It was not a classy party. My family joined us for dinner on the Friday evening and plans for a really early night were put aside in favour of making martinis with homemade flavoured vodkas. The small DIY ceremony was lovely but the drinking had begun. The kind of drinking that sees the bride passed out entwined in her best friends arms.
But you know what? It was perfect. There was lots of dancing and laughter. At one point my eldest stepbrother asked whether it’d be terribly inappropriate to ask where we kept the vermouth and soon my brother was spotted sporting a vibrant Appletini which if reports are true inspired a speech by my mate Trev on the true masculinity demonstrated by drinking vibrant cocktails.
But I married a great man and he shrugged it off. Train tickets, hotel and show tickets in the bin and he booked car parking at Heathrow. On Tuesday morning I rallied enough for our flight. And five nights in New York. Which was surprising.
1) The buildings are REALLY tall. I mean I knew they would be tall but they’re really tall. And there are lots of them. I’ve been to big cities but New York is crazy tall.
2) You can make a minifig of yourself at the Lego store at the Rockerfeller Centre.
4) The Statue of Liberty is pretty small. Everything else is massive but she’s pretty dinky.
5) Chinatown is like being in China when it comes to food. This made me incredibly happy.
6) A horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park is worth every penny.
8) Tiffany and Co is possibly the most magical shop in the world.
9) I have a very generous husband!
11) It smells like pine (I guess this is because the Christmas trees are all real).
12) It is really backward in some ways; the subway system seems on its last legs, mobile phone coverage is very clunky and things like airport shuttle services are poorly managed (compared to Turkey for example).
13) There is a Lego model of Captain Jack Sparrow!
15) The Empire State Building is a right pain to go up compared to the quick and efficient Top of the Rock[erfeller] which has a better view (because the Rockerfeller Tower isn’t much to look at and the Empire State Building is impressive.
16) Waiters in Little Italy talk like they do in films.
17) French toast with bacon and maple syrup is genius. Simply genius.
18) People aren’t particularly impatient (this may say more about me than it does about New Yorkers).
19) The most popular song for buskers is Oh Holy Night. If I never hear that damned carol again it will be too soon.
20) Hot Spiced Cider is just hot apple juice.
21) I shall be making Hot Spiced Cider every December hereafter.
22) They take their decorations very seriously. The trees in Bryant Park were bathed in an amazing soft light and I couldn’t work out how it was done. The husband was the one to look up and realise they were lit from above from a nearby skyscraper. Impressive!
23) I like salty popcorn. Kettle Corn NYC popcorn converted me.
24) The fat Americans live elsewhere.
25) While most Salvation Army collectors ring little bells, some have microphones and amps and belt out proper songs.
26) I like my oysters small but I can’t tell the difference depending on where they’re from (ie. East or West coast).
27) Going to the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar was my best trip recommendation (thanks mum and Bill) and as I was told, have the Clam Chowder as it’s awesome.
28) “Local” New York is everywhere from diners to street vendors selling Christmas trees.
29) The tea is better than the coffee.
30) They do have “cars big as bars” and with that I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Christmas songs...