Jun 30, 2017

The adventures of Mish || A NYC recap

Hey bookworms! You guys all know that I went to NYC last month - it's been weeks already, since I came back! I am still in denial! -and I've been promising to share my adventures with you all and have been spending some lazy , jet lagged days instead.

Today, I am finally presenting you all with my NYC stories!!!

Well there's a lot to tell, obviously, and I am known for my exaggerated stories anyway. So this post is going to be long. Also, I did BEA/Bookcon as well, but I am making a separate recap for that, so this post is just about all the non bookish fun I had in the city that never sleeps! :)

Let's get going!

The decision to make my BEA trip a bit longer stemmed from my regret that I didn't spend much time in Chicago when I went to BEA last year. I mean, last year was amazing in all the bookish fun, but I really didn't get to see much of the city, or make much of my first ever trip to USA. So this time around, I decided to extend my trip and spend around 10 days,.

Things worked out well as we also found a family I could stay with during my trip.Well, basically according to Sri Lankans, any and all Sri Lankan family you can find abroad immediately becomes your surrogate relative - Asian family dynamics you all - so I was going to stay with a family we know- who's basically friends of friends, but yeah.

So the whole of May, I was pretty much pumped up for NYC, and while suffering through studying,it kept me so excited. I got all ready for my adventures, said bye to all my friends - my best friend having a mini sob fest saying she'll miss me as if I was going away for a 10 year trip or something. So I finally set out on the 25th of May and landed on New York on the 26th!

Something about New York seemed just right from the moment I landed. Like, last year, I got lost in the airport, immigration was a nightmare - they literally treated me like I was smuggling something last year - but this year everything was so smooth and easy, and I guess I already started loving New York from that point onwards!

I found the people I am staying with at the airport without any incident - last year, I took the train to a whole new building to find Shannon guys. I couldn't believe that my airport navigation ended up this easy and smooth this time! They didn't even check me at customs!

I settled in the house, unpacked and everything, and was going to take a short nap and meet up with Hazel that day itself. But I ended up sleeping for much longer - I shouldn't have overestimated my energy.I was after a 21 hour flight after all - and Hazel actually came all the way to the house to fetch me. And I was still sleeping. I literally rushed up and got ready and felt rotten about making her wait.

But meeting Hazel was amazing! I met her last when I went to Philippines in 2015 - two years went by!!! - and we've been friends for so long, so I was really looking forward to meet her! We set out to explore Queens, and went to the Museum of the Moving Image, as I am a huge cinephile, and really wanted to visit there!

I adored the museum! It was a movie lover's dream, and the exhibits were so cool, plus there was this sound recording room where we could add our voice to a classic scene. I watched a guy voice Marilyn Monroe, and I'll never unsee it. It was so funny!!!

Hazel and I just hung out a bit after the museum, catching up with all bookish and non bookish stories before we decided to find a place to have dinner. Then we did what we do best. Get lost....We also had pizza at a place with the friendliest waitress ever. Sense the sarcasm.

I look as tired and jetlagged as I was feeling...

That was enough action for me, so we departed, and Hazel being the sweet heart she is, opted to drop  at the station nearest to the house.Speaking of the stations. NYC subways. My experience with the subway was terrific! :D So many stories of getting lost, and finally mastering them even though I don't even take a public bus alone here in Sri Lanka. NYC sure changed me :D

The next day, I again met up with Hazel, and we made our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, By now I sound like the most boring tourist, with all the museums I am going to, but hey I like my museums, okay? :D I've been dying to go to the Met all my life- and I am not exaggerating - so I was so excited that we got to go, and we spent so many hours there, it was just breathtaking.

The mandatory MET stairs pic! ;D

I think my favourite parts were the Middle East and South Asian sections - which was no surprise, but it was just beautiful!- and whatever they call the downstairs area with all the statues. Overall the Met was just spectacular. The history geek in me was overjoyed by the visit!

Afterwards, Hazel and I just wandered around a bit- we passed Central Park and got a peek but went on since we weren't in the mood of that much walking. Then started a quest for food - which took too long,we just gave up and just took the subway for Times Square.

Okay guys, here we go, I LOVE Times Square. It's hands down my favourite part of NYC and I'll never get tired of that place! I know it's not everyone's fav,but I guess I love the chaos. It's like a US version of Desi marketplaces. And I love shopping at crowded street shops here -I know, I am a strange creature - so I just adored Times Square!

We wandered around a lot, and I acted the part of the classic tourist. I also went to the Disney store a bit, which was magical and so cute!

The escalator area was Tangled themed, and for the first time ever, I enjoyed an escalator ride (?)
P.S - I have a phobia of escalators

Here's more of Hazel and I!!!

The next day I was going to meet Rachel! Rach is my co blogger at A Perfection Called Books, one of my oldest blogger buddies and one of my bestest online friends hands down. I've been wanting to meet her for ages, and I was so excited that it finally happened. Rachel actually drove up to NYC with her mum to meet me - isn't she the sweetest??? - and I was going to meet her at Chelsea Market.

It was also the first day I did the subway entirely all by myself. I was so nervous, but I ended up getting down at the right place. I just got lost a liiittttle bit that day :D Honestly, the NYC subway app and Google Maps were my best friends while I was there.

So I finally reached Chelsea Market, and it was such a cute place! I loved the stores there, and the interior looked a little bit like Diagon Alley and it was great.

I found Rachel, said hi to her mum, and we just basically tackled hugged. I was so happy about meeting her, and we started talking right away about all bookish topics, and everything we needed to catch up on!

We went to the High Line- and though I don't get the point of the place - it was such a pleasant and pretty tourist attraction for sure. We walked and walked, talking for ages, and having so much fun! It was funny to see the things the people there were attempting to do for a perfect instagram shot.


After the High Line, we spent more time walking - it was a day of walking guys. Like apparently we walked like 8 kms. I was shocked. I am the laziest person when I am at home, and I never walk. My friends get so annoyed! :D - But all the walking was actually fun. 

We walked up to Times Square - not surprisingly we ended up spending a lot of time there! - and it was so great. We watched a street act, which was so funny and exciting - and just sat around and chatted for a while before saying goodbye. I felt like I needed much more time with her though, I already miss you Rachel!

29th was memorial day, and it was raining a bit,so I decided to do less touristy things. I did a little bit of shopping and spent some time with the people I was staying with.

I was going to move to the hotel with the BEA roommates on the 30th, but before that, I was going to meet Julie Eshbaugh - author of Ivory and Bone! Julie is one of my bestest author friends, and I just love her, so I was so excited about meeting her! She also came all the way to NYC to see me - I have amazing friends, period! 

I met up with Julie - after being stuck in the subway for more than an hour. Train traffic sucks! - and she was as lovely as I expected. We went to the Empire State Building, and even though it was too cold for me to handle - I was shivering when we went up to the 86th floor - but I loved the experience!

My view was a bit too misty, but I was able to see enough :)

We went to have lunch at a vegan restaurant. I've never had vegan food before and it was so interesting to see the alternatives. I liked the food, but man, mad respect for vegans, because while I can always give up my meat, I can't live without my dairy products! We also met up with Julie's son and his girlfriend for lunch, and they were absolutely wonderful! We were talking for a long time, from all subjects ranging from books to accents - it was so much fun!

We stopped by Strand Bookstore, and I immediately fell in love. We originally planned to visit Strand and Books of Wonder, but we were short of time, so we had to cut the bookstore visit short. I spent a little time on the downstairs of the Strand - and in the process, almost freaked out a guy who was contemplating buying Vicious. I am pretty sure he was creeped out. But hey, he bought the book, so I don't care! :)

I said bye to Julie, went home, packed up for BEA and met Shelly, Jon and Joey to go to our hotel, but all the BEA and bookish adventures are for another day!

After BEA and Bookcon, I still had two more days left! My last day irrelevant since it consisted of packing mostly, but on the 5th, I got to meet the wonderful C.B.Lee - author of Not Your Sidekick. We went to Black Tap, famous for their crazy milkshakes, and it was so much fun! We were joined by Carrie's friend Hunter - who's actually the live action Bells guys! It was so amazing. He's the cover inspiration and basically what I expected Bells to look like, and I might have fangirled a litttttllleee bit!

Presenting to you the milkshakes that the three of us barely finished!

Afterwards I went to a tour at NYU which I had previously registered for, and Carrie and Hunter offered to walk me, and by chance we realised that we are all HarryxDraco shippers! On the way ensued a OTP fanfest. It was hilarious.

After the tour, I spent a little bit of alone time.I was wandering along Washington Square Park, then got lost - sigh - then somehow found a subway, and headed back.

My last day consisted of me trying to stuff all the books in my luggage, and carrying overweight bags to the airport. That was a long story. I was in the airport trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do - I was literally sitting down with my bags next to me, and was almost crying! :D My last resort was to pay for the overweight bags, but I was checked in by the most amazing employee ever, and she just looked at me, figured out my misery, and gave me a free pass. I felt like hugging her then and there.

So I boarded the plane, flew back home, and am still missing New York. Like, I am hardcore missing the place, and I really badly want to go there again....

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