If you’re thinking about going to New York in mid-February. Don’t. Only joking. If cold weather doesn’t bother you too much, then it is absolutely fine. I should point out that if you’re planning on doing the ‘hop on hop off’ bus tours in the middle of winter, do wear layers and perhaps take a blanket, from the plane or hotel. Thank me later.
Anyway, as you can gather, day three of my New York adventures involved taking a tour around the city and learning a little more than what I’ve seen on TV and in movies. At around $54 (Approx £37), the ticket was well worth it as it included entry into some museums and a boat-ride to New York’s most famous lady, The Statue of Liberty.
Sitting on the upper-deck of the bus, it was great to see New York from a little higher up than ground-level. However, looking at the skyscrapers all competing for attention, it was hard to concentrate on one thing as you just wanted to see everything.
Our tour-guide (I believe his name was Marlo) was very informative as the bus took us around the city giving us a little history and insight to what we were seeing. It was interesting that he pointed out all the little things that made each building and landmark a little more interesting. It was also sad but poignant to hear how some areas had been affected by the 9/11 attacks and learning how the city has healed since.
One of my favourite parts was going past Carrie’s apartment (I am a HUGE Sex and the City fan) and wondering how she walked around in heels all day. NYC is huge, a 10-minute walk is more like half an hour in my eyes… or maybe I need to keep visiting to get my pace up?
The hop on hop off tour just proved how much I loved this city, even after only being here a short while. There were so many different areas to explore and get to know that I wish I hadn’t wasted my summers between uni working in retail. I would have loved to have travelled then, as I had so much free time, but I cannot regret spending time working as now I know to use my annual leave very wisely so I can travel now.
New York really has such an amazing energy to it and it easy to understand why people love it here. In my head it did feel like ‘another London’, just bigger, better and with more of a buzz.
After a long day of sight-seeing we were all starving, so once back in Times Square we headed to TGI Fridays for an early dinner. I opted for the steak (and a handful of shrimp) as I hadn’t had much since the awful Applebee’s breakfast and my stomach needed to be lined before going out that night.
TGIs in America tastes so much better than the UK and the portions are absolutely huge (as is everything else). My only gripe was that we had to pay a suggested tip of around 20%, which is fine but after paying for the meal, then adding tax, it makes you think you should have just got a takeaway! I don’t mind tipping at all and I do understand America’s tipping culture but the amount should be up to the person who has received the service, not dictated by the establishment.
Opting for a nap before heading out, it did me a world of good and I was ready to TURN UP. Ironically we headed to the same club we’d been to the night before as they were having a birthday event with none other than 90s rapper Juelz Santana. My 14-year old self was so excited.
My plan for night (Okay, the whole of 2016) was to wear less and go OUT more, so I wore a low-cut navy dress with heels I could actually walk in and borrowed my friend’s Aldo necklace. I’m still convinced I need a stylist as I have a wardrobe meltdown at least once a month. Please send help as it usually occurs the week before payday when the diet has gone out the window and my eyebrows resemble Shrek.
We headed to the club around midnight and I had a little $6 wine in my coffee cup (I call this my journey juice) for the taxi there. The wine in Duane Reade is seriously underrated if I must say so or if you just have low standards like me.
After paying way too much for a table in the club, it started to rapidly fill up and from just looking around, the strippers made me realise I need to majorly up my gym game. Their figures are amazing, surgically enhanced or not (I don’t care!), I would love to join them for a workout session. Some might look down on the exotic dancer profession but I found it inspirational as people tend to judge what they see. At the end of day, a job is a job, so no one can tell you how you should live your life. Do you.
I cannot describe how good the music was, just pure hip-hop, trap, rap and R&B. Everything you could want and more. I find that London clubs (well the ones I’ve been to) seem to just play commercial R&B and it takes ages for me to be like “OH MY GOD THIS IS A BANGER”. Perhaps it is because the majority of the music I listen to is America-orientated so I felt as at home as you could be in a strip club.
Strip clubs in America are probably the place to be, as the music is good, everyone is here to have a good time (literally) and who knows what could happen. Let us just say that my Snapchat story that night was WILD. My dreams came true of finally being able to ‘make it rain’, I saw Joe Budden, drank way too much Ciroc and best of all we were picked up in a limo!