Our Big Apple girl Claire Jackson returns back to NYC after a brief stint back home and we don’t know about you, but we’ve certainly missed her updates! Here she is with part four of her stories from the city: Notes from NYC, Part Four.
After a short stint back in the land of the long white cloud, I have returned to NYC wondering to myself whether I have just ventured home and back, or if home is where I find myself returning to; the familiar hustle and bustle of the subway and the busy Soho streets a comforting reminder that the world is bigger and grander than the comparatively quaint Auckland city.
Oddly enough, the New York City grind continued in my absence. Things were happening and I missed them. Only now do I realize that FOMO applies not only to a night out in Ponsonby, or your friend’s meal choice at Dizengoff. It means witnessing the photo uploads and hearing the stories of your roommate living out the adventures you know you would be a part of if you were in the city. So I return with the hope that little has changed, that I didn’t miss anything. But unlike Auckland, it has and I did. I may know my way around but reentering New York after two months away is like seeing it for the first time all over again.
The most noticeable change is, of course, the weather. Having left the city bundled in an abundance of black coats, with snow boots trudging their way through wet slush, temperatures have risen above the fur hat threshold and are even moving their way up into the twenties! Gone are the street vendors offering umbrellas or imported fur; instead a lady stands on the street corner offering $1 “delicioso coco helado” (icecream) from a cart under her own sun umbrella. There are signs of spring everywhere making New York every bit the postcard I left it.
Just as it did with the first snow of winter, the city seems to smile at the arrival of spring. Central park is scattered with tree blossom rather than ice and the activities in the park have multiplied ten-fold. There is everything from football and frisbee, to yoga and street dancers; not to mention the multiple wedding parties you can see on any Saturday afternoon.
In my absence…
– The first taster of the summer came out of nowhere with a stunning 27 degrees giving New Yorkers a hint of what’s in store for the coming months; I guess it’ll have to take me by surprise.
– Easter came and went and, like most holidays, I have no doubt this was done bigger and better than in New Zealand.
Despite suffering severe FOMO, New Zealand wasn’t without its welcome familiarities. Living in a city where brunch is something that begins mid-afternoon and involves bottomless champagne or cocktails, I relished possibly one too many egg benedicts along Ponsonby Road. I was even more grateful for the rather unexpected four weeks of fully-fledged summer that allowed me to take a couple of road trips down to the Coromandel and over to Waiheke Island. My time away from Auckland certainly gave me a replenished appreciation of our humble city.
So cheers NZ…
– For some much-needed sun! Now I have returned to New York, considerably more tan than any of my friends and can continue to work on it over the next few months
– For feeding me. Vogels, Whittakers, and finally Marmite! – all of which made their way into my suitcase to bring back for my roommates
– For being the same city I left; it’s both comforting and disturbing how little you ever seem to change
But I am happy my time in New York is not yet over. I am half way through my year long visa and still at the very top of my “To-Do In New York City” list. Now, as the sun shines bright and warm, I have no excuse not to venture out and explore; no excuse not to make the most of the rooftop parties and the summer drink specials. No longer must I clutch to my cup of soup huddled in the back store room during my lunch hours, instead I sit with my fellow New Yorkers basking in the sun, watching Soho stroll by, happy to call it my home away from home.