Sunday, 7th of September. Wow, what an incredible day it was. Not only was this my first day out in New York, it was also my first trip as solo tourist overseas. In less than 8 hours, I managed to shop at world’s largest Macy’s store, walk to Times Square, get on a tour bus, take a million pictures, get blisters, get on five wrong subway trains, get lost yet reach home in one piece. 🙂 I know that sounds terrible but believe me there was no better way to learn my way around NYC as a total newbie.
To start with, I needed a phone with internet that works in the US. Thank God, my iPhone was unlocked so I could use a prepaid SIM. I got one from ULTRA Mobile that gave me unlimited calls and texts (within US) and 2 GB data usage for $35 plus $15 once-off activation. Mind you, this is in US Dollar. ( 1 USD = 1.4 AUD)
Since I had no original plans to go sight seeing today, I was in my low heel ankle boots. I should have known better. If there’s one lesson to take with me home, it would be: WEAR VERY COMFORTABLE SHOES. Sneakers are the best. Anyways, we (my Uncle/host and I) planned to check out the venue where the fashion show was going to be. For those who missed my last blog, I came to New York to work as a dresser backstage at New York Collection 2015. This is my first every international assignment to work backstage.
The next thing I sorted out was a weekly Subway pass that gave me unlimited rides on subway trains and buses. It costed me $31 (USD). I also got the Subway map that was going to prove to be my best friend throughout my stay here.
Alighting at 32nd street on the 7th avenue, I walked to Macy’s. It was massive. After quickly browsing through and not buying a thing (I work with designers doesn’t mean I’m into brands for my personal taste, can’t afford them, yet), I headed towards the Times Square. There was too much to see, too many shops to frequent and lots of pictures to take. At Times Square, one of the bus tour agents in green tshirts from GoNYTours approached me and completely convinced me to get a ticket. We worked out a great deal and I got myself a tour valid for 3 days and covering all 4 rides- the Downtown tour, Uptown tour, Night tour and Brooklyn Tour for $39 (USD). Next I got on this bus and did not get off till we got to the last stop, the Battery Park. I was only cruising through all the spots making mental notes of places I want to come back to.
It got real dark when we got to the Battery Park so I dropped the idea to tour around the Statue of Liberty in the free shuttle ferry although it was going to be a 30 minute ride, I preferred to come back in the morning for a better view and pictures. Next, I made my way to the nearest subway, little was I aware that a great learning experience awaited me ‘coz I was about to get lost, use 5 wrong trains and learn how to use the subways.
I am not going to get into much details about subways. For New Yorkers, it will be extremely boring, and for those who have never been to New York, it will make no sense how the subway works here. Just know that there are different train lines by alphabets. You must know which line to use to get you to the exact street you want to go to. You may need to transfer from one line to another for connecting services. Needless to say, the Subway map is your best friend and you must never lose it no matter how cool your phone apps are (mobile battery can die quickly). I found there are A, C, E, L, R, N lines and there is the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) which is like Cityrail in Australia.
I caught the LIRR train from the 8th Avenue 32nd Street and was at the Mineola station in 30 minutes.
Here are some not-so-great random photos from today.
I promise I will try and take some better ones tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the post. Feel free to write to me your questions or feedback or just a casual chat using my Contact Form. Until tomorrow, take care.
Lots of love. XOXO