Thursday, 10 February 2011

NY, NY so good they named it twice. Taking a bite out of the Big Apple in the city that never sleeps and other cliches.

How would it make you feel if you'd been saving for three years for a trip around the world and then you got to the airport hungover but giddy with excitement for the inaugural voyage and you find that your flight has been cancelled due to to three feet of snow in New York? Well that's how I felt on arrival at Heathrow Airport 2 weeks ago. The veins in my head prominent and fully expecting to be spending the night in an airport hotel we went to the American Airlines desk to be told that 'yes our flight was cancelled but we'd been put on the next one which was 2 hours later'.

Relieved, we spent 5 hours traipsing around Heathrow taking photos of expensive mineral water and Foix Gras and looking at gaudy jewellery I'd never buy even if I could afford it. A largely uneventful flight followed (Wall Street 2 should never have been made) and we landed in NY City. We were full full of bravado about getting the subway from JFK but as our body clocks were telling us it was already 3 am we opted to battle through the illegal touts and queue for a city sanctioned Yellow Cab.

The snow drifts saw cars buried up to their windows and it made me wonder how in gods name they'd cleared our runway at JFK briefly, before returning to contemplating how I could possibly be this tired and not be unconscious. We dumped the bags in our hostel on 101st and Broadway and went across the street for the obligatory Brits abroad 4 drinks before bed. 9am UK time and 4am US saw us finally hit the hay.

I'm not going to bore you with a list of what we did but I will say that the MoMA was excellent. A drinking session on the concourse of Penn station until 1am was super, although the beggars get increasingly more aggressive as the night unfolds, Justin Bieber getting boo'd at the Knicks game restored my faith in the US, basketball and Americans simultaneously as I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes and the food they serve should be shared as the portions would make the guy from Man vs Food blush. Tipping is a pain in the arse. And drinking in NY is expensive as hell (unless you are on the concourse of Penn Station).

We also spent 3 nights in Brooklyn in the well known hipster area of Williamsburg. Imagine Shoreditch in London. Total bellends with side partings, walking around in sunglasses with one lense popped out or a monacle. Top hats and silver topped canes were de rigeure for those in their twenties and well muscled men with tiny sausage dogs dressed in jerkins, hats and Converse All Stars were way more prominent then I ever want to see again but by jove there's a good atmosphere and a plethora of excellent food and quality bars that stay open late.

It was here that we spent our last night, we were supposed to be watching the superbowl but we got to talking to the coolest person we met in NY, a bartender in the 'Sin Lounge' who on hearing that were on the first stop on a round the world tour would not hear of us paying for any of the beers or whiskeys she insisted on plying us with for the rest of the night. Who won? Well I found out in the paper the next day that it was the Packers but to be honest I couldn't have cared less.

Next stop, Tulsa, Oklahoma.


  1. A joy too read

    I can imagine the eltra glee you must have experianced during the "Booooober" incident was overwhelming.

    Wish i had thought of doing this, seems like a great way to keep a diary, do bore us with the details though, they are the best bits!

    Good on the the two of you man, i think what your doing could well be described as "geein it a gid kick o the baw".

    Ive starded getting excited about new year in Melbourne allready, had a hillarious chat with Garf whilst he was executive holidaying it up in Lanza. This is when i discovered that he and his good lady will be joining the party in Melbourne, and B-lair too, what fun i tell ye!

    Anyway, keep writing, im sure the bartender experiance will be one that repeats its self for you two as you trot round the globe.


  2. love your story and your style...keep it coming, appreciate it all for what it is and know that we're all very very jealous! love to the woman xxx love beth and aaron x