After three days in sunny Florida we headed back to New York City. Aside from the weather, the cultural contrast was immediately apparent. New York is like any big city really – plenty of people from all different cultures, many different spoken languages, foods etc. Florida was probably a more concise representation of ‘America’ in it’s many typically American fast food eateries and lifestyle.
We arrived back at M’s apartment midday and headed to the MoMA where we were meeting Mandi. She had managed to get free tickets for us from a friend so we decided to spend the afternoon there perusing what we had missed the previous weeks. Quite a bit, we realised. The whole Picasso-Cubist era and the French impressionists such as Monet.. as well as the beautiful architecture and design sections. And of course, plenty of abstract art such as the white empty shoebox, and the four yoghurt lids. Highlights would have been Monet’s waterlilies, Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory (so tiny!) and taking creative photo’s of M looking ‘aggressive’ next to Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup work (she works in advertising for Progresso Soup!!).
That evening we went to a little bar in the West Village. It was so warm and cosy inside and it felt like being at someone’s house. Travis unknowingly ordered a girl’s drink, the apple cider. HAHA.
New Year’s Eve
The following day Travis and I headed for towards the Upper East Side, and dropped by the UN building and then over to the MeT. It was NYE and the subways were extremely busy. We headed back in the early evening to Mandi’s apartment as we were meeting a bunch of Mandi’s New Yorker friends for dinner that night. Dinner was in Chelsea at a trendy, modern Thai restaurant where I had a green curry chicken and a glass of shiraz. The tables were long and had benches on either side which made it difficult to get in and out of your seat. Another surprise was my trip to the toilet, by which I came across a guy… unisex toilets, very Ally McBeal. After dinner, and after agreeing we would catch up with some of M’s friend’s later at a house party, we went to a bar in St Mark’s, near Sing Sing where we had entertained ourselves with Karaoke a week earlier. Had a blast there (how could one not, with 5 shots at $10!), meeting up with a few of Mandi’s other friends. Ended up staying there for the count down, then heading to another club for some dancing. It was a bit of a crazy night, but definitely memorable – that’s for sure. And we didn’t quite make it to the house party.
New Year’s Day
The following day we had a lazy morning, before heading to Chinatown for some greasy dim sum to satisfy the uneasy stomachs. Tasty, but definitely not quite comparable to Perth standards (or maybe we’re biased?) On our way home we stopped by some Chinese grocery stores to pick up snacks for our quiet night in. We also stopped by Magnolia Bakery, only just across the road from M’s apartment, a place that is perennially busy with cupcake lovers. We bought the red velvet and a chocolate buttermilk cupcake as well a yummy gooey banana concoction that looked deadly. Given we had already chosen to splurge upon the point of no return we also bought a tub of Ben and Jerry’s – some exotic combination of flavours we couldn’t dream of finding in Perth.
So thus, that indulgent night concluded the New York chapter of our trip. The following morning we packed our bags, took a walk along the Hudson River in West Village and had breakfast at a intimate little diner, where the quirky waiter mumbled to himself about world politics between orders.
Outside the beautiful brownstone apartment, we said our teary goodbyes, Mandi hailed us a cab and we were off on the next part of our American adventure.