New York was awesome. Had a crazy combination of friends and family all there at the same time, which meant there was never a shortage of people to do stuff with. I stayed with Nagulan and Dhushy, and then had an NZ crew of about 12 people that I knew through friends or from Uni. Spent the first few days hanging out with them. Saw the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, went ice skating, celebrated New Years, went to the Met, checked out Chinatown and Times Square, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
NZ represent (at the Met)
I can't say that I enjoyed NY for the attractions. It was definitely the company, and discovering the parts of the city that residents see everyday that made it for me. I especially loved being able to spend a few hours with Stephen, to catch up on the past few months since he's been away (on exchange in Toronto) and to talk about the future (given that we're both passionate about working overseas, I have no idea when I will get to see him again). One of my favourite parts that first week was going to Jules, a little bar/restaurant on the lower east side. The jazz trio that played were brilliant, so tight. And the bassist used to play with Dizzie Gillespie (how cool is that?). I also loved Soho - the boutique stores and galleries, little streets, and chilled out atmosphere (compared to the rest of the city) - Ruk, my second cousin, took me round and then treated me to lunch. Was cool to do it with a local, and get to spend some time with him. In the middle weekend I went down to DC (see next post), and when I got back to Nagulan and Dhushy's, Chrishan (another cousin, who I hadn't seen in 17 years) was over for the day. We spent a bit of time together over the next week. On the Monday, me, Nagulan and Dhushy went to Ikea, which is an experience in itself. Took us four hours to walk through - there was just so much to look at.
The IKEA experience
That last week, I also went over to the Conroys (Rush, Dan and baby Nevin). Nevin is sooooo cute. I then spent a couple of days chilling out, doing some thrift shopping for work (some great bargains) and then walking round lower Manhattan. I love walking. Spent maybe six hours each day just pottering around. I'm really taken by the area around Greenwich/Chelsea. These cobbled streets, gourmet-ish delis and eateries, amazing second hand book stores (seriously, buying books is my vice - i already had to send home 2 with Toby, leave some behind in LA, Toronto and NJ, collected another four since getting to DC and the other day discovered the best bookshop in the world where I would pretty much read everything there (I then found a guy who is willing to do book swaps with me so I don't have to buy the books, and hook me up with a library membership in Virginia :-))).
If I were ever to live in NY the lower east and west side are where I'm at. I then moved down to DC - but two weeks in, I went back up to NY coz my friend from law school was passing through. Lisa and I had so much fun. I went to MoMA with her - and normally, I don't think I would be that enthusiastic about modern art - but she is REALLY into art, and so I was excited because she was so excited. We had dinner with her friend Judy in chinatown, and then splashed out for the 10-midnight session at Rockefeller centre ice rink. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time - I got the hiccups and sore abs. Was so great to see her. And that sums up NY for me. Super brilliant.