My beloveds! So… you may remember how I went on a life-changing, mind-blowing trip last summer with my sidekick Rosie of A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe fame. It was a whirlwind holiday, where we touched down in four epic cities in under two weeks! I had a blast writing up the first installment- the magical New Orleans, Louisiana.
So um yeah this post is approximately 1,000 years late. See what had HAPPENED was… Don’t blame me- have you never heard of African time? S’not my fault. Genes innit?
Anyhoo let’s pick up where we left off. Rosie, Our Tez (my other Aussie darling) and Mama Karen (my favourite Southern belle, writer of the lush blog KP Says) packed up our bits and departed New Orleans in a puff of glitter and scented smoke. A few hours later as we made our descent into JFK, I could barely breathe from excitement.
Let’s be real- is there anything more glamorous and exciting than New York? NO! I had my face smooshed up against the airplane window, trying to get a glimpse. We landed, jumped in a cab and started meandering through the streets. My excitement reached fever pitch when I started seeing the street signs!
I have wanted to see New York City since I was a munchkin running around in afro puffs, and I just couldn’t believe it was finally happening. The way it felt to see those street signs flash by… that feeling of “OH MY GOD I AM HERE!” I won’t forget it as long as I live.
When the cab pulled up outside our hotel, I was like O_O
Lemme tell you a little something about my pal Rosie; she is a fiend when it comes to organising fabulous things. This minx had only gone and booked us into the effing Marriott Hotel in effing Times Square! After a screaming group hug and general ratchet displays of glee, we checked into our room, opened the curtains and BAM.
The view was… Out. Of. Control. See Roger Federer saying “Hey boo, welcome to New York”? And soon the day got even better- Karen’s hubby Joey arrived to meet us. I adored him on sight, just like I had done with KP. They are now officially my favourite couple. Poor Joey’s luggage had been delayed. If that had happened to me I’d be throwing beds out of windows and flipping tables, but he was calm and cheerful because he’s a LEGEND!
And then it was time to hit the streets. Guys, it was unbelievable.
The rest of the night passed in a blur of fun and excitement, as we headed to dinner with Joey and KP’s friend Oliver. We went to a glorious restaurant called Hearth, where the food was so amazing that we forgot to take any pictures. After days of eating deep-fried-everything in the South, the fresh seasonal cuisine was exactly what we needed. And the place was uber-FANCY! Whenever any of us popped to the bathroom, the others started playing a game where we counted the seconds before a waiter discreetly swooped in and folded their napkin into a perfect square, simultaneously filling their water glass. I believe we got to a record of about 15 seconds. Perfection.
The next morning Rosie, Tez and I trotted out to explore. Everything was so big and bright, I loved it!
We made our way through the hot-as-all-hell streets to the Empire State Building. We were so lucky- almost no queue to be seen! Huzzah! We made our way to the 86th Floor to take in the sights. I pushed open the door, stood there for a second, and promptly burst into tears. There are no words…
Even when you’ve seen it a thousand times in movies, NOTHING compares to the real thing. We took approximately 4080 photos of the stunning view and then moved on to serving some high-altitude fierce. Yes, hunty.
From there we made our way down to Perry Street, to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment! Anyone that knows me is aware that I am a true Sex and The City fiend. Chile I have been wearing this nameplate necklace and calling myself the Black Carrie Bradshaw for years now, so to say this was a dream come true is an understatement! We rounded a corner and there it was… Carrie’s apartment!
It was amazing- such a quiet, leafy little street. I was thrilled to be standing in front of that iconic wooden door, and those famous steps.
After flinging our hair back and forth and taking a thousand photos (“I get to be Samantha, no I get to be Samantha dammit”), we were ready to head out. We had such a fabulous time that we ended up going back the next day for Round 2 ha!
Next, we hailed ourselves a cab and sped down to Battery Park. We waved at the Statue of Liberty and engaged in more foolishness before speeding off again in the blazing heat to meet KP and Joey for a drink!
Next stop was the gorgeous Tavern on the Green in Central Park. It was a gloriously hot afternoon, and as we sat there sipping champagne and perving at boys, I remember being blissfully happy.
We then jumped on the subway to our next location. Is it lame that I was uber excited to take my first subway ride? After a ride in the HOTTEST carriage ever we stepped out, flustered, moist (I said it, yes) and in desperate need of refreshment.
We decided to have lunch at yet another iconic venue- Monk’s Diner from Seinfeld *cue screams* It’s actually called Tom’s Restaurant, and it’s a traditional Greek-American diner. The menu was OUT OF CONTROL you guys- delicious homestyle cooking and OMG so cheap! Stuffed clam shells, chicken parmigiana, corned beef hash, steaks, salads, huge sandwiches… and cheese fries. Can we just sit down for a sec, real quick, so you can tell me why you’ve been keeping cheese fries from me? Why?! I opted for buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing, and a sardine salad. It was like a party in my effing mouth.
Full to bursting, we slowly crawled back to the hotel, taking in some of the incredible architecture. So help me Lawd, you guys give good building out there in NYC! I was enchanted.
After we’d recovered from eating All of The Lunch, we spruced ourselves up, re-applied our lipstick (even Joey) and were whisked up to The View, on the 48th floor of The Marriott Hotel. This revolving bar and restaurant has the most incredible views of New York City. We sipped cocktails and gazed out over the bright lights of the city, feeling very much like the glitterati. From there we sashayed over to Haven, a hot rooftop bar, for more cocktails and gallivanting.
The next day we headed to the 9/11 Memorial. It’s hard to explain the mix of emotions you go through, on seeing the memorial itself. It’s made up of two huge man-made waterfalls, marking the spots where the Twin Towers once stood. On the panels surrounding each memorial are the names of the thousands who lost their lives on that awful day. Some people were taking selfies and running around carrying on (CRETINS), but we stood quietly and took it all in. We saw some photographs tucked into the railings, and what truly broke my heart was the single white rose someone had laid next to one of the names. All of those names belonged to someone who was loved and cherished, and it was shocking to see the sheer number of them. Standing there, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a New Yorker on that day.
The museum itself was truly incredible. I hadn’t known what to expect, but my mind was definitely blown. The museum holds heart-wrenching artifacts like voice messages left by people trapped in the burning towers, as well as recovered wreckage from the planes that crashed. There were also hundreds of photographs and interactive displays showing the events of September 11th. The museum was a deeply emotional and educational experience, and I highly recommend it.
By this point we were all a bit emotionally drained, and in need of cheering up. We decided to go in search of yet another iconic SATC landmark- the Magnolia Bakery! This teeny bakery was obviously made famous by the show, and it was absolutely packed! I shrieked when I caught sight of the framed SATC photo in the window. We oohed and aahed over the cakes and I was so excited to be standing somewhere Carrie and Miranda once did. Remember the scene where they’re sitting on a bench, chatting about Carrie’s new crush, Aidan (he of the luxurious hair, broad shoulders and turquoise rings)? After a little cupcake and the STRONGEST iced coffee known to man, we were off again.
Later that afternoon, we had a wander down to gawp at the gorgeous Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s such a stunning building! We thought we might treat ourselves to a drink at the famous rooftop bar, but when we were told it cost 25 big ones just to get up there, we were like “Um WHUT?” I mean, did they not know who we were? *hair flip* We decided to just take in the scenery instead, and then swanned off to sip dranks elsewhere.
Before we knew it, the sun had set on our last day in New York City. We had one last incredible dinner at an Italian restaurant called Pappardella. With our bellies full of good wine and sumptuous pasta, we drank a toast to the city. I feel like it’s one of those places you can never quite get enough of. A dizzying mix of bright lights, beautiful buildings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I was heartbroken to leave.
*types, deep in thought, sipping a Cosmopolitan and adjusting a Manolo Blahnik* Sitting there, I couldn’t help but wonder: Would I ever get to come back? Until then… we’ll always have New York.
Look out for the next installation of our USA trip, coming soon (I promise). Next stop, VEGAS BABY!