NYC Impressions: a random collection of experiences and little things I did

I was in New York for exactly six full days and a half. I arrived on a Monday night (not counting that as a day) and departed on the following Monday afternoon (counting it as a half) and this is post number 15 on my NYC Impression series… wow. So much content, so much that I did and saw and experienced. So many thoughts and reflections in my head from all my senses could absorb on this trip. And I’ve been truly inspired to write more here. Perhaps it is also an effect of Summer, with these long and magnificent British Summer Days that are making me so productive and inspired to get myself in front of a laptop once again, after spending so much time in front of one in my full-time job (the ones that pay for these trips!).

I’m almost getting to the end of this series though and there are a few things I want to write about but perhaps wouldn’t entail enough content to deserve its own post. So I’m making a list (one of my favourite things to do) of the things I did, experienced or simple saw in NYC.

The Strand

Those who know me well won’t be surprised by this, but the first thing I bought in NYC (besides a train ticket and metro ticket to get to the hotel the previous night) was books. I went to the famous The Strand Bookshop (located at 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village) and tried my best not to spend my entire trip budget there.

I ended up buying two classics, Brave New World and The Curious Incident of the Night-Time Dog, both I hadn’t read before, for a very good price. This book store was established in 1927, and it has remained an independent family business until today. It started off by selling second-hand books, but today you can find, as stated on its website ” 2.5 million used, new, and rare books, covering topics as far-ranging as occult to philosophy to finance“.

Broadway Show – Chicago

I indulged and bought myself a ticket for a musical that does not exist in London – Chicago. I first found my love with this musical through the film adaptation from 2002, starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. The music, the plot, the dark comedy, the dancing… fascinating. I knew I wanted to go a see a show in New York, and I didn’t have to spend much time deciding. Then I realised that Pamela Anderson was actually starring as Roxie in the show, so now I can also say I’ve seen Pamela Anderson performing in a musical…

Museum of Modern Art (MoMa)

If I went to the Whitney and to the Metropolitan, of course, I could not miss MoMa. This was unmissable for me. The collection of modern art is truly enviable – masterpieces from the likes of Picasso, Dalí, Breton, Chagall, Frida Khalo, Kadinsky, Warhol, etc, etc – but also contemporary artists with more diverse backgrounds. While, similarly to the Met, MoMa had of course very privileged beginnings, it is very clear in the museum’s statement that they aim to include as many views and ideas as possible – “we celebrate creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. We aim to be inclusive place (…) where diverse cultural, artistic, social, and political positions are welcome”

Washington Mews, a little corner that doesn’t look like NYC

A very charming little private street in Greenwich Village that is open to the public (at least the passageway). It is only a block away from Washington Square, but very easy to miss, so put it on Google Maps. It is a very quaint little part of the city that I recommend you take a look at, as it simply makes you feel like you’ve entered some sort of time portal. Almost like the noises of the city disappear and you are transported to the times when these mews were equestrian stables used to service horses. The NYU has held the lease for Washington Mews since 1949 – the buildings on this street are primarily used for faculty housing.

The street art

I always talk about my love for street art. I found some amazing stuff making New York less grey and photographed it.

The Mosaic Trail – St Marks Place

Walking in this street, pay attention to some mosaic-encrusted poles, The man behind these was Jim Power. He returned from military service in Vietnam with undiagnosed PTSD, sadly becoming homeless after not being able to lead a normal life. He started decorating the poles in the street, which had a therapeutic value for him.

And this is it for today – have you been to New York? Any experiences you had that really left a mark? Anything on the bucket list you finally crossed off?

Love, Nic

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