3 May 2012

New York City Review: Part 1 Overview

Why I wanted to go to NYC?

I have always wondered what America is really like. I know that it is a very large country and that going to just one city in one state is not going to give me a real feel for American culture but it’s a start, and you have to start somewhere, right? In the last year or so my desire to visit the US became more prevalent and after running through all sorts of trip ideas, I decided to start with a long weekend in NYC. I chose NYC as it is the one place in the US that everyone I know has been to and loved. It hasn't made a difference if they are young or old, what job they have or what their personalities are like. All have said that it is one of their favourite places and somewhere that they want to return.

On a more personal level, I had wanted to spread my wings a little more and I knew I would have to take a leap of faith and go. It was the first time that I had travelled overseas alone (wasn’t meeting anyone) and my second solo holiday.

What my over-active imagination thought it might be like.

I have probably watched too many movies, and read too many books and spent far too much time daydreaming about places that I may never even visit. But I did do some research before I went to America:
·         I asked friends what they had thought of NYC
·         I asked them what three pieces of information they thought were most important
·         I read tripadvisor about a gazillion times
·         I visited travel forums and websites like Lonely Planets Thorn Tree and Virtual Tourist.
·         I googled blogs
·         I read guide books

I became quite obsessive about the whole thing if I am honest. I just don’t like surprises. I like to know. I like to be prepared. Seeing as I was travelling alone and I wasn’t meeting anyone there I was feeling very anxious about it. If I had still been in my twenties I wouldn’t have cared, but as you get older it can be increasingly more difficult to spark up conversations with strangers. So there was the imminent threat of being completely alone in a city of millions. I may have been slightly melodramatic about this but we all have our insecurities, I suppose. 

Ideally I had wanted to find a blog written by a thirty-something who had been to NYC alone for a long weekend and they had never been before and it was their first trip to America and I wanted there to be details and not just the standard…

…these are all great but I was OBSESSED and I wanted DETAILS so I could morph fully into the out and out control freak that I was slowly turning into AND I wanted it to have been written in the last 6 months. I guess I wanted to read ‘my’ review before I went. I wanted to know that it would be OK.

Anyway, after all of this research I had been left with the following impression, that;

·         Immigration is a nightmare
·         Don’t expect manners
·         The food portions will feed a family of four
·         Everyone is friendly
·         Take an umbrella
·         It will be amazing
·         Everything is huge

When this was interpreted in my head, I then expected;

·         To be interrogated at immigration until I broke down, to have to go through the body scanner, and suffer the further humiliation of a cavity search and to see more guns.
·         To be shoved, no pleases, no thank yous and no bless yous.
·         To have so much food in one meal that I wouldn’t need to eat for the rest of the holiday, and   it would be elaborate, and almost every ingredient in the one dish.
·         Everyone would be laughing, and hug you all the time, and smile a lot and want to get to know you.
·         That I would spend a fair amount of time in the rain, running in and out of coffee shops, restaurants and theatres.
·         That I would spend a lot of time open-mouthed gazing at how different everything was, and how shiny, and how stupefying.
·         I would have to make sure that I didn’t look up (I have a nervous disposition around tall buildings) and that I might not see sky for the whole weekend – because the skyscrapers will have blocked it out of course.

What it was actually like (in pictures).

Further details on what I discovered about NYC will be revealed in the blog posts that follow.

Check back Tomorrow for Part 2 of the New York City Review Series which is all about 



  1. Yea! Your first trip report! I'm so excited!!

  2. I visited NYC back last year and was very impressed. The place where the Twin Towers was was very humbling to look at, many people were there yet on a word was spoken , each with their own private thoughts I suppose,

    Enjoyed your view of New York and I recall the photo's you showed.

    1. NYC was good, eye opening and it has something that appeals to everyone.

  3. I love NYC!

    Enjoyed your report. I'm looking forward to more!

    1. How did I not see this comment back in May Dana? I hope you did enjoy the rest of the posts that I am now re-reading.


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