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My Trip to New York – Kelsey Thickett

posted 2 May 2014, 02:47 by Google Google   [ updated 2 May 2014, 03:55 ]






New York was one of the best experiences I have and will ever have in my life. From the fear and panic on the Empire State Building to the “people size” food in some of the restaurants, if I could fly back today, I would. You know when people kind of stereo-type well, you can’t really do that to New York. It does have tall buildings and amazing lights, shops that you could live in, pretzels and pizzas the size of an average size male, busy streets, over exaggerating accents and a whole lot of yellow taxis.

The day before New York, I was up till about 2 in the morning because of how excited I was even though I had to get up at 5 in the morning. Unfortunately, all the excitement lead to me forgetting all the money that I had saved up from Christmas and my birthday to spend in New York. I only however realised when we had checked in at the airport in England and was about to pay for a drink. Everyone had a good laugh including the teachers but in all fairness I am blonde so it was expected of me. 

Luckily, one of my teachers got a phone call from my parents that weren’t exactly my biggest fans at that moment. They transferred the money into the teachers account and I got the money in dollars once we got to New York. 

Once all the worrying was over, I could actually allow myself to get excited for the flight, mainly because of the movies, food and drink.

I heard that plane food wasn’t nice but I felt fat with the amount of food that they were feeding me. I got ice-cream, pasta, a bread roll, crackers and this pizza/pasty thing. We got complimentary drinks to which I found out meant free half way through the flight – yes I really am blonde.

Once we found out that the plane was about to land, you saw all the girls putting on their mascara to make sure we looked good for the American boys, which we hoped would be the exact opposite to the English. Landing was quite scary because of the snow. You couldn’t even see the land so we couldn’t see when we were going to land but to be honest, we were so fixed on the snow that we never get in England, we didn’t really care if we had a crash landing. 

Once we safely landed in New York, we were all quite tired and drained as no-one got much sleep apart from me. Although I wish I didn’t because for those two minutes that I was asleep, my ‘bestfriend’ decided to get a picture of me sleeping and that picture got put on twitter later on that night. After waiting in a long queue to get checked out, we walked out. It was amazing, walking in the snow, seeing everyone laughing and smiling, taking selfies in the snow. 

It only really felt like we were in New York when we were driving through Times Square, with all the bright lights and the ‘Dunkin Doughnuts’, the avenues and yellow taxi’s. When we got to the hotel, the wind literally pushed us into the door and everyone quickly got their room keys and ran to the lifts to see what the rooms were like. 

The view from our room was amazing, all you saw was lights and cars and the tall buildings that towered over the people beneath. It was quite annoying when we found out we had the room right next to the teacher until we found out we had the biggest room out of anyone on the trip and that some people had a wonderful view of a wall. 

You’d think that after a long flight and the fact that we were jet lagged and it was about 8pm in America, we would be allowed to go to sleep but no, we were straight out to take pictures and visit Times Square. First we went to get food at this Italian restaurant where it was like a pic and mix and you paid depending on how much your food weighed so I managed to get a chicken thigh and rice for $3 which is like £2. All that anyone cared about when we were there was wi-fi, in our generation, we eat, sleep and breath wi-fi so as soon as we heard that magical word, we are all straight on our ipods/phones/ipads, anything we can get our hands on.

Walking through Times Square was such an experience. The buildings were so tall and you didn’t even notice all the people around you because you were just focused on the lights and moving pictures on the buildings. The atmosphere was indescribable, it just made you smile and you forgot about everything at that moment. It was so much more remarkable then I had expected, so colourful and mesmerizing. I just didn’t want to leave. 

On our way walking back to the hotel which wasn’t far at all from Times Square, you realized how straight the roads are and how busy the streets were, but it wasn’t the kind of busy that you expect, it just created more atmosphere. Most people would see the constant busking and asking for money as annoying but I just thinking it made it New York and it’s not like they were annoying because they were all polite and didn’t beg, they just asked which is why I gave them the rest of what I had on me on the last day. 

Once we got back to the hotel, we all went to unpack and get an American Fanta from the vending machine on our floor. We all got into bed that night, set our alarms and looked forward to finally going to sleep. That was until we woke up the next morning. When we woke up, it felt like we had hardly slept but we expected that because of jet lag and being in somewhere new, so we all got up and started getting in the shower, getting changed and getting our money ready for the day until we suddenly noticed that no-one else (including the teachers) were out in the corridor. At first we didn’t really think anything of it and just got our bags sorted but then one of us actually decided to look at our phones and we realised that it wasn’t 7 in the morning,  it was about 3 in the morning because my phone didn’t change from English time to New York time.

Of course we were all awake and changed so we couldn’t get back to sleep and we just kept wondering how we managed to not even think of looking at the time earlier or how I managed to forget to change the time on my phone. Me and my friend Kiya then decided to go to the hotel shop and get some food because we didn’t see the point in being awake and hungry. 

After everyone woke up and the teacher decided to tell every single hotel room about what we did, we headed of for breakfast. We weren’t really happy to find out that there wasn’t wi-fi but when we got handed the menu, we all forgot about Snapchat and Instagram and started dribbling at the thought of a stack of American pancakes and syrup. I didn’t manage to finish all my breakfast but neither did many people and we were just all looking forward to finding out what we were doing later on in the day.

Each day in New York was amazing, we did so many exciting things in one day that I can’t even remember what we did each day. I just remember the amount of memories that I had, the opportunities that I had both for photography and to just have a good time. 

At the beginning of the trip, we went to the Empire State Building, I can’t say it was something I was looking forward to because of how scared I am of heights but I knew how amazing it would be and how disappointed I would be in myself if I didn’t go so I decided to go. When I got to the top, I completely got over my fear and the view was just overwhelming, remarkable. Only joking, I was too scared to go anywhere near the edge of the building and had to get walked to the gate where you could actually see the view and even then,  I hid behind my leaflet but I heard that it was awesome and you could even see the airport and Central Park up there. 

In the first day I remember when Sir let us go off shopping by Macy’s. We were all standing patiently waiting for the doors to open with dollar signs in our eyes. We basically sprinted into Macy’s and couldn’t believe it. It was like the whole of Basingstoke in one building but much more expensive. You just wanted to buy everything you saw until you saw the price tags. We were going to go to the cheaper stores on 34th Street until we realised there was a Starbucks and wi-fi in there. 

The shopping in New York was amazing, so much more then what you expect and your money can get quite a lot. The people in the shops are so friendly, I remember this one lady in Macy’s that was asking us about London and said that our accents were beyond posh and that when we spoke it was like listening to a melody. I think that was what makes New York such a nice place to be because in every shop you go to it’s like you’re talking to a hairdresser. They ask you about your day, where you’re from, what your plans are for the future and when you’re planning to move over.

Times Square was probably my favourite place to be because of the lights and the amount of famous stores. The stores were massive and Toys R Us even had a massive Ferris Wheel in it that went through all 5 or so stories. 

You’d think that by the night time, we’d be all shopped out but nope. Sir let us have a wander round in the night which was such an experience, all the music and people dressed as Elmo or Buzz, buskers, hot dog stands and sweet shops. You didn’t even notice that you were literally getting frost bite, wherever it’s possible to get frost bite, because you were in New York in the cold.

I think one of my other favourite things was when we went to Central Park. At first I didn’t want to go ice skating in Central Park because I was scared of falling on my bum and having my fingers sliced off but I just remembered that I wouldn’t get this opportunity any other time so I put the skates on and got straight onto the ice. Most people couldn’t even walk in their skates, it was quite funny but not as funny as seeing the boys tripping up on the ice every time they moved slightly and falling in the puddles, getting soaked up to their armpits. All of us were getting wet because it chose that one day to tip it down which made the ice even scarier to skate on but I managed to go the whole time without falling on my bum so I was pretty impressed with myself and just looked forward to getting in a cab and going to get changed before shopping until I found out that we weren’t allowed to get a cab and had to walk all the way back from Central Park to the hotel, in the rain, soaked and shivering. Even when we were all in moods with Sir, as soon as you remember that you are in New York, you just forget and carry on laughing and smiling with your friends. 

I think it was the second night that we went to the basketball game. It was so good, it was in Madison Square Gardens (which had wi-fi). When we were sat in the audience of however many thousand people, it created such an atmosphere. They were all chanting for their team, there was top cannons, shooting t-shirts for the audience to catch and pretzels, chips that looked a lot more like waffles, drinks the size of your arm and it made everyone so grateful for being where we were. Every time someone scored, we would just start dancing even if it was the wrong team. This woman behind us even photo bombed one of our pictures. It was just amazing (I mean other than the sight of the men jumping up in front of us wearing clothes that they must of grown out of when they were about 5 with enough hair on their backs to make it easy enough for you to disguise them as gorillas). 

I thought that I was getting way to excited for New York and that I had hyped myself up to the point where I would be slightly disappointed. I couldn’t have been more wrong, there wasn’t one thing in New York that made me think twice about going back there in the future. My favourite place that we went out to for a meal was Hard Rock Café. It was an experience. The food was like everything I have ever eaten on one plate so you can understand why I and most people didn’t really finish their plate. I did however, almost finish my pudding. It was like heaven in a slightly large glass. It was Ben and Jerry’s milkshake. Two of my favourite things in one. It was so sickly but so good and I did get a free ‘Hurricane’ glass for getting the pudding. 

Photography wise, Brooklyn Bridge was amazing, it’s so much more incredible in person to what it seems on pictures. The structure, the strength, the height (quite scary) and the length of this bridge is pretty amazing and we had some laughs on that bridge, a few people falling over. We timed it pretty well seeing as we managed to walk there in the day light and walk back when the sun was setting and it was slowly turning into night. I thought it was awesome that you go from being in Manhattan to Brooklyn from walking like 15 minutes. Something else that is remarkable in person was the Statue of Liberty. It was so much taller then you expect it to be and I didn’t actually realize that it was all made out of copper and completely hollow until we were on the island. Unfortunately we weren’t exactly in the best of moods when we got to the island because the ferry was -10 degrees but the Statue of Liberty was definitely something to behold and it cheered us up.

There was one emotional part of the trip which was of course when we visited Ground Zero which is a tribute to 9/11. As soon as you walked in, the atmosphere changed and seeing the pictures of the people that were missing and the notes from the fire fighters daughters saying ‘I miss you daddy, when are you coming home’ and the recordings from the heroes themselves made you so emotional, you could feel the lump in your throat as you listened to the trembling in their voices when they realized what was going to happen next. It was draining but you felt so grateful that it wasn’t happening to you.

Other than being in Times Square at night, being in New Jersey to see the Manhattan skyline at night was the most amazing place to be. Just all the lights and the reflection of the buildings onto the water between the skyline and us, it made the atmosphere so calming yet pretty exciting. Before walking up to where we were going to take pictures, we saw our opportunity to get the teachers back for the amount of walking that they had put us through. We grasped snow into our hands and slowly cusped it from one hand to the other until we had a snowball of the right kind of consistency, we took our positions and through them like custard pies to a clown. Unfortunately we didn’t really think of the after part and consequences that came with hitting a teacher with snow and pretty quickly regretted the idea when they decided to do the same thing back to us. It reminded me of Central Park. Before we stepped onto the ice, we walked through the snow dusted trees and had the same kind of snowball fight just where all the romantic sense of movies in New York are filmed. 

From  busking on the streets to waffle looking chip things, I had such an amazing experience. I think having my friends there did make the experience, it wouldn’t have been as good in New York without those idiots and I can’t remember a time where I’ve laughed so much. I am so grateful for being able to go on this trip and I will never forget the amazing memories and times I’ve had and shared with the people on the trip.  Thank you so much for making this possible – I cannot thank you enough.

Kelsey Thickett