So finally, we are on our big trip. Yes, you know the one I haven’t stopped talking about, especially over November and December. For those I drove insane, apologies. But you have to understand one thing about me. By nature, I am a free spirit and travelling is one of the things in my life that completely and utterly nurtures and respects that. I love Melbourne, but I cannot ignore the fact that when I am away I feel free and I am completely inspired-and the lead up to that makes me all excited like. If I had the money and the time and I could bundle up my friends and family with me, I just think that maybe I could travel for the rest of my life. But you know, travelling doesn’t always have to mean going far away, just to someplace else……..
But that big jumbo jet flew through cotton wool skies and over silky water spans till we were in the city that truly never sleeps. This was my second time in New York and I gotta say, I love it even more. There is something about when you touch down and put on your wooly jacket expecting to get sleet, but you get snow. So there, I said it, I love Winter in NYC. I know most actual New Yorkers couldn’t think of any thing worse than a wintery wonderland in their local area. I admit, the masses of crowds are unbearable over the holiday period. Just be smart and don’t do what we did and decide to check out the Christmas tree at Rockefeller centre on Xmas eve or in general travel anywhere at peak hour, then you should be fine. If you’re claustrophobic, then it’s your worst nightmare, so choose a remote beach. But if you like to drink mulled wine while watching ice skaters and reruns of Home Alone in Bryant park, then this is your place.
I say work out the top things you want to do and work from there. I mean everyone has their list right? You know the one with all the places you gotta go and see and eat and drink at. To be honest, if we did all of that, we would be there till next Xmas. We did try, don’t get me wrong. We drank cocktails at the Whythe hotel in Brooklyn-Viewing Manhattan from the other side of the island is damn beautiful, especially while sipping on cocktails made just for us. Or having some nibbles and drinks at cafe Mogador down the road. Checking out a NBA game and deciding that we were going to barrack for our recently adopted Brooklyn nets but then being totally ok that they lost. Eating fancy hot dogs at a cocktails bar called ‘Please Don’t Tell’ that to enter you have to go through a phone box in a different hotdog joint. Or what about seeing Thievery Corporation at Webster hall, hands down best gig I’ve been too (maybe it’s cause all the guest singers could be there) -it was hell good and I got hell drunk.
Being total tourists we had oysters at Grand Central Oyster bar with Jimi who has worked there for 35 years serving the freshest of delicacies, or having the biggest pastrami sandwich and potato laskes at Katz deli, Time square at night, walking the Brooklyn bridge, the Harlem gospel choir at BB Kings Blues Bar, the Statue of Liberty boat ride, MOMA, I mean the list can go on or on the weirder side, seeing ‘Sleep no more’ – a Macbeth interpretation alike to eyes wide shut, that I absolutely loved, but yet was bewildered by, something that you really have to see for yourself……..
But you know what, it’s the small stuff that makes me the happiest. It’s that taking it all in moment.
I was watching the owner at the Great Jones Cafe off Bowery St in NYC ( a fav of You Am I), it was a full house, people were laughing and sharing stories and in that moment, he was real happy. I will never know exactly what he was thinking, but he was wearing a smile over something small. I get these moments, I feel them all the time. They make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me grateful. A smile from a stranger on the street, an old song on the radio that wasn’t from my time, but I appreciate its value, a perfect winters day, catching up with a friend that you haven’t seen in over 7 years and it being just the same, trying a new drink but you still can’t pronounce it, a laugh with friends, looking at your partner and smiling over something you both just saw but don’t need to say, a film you cry over, a kiss that was unexpected, when someone tells you they love you and they truly mean it. That’s the stuff that makes me truly free spirited and at the end of the day I don’t have to travel across the globe for that either. So take the time to take it all in over this holiday period and don’t be so busy that you miss all of this cause it is it the most special. Xx