New York, New York (yes, I'm back)
The last time I was in New York was in 2007. I was there for work and terribly excited. Being such a fan of the musicals, I always wanted to visit Broadway. And see the Statue of Liberty. And hang out in all the museums. And walk down Wall Street. And immerse myself in Times Square. And … you get the idea.
Well, I did almost all of that so why was I so excited about my second trip to the Big Apple? Because New York is … New York.
My trip this time was at the invitation of Hotmail, in conjunction with the X-Men: First Class competition it ran which saw one Malaysian joining me on a trip to New York to experience a day at the Hollywood Stunts, who coordinated the stunts for the movie.
The lucky Malaysian (cos she won the trip, not because she got to travel with me) was Esther, far left in the picture above. Next to her are Georgina and Nicholas, the contest winners from Manila and Singapore respectively. On my right is Tamara (from Microsoft), Mark (also from Manila), Pinny (the blogger from Thailand) and Golf (the winner from Bangkok).
After over 25 hours since we took off, we could still pose for a photo as if we just woke up (most of us did!).
Since we arrived so early, we didn’t want to waste the day. The moment we checked in, we left for lunch. Georgina, who used to live in New York, was craving for Shake Shack so we all headed out there. I’ve never heard about it before but there was a queue outside when we arrived so we thought it must be good. Except that it started to drizzle when we got there.
Still, it was worth it. I didn’t eat any of the burgers (since I don’t eat beef) but the look on the faces of the rest said it all. Hey, we were going to pretend to be mutants the next day, so we needed our energy, no?
It was nice being back in New York again, and we sat by the window at Shake Shack soaking in the good(ish) weather and sights when it suddenly started to pour. Yup, London weather. What are the chances! Except that it wasn’t just rain because Storm showed up (yes, that was intentional) and all hell broke loose.
I lived in Perth for two and a half years and heard all these stories about hailstones but I had never experienced it. A few hours into a sunny New York and the hailstones suddenly fell.
Of course, me being totally lame, was fascinated beyond belief, that I took several pictures of it.
Also managed to catch a picture of that guy who wore plastic bags to keep his shoes dry. Resourceful, these New Yorkers.
But I was made from stronger things (after all, how to be superhero if I’m lembap right?) and I braved the rain – okay, fine so Nicholas and I bought umbrellas midway through – to head over to Times Square and queue up for discount tickets at TKTS to watch a musical. Since we got in so early, I wanted to keep my day busy so as not to fall asleep halfway and succumb to jet lag.
We ended up getting tickets for Billy Elliot the Musical, which I totally loved. After that, we took a stroll along Times Square on the way back to the Sofitel Hotel on 44th Street, where we were staying at.
If there is a reason Nicholas looks familiar, that’s because I had – unknowingly – blogged about him before. Remember the blog post I wrote while transitting in Changi about this music video created dedicated to me (click here)? Well, after I wrote that post, I walked into the boarding area and was introduced to Nicholas when he asked me if he looked familiar.
What do you know? He was one of the performers in the video. What are the chances that the video was about my X-Men-Hotmail New York trip, and he would win the same competition and we’d fly over together! Talk about coincidence!
After that stroll, we headed back to crash, ready for the visit to Hollywood Stunts the next day. Before we drove into Brooklyn (where the office was), we had an amazing breakfast at the hotel. And I just wanted to share the picture of my poached eggs with potatoes and vege with you because it was yums!
My next post on New York will be about what we did at Hollywood Stunts (all I’ll say for now is that there was a lot of jumping and bouncing). Here’s a peek.
8.30am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)