Growing up in Ireland when we had only 3 channels ( I am not making that up – 3 TV channels – that was it!!!!) I watched a lot of American TV shows, the result being that I always feel like I am in in my own TV show when I go to New York.
Over the years, I have been to NYC dozens of times but always for business which means although I have seen a lot of the city it has always been in stolen snatches of time between work demands and I still have many things on the list to see.
The city is noisy and a frequently smelly, seething mass of humanity – but there is no denying it is alive with energy and the people watching is always fantastic. You are elbow to elbow with all types of people from the haughty fashoinista to the bum on the street, the urban hipsters with their iPods firmly planted in their ears blocking out the world to the awestruck tourists, staring at everything around them and falling off curbs.
I love to go but I am usually traveling alone so don’t want to alert anyone to my non native status so I try to blend in and look like I belong. Basically walking with confidence – striding purposefully along like you know where you are and “nothing could surprise a jaded New Yorker like you” look on your face seems to work. So much so, that I am always being asked for directions or information about Subway stations (Interestingly enough a friend and old colleague just blogged about traveling alone as a single girl here) That and wearing appropriate footwear – Ballet Flats are your friend on the crooked, cracked streets filled with subway vents and drains that eat your finest high heels and they look much more stylish than sneakers which scream tourist. Go with wedges if you need to rock a heel – trust me you will thank me later – I have learned this through hard won experience!
This last trip was all too short and my poor husband didn’t get to go (next time babe – then we will do the tourist thing for sure >8) But I did get to stay in midtown Manhattan right accross from Macy’s Herald Square location – Miracle on 34th Street anyone?
I spent some time in our NYC offices which is on the 35th floor of a building right next to Ground Zero and has the most incredible views of the city and of course the newly opened memorial which I have had the privilege to watch being built slowly each trip I take.
After rocking my client presentation – I got to do some shopping at Macy’s – did you know that as an out of state visitor you get a 10% discount? Now you do – thank me later! It would be a crime not to take advantage of it, so of course I did – scored a fabulous dress with a bit of a Mad Men vibe to it.
Then I headed to the theatre district for dinner with the client, wearing the new dress of course. Hailing a cab in New York alone always makes me feel empowered, like I should have my own theme song playing in the background – I want to throw my hat in the air or something because “I’m gonna make it after all” – right ladies?
We ate at a great Italian place called Tramonti on a beautiful street filled with brownstones and restaurants open to the street – I felt like I had walked into an episode of Sex & the City – I am sure I have seen Carrie & friends on that same street. After dinner my colleagues and I walked back through Times Square, which is always a treat at night – full of the theatre crowd, gawking tourists and all those amazing animated billboards and signs.
Although I couldn’t wait to get home I am already looking forward to my next date with NYC and a new episode of my long running, but sporadic TV show >8)