Admittedly I’ve been eager to explore New York since my youth. Having first visited during the Labour Day carnival at either four or five years old, it was my first real memory of being abroad. My great granddad, hip as he was, living it up in the trendy streets of Brooklyn and mother and I watching the bacchanlists pass by.
It was only natural I find myself back in NY 19 years later, itching for exploration. The second I landed, I felt at home it was the strangest feeling. I almost felt as though my mother would be waiting for us at the flat. We arrived at our humble abode and I thought to myself, okay so this’ll be the place I write my memoirs, the place where all my creativity comes to light.
The days passed by and I fell more and more in love with the city, I was a local… a New Yorker. The trip became very real for me the second I visited the set of Carrie Bradshaw’s faux upper west side home. In that moment I sort of ‘found’ myself. A surreal experience to say the least, I never for a moment thought that the set of TV show (though admittedly, a TV show I’ve obsessed over my whole life) would affect me the way it did. And so I twirled, I mean what else was there to do but an overdramatic Bradshawesque twirl!
Being that I’m lactose intolerant and the streets of New York are literally paved with cheese and $1-a-slice-pizza, I thought it’d be incredibly difficult to eat in the US. But hey, it turns out New Yorkers cater widely to vegans which in turn, caters to those of us intolerant to cheese. Genius really. Ice cream? Sure thing, will take three scoops of the vegan kind thanks. $1 humongous fruit pots for snacking? Yes, please I’ll have the strawbs, pineapples and kiwis ta’. I was in absolute food nirvana, and quite literally ate my weight in all US food establishments. Oh and don’t even get me started on Whole Foods, it’s almost as if heaven literally birthed a supermarket.
Now, you’re probably thinking “okay so if the food was so great, where’s the photographic evidence?” and honestly I would love to share photos of the food with the internet but the truth is, well… I ate it. In record time might I add.
Yes, it’s true my feet bled all day exploring every crevice of New York but I wasn’t about to stop, not for one second. Each corner housed a cool vintage pop-up, a quirky food place, a kitch bar or most importantly a (vegan) ice-cream van. Times Square, Ground Zero, the Empire State building, Rockefeller Centre, Liberty Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Flat Iron Building – basically if you can name it, we did it. Although our days began at 9am and ended at 10pm we lived for every. single. second. Well I mean, I did.
NYFW is possibly the most exciting collection of events, even if you aren’t invited to any of the shows. Celebrity sightings, fabulous garments and fashionable people from street to street – I mean, what’s not to love, eh? Fortunately for the team and I, we were invited to a few shows and even attended the finale filming of the hit show Project Runway.
Oh and did I mention I saw Rihanna in the flesh just swanning around town? Thought I’d slip that in there. Well, when I say swanning around I really mean that she instagrammed her whereabouts and we relentlessly stalked her until we saw her walk into Bergdorfs Goodman past her screaming fans. But that’s pretty much the same thing…
The emotions I felt when we arrived back in London, and then again when I entered my room were instant, I was and still am heartbroken. It’s like Carrie says in episode 700920 of SATC, ‘I’m in a relationship with New York’ and to leave her behind was utter torture. Truth be told the concrete jungle stole my heart.
Alas, I’ll be home soon. Home to you, and home to Lady Liberty.