Memoirs: The NYC Diaries – Part Six

If you’re into fitness/health – this blog post should come with a disclaimer that I ate 4 gargantuan slices of pizza in the space of 24 hours purely for ‘research purposes’. If you’re familiar with my blogs, you’d know I visited Rome last December and inhaled the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire *cough cough* 26 years on this planet. I obviously had to do some detailed research in New York to compare…

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My last full day in the Big Apple (gotta contrast all the pizza talk above of course), started off with repacking my stupid sports holdall, my giant hand luggage bag and my suitcase. Since going to Milan and taking hand luggage only – I have learnt to pack smart, not stupid. I still don’t know why I like to bring everything? It’s like I empty out my drawers, open my wardrobe and pour everything in and then I’m not surprised when my baggage is overweight.
To make my bag even more overweight (and myself too), me and my friend decided to spend the last day of our trip doing what we do best… shopping and eating.
I’d been advised to take a wander over to Century 21 for designer goods and cheap prices, because let’s be real, who really wants to pay full price . Upon entering the store, I soon realised how much it resembled TKMaxx, but more organised and less of a jumble sale. I picked up a Michael Kors bag for my mother, some ELF brushes (which have since broken ugh) and some other bits which I cannot remember. 🤔
After popping into a few other stores, we soon worked up an appetite and wondered for a while in search of food. We came across Franceso’s Pizzeria which from the outside looked like your picturesque neighbourhood pizza joint and felt the very same on the inside. I ordered a slice of pepperoni ($2.85) and the Cheesesteak Hero ($13.50) and a giant Dr Pepper because WHY NOT. The place gradually started to fill up with locals, mums and toddlers and customers collecting their orders and I’d realised we’d made a good choice when picking Franceso’s. After a short while our food came and I guess my eyes were bigger than my belly…
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But I did my best to try to eat all of it because a wise person (my mother) once told me ‘waste not want not’. This is probably the best Philly cheesesteak I’ve had in my life I’ve never even been to Philly (Watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air doesn’t count). Don’t get me started on the pizza either, it had the perfect ratio of cheese to pepperoni to the crispy thin crust.
After inhaling the pizza and cheese steak, we walked past Kiehl’s; a brand I’ve been wanting to try since forever. When Winter arrives so does my super-dry skin too, so I wanted to find something that would really work. The staff were really helpful and I left spending what would be the equivalent of £24 on face-cream (I’m upset writing this because that is just SO ridiculous). But I can confirm that after using the Ultra Facial moisturiser for a solid month, I can say it really did work and improved the hydration of my skin – just a shame about the price of it though. But I’ve always stood by the mantra of a higher price-tag comes with higher quality ingredients (not always true but mostly).
We then took a taxi to visit the Forever 21 by Times Square as their pieces are decent quality, on-trend and most of all cheap… It was a good decision as I raided their buy one get one free sale stocking up for A/W 2017 with lots of knitwear. With our stomachs full and arms aching from carrying all our shopping bags (it’s a hard life, I know), we then took a taxi back to our hotel for a much-needed nap before heading to…
New Jersey for The Comedy Get Down…
NJ is around a 30 minute journey from Manhattan if there isn’t much traffic. The journey started to prove difficult as the Ubers kept cancelling on us and the yellow taxi drivers telling us to get out when we said we wanted to go to New Jersey. What’s your beef?
After around 10-15 minutes of sticking my arm out like Carrie in Sex and the City for a taxi, we finally found a driver who’d take us to NJ for an off the meter fare of $70. Looking back all I can say is what a rip-off but me and public transport in heels just don’t go. I would probably get them stuck in a grate and graze myself in the process.
The Comedy Get Down featured what I’d call ‘back in the day’ comedians such as: Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer, Charlie Murphy, George Lopez, and D.L. Hughley. It was funny but I don’t know if it was me but the crowd was a little older and I found myself not relating to some of the jokes as much as I thought I would.
We then headed on back to NYC for our last night in the city and I suggested we go to The Dream Hotel in Midtown which I had saved in my ‘NYC to do list’ as having amazing views of New York. It had a Chelsea meets Shoreditch kinda vibe and I loved seeing everyone around having a good time and getting down to old school Hip Hop. As much as I loved going to the strip club a few nights before, this place was definitely my kinda vibe and it didn’t have that pretentious feel either. We didn’t actually go to the roof sadly but instead chilled in the lobby, which I’m sure was just as good until the tiredness seeped in…
So we got a taxi back ‘home‘, not before grabbing a few slices of pizza from a shop near The Paramount Hotel…
99 problems… is tipping one?
We had a few issues when it came to tipping during our time in NY. Everything seemed to be about money which I guess where their grind momentum comes in. My stance was that yes I am in a country where it is customary to tip but don’t make me feel like it is obliged to give you a certain amount.
8.30am flights are not the one unless you live next to the airport (or in it). You’ll probably find a common theme with all my flight times throughout this blog that they’re either at 6am or 8am. UGH. I think I’ve realised that they really aren’t worth it as you end up being ridiculously tired from getting up at an ungodly hour, paying a hefty cab or hotel fee and having an irritable flight.
Saying goodbye with my very last pizza at 6am was bittersweet (emotionally, not the taste of the pizza) as the breakfast food in the airport wasn’t very exciting. It’s not like I could have put on any more weight on this trip… so why the hell not (I need to stop using this as an excuse). The pizza was hella greasy though, like someone had drenched it in oil over and over. Just look: 
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I fell in love New York – the vibe, the people, the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline, one day I’ll be back and some of it will be mine.
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Char xo

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