That’s it, it’s all over. Another year and another decade, gone. I’ll be posting my annual goals post next week as who on earth starts their New Years Resolutions on a Wednesday anyway? Here’s last year’s if you fancy a gander.
But with another month over, means another month closer to the date that I leave New York. The past four months have been nothing but amazing and I wish I could re-live 2019 all over again.
But 2020 is going to be spent with 8-9 more months in the US and then God knows where afterwards. I’ll be visiting home at some point in the last few months of the year but hopefully moving on to another new city and new PR job. Here’s hoping anyway.
But first I’ll be looking back at the last month of 2019 and the last 31 days in New York. I did a lot in the month of December and spent way too much money that means my January will be very, very quiet. I embraced everything Christmassy that the city had to offer and even ticked off another state before the year was out.
Here’s all that I got up to in December:
The build up to Christmas
I guess I may as well start with the main event of the month of December. New York City is something else at Christmas time and it didn’t take long to fill with droves of tourists rushing about everywhere.
It got pretty cold at one point but I think that’s only a small sign of what’s to come in January and February. I made a list of the top five things to do at Christmas in New York last week if you’re planning to make a visit at any point.
Whatever was happening in the city regarding Christmas, I did my best to make sure I was there. I saw the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller tree about ten times, the Sak’s Christmas lights, visited Dyker Heights in Brooklyn (think Deck the Halls movie with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger), went to a super Christmassy carol service in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and of course, did the 12 pubs of Christmas in the Lower East side.
Because what’s Christmas without 12 pubs, right?
Theater and Sport
I managed to see two shows on Broadway shows this month, my first Broadway shows ever. If you followed my blog when I was living in London then you’ll know how much I love the theater and that there’s not much that I haven’t seen on stage. (Ten West End shows blog post pending).
I ticked off a huge Bucket List show when I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the beginning of the month. It was honestly phenomenal. I have no idea how they staged the magic but for a few hours, I was starting to believe magic may in fact be real. I would 1000% recommend, even though there’s no singing involved.
The second show I went to see was Aladdin. I’ve never seen it on the West End and didn’t really have any intention to see it on Broadway but I entered the ticket lottery for it online and first go, I got two tickets for $30 each. Our seats were second row from the front on the first balcony, so couldn’t have asked for better.
I wouldn’t go rushing back to see it, but it’s definitely a show geared towards a younger audience and the Whole New World scene was stunning.
I only made it to one sporting event this month, quite a change from last month. But another Bucket List item ticked off, attending a boxing match at Madison Square Gardens. Mick Conlan from Belfast was fighting so it was extra nice to go and support someone from home. The night was made even better when he won.
New York-y things
A few Sunday’s during the month, I tried to see a bit more of New York and tick a few things off of my New York Bucket List. They were very casual, relaxed Sunday’s but probably a few of my favourite days that I’ve had in the city.
Just doing things like strolling through Central Park, going for brunch in the Upper West Side or West Village, having drinks in The Plaza, getting that photo on the steps of the Met and eating at Katz’s Diner at 2am.
Relaxed weekends like this are my favourite, when you’re up and out early, going for breakfast and then just strolling through the quieter parts of the city but also being a little cultural and productive with the day.
I think my weekends in January are very much going to resemble this as I need them to be as cheap as possible. I don’t mind paying for brunch, obviously.
Locating the best brunch spots
On the subject of brunch, I’ve slowly been making my way around different parts of Manhattan and Jersey City to find my favourites.
The West Village is one of my favourite areas of Manhattan, if not my absolute favourite and there are quite a few cute spots around this area. I visited The Grey Dog last month and am dying to try Banter too.
Around where I live in Newport, New Jersey there’s a lot of great places in Hoboken and Jersey City, namely Bluestone Lane, Battello’s and Maggie’s Farm Espresso.
I’m hoping to get another list of brunch spots going like my London and Liverpool ones for each area of New York and Jersey City. Keep an eye out!
Christmas Day in New York
Spending Christmas in New York was special. I woke up surrounded by my new friends, had a Christmas breakfast with a lot of them and then later in the afternoon 18 of us went for Chistmas dinner in an English-themed pub.
I had spent New Year’s Eve watching It’s A Wonderful Life in a cinema in the West Village which properly got me into the Christmas spirit, followed by some festive drinks.
After our three course meal on Christmas Day we all headed to a bar nearby but the meal had pretty much tired us all out. Christmas night was spent in Washington Square Park taking in the Christmas atmosphere and realizing just where you were on Christmas Day.
Then it was back to work on Boxing Day – not so festive.
I ticked another state off my list this month by visiting Boston and Salem in Massachussetts the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m now up to six states out of fifty. Only 44 more to go.
Boston was a really nice city and quite large. The streets were super cute and I could have imagined living in one of the houses around Acorn or Chestnut Street or even Boston Common. It’s definitely a lot quieter than New York, perhaps a little bit more homely.
On the last day we visited Salem, somewhere I’ve been dying to visit. I was always into witches and magic and spirits and things so find things like the Salem Witch Trials really interesting. Hocus Pocus is also one of my all-time favourite movies so when I found out Salem was only a thirty minute train ride away, I had to go.
I won’t give too much away about my weekend in Boston and Salem as I’ll have a post dedicated to it next week. But here’s to more states and cities in 2020!
New Year’s Eve
Last but not least, the remaining event of 2019 and December was the New Year’s Eve party. I’m usually never really that fussed about going out on New Year’s Eve as back home New Year’s Day is always a bigger day and I usually just like to plan out the year ahead.
But this year we had booked an event back in September as tickets then were around $80 for everywhere and went up to $200-$400 in the month of December.
We went to a Gatsby themed party as we were bringing in the 20s and dressed up like it was 1920s which was very fun. We had a five hour free bar which I missed a portion of since I realised I had forgotten my ID when I got to the place so had to take a $100 uber to go back to my apartment and get it. I won’t be forgetting it again in a hurry.
I quickly made up for the time lost in the few hours I still had left and had a great New Year’s partying with friends that I’ve only recently just met but feel like I know a lifetime.
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