A New York Love Affair



I was 16 the one and only time I went to New York, although my love for it probably started many years before that. Quite what prompted it I don't know (although I suspect it had something to do with Friends) but I can’t remember not having that small flame of desire to get there, be there. I finally made it when my mum, bless her heart, took it upon herself to find a holiday that would appeal to a somewhat-grumpy 16 year old and a 12 year old.

I can remember mooching around Central Park surrounded by autumn colours (and doing the ‘Phoebe run’ with my sister when no one else was around). I remember standing in the middle of Times Square and trying to process the amount of things I could see and hear and smell. I remember sheltering from the cold in Bloomingdales and buying a ‘brown bag’. I remember looking down at a rainbow over the city, from the top of the Empire State building. I remember eating take-out pizza on an enormous bed. I remember gazing at that dreamy skyline on a ferry heading towards Liberty Island and thinking this was a magical place.

But most of all, I remember just walking down a normal New York street early one morning on the hunt for pancakes. I can vividly remember the smell, the cold air on my face and a feeling of something that I just can’t put into words. But it comes back to me now so vividly, it’s almost painful.

This shit getting dramatic.

Basically, I was in love big time.


I wanted to go back from the moment I was on the plane flying home and, for the eight years since, I've talked about doing just that with varying levels of intensity.

I adore a good city break as much as the next person, but if I’m going to actually live in a city, it will be cities like Bath or St Albans which are not the kind of cities people are referring to when they talk of city living (I’m looking at you irritating omg-London-is-the-best-and-only-place-on-earth people).

And, whilst in the past couple of years, London has finally managed to carve a little place in my heart; New York captured me in a way London or any other city city has never quite managed.

With New York, I got it. I had that 'city' thing people go one about. The buzz, the sparkle; that city of dreams feeling.

It’s time I went back.

I want to experience it again but more; live, breathe and taste it, and this time around with G.


Last week, I went off on one of my I-heart-New York rambles which seem to have occurred more and more recently and G, oh-so-matter-of-factly, says that we should do it, before it becomes one of those things that we say we’re going to do but never get round to. The next morning, he’s calling out potential flight prices to me before I’ve even got out of bed. Ain’t he a babe?

One of the many great things about G is that he’s a do-er. Whereas I am known to hesitate, to um and ah because I’m overwhelmed by choice, to suddenly go oh god, can I actually afford this?! at the last second (usually the answer is no but I somehow justify doing it anyway cos at least I stopped and asked for a moment...); G just gets on with it. Which basically sums up the past week in our household; me bombarding G with potential flights and hotels and just generally showing him New York related things and being like AHHHHHHHHHHH. Even him being asleep didn’t stop me, I just sent him emails after he’d nodded off. But G was the one to actually get on with it. To actually be like ‘sod it, let’s book this.’

Which he did this morning.

My bank account is definitely going to crack under the fresh load of abuse I am about to inflict on it and we have to wait 9 months before we finally go and the excitement may actually kill me before then butbutbut...

There is a flight. To New York. Booked in my name. And right now that is everything.

New York my love, I am coming back to you. It’s been a long time coming.


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