Saturday 23 April 2016

New York: first impressions

Some of the things that struck me in my first few days in NYC:

1. (Since basically the first thing I did was go to the 'restroom'): The toilet bowls are a lot more full of water which vaguely worried me, like I might fall in, like ohhh this is why bullies in films always flushed people's heads in the toilet. Then they flush automatically which surprises me even more! The cubicles in public toilets also seem to have a lot more space around them – like it would be a lot easier to climb under/over them – kind of like you're more exposed but less likely to get trapped without anyone knowing. Maybe that's a weird thing to think about while sat weeing?

2. Williamsburg, the first place I stayed in New York, is supposedly the trendy bit. I don't think the part I was staying in was trendy though. The main feature seemed to a whole lot of Hassidic Jews, curly sideburns and all. And a lot of yellow school buses.

3. It's a good idea to have an umbrella. The weather is changeable in the way it is in Cornwall – something about being surrounded by water?

4. Lots of people really do buy 'kwoffee' on their way to work (and pastries and do-nuts and pretzels...)

Sunday 17 April 2016

New York Notes: Arriving

Standing on the subway platform J at Sutphin Boulevard Station, just below Jamaica Station. Smelling of piss. I feel happy in a way I haven't felt for ages.

Why? Just to be somewhere new? The small triumphs of figuring out which train to get, a MetroCard given by a departing visitor, the sun shining over a new city, the whole world gathering.

It's been a smooth journey, luxurious it feels. No hassles, no problems, barely any turbulence. Wine and beer on the flight, and a pleasant neighbour, whose son happened to be in the year above my husband at Pretoria Boys High. Of all things.