Well New York, it’s time for us to say goodbye. This post has taken me days to write as every time I start I just can’t come up with the words to correctly explain just how incredible this year has been and how devastated I am that it is over. I cry every time I think about it.
Some of you may find this post interesting, some of you may not, some of you may think it is too personal but it is something I need to talk about to keep me sane. I had always heard horror stories about healthcare in America. The cost, the doctors, the mistakes. As part of the visa that I came over on travel insurance is compulsory with your choice of excess between $250, $100 and $0. When deciding which excess I would go with I didn’t think I would get sick and was adamant I wouldn’t get involved in the healthcare system over here because of said horror stories. I chose the $250 excess because it was the cheapest option and thought I would not have to use it. Well, I was an idiot to put it lightly. Always go with the $0 excess when you are going to America and healthcare is extortionate. Always.
Well Summer has ended and Fall is approaching. Personally, I can not wait for Fall. It’s my all time favorite season. The colors, the temperature, the layers of clothing. To me, it is perfection. The temperature is being as stubborn as ever here in New York City and refusing to drop. While I write this from a lovely, air conditioned coffee shop in Brooklyn, it is a sweltering 33 degree Celsius outside. Time to quit my complaining though, because before I know it I will be back in the snow having to deal with -17 degree Celsius days. Just calm down aye New York? I can’t deal with your extreme mood swings.
To try and make the most of these last warm days Will and I decided to tick something off our New York list that we had been meaning to do all Summer. In Central Park there is a large lake where you can hire boats and row yourself round. For a tourist attraction it was surprisingly affordable. You pay $15 for 1 hour + a $20 deposit and then $3 every 15 minutes after the first hour. It ended up costing us $21 in total, which is unheard of for a tourist spot in this city. Rowing around the lake was amazing, although we both got quite sunburnt the views of the gorgeous buildings on the Upper West Side made up for it. Will did most of rowing while I was appointed photographer. I did get to do a little of the rowing and to my own surprise did not make us crash into anything, kill anything or tip us out of the boat. I take that as a huge success!
Hey Y’all and Happy Labour Day! Do you say that on Labour Day? I’m not sure. Anyway, here in America it is Labour Weekend which is considered the ‘official end of summer’. It does not look like those sticky 31 degrees Celsius days are going away anytime soon though. Will and I kicked off our long weekend with a day at Governor’s Island. Governor’s Island is open everyday May 24 through September 28. New York City is surrounded by little islands that come alive during the summer months. Governor’s Island can be found between Brooklyn and the southern tip of Manhattan. 172 acres in size, this island has a vivid history. After having a variety of names, the current name derives from the British Colonial era when the island was reserved for New York royal governors. From being an army base, a prison to being run by the Coast Guard, Governor’s Island is rich in culture.
From 2009 – 2011 I lived in Christchurch, New Zealand. This was pre earthquake. There was and still is something very special about Christchurch. It’s got that small town feel in a big city, well big for New Zealand. While I lived there my favorite place to visit was Lyttelton which is 20 minutes drive from the center of Christchurch. It’s the main port into Canterbury and the township has developed substantially over the years. It has amazing views over the water, cute coffee shops, bars and art stores. I still say it is where I want to retire.
This weekends exploration took place at the glorious Coney Island. There is something quite wonderful about being able to hop on the subway in the city and end up with your toes in the sand. Coney Island is known for it’s boardwalk, beach and amazing amusement park – the Wonder Wheel Ferris Wheel being it’s main fixture.
As you guys know and as I have well vocalised, New York City and I have had a turbulent relationship. A love hate kind if you will. One day she’ll surprise me with a gorgeous street and phenomenal busker at my subway stop. The next she’ll charge me $200+ for a 10 minute doctors appointment and fill that same subway stop with the stench of urine. Then I’ll threaten to leave, pack my bags and head for the door and she’ll quickly change my mind by reminding me why I fell in love with her in the first place. Classic us.
To be honest with you it is quite the miracle that I am home safe and sound writing this. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Because of the constant energy New York has it can get quite tiring and sometimes you need to escape, so Will and I did just that. Before leaving New Zealand I would quite regularly go for hikes in the Waitakere Ranges which was amazing. When we caught the Metro-North train upstate I was expecting hikes of the same beginner-intermediate intensity. Well let me tell you, this shit almost killed me. It was a day filled with wrong turns, mishaps, stunning views and by the end of it extremely sore legs.
Well it is certainly getting hot here in NYC! Today we had a scorcher of 32 degrees. Urgh, it was disgusting. This pasty lady is not meant for sweltering heat. We celebrated Independence Day here in ‘Murica and it was fabulous. My favourite holiday I’ve celebrated here so far. Most New Yorkers leave the city for the long weekend so we made the most of the quiet streets and no lines for restaurants. Ironically my day was spent surrounded by Kiwis rather than Americans. But what a great bunch of Kiwis they are.
I’ve always been obsessed with music. From a young age I’ve always followed certain bands and artists and had a strong knowledge of music. By strong I mean, I know a lot of weird and useless facts about a variety of music. All of which will never come in handy. I can credit this music obsession to my parents and older brother Lawrence, who all had good taste and shared it with me. This love of music came in to full swing at the age of 15 when I discovered Fall Out Boy. Before Fall Out Boy I only listened to music that was easily accessible to me by radio or TV so this meant the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child and The Black Eyed Peas. So ya know, all that cheesy pop stuff. Fall Out Boy introduced me to a whole new side of music, a dedication to music. Not only did I fall in love with Patrick, Joe, Andy and Pete, I fell in love with all these other bands that I discovered through them. I would scour local record stores for CDs by new bands I had discovered, spending every last cent of my limited money. I loved the feeling of coming home putting my new purchase on repeat while reading the sleeve cover to cover. Then late at night I would relentlessly search the internet on MySpace and Last FM to find new music. This was back when it was dial up too so that’s what I mean by a dedication to music. But the fact that I had to wait overnight for an album or a song to download didn’t bother me. I was so excited to get up in the morning and listen to it.
Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Say Anything, Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria, The Academy Is and The Used were all such a huge part of my teenage life and my teenage relationships. Some of my fondest memories are driving in my car with my best friends screaming the lyrics to our favourite songs. These bands shaped who I am today and my love of music. So when it was announced that Fall Out Boy and Paramore would be touring North America together this summer as part of Monumentour it was a no brainer – I had to go. Never mind the fact that it was in Long Island and I had to hire a car to get there. The 15 year old that lives quietly but still very apparent in me got an extra special treat when she saw you could purchase meet and greet packages with your concert ticket. Again, it was a no brainer – I owed it to the girl who used to listen to Fall Out Boy daily, and chat on Fall Out Boy chat rooms (embarrassingly so) daily. The ticket was purchased and off I went. Alone may I point out, I went to this show alone. There’s that dedication to music again.
A writer, explorer, and music enthusiast. This site is where I share my thoughts, aspirations, adventures, and mishaps.