I am way behind in telling you all about my trip, aren't I? If you follow me on twitter, however http://twitter.com/SairzBillington
or are my bud on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SarahBillington
then you have probably been inundated with the randomness of goings on in my neck of the woods of late.
Like walking past a guy wearing a tee shirt, sneakers, and a BABY'S NAPPY. And then when I crossed the road I discovered I was walking behind a dude wearing a grown-up sized baby's one piece. With the poo flap and everything. It was baby blue. The whole one piece I mean. Not just the poo flap.
And the other day, just sitting outside the student union at my university here in Leeds who walked past? Just a bunch of about 15 young men wearing nun's habits. And some of them were wearing the ones from costume shops, you know, the SEXY nun type. I'm talking about really short skirts.
It really is quite random here. But awfully entertaining.
Ooh! And my History tutor/professor (I think he's also a DOCTOR) is the exact stereotype of a History Professor. The older gentleman with white hair, tweed suits (I think he might be missing the patches on the elbows though) and a briefcase. And of course a posh british accent, but considering I'm in Britain that shouldn't be THAT surprising.
But back to New York!
Okay, so Boston had been a total bust and I was still wearing the cursed voodoo bracelet and my flight was delayed, and then I had to wait an hour and a half for the shuttle bus to FINALLY arrive at JFK to take me to the hostel. I got to the hostel at 11:30pm and they were changing shifts and I had to sit and wait for half an hour while the chick counted her till and left, and the guy taking over (who I didn't realise was the guy taking over when he was just hanging out talking to people) finally finished his can of coke and came over to count HIS till and check me in. They were not helpful people at this hostel. I was bloody exhausted and emotional cos all of my communication devices had been possessed by the devil whilst in America, and were not allowing me to call anyone nor text them. I couldn't call Eleanor and tell her I was going to be late. I couldn't call the hostel to find out where exactly they were (Eleanor had those details) and I couldn't even call home to my family to just vent about what a sucky time I was having.
So I got into the room which was maybe 2 metres wide with 2 bunk beds in it, and 3 sleeping people. With nowhere to put my luggage and nowhere to put my feet that wasn't extremely painful to get up to the top bunk, I was clearly not in love with this hostel. And apparently, we were in the wrong room (hadn't heard THAT one before) and would have to check out the next morning and be put into the correct room we had booked. Which was one of us in a mixed dorm and the other of us in a female dorm. Why, WHY would we have split ourselves up?
After taking our luggage down to the storage room (cos we were "Checking out") The next morning Eleanor went for a walk in Central Park bright and early, we both HAD to get out of there, and I scoured the internet for some other accomodation. I found a Boutique B&B on 22nd Street that had a room. It was going to be more expensive but I did. not. care.
I went out too - with no way of contacting Eleanor - and discovered just how awesome the NYC subway is.
In general, New York City is as you expect:
(Yes I took that photo) and even though it's a city and a pretty intense one at that, and I've become a bit of a country loving girl - I really liked NYC!
I went on an NBC Studios tour (Cos I knew Eleanor wouldn't be interested in that) and saw Rockefella Centre. NBC was interesting. Jimmy Fallon's studio is really small. Bummer he was one 2 week hiatus. And Saturday Night Live - there are SO many lights hanging from the ceiling. And audience sizes for these shows are itty bitty. Really cool to be there though. And in the news room, they don't have air conditioning but refrigerated a
ir because air conditioning is moist and that would damage the wicked expensive camera equipment. Interesting stuff, huh? Anyway, I got back in the afternoon, to pick up my luggage. Eleanor had already checked back in. But I was not going to. So that is when we went our separate ways, the end of our journey together which came a couple of days earlier than anticipated, but we were both happy enough with the situation. It took another half an hour and about 5 times of asking to have the luggage store unlocked so I could get my stuff, but FINALLY I was OUT of there and headed down to 22nd.
It was really cute, I think you call them Brownstones?
And the staff were really friendly and helpful unlike SOME I had come across. I had a room with a double bed, a fridge and a sink all to myself (mind you there was about 30cm between the bed and the wall on both sides, but since it was just me it was fine) and I had AIR CONDITIONING as well. A bathroom right outside which was shared but I never saw anyone else on the same floor so essentially it was miney mine mine.
That night is when I took off the voodoo bracelet.
And BECAUSE of taking off the bracelet, New York was great. I did the whole sight seeing thing solo, but I was happy enough to do that. I went on a ferry out to the Statue of Liberty, went up the Empire State Building at night time, I did a bus tour around the island and out to Brooklyn, went to the Natural History Museum, Times Square and Broadway. It was a toss up between Billy Elliot and In the Heights, but I saw In the Heights, which is SUCH an awesome show. And I love HalfTix or whatever they call it, which get you great tickets but way cheaper than if you bought them at the box office.
I bought the soundtrack to the show of In The Heights because that is how awesome it was.
I became a seasoned pro at using the subway, and even took it, my massive suitcase (which I picked up at the greyhound station, where it had been waiting for me for 3 weeks after I sent it on its way from San Francisco) and bulging backpack back to JFK, heading to London via Zurich. Oh - and the people in New York are really nice, too! When getting my suitcase from the Greyhound to the B&B, and when getting EVERYTHING to the airport to the subway which meant up and down flights of stairs, EACH TIME I had a lovely gentleman help me. I didn't have to heave and haul my suitcase. I was offered assistance, thanked them profusely and they went on their way, having done their good dead, and wanting nothing in return for it. I heart New Yorkers. They are amazingly wondersome people.
So yes. The moral of the story is unless you want to live in a world of SUCK do not buy a good luck bracelet from an honest to God voodoo shop in New Orleans unless you are in fact voodoo.
I still have the voodoo bracelet and am actually looking to make an enemy so that I can give them a gift - "wow, pretty bracelet!" and test out the theory. Do YOU hate anyone you'd like me to give the bracelet to?
For now. Next comes Bath, Reading and London, UK! And after that is Various places in Italy, then Leeds, Scarborough and York, UK and what has not yet happened but is definitely on the cards includes Paris, The Lake District, Wales and Edinburgh!
And I totally think I'm attending Zombie-Aid in Manchester. I would LOVE to watch 1000 zombies go on a zombie walk. Sweet. I really wanted to go to The Battle of Hastings in Hastings this weekend (which clashes with the Lake District Trip, and is also a 7 hour trip each way which made me think twice). Don't know what the Battle of Hastings is? Just a couple of hundred men and women in medieval attire reenact the battle of hastings. Bring on sword fights and armour!