New York, New York….
The food. The art. The iconic yellow cab. And although it’s been over a month since I went to New York, the memory is still fresh in my head. And here it is, friends, highlights from my birthday, honeymoon, and Christmas trip combined to the Big Apple, part 1.
A tiny rant on time zones
21-hour flight, one transfer and two ‘special’ security checks later we landed in the afternoon on the same day we left Sydney.
Honestly, it kind of sucks being behind everybody else. The 16-hour time difference really made me think about the whole fuss with time zone and its significance. Do we have to have time zones? Is it really necessary? I mean, from a physics perspective, there IS only one time! I think the world will be a much simpler place if we just use one time. Why we can’t follow a universal time system? China for one has abolished time zones despite it geography being in five different time zones. Of course, things might be a little bit awkward at first but I’m sure we’d be able to adjust to it with time, and I think the benefits would outweigh the initial confusion. Anyway, moving on.
Taking it all in..
The Empire State of Mind (see video above to see what I’m talking about) plays in my head every now and then, whenever I see a landmark, the ‘I heart New York’ tees, the big apple on red Applebee’s sign. I’ve always wondered what it’s like, and now I’m finally here!
Where’re All The Apples?
A fun fact – did you know that New York’s nickname “Big Apple” has nothing to do with the state’s apple production?
It was popularised by John J. Fitz Gerald, a newspaper reporter back in 1920 who uses this catchphrase in his horseracing column, “Around the Big Apple.” And then in the 1970s, the nickname “Big Apple” was picked up by the New York City’s official marketing and tourism organisation and well…the rest is history.
I was surprised to see the Trump Tower smack bang in the middle of 5th Avenue. I only noticed it because there was a security station built on the side of the building, which is an odd thing to find next to an apartment.
I did a little digging and it turns out that they have extra security guarding the building because Mr Trump stays here whenever he’s in New York. And according to Fortune, this extra security costs about $308,000 per day. Hmm…
Christmas in NYC
The best thing about spending Christmas in New York is that firstly, the city is not dead on Christmas day! This is very exciting for me because, in Sydney, the 25th December often feels a bit like one of those cities in Walking Dead – all the shops are closed and the only thing you see walking around the city are zombies…or Asians.
The second best thing about celebrating Christmas in New York is seeing all the beautiful Christmas decoration adorning the buildings. I especially love the Christmas wreath. I have never seen a real wreath in before. Not one made with real pine cones and Christmas berries anyway. I kept on touching them because I couldn’t believe they were real.
How amazing do they look?
What the Shrub?!
On my second of third day, I noticed these unusual shrubs I kept coming across along the street of New York.
At first, I thought they were fake because honestly, they look too good to be real. I mean, look at them in their bright green colour, covered with snow in freezing temperature, looking very ‘fresh’. Surely they’re fake… I thought to myself.
But as I walk, I see more and more of these shrubs… And started thinking, man what’s with all these fake plants?. But then I thought again, maybe.. they are real?
So at my next encounter with this weird looking shrub, I stopped, bent over and pulled one of the branches closes to me.
Ermahgerd…, they’re REAL!
This is exactly why I love travelling. Finding out amazing things about the world that I know very little of.
I did some googling when I got back to Sydney and it appears that the shrubs I saw were some sort Junipers plants. I’m talking about those deep green spiky things surrounded by the beautiful Holly plants (the one with yellow-green leaves and bright red berries). They are part of the Conifers group (plants with those distinct needle-like leaves), ancient as the dinosaurs, resilient as hell, mostly evergreen (retaining their foliage and retains their colour throughout the year, despite the seasons), and can live for a very long time (the world oldest plants are all conifers). Now that is a very impressive plant resume if I ever see one.
Christmas Day Basketball Game
Did I mention how lively Christmas day is in New York? They even have a Christmas day NBA game!
We went to it was so much fun. The crowd atmosphere was buzzing and everyone was so into it! The Knicks fan were chanting “defense, defense’, whenever the Knicks were pushed to their own side, and since we were in New York, I thought it was apt for me to side with them, so I joined along. Here’s what they sound like if you’ve never heard of them.
Unfortunately, the New York Knicks lost the game that day….and every other game they played during our time in New York…
Around the City
The Amazing New York Sax Buskers
Okay, let me tell you about the New York Sax buskers.
They are THE BEST.
It’s hard to explain, you really need to experience it yourself (check out this Youtube playlist so you can see what I’m talking about). The experience was truly mesmerising for me. The atmosphere, the music, and how it all just makes the world feels a little better, a little nicer.
Sometimes, all you need is love, and music….
In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,….