Rosie’s take on… NYC lovin’
I can literally feel that I’m repeating myself and getting all preachy about how incredible New York City is, and how everyone simply must travel because it’s so amazing and opens your eyes to so many new things. But seeing as how I have less than 3 whole days left here, I’m not about to stop now, and I’m not even sorry.
I’m really not okay with the fact that when I first got here it was like 35 degrees every day and you couldn’t go anywhere without being covered in sweat, and there were people selling $1 bottles of water at every subway station opening. And now, all of a sudden, whenever I go anywhere, I take a jacket. Sorry, but where have the past 2 months gone?
I can’t think of a single time 10 weeks went by this fast in my entire life so far.
After 2 months of working here and blending in with the New Yorkers (for the most part… when I wasn’t taking selfies in public, I mean), I have finally started embracing the tourist life. My boyfriend, Jayden, arrived two weeks ago, and I have been unashamedly enjoying being a tourist with him. The other day I literally bought one of those shirts that have the whole map of Manhattan and Brooklyn with the subway lines on it, so that when I go home I will never forget all I’ve learnt about the subway system, and when I inevitably return I will still be able to navigate the trains.
I went to the top of the Empire State Building for the first time the other day, and oh my lord, it just reaffirmed my love for this city. So naturally, I also purchased an Empire State Building t-shirt. And mug. #TouristLife, amirite? We also went to the top of the One World Trade Center Observatory. Of the three observation decks I have visited (those two, as well as Top of the Rock), I literally can’t even decide which is my favourite because they all give such a unique view of the city. Seeing the city all laid out beneath you like that is truly breath-taking. Yesterday we visited the Statue of Liberty, and despite my being worn down with illness, it was an amazing experience.
The day Jay arrived, I moved from where I was staying on the Upper East Side to the apartment we are staying in, on the shore of Jersey City with views of Manhattan. And I learnt the hard way that my thinking that I could shop consequence-free for 2 whole months was extremely naive. I had to make 2 trips to the apartment with my overflowing suitcases and 4 shoulder bags of stuff that wouldn’t fit in either of the 2 suitcases (that, believe it or not, I had purposefully left less than full on my way here!). Turns out purchasing 4 pairs of boots in 3 days sounds great in theory (especially when you consider that they were all heavily reduced, and I finally have a pair of thigh-high boots even Julia Roberts would envy), but isn’t so practical when they take up no less than half a suitcase on their own. I’ve had to reign in the shopping in a big way in the last two weeks of my trip, which is tough considering the mall within walking distance of our apartment is equipped with literally every single one of my favourite U.S. clothes retailers. Yes, including Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle Outfitters. My self-control is at an all-time personal best.
You know what’s great? Holidaying with another person. You know what’s even better than that? Holidaying with a significant other. I’d never been on a holiday with anyone except my family, and as I’ve said before, I loved my time alone in New York. But now that Jay is here, I get to eat at restaurants and go to the movies without looking like a loner, forever have company so creepy strange men are less inclined to approach and speak to me, there’s someone to chat to on subway rides, and it just so happens that my holiday partner has a rule that means I never have to carry shopping bags. Winning. Plus I have a photo of being kissed at the top of the Empire State Building, and we’ve had several cute couple mid-afternoon naps. It doesn’t get much better than that. Even if he does take photos of me while I’m sleeping, and wakes me up early every morning. But I’m recovering from the flu that knocked me down after 10 weeks of excellent health (I know, I was surprised I made it this long, too!), and I have to say, my amazing man has done a stellar job of taking care of his gross, whiny, sick girlfriend for the last few days. I’ll claim it’s only fair, since I washed our clothes and ironed his shirts (until I taught him how to iron himself). (No, but seriously, he’s been making me breakfast and hot milos constantly; he’s been better to me than I have to him. Don’t tell him I said that).
Last week we had a picnic in Central Park, and it was absolutely incredible. I’ve eaten in Central Park a fair few times since I’ve been here, that park is the best place I swear. But it’s a totally different experience when you get to share it with someone else, and I don’t mean one of those old leathery-skinned men who spend their days chatting up the girls sunbaking in the park. I get to show my boyfriend all my favourite spots I’ve discovered, show him where I’ve been living, working and partying for the last 2 months, and introduce him to the incredible people I’ve met. And since I’ve already done a few of the museums that interest me the most, it’s okay that he likes to speed around looking at the exhibits rather than pausing to read any of the information.
I honestly, truly cannot believe I am leaving on Sunday. And then I have to face reality and come up with a new plan for what’s next. It was an easy start to the year after I graduated uni, working in a job that didn’t satisfy me, when I knew I had this trip to look forward to. Now I’m returning home, feeling totally inspired and motivated by my travels but trying to figure out how to apply that to finding a job. Seeing as how I haven’t had a paying job since mid-June, I think it’s about time I find me another of those. It’s scary – up until this point I haven’t really had to make many decisions about what to do next (minus New York, but that idea hit me like a tidal wave and then wouldn’t leave me alone), they were all kind of natural progressions; I was at high school, and then naturally progressed onto uni, and then I was waiting patiently until my NYC adventure began. When I return home it will be the first time I don’t have anything to do or anything to look forward to. I’m not sure what to do with myself. Plan my next trip to this city, probably. Get back into the gym, definitely. And I supposed I’d better find a solution to my unemployed-and-homeless-ness, too.
I’m sitting in our apartment now, 27 storeys up, looking out over Jersey City with Manhattan visible in the distance, with the man that I love playing games on his phone, and everything feels right. I may not be completely ready to come back to Perth and reality, but I really have had an excellent run in New York City. Maybe it’s best I quit while I’m ahead; by which I mean quit before it’s freezing and I become bitter Winter-Rosie all over again. As if Mother Nature knew I was writing about her at the beginning of this post, the weather today was a toasty 30 degrees. The people selling water outside the subway station were even back! And the weather for our remaining 3 days is set to be just as nice. Farewell to you too, New York City.