2nd December 2015 is official one of the best days of my life! Purely because I got the dance to fulfil one of my dreams of going to New York City over the Christmas season, and oh my word it was amazing! It was everything that I was expecting and more! We were there from the 2nd December til the 7th December and I wished I could never leave! I went with college on this trip with our Art and Media department as I do both Photography and Film studies at college, so through out I had to juggle the two subjects around which was a bit difficult but I did it. But for this trip, I not only took pictures but I also vlogged most of it as it's definitely something I want to remember! So I'll leave all the links to the videos on my youtube channel for you to check out!
The first day, we land into JFK air port til about 5:30pm NYC time(10:30pm UK time) but then it took a while to get off the plane because they were having difficulty attaching jet bridge to the air craft. But once we managed to get off the plane and go through customs, we got straight on our coach outside the air port and headed off to our accommodation. We stayed in the YMCA Vanderbilt which is on 47th Street. Once we got to the YMCA we checked in, put our stuff in our rooms then headed back out to Times Square which was about a 20 minute walk away. By this time it was about 10:30pm, and even though I was extremely jet lagged, standing in the middle of Times Square was just one of the best feelings ever! It was so breath taking and worth the 8 hour flight!
The second day was an extremely long, tiring and foot aching day. In the morning we took a stroll up to central park which was a couple of blocks away from the accommodation and we walked through park til about half way up. It was so amazing to actually witness one of the most iconic locations in New York and to be actually stood where some of my favourite films were filmed, such as Elf and Sex in The City. It's filled with such colourful trees, people and lakes! We walked down the iconic row of tree to the Bethesda Fountain, then past the famous Boat House Restaurant, the Alice in Wonderland statue and then the lake were Stuart Little was filmed! After our long plod in Central Park we then went to the Museum of Modern Art(MoMa) this museum was HUGE and extremely pretty on the inside. If I'm going to be honest, most of it bored me quite a bit but one thing I loved seeing was Vincent Van Goghs Starry Night, it was actually quite amazing to be stood in front of it.
Once we had finished in the museum we walked over to the Rockefeller which was a block or two away. This is where we went right to the top of the building to view the New York sky line and oh my.. I thought Times Square was breath taking but this was just something else. As we got to the top(62nd floor) it was still roughly day light but the sun was beginning to set, so we managed to see the NYC sky line at sunset and at night all in one. This will be one moment that'll stay in my heart forever. It seemed so surreal just looking out onto the city which all the lights and buildings. I can't even describe how I began to feel. One side from the Top of The Rock you can see Central Park and Manhattan, then the other side you looked out onto the Empire State building with Brooklyn lingering the background. So I definitely and 110% recommend going up the Rockefeller Building if you're ever in New York. It's about $30 to go up, but it is SO worth it! It also had a lift were it had a transparent top so you could see yourself going up, but it also had images and lights projected on to it which was so cool and made the lift a bit more bearable!(I hate lifts, or did until the end of the trip) But after that we were meant to go ice skating but we were all so tired and our feet hurt so much from all the walking that we all went back to the accommodation to get into bed!
Third day: This is the day we got on the metro and headed down to Brooklyn! We walked half way along Brooklyn bridge which was such a nice experience, it had such beautiful views of the city and me and my friend even managed to write our names on the bridge. After the bridge we walked a few blocked up to where the 9/11 Memorial(Ground Zero) and One World Trade Centre was. First we looked at the North Tower memorial and stayed there for a bit... I think this is the only place in the big, noisy city where people are quiet, It was quite haunting in a way but a peaceful kind of haunting. Like knowing that there once stood a tall sky scrapper in that very spot that is now gone along with the thousands of people, but it was so pretty and bright that you didn't really think too much about the horror behind it. One World Trade Centre was the next place we went too after Ground Zero as it was directly next to it. We had to que for a while to go though some from of customs and then to get into the Sky Pod(a lift that goes up 1000ft in 60 seconds) Even the lift in there was entertaining because as you went up, there was a time line in how the city was built. Except, in this lift the screen went all around the outside so that it looked like windows. For any of you that have been to the Harry Potter studios in London, you would know that when you first go in there, you go into a small cinema like room to have a presentation and then once that presentations done, the screen rise and your revealed a little surprise(not spoiling it for those who plan to go) and the exact same happened in Tower One. Once you're at the 102nd floor you go into a small room where you stand to watch a little presentation on a screen, then once the presentations done, the screen shoots up and you have the whole of New York right in front of you. My jaw dropped as soon as the screen went up and I've never been so amazed in my life. But that moment definitely topped the breath taking Times Square and The Top of The Rock.
After One World Trade Centre we walked over to the Staten Ferry terminal and took a ferry ride over to Staten Island. During the crossing you go past the Statue of Liberty which was so nice to see as it's also a very iconic thing for New York. Then once we got back over to Brooklyn, we took the metro to Canal Street in SoHo where some of us did some shopping. My friend and I were dying to find a Victoria Secret and have a brows.. So we found it, and spend about a good old hour in there, purely because of how amazing the costumer service was. The lady who helped us was just so kind and friendly and help out so much, so I'll definitely go back there if I ever get the chance to go to New York again! By then it was quite late so we caught up with some of the other girls in our group and got a taxi home to go to bed!
Day four came, and by then the balls of my feet no longer existed! Well, that's what it felt like. We had done so much walking, and lucky us had much more walking to do on the fourth day! On this day we went to Grand Central Station and took the metro to Queens and went to the Museum of Moving Image(MoMi) This was definitely my favourite museum out of the two! There was so many amusing things in there, such as the original mask for the film Mrs Doubtfire. There was also some really fun interactive exhibits such as making your own animation or flip book! Unfortunately I never got to do the flip book one but I did make my own animation! and this will be in my New York Day 4 vlog for you to see! Coney Island was our next destination after MoMi. So we got back onto the metro and took a long ride down to Coney Island. Let's just say that Coney Island is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been too! It felt like such a romantic movie moment! This was also another place where I could of just stayed forever. Luckily we got there in time to also see the sun set which was such an amazing feeling. And this is where I also got to do a short photo shoot with one of my friends on the trip with me, and the pictures turned out amazing! So glad I got an opportunity to do a photoshoot on the beach of Coney Island. Unfortunately, Coney Island shut their very popular theme park over the winter, but even just walking past and looking at the abandoned theme park was still amazing. Now, this is where one of the high lights of the trip come into play. We got back onto the metro after Coney Island to go back to the accommodation(some wanted to go back to Canal Street to do some shopping) So the group of us got off at 59th street like our teacher said. Just to turn around and see both of our teacher doing the typical slow movie moment of 'NOOOOOO!' basically telling us it's the wrong stop. But we didn't think anything of it and thought they were messing around with us, but once we walked past a map in the station we soon saw that we were still over the water in Brooklyn and not in Manhattan. Ooops. But by now we were basically pro's in using the metro so we got back on the next train and got back safely!
So the last and final day... for this we packed our bags and got them ready to go then we took a leisurely stroll down past the Empire Building to the Flat Iron building where we found the coolest dog park ever! After that we dragged ourselves to the New York high line to walk along it. For those who don't know, the New York high line is an old railway track which has now been converted into a beautiful path for people to walk along! We hit the high line then my friend and I went off and did our own thing as the rest of the day was our own. So we took a hike back to 5th avenue area and did some last minute shopping before we had to be back at the accommodation for 3:30pm to get ready to get the coach to the air port. Whilst we were shopping we went into Urban Outfitters where I got some new Calvin Klein underwear then we went into Bath and Body works. We sadly don't get this in the UK, but I wish we did. It's a shop full of candles, body mists, body lotion and all that sort of stuff. And it smelt so good in there! I brought a body mist and a room spray from in there but I really wanted to buy lots of their 3 wick candles, but due to there being a weight limit for luggage I couldn't. Bath and Body works was only 2 blocks away from where we were staying so we took a really slow walk back to the YMCA but along the way we found this amazing pizza place that did slices of pizza the size of my face for 99c. So getting that was a definite must and a good way to end the day!
4:30pm NYC time came along and our coach was outside ready to take us back to the air port. By 5:30 we were going through customs to go on a sad. but shorter, plane journey home. Thankfully our flight back was only 6 hours long due us flying in the direction of the wind, but it was the sadess journey I've ever done. On the coach on the way to the air port we went over one of the bridges and towards the end of the bridge, if you turned around, you could see the whole of New York lit up through the back window. It was such an incredible but heart breaking sight. New York is definitely one memory that I'll never forget. I made so many new friends whilst we were out there too which was nice as well as discovering more about myself. I really really hope that one day I get to go back and relive every moment...
Day 1 & 2 Vlog - https://youtu.be/nqW6zxInNCM
Day 3 Vlog - https://youtu.be/DEBss4Z7zmg
Day 4 & 5 Vlog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX1uOXBI5yQ