Two Trips to NYC: People, Chaos and Getting Lost.


Hello! My J1 is going along smoothly. I have been to New York city twice now and both experiences have been interesting. The first trip was a test of sorts, to see could we manage to get from Bay Shore, to Babylon Railway Station and from Penn Station to the places in NYC we wanted to go! So far we haven't been to many of the places we want to see just yet, simply because NYC is so big and Megan and I have to get everywhere by foot. So our first trip was our introduction to the Big Apple.

I was extremely excited heading off on that first trip on the 12th of June, despite having to wait for our booked taxi for over 45 minutes. We travelled to Babylon Rail Road and then boarded a train headed west, to Penn Station. It was really interesting to see the American countryside pass by outside our window. A place of note was Amityville. Horror fans will know that Amityville is linked to house where Ronald Defeo supposedly murdered most of his family members. This story inspired multiple films after supernatural activity was recorded in the home after new tenants moved in.

I really liked seeing the difference in the landscape the closer we got to the city. The houses became more crowded together. The buildings grew taller and we began to see skyscrapers towering in the distance. Jamaica, Queens in New York was an interesting place to observe. A really vibrant place. Penn Station was packed with people. And THEN, Megan and I stepped out right next to music stadium: Madison Square Garden. We squinted up at it for a while before wandering down the street where we could the Empire State building up ahead. We found ourselves outside the New York Public library so we ventured in for a look. What a beautiful building!

We decided to go to Times Square simply because it was so close to us and I think every one has to go there at least once. It was mindblowing. One of the busiest places I have ever been to and very very flashy. Multiple screens flickering with advertisements, screens with the news on it and some of the screens played trailers such as "Finding Dory". It was breathtaking and for someone who likes taking photos this was a great opportunity.

Megan and I decided to sit down at the rows of seats in the centre of Times Square and just observe our surroundings. It was very surreal to gaze around one of the most famous places in the world! On the way back to the train station I was stopped by some journalism students who wanted to interview one of us. Megan didn't want to be interviewed so to my dismay the microphone was turned on me. I managed to stammer my way through the interview and hopefully I can root around on the internet and find my clip somewhere. 

Other interesting things we saw were half naked cowboys, topless women painted in vibrant colours, and actually the first time we were in New York City there was a celebration for Puerto Ricans so the place was thronged with them. It was fascinating to see. It's important to keep your wits about you in the city, pedestrians are a nuisance to most drivers so if you're not careful you will be hit by a car. I couldn't imagine New York city silent, never in a million years.

Our second trip to NYC on the 19th of June did not go without a few hitches. We thankfully made our train with minutes to spare so getting to the city was not the issue. We had great plans to visit the American Museum of Natural History and I was so excited to take photos for my blog and create a whole big post about it. WELL. I pulled out my phone and used the Google Maps app to direct us to the museum, which told us we were 21 minutes away. Woohoo. We trekked for what seemed like forever in the warm city heat and when we "arrived" at our destination the museum was nowhere to be found. The app usually never lets me down so I'm not sure what went wrong. Not to worry though, there will be other times to visit the museum.

We've got plans to visit the Museum of Modern Art (expect a full post on this), the Empire State building, the Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn bridge, Coney Island, the Statue of Liberty and much more. Basically a lot of the touristy places. I really hope I can find some of the lesser known gems in the city so I can take lots of photos for Instagram. I'm trying to post a photo every day so do check my Instagram out!

Most of what we did on our second trip was browsing in the shops we passed by on our travels. I really do need to do more research because I certainly do NOT have my bearings in this huge city. We visited a MAC store, Forever 21, Mystique Boutique and Footlocker. We've made a list of all the things we want to buy. I want Nike runners, a new DSLR camera, new makeup, clothes and little trinkets for myself and as presents. Who knows what I'll buy really, the opportunities are endless in this mammoth city.

I hope to fill my travel notebook with lots of tickets, souvenirs and anything interesting I pick up on my travels. It has become a thing of mine that I document my travels or experiences. I have one for college which has filled up quite considerably. My American notebook is still quite empty so I will have to change that. I'm excited to see what my notebook will look like at the end of my J1, three months in USA. Then I will have a notebook for Belgium. I think this is a cool way of keeping memories safe and I can show these notebooks to friends, family and possibly any children I have in the far off future.

I finish this blog post with photos and a little note to say thank you to everyone. It's been a year since things took a swift down turn in my life. One event toppled me, and all the insecurities that I had let build up for years exploded to the fore of my mind. It was horrific. My self confidence is still building up again a year later, but I am so thankful that I am not in the same pain as I was this time last year. I am so grateful for everyone's support. I am proud of myself. I regret a lot of things, but it's been a learning curve of a year. Thank you to all those who have been a part of this year which has shaped me differently as a person. Thank you to those who came back into my life and the new people who have joined my life. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Bryant Park right next to New York City Public Library

A lovely lovely touch. Solidarity with the victims of the shooting in Orlando, Florida <3.

The Empire State building.


All pictures are merely decorative and belong to their respective owners.

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