24th August – A Whole New World

On Sunday the 24th, I had until 3pm to myself so I’d penciled in more sightseeing in NYC. First I had to get up relatively early to switch hotels. The one I stayed in Friday & Saturday was sold out for Sunday so I’d booked a Hilton, and if i’m honest, I wish I’d just stayed there the whole time. For £70 a night I got a corner room on the top floor with the most amazing view of the Empire State and the New Yorker! It was breath taking, it was no wonder Namu & I slept that night with the curtains open!

So after I’d dropped my case at the Hilton I headed out to explore. I knew pretty much where I wanted to go and it was more walking despite the fact I’d developed a limp due to the blisters, but I didn’t care. I WAS IN NEW YORK! I walked down past Macy’s as I knew you get an awesome view of the Empire State Building and then down to the Flatrion. I stopped in a Starbucks to use some wifi and I found I had a message from my long time (since I was 15 and used Livejournal) friend Cristina! We’d never met and it just so happened she was moving back to the city that weekend. We arranged to meet for lunch somewhere in Chinatown. Since I still had a couple of hours I caught the subway to the Battery Park so I could see the Statue of Liberty. As this is my third time in NYC, it’s become a tradition that I always have to see her. She looked as awesome as ever in the sun and I wish I had been there for longer so I could have take a boat to get closer. Never mind. I walked a bit to get a good view of Brooklyn Bridge too before heading into the Financial District to see if I could find a subway that would take me towards Bowery.

Of course with it being Sunday the trains ran to a different schedule so I ended up getting really lost but it ended up being a pretty good thing as I stumbled upon the New York Stock Exchange, a building I always seem to miss and then I so happened upon the new Peace Tower at World Trade Centre! It is HUGE and all mirrored! I’d kept seeing the thing wherever I was around the city but it was insane seeing it up close. A very beautiful addition to the New York skyline.

Finally I found my way to Chinatown and met Cristina. She is so wonderful, funny and gorgeous. Great conversation and despite having never met her, I found her so easy to talk to. We had authentic Vietnamese lunch, something I’d never tried before but it was delicious. I can’t even remember what I ate and I tried to be respectful and not take 100s of photos. Shout out thanks to her male friend who paid for my lunch, I really appreciated it! I only had an hour with her sadly before I had to run off to the theatre as I had tickets for Namu & I to see Aladdin!

The reason I’d booked Aladdin was because a) it’s an awesome movie b) it’s Disney and c) it’s anew show that isn’t at the West End yet. It’s also the first time I’ve ever seen anything with it’s original broadway cast. It’s the funniest musical I have ever seen, I laughed out loud so many times and it was so clever how they staged it. I loved pretty much all of the extra songs, I even love the added characters. The guys who played Aladdin, Jafar & Iago were AMAZING.. but the best by miles was the guy who plays the Genie, he was phenomenal and I’m sure he would be doing Robin Williams proud. I only have two complaints, Jasmine was weak and when she was in a duet with anyone she was practically drowned out or completely off key. The other complaint was the price of everything.. a diet coke was $8 and my program was $25! I really wanted it though since as I mentioned above, it was the original cast. I’d recommend anyone to get tickets and see it, we were the front row of the top balcony which were cheap seats but a brilliant view!

After the show Namu had arranged for us to meet up with another friend Jaime so I could enjoy another tradition, Chevys. We all enjoyed catching up, eating mexican food and drinking cocktails before walking the High Line. As much as I would have loved to do it during the day, it was so pretty at night. The High Line is an old disused railway line that has been turned into a park/walk way. There are loads of installations from various artists and places to sit down. It was the perfect activity post dinner and it meant we could chat and just hang out. I laughed probably more than I had the whole holiday and I was pretty sad when we got kicked out at 11pm. We said goodbye to Jaime and headed back to the hotel. We watched some comedy tv while preparing for our long trip to Niagara Falls the next morning.

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