It seems this is the best I could come up with. #OCinNYC is going to be the short and sweet hashtag by which I will be documenting my year in New York City. I’ll also be creating a separate Instagram to document all of my photos and travels during my year – more to come on that.
This little diary series that will be appearing on my blog is hopefully going to be a bi-weekly update of all that I get up to. And just like London, if I do anything worthy of documenting, it may get its own separate blog post.
So I’m officially here three days. It’s been over 72 hours since I made the journey out here but on New York Time I’m just five hours short of being here three whole days.
But what a 72 hours it has been. I’m going to be straight up about this entire year here because I want to be as honest as possible and not paint everything to be as perfect as what you see on Instagram.
I’ve mentioned before that a lot of people would say that my year in London looked like a dream come true, but there were times when I felt like moving home, quitting my job, extremely lonely, homesick and just like I really didn’t belong there. But did I put that on Instagram? Absolutely not. I did write about it on here to give you the real view of what it’s like to up and move to a new city. And I plan to do that again now that I’m in New York.
I will be writing a blog post soon about how I moved to New York with all the details, but to give an overview, I am here on the Mountbatten Program who help you find a job in your chosen industry and provide accommodation. This took away the pressure and stress of having to find somewhere to live and already having a job before coming out. Plus there are a lot of other interns living in the same building meaning you’re not going to be on your own.
So let’s get into the first three days.
Arrival day. I left my house at 8am to drive to Dublin Airport. My flight was at 1pm and everything went very smoothly with US pre-clearance being so much less stressful than I thought it was going to be. I got through to the other side, grabbed a coffee, connected to the wifi and posted my leaving photo to Instagram.
After changing my sim card from pay monthly to pay and go the day previous, I was left with no data and no service whatsoever until the switchover could happen. I hoped it would be fine when I landed in Newark but, no. Thankfully there was WiFi in Newark Airport so I could order an Uber and get to my apartment ok. But when I got to my apartment, the WiFi wasn’t working. So here I was, in a brand new place that I had never been to before with no way of contacting anyone. I couldn’t text my mum to say I’d arrived safe, couldn’t Google where the nearest shop was or even the nearest Starbucks so I could get WiFi.
So I just went for a walk until I could find somewhere. Luckily I went in the right direction and found a Starbucks two minutes away. Before I went in, I couldn’t get over the view across the Hudson that was right on my doorstep. I still can’t get over it if I’m honest. So I took a few videos and photos (priorities) before grabbing a coffee. I’d landed all of ten minutes and I was already wasting my money on Starbucks. Not much has changed.
After around half an hour of walking around in circles, I finally found Target and it was quite an experience in itself. I grabbed the basics (duvet and pillow) and carted it all back to my flat. It was already starting to get dark but I needed to get myself a new phone ASAP so that I could actually contact people. I made use of the free WiFi in Target while I was working out what a comforter and sham was (note: duvet and pillow) and located the nearest T Mobile store which was in a shopping mall nearby. Hello Zara!
When I went out to find the shopping mall it was quite dark and I was wandering the streets with no way to even phone 911 if I so needed (which I’ve actually just realised while writing this) and ended up going the long way around to the shopping mall on some main but quiet roads. Little bit creepy but I made it. I now finally have an iPhone without 50 cracks in the screen and a new American phone number – if any of my friends are reading this and don’t have it, please DM.
I grabbed a Chipotle on the way back pretending I didn’t just fork out $800 on a new phone. My first Chipotle didn’t live up to expectations, not going to lie. It was the weight of a newborn baby but not my cup of tea. I spent the remainder of the night setting up my new phone and catching up on my social media feeds since everyone back home was fast asleep.
My first full 24 hours in New York. I was wide awake from 6am, even before the sun came up. I had my first cry because I couldn’t get the shower to work. Honestly. It’s always the little things when you’re on your own, just the same as when I was in Liverpool (Five Things You Learn Living Alone). You just feel so helpless when there’s no one there to help you and all I wanted was to shower.
But I live in a flat of five and luckily I’m the first person to move in so I was able to use someone else’s en suite – I’m trusting you’ll keep my secret. After meeting other interns later on that day, they told me the trick of how to use the shower which was honestly the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. Firstly, the flat should have come with instructions and secondly, American bathroom engineers are just strange.
I finally met a lot of the other Mountbatten interns when we all went for brunch in Newport, New Jersey (close to where we’re living). I had Eggs Benedict (there was no avocado on the menu) and smoked salmon which oddly came out cooked. And it also came with a side of potato rosti things which was too much. We made it a boozy brunch with mimosas since it was one of the girls’ birthdays.
A lot of them were quite hungover from the night before so I spent the afternoon getting more bits for my room and sorting out travel cards. And still not making a dent in my unpacking.
In the evening I finally made it into Manhattan for the first time ever. We got the Path train to West Village/Chelsea and walked past Gigi Hadid’s (apparent) apartment. It was a very chill area with gorgeous buildings and tons of restaurants and bars that all looked so good. I’ll definitely be going back during the day to explore better and take some pictures of the buildings, plus the Friends apartment is located around there somewhere.
We headed to Le Bain rooftop bar which had the most incredible views, a pool and not too expensive drinks. Since I hadn’t eaten that much all day and being quite tired and jet-lagged, I stayed on the beers and avoided gin. We moved onto a bar called The Brass Monkey afterwards and I called it quits around midnight. Before heading home, I had my first introduction to the dollar slice pizza. I’m sure it will be the first of many.
And here we are at day three aka present day. I wakened at 7.30am without an alarm, so bit of an improvement on the 6am wake up yesterday. It’s Labor Day today which means I can’t get started into work until tomorrow and a lot of places are closed.
It’s been raining a lot today, the first I’ve seen since I got here. I thought about going exploring around Times Square today but I might plan to do a lot of wandering this weekend instead. I need a day of calm to get my life in order, unpack (yep, suitcases are still full) and get everything into the flat for the coming week. Boring, but life admin needs to be done.
I finally got my WiFi working this morning which means no more draining my personal hotspot on my phone. Which also means that I might be able to watch Netflix tonight. Every time I think of watching Netflix I feel a bit guilty since I’ve just moved to New York and I’m spending my time watching TV?! But I just want to feel a little bit of normalcy. Plus I’m now on American Netflix!
Right now, I’m sat at my laptop in my lounge area watching people jet-ski along the Hudson out of my window. Feels quite surreal that I have the view of One World Trade Centre right from where I’m sat.
My plans for the rest of the day are just to go food shopping as I have a large bottle of Diet Coke in the fridge (shock) and an empty can of Pringles and that’s it where food is concerned. When I moved into my flat in Liverpool it took me about two months before I actually cooked anything and it might be the same thing here… but I have a microwave now so things might be a lot easier. Hello diet of porridge and microwave meals for the foreseeable.
Other than that, it’s going to be a very chilled bank holiday as it will be all systems go from tomorrow with inductions right up until Thursday and then I’m guessing I will be starting my first day of work on Friday.
I’ll check in again this weekend with a blog post about my first full week in the city to see how things have changed.