Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sangria & Cream Tea

I am amazed and very happy at how quickly I have made friends here. I think it’s partly because a lot of people come & go in New York so groups of friends are very transient and fluid. You become less protective about having distinct groups of friends and not wanting to add new people into the mix. We are also all united somehow by our unconditional love for the place, which seems to help form bonds quicker.

Last weekend I met up with Marion, Joe, Mitsy and Guy and we went to CafĂ© Noir in Soho (a weird little French/Spanish place but lovely) and then to a bar. We consumed far too much sangria than should really be allowed – there’s a real pitcher culture here and the drinks are much stronger than in Europe. Much fun was had though.

On Sunday, I met up with Raff & Libs for a proper English cream tea and finger sandwiches at “Tea & Sympathy”, a cute & tiny English tea shop in Greenwich village. The weather was beautiful and New Yorkers were out in mass enjoying it. Saw a guy walking his dog & skateboarding at the same time – now that’s what I call muti-tasking in style!


My flat is starting to take shape. I bought some picture rails from Crate & Barrel and Larry (my gbf and surrogate husband) came over with his drill and put them up for me. I’m surprised that neither of us sustained any injuries considering how much we were laughing. They look brilliant, just like I’d imagined it, and I had already bought some beautiful lacquered picture frames and had my favourite photos printed in black and white, so I was able to put everything together straight away.

It’s funny because when I was in London, I had no pictures of my friends anywhere and only a couple of my family but here I really need images of the ones I love and miss.

In terms of family pictures, I have the wonderful picture that Laurie & I took of ourselves in Whistler ... a “hold the camera with one arm extended” job which worked so well, neither of us wearing a scrap of makeup – something I wouldn’t normally recommend! – and looking so happy and similar that there is no mistaking we are sisters.
Then a lovely if a little blurry picture of mum & dad that I love because they didn’t know I was taking a picture at the time – they are playfully joking with each other and look so in love.
A great picture of Julien proudly holding an enormous mushroom he found during one of our ritual mushroom picking expeditions in the woods near our family country house.
And too many pictures of friends to be able to go through them all - all of very happy times.

Larry & I then walked over to Central Park to watch the St Patrick’s day parade. It was beautifully covered in snow and it was wonderful to see families sledging on the slopes and I even saw someone skiing! It was cold but crisp and sunny. The parade was fun too – I am told that there will be many more during the year.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

First night in the city

That’s it – I’ve done it! Flew into New York on a one-way ticket.

I arrived on Saturday night, tired and weary (after one last night out with friends). It’s funny how I am looking at the city differently now that I know I’m going to be living here. It’s not an unattainable dream anymore, but it still feels new and exciting, albeit more real.
I am noticing the beggars more, how run down the buildings are, how unsophisticated supermarkets are (I miss Marks & Spencer already!). How normal people are here too … it’s not as glamourous as when looking at the city with the eyes of a tourist. Even clothes don’t seem as cheap somehow – although that’s probably because I am now paid in US dollars!

Yet, I still love it. Looking out of my window, taking in the view of Broadway – the taxis snaking up & down the busy avenue, the “Do Not Walk” signs glittering, the subway entrance around the corner, the very New York looking red bricks building in front of me, the smoke coming out of the subway air vents, the beautifully arranged fruits & vegetables in the shopfront of the grocery store.

I keep looking at this spectacle happening in front of my eyes and I still can’t believe I’ve made it! I’m living in New York! From a half-baked dream that I never thought would really come true, to it really happening. I must be the luckiest girl alive!

I've been threatening to do it for a while ...

and finally found myself with nothing to do over the weekend for the first time in months and thought that this was the perfect opportunity to start my own blog!
It will be a good way to document my experiences here and let friends and family follow my life even more closely.
I will try very hard to keep it up, but I can't promise anything! Except lots of random musings, in no particular order.