Sunday, 20 March 2011

In which I spend some time in New York

They say international travel broadens the mind, and opens one’s eyes to new horizons. I used my recent jaunt to NYC to learn a few things…

- Should you and your new boss end up having that last cheeky G&T in the BA lounge, you’re more than likely to find yourselves running through T5 as the nice announcer lady threatens that the flight is about to take off without you, and if you wish to join it, would you please damn well get your arses on it now* (*I may be paraphrasing her slightly).

- Female PRs in New York are faintly terrifying. No bigger than a size -2, where they keep their internal organs, and how they have the strength to cart around their enormous Harry Winstons, remains a mystery.

- There is a love affair with all things hi-tech. There are electronic key fobs to operate the doors, and PIN codes to get into the loos. For someone forgetful, and prone to losing stuff, this is a less-than-ideal scenario.

- British humour doesn’t translate. Quips about the British being so low-tech as still to be using door handles will be met with utterly blank stares.

- All men in New York - but ALL of them - have ridiculous-sized dogs.

- Barmen in New York don’t use measures. As a Brit it pains me to say this, but New Yorkers can mix a killer G&T.

- An RP accent goes down rather well in Manhattan (it also makes rounds of those G&Ts much cheaper. Or, free). However, sometimes it will be mistaken for an Australian accent (no free drinks then), whereas a Kiwi accent will always be mistaken for British. Eh?

- After a few of the aforementioned G&Ts, the view from the penthouse bar in which you’re enjoying the afterparty has the propensity to give one a touch of vertigo.

- Once the inappropriate flirting; dancing on tables; and ensuing splitting of DJ trousers has reached its peak, it’s useful to have nice strangers on hand to be able to manhandle colleague into cabs and back home (thanks, mysterious Julian from Chicago).

- Pizza is acceptable as a snack in 10am conference calls.

- A short wander round MOMA is a wonderful thing. The majority of a day spent in MOMA will elicit a plot to ensnare a Getty so you’ll eventually have the resources to buy half the collection.

- Even in the most easily-navigatable city in the world, it’s possible to be so hungover that you walk 10 blocks in entirely the wrong directions.

- You’ll have to resort to Twitter if you want to know the rugby score.

- Sorry to say it, but the coffee is generally pretty dreadful. Monmouth, it ain’t.

- Constant drinking and no more than four hours’ sleep a night will mean you arrive back in the UK tired and ill. And utterly in love with a place that you really didn’t want to leave.


Helen said...

I adore New York. Utterly. It makes my heart ache that I'm not there.

Liberty London Girl said...

Now you know why I went for three weeks - and stayed four years. LLGxx

Blonde said...

Helen: I know precisely what you mean.

LLG: I do. I really do. There's a little voice on my shoulder whispering the words "permanent" and "transfer"... x

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

New York's streets were a mystery to me. Blocks, "46th and 57th and Park" or such like = not an address my mind can work with.

Redbookish said...

I have a room in an apartment in NY at my disposal on Central Park West, and I'm there at least three times a year for a few weeks. Every time I'm there I contemplate a complete move, unless I'm there in a heat wave in August.

But you're right, the coffee is awful. I remember my first time in the US in SF, looking forward to American coffee. Boy, was I disappointed. OTOH, the pancakes with syrup and bacon ... mmm

Blonde said...

PDEWYMO: I know what you mean - not massively intuitive. As new boss and I found out when we were aiming for a bar and ended up outside a laundromat.

Red: You have a room there and you're not there ALL THE TIME?! You've far more willpower than I.

Redbookish said...

Oh, Blonde, I have a rather time-consuming job here in the vicinity of Cadburyland unfortunately, and a house near the Lake District, so lots of pulls in different directions.

I wish those scientists would hurry up and invent the teleporter.

jman said...

Major office buildings in London are no less security conscious than those in NYC; in fact the ones I have experienced in London have sometimes felt like I was in some high security lab or on a space ship going through pods and the like.

It also never ceases to amaze me how anyone who can count can get lost in NYC. About the only thing you have to remember is to make certain if the address is east or west such and such street.

And while NYC is not without its considerable charms and in terms of energy makes London look positively sleepy, I wonder whether after a while your inner Home County girl would ultimately decide it wasn't your cup of tea.

Brennig said...

Love NY, worked there four years. Will be revisiting the place later this year, but we need to get our West Coast marathon done before we do the East Coast leg.

HC said...

We in the Developed World (Birmingham) also have PINs to get into the loos and fobs galore. This isn't because we're especially forward thinking though, it's because where I work is more like Shawshank.

nuttycow said...

Yay! Your post made my really look forward to my trip over there. Any tips on where to stay, what to do, etc would be appreciated.

theperpetualspiral said...

I will always assert that NY is the greatest city on earth (disclaimer - of the cities I have visited!).

In fact, I suspect a trip back there later in the year is on the cards. I have fond memories of Shea Stadium, hidden bars and stepping into a very deep puddle one night.

Redbookish said...

This blog post is reminding me I need to book my flights for July, NYC and DC here I come!

And since when is Brum the developed world? I mean, I know we have more canals than Paris and more trees than Venice, but ... ? Although the smell of cocoa in the morning is v. civilised.

HC said...

Red, Have you not been to the modern day parthenon that is the Paradise Forum? Amongst its numerous laurels it counts a resplendant Nando's/McDonald's/Wetherspoons combo. Who needs New York....

(So, you mentioned you had a spare apartment....)

Blonde said...

Red: Boo to jobs and bills and not being in NY! (Although a house in the Lakes does have its own charms.)

Jman: You might be right. Although the chance to find out wouldn't be one at which I'd turn up my nose.

Bren: A very wise idea, my friend. DEEPLY jealous of that trip - sounds amazing.

HC: Really?! Huh. Maybe it's just London that's backwards...

NC: Will drop you a note. x

TPS: It, and 'Burgh: most definitely.

Sasha @ The Happiness Project London said...

Oh lovely. You had a wonderful time. This is a lovely post - makes me understand it more than a "top travel tips" type post. Cute er dog too.

I'm working on L I promise :)

Sasha xx

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