It was a dream come true, a real one, something I wanted to do for years…. New York !
Now that I am close (not that much in fact as it’s the same flight time from London, but let’s say that I feel closer) I couldn’t not do it. Business is always quiet for me in July/August, I was supposed to go there with someone so I booked the same week and at the end we didn’t go together. Still I should thank this person as thanks to him I finally made it.
People knowing me and knowing New York’s always told me that if I love London (and God knows that I do!) I would love NY. Difficult to compare a city where I spent 5 days on holiday and another one where I lived for years, but, yes, I LOVED it.
I felt the same energy that I felt in London, the same crazyness, feeling its vibration always. London is busy, loud, tiring…. New York is worse.
Manahttan is contantly moving, cars, taxis honk, builders everywhere who make a bit more noise…. But, yes, as London it’s a city that makes you want to wake up in the morning, makes you want to do things, realize yourself, feel alive.
Wanting to go for so long, I was making researches from time to time and for years. Where to go, what to do and how, I read, watched documentaries, asked people who went there and people who are from there… So I arrived with a plan : make the most of it like everytime I travel, without feeling being rushed, it’s a city I wanted to visit by myself, at least the first time, I wanted to breath it at my rythm (which was a fast pace) with no constraints except my own and go with the people flow, walk, look at them living and ending up exhausted but so happy.
Manhattan is quiete small (oui oui) the New York county is the US second smallest county and also the most densely populated county and one of the most densely populated area in the world with 1.6 millions people, reaching nearly 4 millions on businees day with commuters etc…. In other words, it’s small and very, very crowded.
I wanted to do it all knowing that I wouldn’t because I couldn’t, I wanted to eat bagel, flat pizza, pastrami sandwich like New Yorkers, go to ‘Les Halles’ where Anthony Bourdain (one of my hero) worked before he bacame famous and at Katz Deli. I had heard a lot about Katz Deli and also from Anhony Bourdain which I follow and check his episodes before travelling, always.
Katz deli is 129 years old. In Lower East Side, the world but also the real New Yorkers are passing by Katz deli. To me, it’s the real New York, the old one like in old times. Lower East side was home of freshly arrived immigrant families and Katz became the spot where the community gathered due to the lack of transports and choice around. During the peak of the Yiddish theater (pieces written and played by Jewish immigrant, Yiddish was the language talked by the Ashkenazi jews (Jewish from Eastern Europe)) it was filled with actors and singers. It’s still the case nowaday as they shot scenes of various films, amongst them, the very famous one of ‘When Harry met Sally’ when Meg Ryan simulates sex in a cafe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdJm3DVg3EM Watching this scene still make me laugh,
It’s very meaty (they have vegetarian options still) very salami, pastrami so I had a huge delicious pastramily omelet, with bagel, coffee and orange juice, so good.
Katz deli is just one of the numerous highights of my NY escapade as there are so many.
Take the Central line, a boat, for a 3 hours tour all round the island of Manhattan, it worth it. Have a drink at 230 5th avenue rooftop with a royal view on the Empire State building, I also did the Sex and the city tour which was funny, girly and where I learnt a lot about the NY and not only about where to find a rabbit
Dance class at Alvin Ailey as they do drop-in classes, Grand Central really deserves to be seen, East Harlem for a very cheap hair braiding at Fanny’s, Ground Zero to never forget, Ellis Island, Kitchen Hell’s neighbourhood, Perry street in the Meat Packing district which is so quiet and pretty, then Magnolia Bakery one block away for a cupcake, Brooklyn Bridge to cross on foot and especially by night, Bryant park for an ice cream, Harlem for the mass on Sunday and its eclectic restaurants, Central Park, Little Italy for a romantic dinner, Soho and Greewich village of course, Time Square by night and by day to feel overwhelmed and the Central Library, the Flat iron, Union Square, Madison square park….
For this time I had to put the indoors activities on the side as the weather was warm I wanted to stay out as much as I could.
So no museum that time, not MET, no Broadway show, I think that’s the only things I missed on my to do list because I made the choice to sit down nearly everyday in the afternoon at a terrace for a glass of rosé for an hour before carrying on with my wandering, picture taking, stranger talking, little moments of life enjoying….
Museum and shows will be next time for my birthday, end of November, I want to go to see the Christmas lights, be cold and have a hot chocolate while wandering, taking pictures, talking to strangers and enjoying those little moments of life……
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