Day Number Two
I did spend a little too much time talking about my first day in NYC. But if you’ve been there then you’ll know! The place is too good to shut up about it. Now, I would like to make this one a little shorter and get to the main point of my travels, Canada.
I’m currently in Blue Mountains, Ontario and I went skiing yesterday! So that gives you an idea of where I am now, but I will get back to that soon.
So, my next few days in New York consisted of walking, more walking, more sunsets, getting drunk on margaritas and then being ill for about 48 hours! THE END. Jokes.
My second day I woke up at 4am with that lovely jetlag, I edited a few photos and watched some Netflix stuff and then headed out for Brunch in the Upper West Side. I’d done my research and found a great location! It was minutes from Central Park and boasted it had the best french toast in New York. The place was called ‘Good Enough To Eat‘.
It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. But holy moly it was freezing, hitting the highest temperature of -6.
So I left my apartment, ready to around Uptown Manhattan, and that’s when I noticed the church across the road, it was the most odd looking church I’d ever seen, but I loved it, I couldn’t stop staring at it.
After staring at it for a good ten minutes, I headed for brunch. I was looking around and trying to see if I could find it, then I notice a queue at about 20 meters long across the street. That was my place.
So whilst I stood in the queue and noticed pretty much all of the people were couples on their romantic Sunday morning brunch, I felt like a bit of a dick, especially when the guy asked “Anyone on their own?” and I, the single one, slowly raised my hand and peaked my head out from behind all of the couples, whilst they all turned and stared in my direction. The guy told me to come forward and ushered me into the restaurant, he sat me at the bar and suddenly I felt better. Who gives a crap that I’m on my own? I just cut a 30 minute wait for brunch! This is what it is to travel alone, this is one of the good parts! I get to choose where I want to eat and I get to cut queues.
The bar man gave me coffee, water and a menu. I soon realised that I wanted too much, I wanted everything, so I asked him what I should get. He told me he’s gonna throw a few options in and mix it up so I get to try some different things. He was cute, dark skin, tall and like a big bear, I kinda wanted to cuddle him for being so nice to me. Or maybe its because he had just given me my first coffee of the day, which is basically oxygen to me., Anyhow, we talked for a while in-between him serving other people and he told me about a few more places I should visit whilst I was in the city. Then he brought me my food. Holy moly macaroni! It was gigantic and it looked amazing!
It was called the ‘Lumber Jack’ and was made up of two gigantic pieces of french toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, a side of fruit and a small pot of pink buttery stuff. I tasted it and it was sweet, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with it. The big bar guy quickly told me it was strawberry butter and apparently was one of the reasons people went there. I tried it last and it was too much for me, I could not eat any more! I managed to get through half my food and I had to stop. THEY HAD DEFEATED ME. What hell was this?? Food never defeats me! But here I was not even getting through HALF of my first proper New York brunch. I’d changed.
Anyway, I can’t talk about food forever! But I felt this meal was an important part of my travels and had to be mentioned.
So the rest of my day I spent walking through Central Park, watching an ice skating competition for kids with the backdrop of New Yorks city skyline, I then headed back over to Brooklyn and captured a really beautiful sunset.
By this point I was freezing and needed shelter, so I found a nearby Irish bar, headed in and there was a huge fireplace and a few eager looking irishmen waiting to serve me. That’s pretty much heaven right there for me. So obviously, I stayed the night, drinking my way through the different beers, getting to know strangers, eating chicken wings and finally getting the wrong subway home as I attempted to get Uptown from Brooklyn.
Eventually I did make it home, very proud of myself for finally getting to know the subway, even whilst drunk!
Day Number Three
So the booze had finally sorted my jetlag out, I was able to go to bed at a decent time and wake up at a normal hour! I decided to spend a few hours chilling in the apartment. It was pretty cloudy and dreary outside and I was feeling tired from walking for two days straight and maybe just a little hungover. Eventually I got my ass into gear and headed back into the city.
I wanted to go to East and West village, I spent a lot of time there the last time I was in New York and I loved the areas. So I got the subway so far and then walked the rest. My brother told me to go to Chelsea to walk the ‘High Line’, I’d never even heard of it! It’s basically an old railway that’s built above ground, it’s been turned into a linear park full of vegetation and street art, with amazing city views. I wanted a chilled day and this was certainly the kind of thing I was looking for.
My favourite piece was titled ‘Sleepwalker’ by artist Tony Matelli. The idea is that it questions the extent to which any one of us is ever fully aware of our own surroundings.
The High Line finished in the Meat Packing District, I walked around in the sun and sat and had a beer at one of the many cool cafes in the area.
I then walked on to Washington Square Park, grabbed a slice of pizza and laid on the grass in the sun and read my book. There was a man sitting near me with speakers on and he was playing and singing along to some old soul music from the 50’s (so he told me), his voice was beautiful. The moment was perfect.
After a slow walk around East Village to admire the gorgeous buildings, antique stores and watch the University kids hanging out at coffee shops, I decided to head back home for a rest before I met my friend Lorcan.
Lorcan and I met when we were both travelling around Australia about five years previous to this. I’d spent some time with him last time I was in New York too and I was SO excited to see him again. He told me we were going for Mexican and $5 Margaritas in Hell’s Kitchen, also a few of his friends were coming along.
Well, that’s not a huge lot about that night that I can remember. Just laughing A LOT, drinking A LOT and ending up in a gay bar where RuPaul’s very own ‘Peppermint’ was running the show. I remember sipping on a Manhattan and swiftly heading for the toilet to throw up. 5 hours with my Irish friend and I was done.
I don’t remember much more about the next 24 hours, except that I was viciously ill and I had a terrible migraine. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t move, I was boiling hot and freezing cold at the same time, I couldn’t look at my phone or the TV because the lights hurt my head. I was in agony! So my last 24 hours and Day Number Four of NYC, was spent in bed 🙁
That night I had to pack and get ready for a very early bus journey which would last 14 hours from New York to Toronto, including immigration where I would be collecting my visa. This was kind of an important part. So, I crawled around the room, collecting my belongings and throwing them in my backpack, it took me hours because I was so ill and if I moved to fast I would be back to the bathroom! I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t a fun day.
On my last day I thought I’d arranged to get to the bus station leaving enough time to grab some water and some food (I hadn’t eaten since the Mexican restaurant) and get a good seat on the bus.
No, this was not the case. Nope, not even a little bit. As I sat there in a weird daze on the subway, still with a high temperature and feeling very nauseous with a 30kg backpack on my back, I realised that I only had 20 minutes until my coach left. I didn’t even know where it left from, this was New Yorks main bus station! It suddenly dawned on me that I had not planned this out at all.
At best I would just make the coach, but I’d have no supplies at all. This would be ok if I could just make it.
After arriving there I looked around at the screens trying to find the Toronto one. I saw nothing. I frantically ran for the direction of the main ticket office, but it was 6.55am and I had 5 minutes to find that bus and get on it! With all of my luggage! this man must have seen me standing there like a giant dung beetle, sweating all over the shop and white as a sheep. He asked me if I was going to Toronto and I said yes, he said “This way, quick”, I followed him down one of the tunnel’s and he grabbed my suitcase, then I suddenly thought, what am I doing? Who is this guy? He doesn’t even have a bag, he doesn’t look homeless, but then why is he helping me. That was one part of my brain, the other side was thinking, thank you thank you thank you! I’m saved!
I was lucky, he knew where the bus was, he just wanted $10 in return for getting me there, and I was more than happy to give it to him. He’d saved me ass and he earned it.
I threw my backpack under the bus and got on, and it was packed, full to the brim. One seat was available and she was already asleep, she was on the large side and had taken the majority of my seat already. Now, I am also on the large side and so I kind needed that part. I squeezed in and let my legs dangle into the walkway.
I was so happy to be on the bus I forgot about the fact that I needed water and food. I knew he would stop eventually so I decided to try and sit back and relax and listen to some music, I’d made it on the bus and the next stop was the best part. Toronto.
Then I realised I’d left my headphones at the apartment. Shit.
This was meant to be different to when was 22, but I hadn’t changed a bit! Welcome to my world of travel 🙂