New York City 2011: Day 1: Brussels – New York

From the 27th til the 31st of October 2011, I went on a NYC-trip with my parents for my 21st birthday. OK, so we went when I had already turned 22, but it’s the thought that counts. A short city trip, my second time there, with my parents also having my brother there (we split the trip, as he turned 21 this year and was in NYC for the second half of the week). Enjoy! – Camille

After a rather harsh awakening (“What do you mean, we’re leaving in 20 minutes?”) and an entertaining eight-hour flight (I hope you guys can read sarcasm), I’m finally capable of saying: New York, baby! The Big Apple, the City of Dreams (or maybe it’s the City of Hopes, since so many people hope to make it here, thanks to Frank Sinatra and so many others), the City of… Rain.

That’s right, laugh it up. It’s supposedly gorgeous weather in Belgium right now and the weather couldn’t be wetter in New York. It makes for interesting walking around town, seeing how you have to avoid A) puddles of water, B) blaring taxis and C) umbrellas that threaten to poke out your eye. Still, it hasn’t stopped us from exploring and boy, did we ever explore. Let me count the numerous ways NY has surprised me…

* They are clearly very concerned about noise pollution. If you honk too much, you can get a ticket that costs you $350. Small note: the cars don’t seem to bother too much with the “don’t honk”-rule.

* The drivers are clearly insane. If I ever say that I might be thinking about driving through NYC in a car with me as driver, show me this blog. It cannot be done without going mad. Honest to God, I never heard and saw so much accidents waiting to happen and impatient drivers ready to explode (perhaps maybe in Rome, but that’s a strange case all on its own).

* Wicked! Wickedwickedwickedwickedwicked! I’m desperate to see a Broadway-musical and keep trying to push my parents towards Wicked. Unfortunately, they know I’ve seen it already and don’t feel like ‘dragging me to the same show’. In other words: I have to choose another musical. Bugger.

* Alright, Wicked isn’t the only musical on Broadway. We made a quick detour on our way to the hotel and Oh. My. God. I literally skipped and danced my way across the boardwalk. Sister Act, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Mary Poppins, The Jersey Boys,  How to succeed in business, the Book of Mormon… Too much choice! Too much choice!

* It’s technically not NY, but it was on the way to New York (work with me here). I was scanning the musical offer on the screens in the plane and I suddenly saw the two best words ever: ‘On Stage’. They had an entire musical selection. I was hooked and didn’t listen to or watch anything else. Woohoow!

* The M&M store! Unfortunately, they don’t have any thimbles… But I’ll figure something out 😉

* There aren’t a lot of supermarkets here, but we found Ernest Klein, which is a small but amazingly well-stocked supermarket with fresh vegetables, fruits and lots of other delicious things. I like!

* The hotel. We’re on the 33rd floor (I know, thank God I overcame that fear of heights or I would never have survived this trip), which is a long way up, except that our elevator only takes 10 seconds or so to reach our floor. My ears pop everytime we enter that death trap, but boy is it worth it.

* I’m apparently a “very well-conserved 22-year old”. That’s a direct quote from the guy that took my fingerprints and checked my passport. He did a double take when I told him I was 22. Whoopy-doo.

* Shops! Lots and lots of them! And of course, my favourite auntie in the whole wide world 😉

Tomorrow: hopefully better weather, a quick look at Columbia University, lots of walking around and my first real adult dayview of NYC. Bring it on!

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