So, I’ve just recently returned from the best weekend to my official new favorite place, NYC. New York has always been appealing but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve really wanted to go there, and even then it always seemed like a place I’d never get to see. But now I’m living just over an hour away by train for a few months so it’s easily accessible. Life, eh? Anyway, now I’ve finally been and oh my god what a place it is! Several times during the weekend I had to stop, take a deep breath, compose myself and remind myself that I was here in the city that so many only ever dream about. I wasn’t watching it through a screen, I was seeing it with my own eyes. As cheesey as this sounds I don’t recall ever falling so hard for a place before.
We took the train from Poughkeepsie at 7 and finally got off at Grand Central Terminal at around 9 (of course we were on the slow train!). From there we walked to Times Square. It was dark so my first proper experience of it was of it in all its illuminated, flashy glory. We battled our way through the Friday night crowds, stopping occasionally to take photos, and eventually made it to the famous red steps. The views from those steps, looking all the way down Times Square, were phenomenal and the pictures I took just don’t do it justice.
We got a few minutes on the steps before the police started clearing everyone off by telling them they needed repairing. We were slightly worried until one of the cops told us, laughing, that they only needed cleaning but they wanted to make everyone think there was something wrong. Who says Americans don’t have a sense of humor? 😉
From there we walked down Broadway to Ellen’s stardust diner, the home of the famous singing waitstaff. It was around ten when we first got there and we were first in line, but when we left the line was all the way down the street. It really is the city that never sleeps! We’d already eaten at camp before we left so we only had dessert (a brownie mudslide sundae in case you’re wondering. And yes it was as good as it sounds). We’d had quite a few people recommend this place, and whilst I certainly do recommend it too as its a great, high energy, fun place to go, it’s also quite sad knowing that these amazing singers are working in a diner instead of on the Broadway stage.
After we’d eaten we got the subway to our (surprisingly very nice) hostel. The first night in the hostel was an experience in itself; first they tell us we’ve booked into a male dorm and don’t move us, then we’d been in bed for around 15 minutes when we heard a weird beeping sound. We all put this down to a truck reversing outside as it wasn’t loud enough to be a fire alarm, but soon realized we were wrong when we heard an announcement to evacuate as it was a fire alarm. We ended up standing on the street, me in my socks with my leggings and phone charger in hand (at least I know I grab the essentials in an emergency) at 12:30 in the morning. All I’m saying is, Hostelling international USA you need louder fire alarms that actually sound like fire alarms!
Aside from that it was a great first night in NYC.
Highlights: •Seeing Times Square from the stairs. Those views mixed with the atmosphere of the place are extraordinary.
•Ellen’s diner. The staff are amazing singers and the sundaes are so, so good!
•Having wifi in the hostel. After being at camp for this long using the Internet in bed is a luxury.
Lows: •Subway stations. Nobody warned me stepping into a subway station felt like stepping onto the sun!
•Rushing out of bed, on the top floor of the hostel, because of a dodgy fire alarm.