Rosie’s take on… Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
What a city.
I arrived on Friday evening about 36 hours after leaving Perth. The first thing I did? Get Chinese food. At 10pm at night. Amazing.
New York City has me all confused about how I want to live my life. On the one hand, I’m eating cream cheese bagels, big ol’ slices of pizza, and cheese fries as much as I damn please. But on the other, I am taking long walks through Central Park and drinking 300 gallons of water and fresh fruit juice. I’m embracing the obesity-inducing diet, as well as the purity and fitness side of New York City.
Whole Foods is a simply magical place. There’s a massive two storey one just a few blocks over. I want to be like the sort of New Yorker that eats pure salads and kale and quinoa and fresh sushi from Whole Foods. But there’s a Burger King on the same street and I also want to be like the New Yorkers that eat there every night. It’s a constant battle between both sides of me.
One thing I learnt very quickly when I arrived on Friday evening; if you’re not okay with jaywalking, you better get okay with it real fast. Or you won’t be getting anywhere very quickly, and people will look at you. “Tourist,” they’ll think as they shake their heads in disgust.
But it turns out jaywalking is very easy when most of the streets are one way. It makes it easier than having to figure out which side of the road the cars are supposed to drive on.
The weather is absolutely beautiful. I’m finally warm after months and months of freezing my phalanges off in Perth; it’s so humid and the sun stays up till pretty much 9pm. I am in my element.
If anyone watches How I Met Your Mother, pretty much every representation and description they give of New York is accurate. The subway conductors are impossible to understand. There are massive dead cockroaches everywhere. Everyone seems to dislike New Jersey.
Victoria’s Secret is already one of the best things that has happened to me in this city. It’s only two blocks away from my accommodation, and that’s going to be dangerous for my bank account. Did I mention it has a second storey dedicated to the branch of Victoria’s Secret, Pink? I’ve already spent an exorbitant amount of money in there in the last two days. I have no regrets.
American money gives the illusion that you’re actually not spending any money, because it doesn’t seem real. I have a purse full of coins at the moment because I can never figure out which ones I need at the register, so I continually just pay with notes and accept all the coins they give me as change. $1 notes are so beautiful and I have a huge stack of them at one time. I have a weird soft spot for them.
Yesterday I went with a group of fellow interns to Rockefeller and to the Top of the Rock. This city is so aesthetic, my OCD very much agrees with how it is set out so nicely in blocks. It was amazing to look at the city from the top of the observation deck.
I got my nails done at a nail salon near where I’m staying, which is run by Asians exactly like all the ones I’ve ever been to in Australia. Except it couldn’t have been more different. They did my nails in a completely different way to how I’ve ever had them done, and usually it takes about 45 minutes with the nail technician walking off randomly during that time. But today the nail technician didn’t move from her seat at all and it still took an hour and a half. I don’t know why the nail people here do it in a weird convoluted way, but they should learn some tips from the people in Aus for optimum productivity. Plus they didn’t have any sparkly colours! So I had to go with dull boring ones. And I kind of think this particular nail salon is also lowkey a brothel. I think I’ll try out a different salon next time. Y’know, just in case.
Don’t even get me started on tipping. I’m forever living in fear of either 1) ripping someone off and getting abused, or 2) accidentally way over-tipping and losing all my money.
Despite all the challenges (like trying to navigate the subway when it doesn’t always tell you what stop you’re at, or trying to figure out why they could possibly need coins with the value of 1 cent), I am loving it in New York City. And the adventure has only just begun! I start my internship tomorrow, and that’s when the real challenges will begin. So can you all please cross your fingers and toes and hope that I will be able to figure out which trains (yes, plural; I have to swap lines!) I have to catch to get me to Brooklyn in time tomorrow morning. Just another New York City commuter!