Expat Life, Travel & Outings

Hot and Sticky in New York City

Yesterday it was hot. Damn was it hot, but, in my suitably chosen floaty summer skirt and shoe string strap top, and filled with enthusiasm for what I would find, I was ready to face the sticky city.


As I left the station, I decided I needed to make a plan for how I’d spend my time before I met with a friend later in the day. So I set myself a task. When travelling alone I find it always helps to have a purpose; it keeps me engaged and stops me thinking too much. When I think too much, I miss what’s happening right in front of me, and there’s far too much I want to take mental pictures of to allow myself to be lost in my own thoughts.

So, stood outside Grand Central on East 42nd Street, I logged onto Trip Advisor and looked for a lunch spot. I chose a place that I knew would take some trekking, and allow me to suck in a few sights along the way. My lunch spot of choice was called Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company. People always talk about bagels being a New York thing, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I craved a bagel and Tropicana orange juice after seeing that advert with the ‘New York New York’ theme tune. So, it had to be a bagel.



I opted for a kalamata olive filling with a whole wheat bagel. I managed to eat half of it before I reluctantly had to throw the rest away. It seems every single filling is something mixed with oodles of cream cheese. I reckon there were more calories in that half a bagel than I should eat in a week. But man did it taste good.IMG_2578

After walking the streets for a little longer, taking numerous photographs of the hectic goings-on in Manhattan, and grabbing refuge from the heat in yet another Starbucks, I met up with a new friend.


I say new friend because yesterday was the first time we’d met. She’s a friend of a friend and happens to live in NYC. She’s also a writer and I’ve read a lot of her work, so I knew we had common ground. Prior to meeting her, I felt like I already knew her. In some ways, this was true, but writers seem to have a knack of sharing just enough to connect with their readers but never too much that they’re an open book.  When we met in person, I saw new pieces of her jigsaw of personality that made her real, pieces that can never be seen through the written word.

It was wonderful to find someone in a strange city that I felt I could relate to, partly from an expat perspective, but also as a writer, and the more common introvert perspective that tends to come with the writer territory. We had a wonderful day, from enjoying wine in the sunshine on a terrace bar to gossiping over tea in Bryant Park. We ended our day with delicious Mexican food at Mexicue on 7th and West 30th Street. As I’m writing this, I feel like I’m already starting to sound like an American! The food didn’t rival Boxcar Cantina but after a hot, sticky day in the city it certainly hit the spot.

me on rooftop

I thought spending time in New York City would make me miss city living, and miss the bright lights of London, but it didn’t. I was so happy to come home to my quiet neighbourhood in Stamford at the end of a long day trudging the flamboyant, bustling streets of the metropolis. Maybe it’s an age thing, but as much as I love the city, I love suburbia more.

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