My trips to the city were fewer in second semester, the whole travelling the country for 6 weeks (starting on Tuesday!) kind of got in the way of my being able to spend money. At least after spring break.
Before, though, the trips to the city happened in the concentrated block of February: a mid-week Mumford and Sons gig in Brooklyn, a 4 day visit from my older brother letting me stay in a hotel for once and then a weekend in Chelsea walking and eating with a friend before high-tailing it back to Albany to see the ever amazing Frank Turner the first weekend in March. It was a pretty fantastic few weeks.
When my brother came to visit, I was back to seeing the city through its tourist attractions. It’s true, no matter how close by I might live and how many times I visit I always will be a tourist in New York (though the guy who worked at the Rockefeller Centre did call me a New Yorker) but it had been a while since I climbed something high and went to the museums. That’s what’s so fantastic about New York: the tourist traps are as amazing as the rest of the city. It’s a good time whatever you’re doing and wherever you are. Even In freezing February.
I also ticked off a few New York firsts with my brother, most notably Broadway. It was everything I’d always wanted from the city and the Christmas present I’d asked my parents for. We went to see Newsies to see something we wouldn’t get back home or on the West End and it was fantastic. A real American musical, so much fun to watch and so catchy! We made it even more American by eating burgers and sweet potato fries across the street before the show. In fact, the entire weekend was a mash up of classic America foods with breakfast in IHOP, hot dogs in Central Park and pizza in Little Italy.
The next weekend I was back for 2 nights with Marie to walk around the city and, again, to eat. From dinner in Greenwich village to Cake, the Best Cookies In New York at Levine Bakery and the supposedly best but a little disappointing pizza in Brooklyn. Our first day we walked all through Chelsea market and all over Bleeker Street and Greenwich Village and the next day hit Central Park and Prospect Park and all over Brooklyn. How easily you can walk all over the city is what I love about New York, even if you realise once you sit down that walking for four hours non stop is really tiring. The great thing was we didn’t have to make this realisation until we were happily ensconced in a small, quirky Brooklyn bar chatting to the waitress and drinking Magners. Perfection.
I’ll only go back to the city one more time now before I leave and I know I’ll miss having it on my doorstep. I have 3 days left to explore and discover new areas (staying in Queens this time) and to be a tourist who sort-of knows the way around now. Or at least consults the map less often. But if I’m honest in that I chose my exchange university for its proximity to NYC then I definitely chose right. It’ll be a nice round 10 trips after June and that should be enough to keep me going until I have money to travel again, and maybe one day I’ll work or study and stay a little longer.
See you in June, New York. It’s been fun. We deserve these last few days together.