New York in August (even in September) is be very hot. If you are not prepared for over 30 degrees in a city setting, you should visit another time. 😉
  • The New York Crazies. Everybody who has taken the New York Subway or any paid attention while scrolling down the streets knows what I am talking about.
  • The unavoidable yet very visible inequality. According to The Economist there are 63,000 homeless people in shelters of New York. Around 3000 people sleep on the streets. This is obviously horrible and makes you wonder constantly.

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Maybe it was the feeling of seclusion- being completely separated from the rest of the world- that in the weirdest way made me feel like home. I am grateful that I got to try out what it would be like to be to live in New York and I am sure I’ll be back. Until next time.

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In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York

In case you have any questions or would like to have some tips, please just let me know. 🙂

Past week recap & some pictures

Okay, let’s continue from where we left of in the last NYC update.

Last Friday we had dinner at Bobwhite Counter, located in the East Village. Both food and service were great. It was actually my first time trying mac and cheese, which we shared (usually I hate sharing food- this was just an exception :D)

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On Saturday we walked around West Village and SoHo. Both neighbourhoods are very trendy and ‘hip’. However unlike in the midtown there are no skyscrapers and the atmosphere is much more authentic and ‘village-like’. ps. the small townhouse in the picture is in the market for 5 million, so the area is also quite popular- but hey if anyone’s interested..
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Sunday was a great day too and we spent it in Brooklyn. There was a Sunday market in Dumbo area where people sold clothes, jewellery, furniture, food etc. We also decided to walk across the Brooklyn bridge back to Manhattan, the bridge is almost 2 km long and extremely pretty.

We took the metro to Brooklyn and it was our first time using metro here. I have to say that I absolutely hated it. I am claustrophobic and it was hot and crowded in addition to which the metro was old, dark and loud. By the end of the ride I was deeply traumatised and swore I would never take it again but at the end of the day I was so tired I had to eat my words and become a respectul metro-rider again. 😀 Tip to fellow claustrophobics: come here during summer so you can bike everywhere and don’t need to take the metro 😀

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On Monday we ‘visited’ Harlem, meaning my travel company was so scared we had to walk directly to Upper East side. 😀 I however really much liked the ghetto atmosphere and could have stayed longer! We also tried to visit the Guggenheim museum but it was already closed so we just went to the gift shop.. Mondays plan to “visit Harlem and Guggenheim” was not a great success. 😀 The day was a lot of fun anyway- we worked out in the morning, took the cab for the first time in the city and had a delicious lunch and dinner. 🙂 Tuesday is a bit of a mystery day for us and we cannot fully remember what we did! We tried looking for pictures and even receipts from the day but we were unable to find anything worth mentioning. Most likely we walked around Manhattan without a real purpose- just enjoying. 🙂

On Wednesday we went to the cinema. We chose Angelika film center, where I believe the movies are a bit less mainstream. We saw a movie called “the only living boy in New York”. Despite the fact that Cynthia Nixon and Pierce Brosnan were on it, it was not the greatest movie I have seen, but the experience for sure was great. Going there I successfully waved a cab for the first time and walking home while admiring the lit Chrysler building felt unreal.

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Thursday was a new museum day that started with going to Guggenheim only to hear it is always closed on Thursdays.. Gladly the gift shop was already a familiar place for us. 😀 We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you can yourself decide what you want to pay for entrance fee. According to my travel guide it would take a week to see all the pieces in the gallery.. We decided to focus on Egyptian section but got totally lost. At one point a security guard asked if we needed help as we had walked by him already three times. 😀 Just as a tip- reserve plenty of time to visit the MET, it can also take a week to get out of there
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Friday (today) was probably the greatest day so far- went to a sex and the city tour! The tour lasted about 3,5 hours during which we the tour bus took as to all the iconic places where the show was filmed while the tour guide told us about the show and played some clips. It was not a traditional tour as the tour guide was not only a SATC fan but also a stand up comedian who was not afraid of swearing and telling inappropriate jokes. All and all it was a lot of fun and I can recommend it for all the fans of the show visiting New York. 🙂

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Now it is time to get some sleep so we can take the most out of the weekend as well. Hope you all have a good one!