Hot Child in The City: New York!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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 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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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After flinging our hair back and forth and taking a thousand photos (“I get to be Samantha, no 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSS.

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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Love,
Adjpants

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Laissez les bon temps roulez: New Orleans!

My darlings, my loves, my pumpkin pies… this has been my summer of dreams coming true. A few months ago, I was having one of my usual lengthy email/Whatsapp conversations with my homeslice Rosie from A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe. She was telling me about the epic trip she was planning to  the USA over the summer. Her favourite band, Def Leppard, was performing in North Carolina, and she’d decided to combine it with several other city stops across the States. As we excitedly talked outfits and locations for Rosie, she said “You have to come too!” Being the anxious, deeply dull person that I am, I immediately said “oh stawp it, I simply mustn’t, think of the money…” And then it hit me. I AM 30 NOW. I have a good job. I’ve wanted to go to America forever. I deserve this. I work hard and gosh darn it, I’m going to go ahead and treat myself.

So I did! The decision was made, tickets were bought, lipsticks were selected… the plan was that I would head to New Orleans and meet up with Rosie, her childhood pal Tez (who I just adore) and Rosie’s American blogger pal, the delectable Karen from KP Says. Before I knew it, I was 35,000 feet in the air, more excited than I’d ever been in my life.

From the moment I landed in New Orleans, I was enchanted. Arriving at the hotel, I yelped and screamed and jumped on the bed, before running out to the balcony to fling the doors open. And there it was. New Orleans.

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Once I had marginally calmed down, I got down to the business of Eating All of The Things. Numero Uno on my bucket list was to eat a Shrimp Po’Boy. This is a Southern sandwich served with freshly baked bread and something delicious inside. YOU GUYS… I don’t know what to tell you. I wept #JesusTears from how good it was.

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Side note: one incredible thing about New Orleans and staying at a hotel just around the corner from the legendary Bourbon Street, is that you can order room service from many of the surrounding restaurants. When the young man (we’ll call him Tyrone) brought me this delightful sandwich, I was almost rendered unconscious by his sexy Southern drawl. Good Lawd. If I hadn’t been so hungry, I would have eloped with him on the spot. As it was, I tipped him approximately $4000 for being hot, and carried on with my evening.

I could barely sleep from excitement, knowing that the next day I would be reunited with my gal pals. The next morning I went to get myself a little snack, wanting to save my appetite for when the girls arrived and we headed out to lunch. I went to a cute little place called Cafe Conti and ordered the special, a grilled cheese croissant. This was how I learned my first lesson about American food portion sizes. This “croissant” came out and I was like O_O

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You couldn’t even SEE the croissant, laden as it was with bacon, tomatoes, basil, roasted garlic and poached eggs. I soldiered on, and then staggered back to the hotel to meet my friends. The reunion was a blur of screams, squeals and hugsies, and I cannot even begin to tell you how overjoyed I was to see my Rosie!

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Those of you who’ve been with me since the beginning know that leaving Melbourne was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and Rosie and I bawled our eyes out at the airport. Seeing her and Our Tez again gave me ALL OF THE LIFE. I also finally got to meet Karen. Guys, you know when you meet someone for the first time and love them on sight? Karen aka “Mama Karen” is so sweet, warm and caring, and she had me howling with laughter within minutes.

And we were OUT! The debauched and wanton pleasures of Bourbon Street called from just around the corner. This day will go down as one of the happiest days in my life. We munched on seafood platters and deep-fried eggplant sticks at Oceana, got drunk (in luhhhhve) on the famous Hurricane cocktail at Pat O’Brien’s, continued drinking in style at Carousel Bar, became famous for our  karaoke at The Cat’s Meow, and rounded off the perfect night with an oversized pizza slice at The Big Easy Daiquiris & Pizza Cafe.

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We had a good perve n’ flirt with the hottie behind the counter at the pizza parlour. He had a face carved by a benevolent God, and an accent that caused instant arrhythmia. Tez tells me that I leaned over the counter towards him and whispered, “I love you.” I can neither confirm nor deny this of course…

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*coughs discreetly* ANYHOO. The next day we met up with one of KP’s blogger friends, the adorable Chelsea from Tiger Love Beauty, and her lovely friend Ashley. We met at the famous Cafe du Monde. I was beyond excited to try their world-famous beignets, and I was not disappointed. These folks don’t play- the beignets were huge! Fresh, crisp and golden, piled high with powdered sugar.

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We then visited the breathtaking St. Louis Cathedral, and walked through Jackson Square. Just outside the cathedral we stopped to watch some live jazz. I’m a jazz and soul fiend, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off this band. They were having a whale of a time, and I wanted to give up my worldly possessions and tour with them.

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When it was time to hunt down breakfast, we headed to The Old Coffee Pot. Now, I’m sure you guys know by now that I’m an epic foodie. My telly is permanently fixed on The Food Network, and one of my all-time fave shows is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. So imagine my delight when I saw this by the doorway of The Old Coffee Pot:

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Guy ate there! HUZZAH! We swiftly proceeded to do the same thing. It was absolutely divine, and due to over-excitement and stuffing of faces, no photos were taken. We continued on, with the day getting better and better. We walked through the French Market, and stopped to gaze at the mighty Mississippi river. With every moment, I was falling deeper and deeper in love with NOLA. Around every corner was a different adventure: The Pepper Palace (an entire superstore dedicated to thousands of different hot sauces), The Central Grocery (where we ate the Best Effing Sandwich Ever- the hilariously named Muffaletta), and finally more live jazz at Maison Bourbon Jazz Club.

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On our last day, we had breakfast at a place called Stanley’s, which was amazing. Cheese eggs, bacon and cheese grits, poached eggs with fried oysters… all of these were washed down with gallons of my new favourite drink, sweet tea. Sweet tea is basically iced tea that has been used to wash down angel wings, before being strained through gold dust and unicorn’s tears. I quickly got into the habit of asking “D’you have sweet tea?” everywhere we went, until KP explained that they were guaranteed to serve it everywhere in the South #winning

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We then took a tour down to the swanky Garden District, Mardi Gras World, the St Louis Cemetery, and saw the very beautiful and poignant Hurricane Katrina memorial. Afterwards we wandered through the streets with their lacy wrought-iron balconies, and soon it was time for lunchies. KP took us to a place called Fiorella’s Cafe for fried chicken. Listen… I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken in my life. But THERE ARE LEVELS, and this was the pinnacle. This teeny little place doesn’t look like much; it’s a no-frills dive bar with the customary sticky floors and low lighting. But guys… when the chicken came out, the cherubim and seraphim burst into triumphant song.

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This was the most perfect fried chicken that has ever crossed my lips and you must try it immediately. Like, go now. I’ll wait.

*cue Lionel Richie hold music*

So?! Right? It was golden-fried to perfection, and when you bit into it… I’ll be hearing that crispy crunch sound in my dreams forever. I also got to try fried pickles for the first time- so good! Then it was time to head back down Bourbon Street, soaking up that frenzied late-night atmosphere I’d come to adore. There were people everywhere, hollering and whooping and generally having the time of their lives. From every doorway spilled live music (special shout out to the band at Razzoo Bar for their amazing MJ medley!) and guys, you could take your drinks in a “go cup” and wander the streets! That evening we tried the famous Hand Grenade, and all I can say is Yow. Za.

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(NOTE: Green shirt guy wins the prize for Best Photo Bomb Ever, obvs)

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(NOTE: See Our Tez with that two-hander situation? Profesh.)

Our last hurrah was eating at The Gumbo Shop, where I had my first taste of crawfish etouffé, a rich and delectable stew served with rice. The food was incredible, and we had the opportunity to gaze at yet more fine figures of Southern men (apparently New Orleans just insists on hot employees at all times). We later stumbled upon an awesome gay bar, where there was a drag show on! I love the hell out of drag queens (I hope to be one someday) and I screamed myself hoarse with delight! Those ladies were made up and dressed for the Gawds, honey. Of course we ended up on stage…

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And then much too soon, it was time to leave. I wanted to drink in every sight, every smell, every second of those few days. New Orleans has stolen my heart. I adored those Southern accents, and my new favourite phrase is the greeting “How yo’ Mama n’em?” closely followed by “Who dat?” I kept noticing signs saying “Shops Dat Way” and “We Will Ship Dat” When I asked KP about it, she explained dat (see what I did there) this everyday phrase actually originates from a New Orleans Saints football chant: “Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?”

I loved everything about New Orleans- the famous Southern hospitality is very much alive and well. I couldn’t believe how charming and polite everyone was, how flirtatious the vibe was (men of London please take note, for the love of God). It goes without saying that the food and music were phenomenal, but it goes much deeper than that. There is such a beautiful sense of history in those streets; the crumbling but still-proud buildings, those timeless jazz melodies. There’s just something about that this place that puts a spell on you.

New Orleans, I will be back. You can believe dat.

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Love,
Adjpants

Pssst! Look out for the next stop on our USA adventure coming soon!