As you guys might know, I was lucky enough to visit New York over Easter! This was a really big trip for me, and I was crazy excited beforehand. And now I am lying in bed and listening to Hey There Delilah on repeat. But whilst I was away I wrote in my travel diary — yes, I did actually remember, gasp — and I thought it would be fun to share everything I did! (To flail about New York, mostly.)
To reduce the chance of me relaying every single detail down to you in a very very long post, I put my pics + words into some handy little categories.
➝ sights & art (statue of liberty, ellis island, empire state building, moma, the met, the guggenheim, the natural history museum)
➝ wanderings (the west village, lower east side, new york public library, the high line, various cute shops)
➝ broadway (the phantom of the opera, fun home)
➝ events (winner’s kiss launch with marie rutkoski & renée ahdieh, mocca fest)
sights & art
We got a pass which allowed us to go to most of the major sites & museums for a slightly reduced price each. Except for the Empire State Building, the queues were actually pretty good and we got to see some amazing buildings + views! I hadn’t known the Statue of Liberty was a gift from a French guy, so that was cool to find out. (Even if the audioguide narrator was intensely irritating. Please go away, Cynthia.) There was a museum about immigration on the nearby Ellis Island — we had to take a ferry between Manhattan + Liberty Island + Ellis Island. It was an immigration centre until about the 1950s, so we got to hear a lot about immigrants coming over to America.
THE ART WAS HONESTLY SO COOL GUYS. I saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night! IN PERSON!! There were so many famous works of art, particularly in MoMA & The Met — argh, it was absolutely amazing. I wish we’d had more time to look around. The Guggenheim had a slightly odd main exhibition but the building was stunning. The Natural History Museum was pretty similar to the one here in London, but we saw a beautiful video with photography of National Parks in the USA.
We were staying in the West Village, which is basically where Manhattan starts to become a lot less grid-like. I hadn’t realised the city was so near the water! Because mostly the streets are straight, you can see water at most points — it was really cool. And the area we were staying was lovely and old, as well as being home to a) the flat from Friends and b) a house from Sex and the City. I don’t watch either but there was a surprising amount of people taking photos.
The West Village is also at the end of the High Line, which is a park walkway along an disused railway track above the city. IT WAS SO COOL. I can imagine it would be absolutely boiling in summer.
There were various cute shops around, like a lovely stationery one, and we also passed the Stonewall Inn. (Overall very cool.) I visited Strand Books, which had SUCH high bookshelves and asdfjkl it was amazing. I was definitely wrong in thinking that books are cheaper in the US, though. Most of the books on the shelves were hardbacks! Whereas here the hardbacks are mostly reserved for display.
The other area we spent some time in was Lower East Side, where we took an all too brief visit to the Tenement Museum. We ended up there having taken the wrong subway to Brooklyn Bridge, but we decided to wander around anyways.
So. No, I did not see Hamilton whilst I was in New York. Trust me, no one’s more sad about it than I am. I tried super hard to get tickets, but they were completely sold out except for $2000 dollar resales and I didn’t win any of the lotteries.
HOWEVER I did go and see two other stunning shows! I GOT MY BROADWAY EXPERIENCE GUYS. The first one was Phantom of the Opera, which I’d listened to but not in great detail. It was on a pretty loud train journey and even from the start of the show I knew that I’d missed a lot. The set was so cool and asdfjkl the Phantom’s mask and PARIS and GHOSTS and OPERA it was all amazing.
The other show I went to see is Fun Home! Fun Home was pretty different from Phanton — I mean, it isn’t really your classic Broadway musical. It was set in the round, and the songs aren’t exactly your tradition Andrew Lloyd Webber style. But I think I actually preferred this… I mean, I’ve talked about it a lot. It’s based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel Fun Home, and there are three Alisons (child, college, and now) throughout the show. There are upbeat songs and super gay songs and sad songs. I just…I really want to be back there watching it.
In addition to those Broadway shows, I also went to two events! That was a book event at the bookshop McNally Jackson with Marie Rutkoski and Renee Ahdieh. I actually was sitting next to two of Marie’s college students which was pretty cool. (Can I get please an author as a teacher?) I got both authors to sign my books and eep it was very fun and they were lovely.
I also went to MoCCA Fest, which was a sort of mini-con for illustrators! I did already talk about it in my March Favourites, but it was sososo amazing to have Noelle Stevenson sign my stuff eek. I was slightly overcome with adoration. There was a TON of other awesome art (including lady knights, which is my aesthetic) (have you seen Morgana in armour? HAVE YOU?) and asdfjkl it was very fun.
I’ve basically been jetlagged for the last two weeks, but I WOULDN’T GIVE NEW YORK UP AT ALL.