Welcome to the jungle!

We made it!  And you know what the song says – “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”

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Hello New York, old friend, buddy, pal.  It will never not be exciting to drive in from the airport and see the skyline in the distance…. a little bit like when you’re driving to Geraldton on the Brand Highway and you round that bend and see the silos – and you know that the journey is finally coming to an end.

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Well, it’s sort of like that.

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We arranged to stay at a hotel on our first night in NYC because we’ve rented an Airbnb apartment for our stay and we didn’t want to arrive in the evening and have something go wrong – we’re safety girls!  Also last time ML stayed here with her brother and his family, they got stung with a dodgy rental – we didn’t want to take any chances, so we booked into the Sheraton just around the corner…. well, we booked in but when it came to checking in at about 7.15pm there were no rooms available.  The lady on the reception desk was very apologetic and said it should be ready in a couple of hours.

A couple of hours???

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We were tired, dirty, hungry and bordering on cranky, but we left our bags and went out for dinner.  Here’s a fun fact for those who don’t know – when I’m hungry I can’t make a decision, so ML had to take the reins and looked around, then pointed us in the direction of the first place she saw – a little Irish pub called The Playwright which turned out to be lovely.  Well done ML!

You could tell we were in an American restaurant (even though it was Irish)…

Baseball on the telly…

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Mustard and ketchup on the table…

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As we were about to leave, the sky opened up and absolutely pissed down… so we sat at the bar and had another drink which would have been great if we weren’t both tired and dirty and no longer hungry, but still bordering on cranky, and also ML isn’t drinking at the moment whilst she gets completely over her lurgy – so sitting at an Irish bar on our first night in New York City with a glass of water feeling tired and dirty – not ideal – but hey, we’re in NYC! When we got back to the hotel, the room was ready and they offered us a $100 credit on our room which was the least they could have done.

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Sleep was finally had and then we were up to meet the travelling Browns – my cousin, Peter, his lovely wife, Kay and their two adorable kiddies – Noah and Wes.  They were staying at the same hotel, so that worked out well.  The boys had written us notes and drawn us a picture to welcome us to New York – they will go up on the fridge as soon as we get to our apartment.

It was great to catch up and talk to familiar faces.

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We pushed our cases the block and a half to our apartment building on 51st Street and met Rob, our doorman – a very helpful chap who gave us the keys and pointed us to the lifts…. On the way up I said to ML “Please let this be good.”  We crossed our fingers as we ascended all 20 floors.

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And OMG – it is awesome!  We have a two bedroom, one bathroom corner apartment  with a small kitchen and a fairly sizeable living area.

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We look out over Times Square ( a few blocks away) in one direction…

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…and over the Hudson River (down the street, in-between the buildings in the distance) in the other.

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We’ve just done 3 loads of washing in the basement laundry – the commercial dryers only shrunk one top which needed some shrinking, so perfect!

Now we’re sitting here in our apartment loving ourselves sick and waiting for Pete and Kay and the boys to come over and be our first visitors.

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When we were first booking this apartment on Airbnb there seemed there was going to be a bit of a palaver when we got here – it seemed like it was quite a strict building with strict rules on who could stay (for example, we were asked if we were coming to NY for business or medical reasons??) and if was suggested that if anyone in the building asked, we should say that we were business people, but since arriving – Rob on the door only cared to see one passport and when we told him that we were going to have visitor he replied, “yeah, I’ll just buzz them up.” like he couldn’t quite understand why we were telling him.  We had to admit that we weren’t used to  having a doorman.

So, we’ve unpacked, washed and dried all our clothes, put Noah and Wes’ drawings and letters on the fridge with the fridge magnets souvenirs we’ve purchased thus far, written a shopping list and researched where the closest Whole Foods supermarket is located – it’s about 6 little blocks up and one long block to the west at Columbus Circle, so we’ll probably walk up there and catch the metro one stop home with our groceries…. we have to call them groceries now.

This is all we have at the moment – obviously left over from previous tenants (except the vegemite – I don’t leave home without it!)

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Our visitors were suitably impressed with our new abode and we sat around and chatted for a bit before facing the absolutely freezing temps outside – I didn’t pack any long jeans because I didn’t anticipate it being this cold here, so I guess that means I’m going to have to go shopping  – damn it!  Although we’ve only got one more day of cold and then she’s hitting the high 20s – which I’ve packed for, so I’m sure I can continue to wear layer upon layer until then.

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On the way home from dinner we came across another supermarket and whilst checking it out thought we might as well buy our stores from there – it is tricky to know what to purchase when you don’t know the brands.  It made me realise how important branding and packaging is with food because at home, I automatically go for the one I’m used to buying.  I know I like it, I know I’ve read the ingredients etc… before, so it’s a quick grab off the shelf – this shopping expedition took a little longer to complete and even then we left without a few items because it was just too hard to decide.  Damn you yoghurt aisle!

So we can home and our apartment was dark, but the windows were alit with the New York night – we didn’t factor this in when we chose the fabulous location!

Sleep well!

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Here’s a little ditty that explains how it feels to be in New York.  Thank you Alicia Keys.

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