I’m 1/6th of my way through my year in New York already and have been here a full nine weeks. It feels like I’ve been here a lifetime but at the same time, only five minutes. I’m still as in love with the city as I was the last time I updated, and have no intentions of ever wanting to leave (can someone please sponsor me to stay).
I ticked off another state in October and one of the cities that had been on my bucket list for quite a while. There were a lot of weekends filled with alcohol (what’s new?) and some more New York touristy things ticked off as the month went on. I was blessed to be able to see one of my favourite artists ever for the first time when he performed in Brooklyn and got tickets to see another favourite for the first time in 2020.
So here is a little round-up of my first October in New York.
A trip to Philadelphia
The first weekend of the month, a group of us went on a day trip to Philly in Pennsylvania. My first time in both the city and state, I was just excited to be able to tick off a new state never mind see a new city. The bus took two hours there and back and I was on my first ever Greyhound Bus which made me feel like I was in an American movie.
I documented the entire trip which you can read about here, but we basically ticked off all of the touristy things in Philadelphia: the Rocky steps, City Hall, the Liberty Bell and of course, the Philly Cheesesteak.
I can’t say I would go rushing back to Philly but it’s a cute, quiet city but just not too many things to see and do.
An intimate gig with Dermot Kennedy
Now this was an unexpected turn of events which I didn’t expect to be writing about until March next year. It was very, very random how it came about with a direct message on Twitter and two hours later there I am in Brooklyn in a small room waiting for Dermot Kennedy to grace the stage in front of me.
And what a surprise it was. The voice of an angel, he honestly took my breath away. Another surprise, I wrote a little gig review about the whole experience which you can read here.
I wasn’t too much of a culture vulture this month, only getting through around six things on my bucket list.
I visited the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) one rainy Sunday and saw works from Dali, Magritte and Rembrandt. I can’t say I’ll be rushing back to revisit, if only to see the Warhol pieces that I somehow missed in the half hour that I spent there.
A group of us took the ferry to Governor’s Island the weekend before Halloween as it was the last weekend to go before it closed for the winter. All I can say is, what a strange, strange place. It used to be an army base so there are a lot of houses that are all direlect and empty aka creepy.
The ferry is only around $3 each way and lasts 10 minutes max. If it wasn’t for the pumpkin patch, I don’t really know what you would spend time doing on the island as there really is nothing there other than empty buildings which looks like the set of a horror movie. Overall, not a great experience.
They take Halloween very seriously here in America, and we all know they absolutely love their dogs so one weekend, they mixed the two and had a fancy dress dog parade in Washington Square Park. Probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, they even had prizes for the best costumes, funniest and most outrageous. Only in America.
Then on actual Halloween night we attempted to watch the famous Halloween Parade in Greenwich. I say ‘attempted’ because the crowds were manic and there was no way we were going to see anything so we found refuge in a bar instead. How unfortunate. There were so many people dressed up and it did get a little creepy once it got dark as there were people in masks walking around alone and tons of police everywhere.
I also finally got to see the Friends apartment and to be honest, it looked like any other building in the area really. There’s a coffee shop right below on the corner and they’ve definitely missed a trick by not making it Central Perk themed.
Then another few things got ticked off the list like the High Line, Chelsea Market and the Vessel. Not very impressive tourist attractions if I’m truly honest. If you want to see some sights, I would recommend walking along the Brooklyn Bridge rather than the High Line. Chelsea Market has nothing on Borough Market, Spitafields or even the Baltic/Duke Street Markets in Liverpool – quite a let down. And the Vessel – $10 to walk up 500 stairs? No thanks.
My first NBA game
During October I went to my first basketball at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn to watch Brooklyn Nets play Franca. It was a pre-season game so the tickets were relatively cheap and we had pretty good seats.
I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest basketball fan after going to watch, but I would go back again to see the New York Knicks (even though they aren’t very good). One thing about American sport is that they love to put on a good show with dancers, cheerleaders and audience entertainment every time there is a break in the game.
It was also my first time in the Barclay’s Center and I’ll be heading back there in April when Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi bring the Nice To Meet Ya tour to NYC. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be back there again before then.
October was a pretty busy month and November is slowly shaping up to be the same with Thanksgiving in the Hamptons coming up – never would I have imagined myself to be typing that sentence six months ago. I’m slowly making my way through my NYC Bucket List and need to get better at booking trips to other places around the States to keep ticking them off.