Nom de Plumage

February 5, 2012

I Took A Bite Out of the Big Apple

A Room With A View

I knew before the day even arrived, that I would be emotional and struggling with my goodbyes. And I was! Two months is a long time to stay with anyone, even if it is your family. Although I never met any of them before I arrived, they live a very different life to my own and therefore some days were better then others. But I enjoyed the experience and will never regret my visit and will forever have beautiful memories of my family and Canada.
When I had finally begun my preparations for my adventure and told my family where I wanted to go, they were very encouraging until I mentioned New York. The look of horror on my Mum’s face said it all. You think I had mentioned Iraq, she was that upset! Before 911, New York did have a reputation of an unsavoury nature. A city so synonymous with violence and the mafia, thanks to a lot of American TV shows, that to foreigners it was unfairly judged. Then post 911 and all that happened, it was even more of a reason not to visit. But as an adult with common sense and good judgement, I rebelled and went with my gut instinct. Over the many years I have had so many people tell me their own impressions of the city, either good, bad or indifferent. One of the most important things that I learnt on my travels, is that everyone has an opinion on everything and that it is THEIR opinion. As an individual you need your own opinion and the only way to get it, is to experience it yourself. Had I had listened to everyones advice, then I would have regrettably missed out on seeing so many wonderful cities on my travels. So to New York I went.
My flight was an early one. I was emotional and very nervous, scared and excited all at the same time. Nervous because I was visiting the biggest and most populated city in the world on my own. Scared because I would be on my own from this point onwards for the next five month and excited because finally my real travelling experience was about to begin. After my teary farewell, I blissfully got through customs with no problems at all. The customs officer was so nice and we talked about pastries and food, that he made me feel happy to be visiting the US. When I boarded my flight and packed my luggage in the overhead compartment, I sat down and placed my handbag between my feet. The flight attendant, who was really very polite and had a sense of humour, told me that I cannot have my handbag between my feet. He then preceded to shove my bag in the already FULL compartment and with that, damaged my camera that I was trying so hard to protect. It was a treasured gift from my family especially given to document my memories and later share with them. I was not to know that it was broken, until I arrived in my hotel room and wanted to capture the sun setting over the city.
Arrived at La Guardia Airport barely an hour later.My three day package of New York included an airport shuttle service to and from my hotel. I was one of the last passengers to be picked up and the last to be dropped off. Everything ran smoothly and this gave me an opportunity to drive through the ever impressionable burrow of Queens. Ah, not much that I can honestly say, other than I was not impressed! We drove further on and it was then I got my first glimpse of Manhattan over the mighty Hudson River. It’s HUGE! I can barely describe that first heady rush of overwhelming excitement and surrealism of finally realising a dream. The bus navigated it’s way through the somewhat quieter streets (being a Sunday) and giving me a taste of the Big Apple. Loved it! Arrived at my hotel, The Beacon on Broadway, at 2:00pm, only to be told that I was early by an hour for check-in. No matter! I gave my luggage to security and decided to walk down to Times Square to pick up my New York Pass. A BAD MOVE! To walk from 75th Ave to 35th Ave in high heel boots, is something no woman should EVER contemplate. Let me tell you, I paid dearly for my stupid mistake. Massive blisters under both feet that took two weeks to heal. So I had to limp, groan and curse my way through New York and my next city, two cities that I dreamt of for years only to be defeated my high heel boots. Never again!
First stop was lunch. I was hungry and needed something to eat, so I opted on the ever ready, cheap and reliable American icon – McDonald’s. I had too! “When in Rome……”. Then I walked and walked through a city that offered so many delights. Book stores to die for, buildings taller than any I have seen before, icon’s of theatre and entertainment and then the dazzling Time’s Square. It was alive with people, traffic, noise, lights, colour, bill boards and so much more. I collected my pass at Planet Hollywood and walked back to my hotel via a wonderful street market. I then regretted eating at McDonald’s because here so many ethnic groups offered so many wonderful delicacies. The thick smoke of roasting meats permeated the air, sweet delights, music from every corner of the globe and people just enjoying the beautiful warm autumn day.
Arrived back at my hotel half dead from walking (blister’s had already burst and pain was kicking in). When I was booking accommodation, so many internet sights posted comments about the different hotels. To try and find a reasonably priced and decent hotel was a challenge. Thankfully my booking agent helped me find a really good hotel. The foyer of Hotel Beacon and staff was a precursor to the beautiful, clean yet small room that I occupied on the 7th floor. Everything was in working order, comfortable and I had a great view of the city. After a hot shower, light dinner and some American TV, I sat on my bed with my painful feet throbbing and watched the sun go down over the city and with a wonderful sense of euphoria that I was here finally…



  1. Always interesting reading about people visiting New York since I am so used to it. You never recognize your own city. How long will you be there? I would be happy to give you some advise if you want (Like not walking so far! 🙂 ) Enjoy the Big Apple!

    Comment by megalagom — February 5, 2012 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

    • Thank you so much for your positive comment. Unfortunately, I have already departed New York and moved on. My travel blog is a little behind and I am trying to catch up. But thank you for offering to give me advice and had I still been in NY, I would have gladly accepted the help. New York is a fabulous city and you are very fortunate to live and experience such a vibrant and impressive metropolis. Thanks again and my best wishes to you!

      Comment by nomdeplumage — February 6, 2012 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

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