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New York You're Perfect, Don't Please Don't Change A Thing

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A few things I learnt from my recent trip to New York. 

The Importance of Good Skincare Products
Everyone seems to be experiencing a seriously messed up winter right now and as I'm sure you all know, New York is bloody freezing! Don't get me wrong, England isn't exactly Bermuda so cold weather isn't new to me but I was not one hundred percent prepared for Manhattan masquerading as the Fortress of Solitude. Luckily, these products helped out a little bit.

New York Trip Must Have's

Sephora Is My Kryptonite
I love this shop so, so much. We have nothing like it in the UK. We used to have Sephora, which makes sense being French and all, buddies across the waters (ahem), but for some reason it didn't do very well over here and so the stores closed. We have to make-do with traipsing round to beauty halls in department stores or visiting Boots (like CVS). All well and good if you live in London but for those of us in the suburbs, it can be hard to find products for people with different skin tones. Sephora was a breath of fresh air and I spent way too much money in there. Oh and the staff, particularly at Union Square, were extremely helpful and kind. Luckily, little sis is off to Paris soon so I'll send her a list. 

Motown The Musical
AMAZING! We were lucky enough to get front row seats, so it was like being at our very own personal Motown concert. The actors were all brilliant and their voices were sensational. If you're looking for a Broadway show, please go and see this. 

Friendliness, Service with a Smile and Good Cheer
The last time I went to NYC was during the summer, so it was mainly filled with tourists like myself. This time I got to see working NYC and was expecting the grim, coldness of London on a week day in terms of attitude. Au contraire, mon frere. Everyone was SO NICE. People smiled at us. If I smiled at someone on the tube, they'd probably pull the passenger emergency alarm. My family are Yankophiles, so we cross the Atlantic on a regular basis and are familiar with your happy, helpful salespeople. However, with the cold weather and everything, it just made that bit of a difference to have someone seemingly go out of their way to help you. Yes, it's their job but it still felt nice. Also, we regularly stopped people for directions and they were all very helpful - most noticeably this older lady helping us and some Chinese tourists on the subway, like a tour guide! 

Coats Galore
I suppose the good thing about the cold weather was that it meant people could rock some pretty cool outerwear. From city slickers in Canada Goose, Moncler and Mackage parkas, to cool mum's in full length North Face down jackets, to old ladies in full on fur coats, to hipster Brooklynites in their floor length camel coats. Great stuff. I personally opted for the Tommy Hilfiger Maine down jacket, which was surprisingly warm. 

Obligatory Book Haul
As I was with my friend rather than my family, I didn't do my usual book store tour (also, that meant I didn't have anyone else's suitcase to bear the brunt) but I still came away with a decent stack of books (including The List by Siobhan Vivian FINALLY) from Barnes & Noble Union Square. 

Tube > Subway
However, I must say, the London Underground is organised much better than the subway. How can one have an underground system without proper signage?! Most of the time it was a gamble as to whether we were heading onto the right platform. I understand it's something you learn in time but. like London, NYC is one of the most visited cities on the planet. They could at least put up a few more signs. 

Top of the Rock > Empire State Building
I don't know if it's because I did the Empire State Building in the summer and spent half a day queuing but I much preferred the views from Top of the Rock. The elevator is pretty cool and I couldn't stop hearing the 30 Rock theme in my head (which incidentally is my alarm tone). Next time, I'll definitely do the NBC tour.

OnLocation Tours
We did the Movie & TV tour, which was brilliant because it was in a heated bus and we got to see most of the city. They do let you out at various stops though, such as the firehouse from Ghostbusters and the Friends apartment facade. Oh and they show clips of the relevant shows and movies. They had me at Chuck & Blair at the Empire State Building. 

There's much more I could talk about (like our little trip to Williamsburg) but that will do for now. Have you been to NYC? Do you live there? What are your favourite things? 

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