Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
No, let me rephrase that: I heart the non-hungover weekends.
This is because I have a list a MILE long of the shiz I want to do in the time I have here, and if I’m hungover, nothing gets checked off.
Luckily, this weekend I made an effort and managed to do some of those things. Me and Daniel
Whilst sipping a caramel moccachino (no, I don’t know what that is either), we decided we wanted to shop and sightsee. So we started off by getting the PATH to Manhatten and made our first stop, Century 21. Century 21 is like the MOTHER of all discount shops. It’s like TK Maxx on a department store scale. It is, in short, amaze! I had no money to spend on such frivolous things as clothes, it being poor week and all, but I spent a fun couple of hours helping Dan spend his money. He was looking for some jeans. He actually got some coolio Diesel sunglasses, the softest cashmere scarf known to man, a Guess wallet that looks exactly like the man version of my wallet that I got from Tesco’s for like a pound, and did not get some jeans.
Then we were hungry, so we consulted my guide book. It recommended a French Bistro place which was just around the corner. It was called Les Halles. As I was wearing my new beret, we decided French would be appropriate. And I’m glad we went as it was super-duper noice*. The guidebook had recommended the mussels and fries… or moules et frites, so that, my friends, is what I opted for. And im bloody glad I did, they were delish! And we had coffee and it all felt very en francais! What made it even better was that there was ACTUAL love all around.
Boy - that’s bovine actual love, and that is something pretty special if you ask me.
After this, Dan and I took a walk to the highlight of the day… Brooklyn Bridge.
We were there just as some beautiful cracks of afternoon sunlight started to appear through the up-til-now overcast sky. I love looking at the sky at the best of times, its when I feel most alive spiritually; but there was something magical about it on that day. I loved it longtime.
After taking in the view and catching a cold (probably: it was quite windy), we wandered back to Manhatten and had a wander round the little shops in Soho/Tribeca.
I heart NY days.
Dan does too haha!
(*to be said Kath and Kim style)
Friday, November 02, 2007
First off... MASSIVE HUGE MASSIVE APOLOGIES for not posting in such an uber long time. Basically I have spent a bit of time getting into a routine here in New York. I really feel settled here now, like its home. I am no longer a tourist!!
Secondly.. well what have I been up to?? Well lots of things really... I have spent a bit of time chillaxing in Central Park (as mentioned in previous posts)
I've also spent a bit of time messing about at the Museum of Natural History, which is a fascinating place. The photo there is me recreating the classic scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds" haha.
Also, whilst the weather was still warm, we went to visit Little Italy. For part of the Mountbatten syllabus we have to have an architecture tour... and mine was for Little Italy! it was an absolutely BOILING DAY in October, and me and Sam and Dan made our way (hungover!) to Little Italy for the architecture tour... I can't remember a lot of what the guide said as I was too hot and bothered, but basically Little Italy is located where it is because a pond went stagnant down there and none of the rich people wanted to live there because it smelt, so they shoved all the immigrants there. LOVELY!
A lot of Little Italy is lovely, totally different to the huge scale of midtown, plus the food is YUMSCRUM!! That's one of the things I love about Manhattan - each district is totally different in style, feel, atmosphere, and vibe, but yet they all sit happily together on this small island. I hope to do some more in depth exploring of all the districts like I have done here over the year.
I like this building cos of the Italian stripes. We were lucky when we went to Little Italy, because it was Columbus day weekend when we went: the bank holiday where Americans celebrate Columbus happening upon them! And as Columbus was Italian, in Little Italy particularly they go a bit crazy for the guy.. while we were eating lunch they had a parade in his honour which was really fun to see.
So.. talking and showing all those photos all that stuff seems like AGES ago.. I'm really going to make an effort to blog more often!! More recently, the weather in like, literally the last week has suddenly got a lot lot colder. Like its not freezing yet (don't panic mum), but I just mean in comparison to the unusually high temperatures we had been seeing for this time of year, now the temperature feels more autumnal and the leaves are turning finally. The other day, the air was actually 'crisp'! Autumn, or 'fall', is so nice here, I wish I had enough money and time to go to New England where it is supposedly more spectacular, but there's always next year because I can technically stay here til 18th October 2008...
So, we have just had Halloween here... which everyone LOVES over here by the way... it's a proper holiday, like Christmas and stuff, there's loads of parties and all sorts, and everyone goes crazy for dressing up. Like in England people dress up but its always kind of half arsed to be frank... you haven't seen dressing up until you come here!! I went to a costume shop with some friends to get some and it was literally like Calcutta! People were selling their kids just to get the perfect one!! Haha. I went as Britney Spears, as, lets face it, having her for a mum has to be pretty scary hahaha. But I went as her in her hey-day... to two parties. The first was a party thrown by my American colleague Heather. (<---that's her in the picture) This was a pretty fun time, as all my work friends were there. The second party was a week later and was an official Mountbatten party at a club. Before we all made our way there tho, one of my friends, Dan (aka Teenwolf haha) threw a pre-party party at his apartment, which they had decorated for the occasion... it looked fantastic.. and everyone had made such an effort with the costumes. It was a really good night!!
Yesterday which was actual Halloween, on which they have a parade downtown, I had class. Which was a bit lame! But as soon as class was over, me and my friend Penny made our way down there, and managed to catch the tail end of it. It seemed like good fun.
So, my first American holiday, and my first American Halloween experience, all in all, I have to say I prefer the way they do it over here, you can never have too many excuses to dress up and have fun now can you?!?!? Although it is weird to think that I wont be celebrating Bonfire Night this year. But I guess I have Thanksgiving to look forward to instead!
Happy HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEN everyone!!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I especially wanted to blog about today simply because it was such a nice one. I have so many photos, but I haven't managed to find a way to upload them without owning a computer yet. I think I'm gonna ask one of my housemates if they mind me doing it on theirs until I have my own, hopefully they wont mind!
Well firstly, this week in general, work has been great, I'm really busy but in a good way, I think my bosses are pleased with what I'm doing, and Julie (one of them) said that she wants me to be able to go home next year not putting 'project assistant' on my CV, but that I'll have learnt and done so much that i can put 'project coordinator' so that's cool. I went out to lunch with Julie and Pat (my other boss) on Friday to another really nice restaurant, Italian this time.
Also, we had our first lecture on Tuesday, on the American Constitution, cos we're doing the history module at the moment, I found it very interesting! I think I'm going to enjoy this part. I haven't done an awful lot more as I was very poor, but it was nice to have a few days chilling in the apartment. Loads of new series of stuff as started this week on TV, the new Heroes, the new Ugly Betty, the new America's Next Top Model, the new Desperate Housewives is tomorrow, so I'm gonna be all clued up before anyone at home! Even though I haven't done a lot as well, it's nice just walking from the PATH station to work and back. I love just walking in New York in general, and there's so many different areas, each one has it's own atmosphere and vibe and there's always something to take your breath away. I feel so inspired by this city, more than I have ever felt anywhere else. At the risk of sounding incredibly cheeseXcore(!) I feel like I really 'get' New York, and more importantly, that it really 'gets' me too. I feel like I'm really alive here.
On Friday we all got our first paycheck so everyone was in the mood for a bit of a celebration! We headed out to a bar downtown called Madame X. It sounds filthy but really it was just a regular bar, with a really nice little beer garden with fairy lights! Then we moved on to a dive type bar for a few more cheap drinks called The Peculiar Pub... and then some of us ended up at this house club, it was a pretty cool night and very funny at times!
Today is what I really want to talk about tho. I woke up feeling a little hungover but not hugely. And it was such a gorgeous day so after lunch me and my friends, Zoe, Julia, Jenny, Russell and Tom took a fun trip to Central Park. We had the idea that we were gonna hire some bikes and cycle round, but when we got there at about 3.30 they only had two left. So instead we decided to go to the lake and hire two boats out. It was so fun, I had a boat with Russell and Tom, and they took it in turns rowing at first cos I'd never done it before and so I was on camera duty. But then I decided I wanted a go and I turned out to be better than both of them! FYI, Central Park is the best thing ever! It's crazy, there's all this city and then suddenly it stops and your totally at peace in this amazing nature playground. I don't know what I was expecting, like some kind of really big field with a few fountains I guess, but it's amazing! It's like really hilly and rocky and grassy and lots and lots of trees, and ponds and lakes and horses and cyclists and taxi cabs and merry-go-rounds and the paths all go over and under each other. It's just so so pretty as well.
After that we walked back onto 7th and got coffee and cheesecake at a deli... the hugest slices ever! Then we went back home and decided to go to see our first American movie. One bad thing about America, and pretty much the first really bad thing I've been disappointed with (the second one being supermarket food), was the fact that they don't do sweet popcorn in movie theatres. It's butter or nothing and then there's a squirty pump that lets you pour what is supposedly butter sauce but is really just this oily gloop all over your already shit popcorn. Yuck. Luckily the film we went to see was AMAZE, I actually cried at one point I was laughing so hard. it was 'SuperBad' and I know a lot of people at home have probably seen it already because I think its been out for a while, but for some reason it must've totally passed me by. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, see it - it's SO FUNNY if you like that kind of stupid comedy. And I do. I am McLovin.
Sooo, I am really beat from writing this... its like 1.30 in the am... I think we're gonna try and get to a beach tomorrow on long island, but we'll see what time we get up!
ACTUAL LOVE (often mistaken for arthritis... don't ask) to everyone at home, love love xxxx
Monday, September 24, 2007
So, my apartment. Well, it was a bit of a state when we moved in last Sunday, but we've cleaned it up a treat now and it's looking good... no cockroaches yet!! My roommates are really nice, and clean which is good!
This weekend was really cool, I took the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty which was very exciting, I took a lot of pictures. Then we went for a wander through Battery Park. I got a bit freaked out by the fake Statue of Liberty people. They are just people dressed up as the Statue of Liberty and you can have your picture taken with them, but mostly they are just weird! Also there, was a cool water feature that I ran through cos it was so hot... and on a more serious note, there was a memorial for 9/11, a sculpture that used to be in the WTC has been placed there as a memorial, you can see where it was damaged in the attack... its quite sad. Also a pigeon had pooed all on it which mad me even sadder. Those pesky pigeons.
Then we took the subway up to Union Square which is really cool lots of nice shops. And I bought some brand new ghd's to replace my poor old broken ones. They work in both the US and the UK, so all is good. Then that evening it was some Mountbatten's birthday called Ashley and he'd got us all on the guest list for this club called Hiro. It was really cool because it was the place where they filmed the main fight sequence in Kill Bill. Awesome.
On Sunday I just stayed around Newport NJ, which is where I live. It was a mega mega mega hot day (as it has been today), so I went and had lunch with some friends, and then we checked out the local mall, which is MASSIVE, and then sat by the harbour for about half an hour, its really very nice, with a good view of downtown Manhattan.
Now, moving on to the subject of back at home... I didn't understand a word of Nanny Joan's comment, but I did gather that she was drunk... I think I take after her because I have drunk soooo much this week ha ha ha. Especially on Thursday night, because it was happy hour, $3 wine between 7 and 8. Bonus! I think it will all die down a bit from here on in as people get more settled into work and stuff. And also because everyone has run out of money! Pay day on Friday, yay!
Hope everyone is good, I have to run now cos I have no time left on this computer.
Miss you all xxxxxx
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Well, at the risk of offending everyone at home... it's just amazing. I've fallen so hard for this city already... maybe I am in the heady first stages of romance when everything seems fantastic and I've yet to discover it's bad habits... but I'm loving it!
Since I last blogged... on Tuesday, which was of course an important day for New York, being the anniversary of 9/11... after our last day of orientation, me and a couple of other friends of mine decided to make our first attempt at navigating the subway downtown to visit ground zero. I thought it was important that we go... but it was difficult... there were many people there who were obviously and understandably very upset... grown men in tears and such... but there were a lot of other people there taking pictures and stuff, and I kind of felt a bit a like a fraud... a tourist of their grief. I hope that this time next year, I feel more a part of the occasion and that I have more of a right to go there to pay my respects.
the next day, I had my first day at actual work. I'm working on Lexington Avenue, which is on the east side, in mid-town. The intern that I'm replacing, Anna, came to pick me up from the hotel where I'm staying and walked me there. My job sounds very exciting. There is a lot of jargon that I haven't got my head round yet... but the actual practical stuff I will be doing: coordinating meetings, writing important documents, and such... it all sounds great and as though I will be given a lot of responsibility, so it's all good.
Anna has been great... it was her last day today and my boss Julie took me and her out to lunch at a very swish restaurant... all paid for! It was a North Western American cuisine restaurant called Wild Salmon: like Alaskan type food... all fresh fish, but totally yummy! Julie is really really nice as well, she made us have wine, so she's the kind of boss I can get on with!
Later on this afternoon, we had like a departmental "party" to say goodbye to Anna and hello to me. Julie had gone and got cheesecake from this bakery... again yummy.
Just a little side note about food. It's true what they say... portions are HEAUGE here! And for very reasonable prices. I end up eating loads for lunch, and thinking, OK I'll only order something small like a starter for dinner (we're staying in a hotel at the mo so it's all eating out) but the starters are mahoosive too!! I'm gonna have to clock in some serious gym hours unless I want to come home the size of the Empire State Building.
Oh oh... I also got my "cell" yesterday, and then saw a giant m&m walking down the "sidewalk".
Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. I'm so New York right now... haha!
P.S. Loving the comments guys... keep it coming
P.P.S I will get a laptop asap, and then I can get on the Internet more often and get photos up and stuff..
P.P.P.S. No matter how much I love NY... Times Square can't shine as bright as you guys at home... miss you all xxxx
Monday, September 10, 2007
My first actual blog from actual New York actually!! It's so humid here, It's unreal... I'm sweating buckets... I'm not sure of the actual temperature today, but I know yesterday it was like 28 degrees C. But It's kind of muggy hot... and it's been raining a bit today, but I haven't been caught out in it...
ANYWAY... I'm sure everyone is ecstatic to know that I made it!! Saying goodbye to everyone on Sunday morning was the most crying I have done in my whole life! And I had to go through security with a huge puffy face!! But all that had to go to the back of my mind when I realised on the other side of security, I had obviously spent far too long saying goodbye because it was the last call for my flight!!! I ran like some kind of crazed loon to get to the departure gate in time... and obviously I did. I was still feeling a bit sad, but then I found out I was sitting next to a really nice girl called Sam... also on Mountbatten...
I'm now going to take a moment to say... VIRGIN IS AMAZE.... seriously, the in-flight entertainment and food was proper bo... I had such a good time on the old flight... theeeeen when it was time for landing, I was glad I chose the seat I did, it was right by the window and I could see New York as we came in to land; it was unforgettable...
We got to the hotel which is not too shabby thank you very much, just round the corner from the empire state building... and I am sharing with some nice girls.
So... to today... we had our first orientation day... which basically involved being told our address for when we get our proper apartments on sunday and stuff like that.. we had a funny talk from a proper NYC cop... she was cool. We also had a kind of getting to know you sesh... everyone seems really nice and I'm excited for moving into my proper home for the year...
So since about half past three we have been free to wander and I have been hanging around with a girl called Zoe, and a guy called Sam who are both working at the same place as me.... we went to Times Square.. had a drink... then we decided to have a wander with the vague idea of finding some hair straighteners!! Went to Macy's!!! It's really cool like Selfridges but in New York... ummm then wandered past the Empire State Building and now I'm in the Mountbatten offices which are opposite Grand Central Station and very close to the Chrysler Building... because they have free internet access for us guys...
Tomorrow we are sorting out financial stuff and things like that... but I think tonight we are going out for some food, cos it all looks amazing...
More to come soon... miss you all lots and lots. And SOMEONE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD COMMENT!!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
This week has been so emo it's unreal... I'm going to miss everyone so much. I've cried far too many times for my liking!! I had my leaving party last night and, apart from drunkenly physically assaulting Toby, it was fun! I would upload the photos here but I've put them up on facebook instead because I'm just too damn tired to do it here. So check it out if you are cool enough to belong to such a social networking site!
Hopefully the next time I post on here I will actually be in NEW YORK... so things will get a lot more exciting... keep reading to find out what my housemates are like and my job and general adventure type stuff too...
Oh and just to let you know, PLEASE comment on here so I know it's being read, it's nice to know I'm not talking to a brick wall... you have register for a googlemail account but its really not all that hard.. do it.
OK, I'm actually typing and my head is getting lower and lower... I'm really just pretty much dribbling on the keyboard right now so I think I should go and get some sleeeeep...
Thanks for everyone who came and made the effort to see me or get in touch with me before I left... it meant a whole bunch, and I love you all very much
Friday, August 31, 2007
Mainly I'm blogging today to say that I have just booked my flight for the 9th. It's leaving at 16.00 UK time and arriving at Newark airport at 18.40 NY time. Its with Virgin, apparently they do the best movies... but I wouldn't know having never flown long haul before!!! arrrrgghhh
So, I have just over a week to go, and I have a whole pantload of stuff to do before take-off...
Today, I knocked a few things off that list. I got up early and went to the bank. I called the people at my current job who think I am still in France on holiday, and don't know I came back a week early! They were so nice about me leaving so I'm really happy about that cos I was starting to worry a little bit.
Also today, Nanny Joan and Grandad Terry came to visit for lunch which was nice, but I'll see them next weekend before I go too.
Ooh, the other thing I can check off is the getting of a visa... I had my visa interview at the US Embassy, which was 'citing.... I met a few people doing the same thing as me, which was cool.. and I got to go to Selfridges after which was even cooler. Haha. Only trouble is I am too poor to buy the many things I wanted.
The only thing left to say today, is that Mum and Dad are coming back from France tomorrow so that means that I need to get some washing done before then...
Oh the banality...
I promise it will get better hahaha