LAST WEEK REFLECTIONS: New York, New York

My last full week in this amazing city is at a close. In my dreams, I'd be wearing a tutu, Manolo Blahnik's and running around fancy bars drinking Cosmos. In actual fact, I'm halfway through my last round of laundry, living off a mattress in an empty apartment and eating mega-size bags of mint M&M's (which I'm half relieved I've only just discovered and half devastated in equal measure). The biggest conclusion of living in New York: It's nowhere near as glamorous as you might think. Yet I fear I'm also a walking cliche...here's why:

Coffee
I'm sure the fact New York is known as the city that never sleeps is purely down to the amount of caffeine its inhabitants drink. Oh, and to be clear, for any New Yorkers reading this, I'm talking about "cwoffee" as you guys pronounce it. Having been a latecomer to developing the taste buds for coffee (tangent: I actually discovered it in Costa Rica two years ago when the tea I requested arrived as black coffee), I can't quite believe how much I rely on it to get through the day here. On my New York Bucket List, I had set out a search for "the best coffee of my life" and think I've settled with "the most coffee of my life". I anticipate shakes and headaches from the withdrawal - can someone remind me that's not an aversion to the UK when I'm back?

Neck Ache
The reality that I'm leaving is creeping in and I've noticed I'm looking around more as if to soak up the sights, sounds and smells (though some of which I'll be glad to leave behind, like walking through a doggy urinal twice a day...particularly a treat in the summer heat!). But with skyscrapers all around, working on the 16th floor in NoMad and living on the 23rd floor in FiDi, I can't imagine how flat the rest of the world will feel now by comparison. Having got somewhat lost in the day-to-day routine of life, I've forgotten until recently that I see the Empire State Building on the walk to work, have a view of One World Trade Center from my apartment window and walk to the gym past Lady Liberty herself. As much as I've moaned about the rental prices here, I am savouring every last glimpse out the window and commute to work to soak up that these incredible icons that I can, at one time, call 'home'.

THROWBACK: NEW YORK IN THE SNOW

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
If ever there was an appropriate need to binge watch series one through ten, it seems now is my time to pay homage to Manhattan (shot in a studio in LA, I know but shhhh). I'm echoing Chandler and Joey in Season Four when they've had all their possessions stolen from their apartment and their living room contains nothing but a canoe. Instead of said canoe, I have a mattress and I've swapped Mr A for Rachel, Monica and the gang. Adulting at its best.

Let Go
In a desperate bid to be organised and prepare for a smooth transition back to life in London, we had our belongings collected for shipping at the beginning of February. Turns out a studio apartment would have been adequate all along (damn!) and the husband is now passionate about a minimal living space (this could end badly!). But "letting go" hasn't been an issue for our American household items thanks to a little discovery. Let Go is an app that allows you to sell your items quickly, with no service charge and no interaction with the US postal system required. The rules: (i) Only speak via the app (ii) Meet in public (iii) Pay in cash (it's less dodgy that it sounds, I promise). It has literally been a dream for selling on items we aren't shipping home... as a result, my last weekend here I have no kettle, plates or TV - how will this Brit survive??!
I have no idea when I/we'll be back to this city and I'm also curious how I'll feel about New York once I've left it behind after this experience. What I do know is that I am incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity and, more than that, a husband that has come along for the ride! How lucky am I that when I was mid-brushing my teeth and he was in the shower, and I blurted out "What do you think about moving to New York?" and he said, "Errr, yeah, okay!"

New York is not for the faint-hearted and I honestly couldn't have done it without him - and luckily I have his 12,000 photographs as memories of this awesome chapter in our lives. I also have new-found respect for owning a washing machine. *Waits for elevator*

HOME TIME LOOMSIt feels like only yesterday I was writing a similar post at the end of our five-month honeymoon. Did you catch it? What a lot can happen in a year! 

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