Monday, September 5, 2016

New York - I love you

Unlike our other days in New York where we tried our best to see as much as possible, knowing in all likelihood we may never visit the city ever again, our tenth and final day in the city had minimal planning. We simply let New York happen to us, and happen to us it did in such a typically New York way. 

~ A little backstory ~

Our second last day in New York was the fourth of July, so there were fireworks being held in the evening at Brooklyn Bridge. We arrived to watch the fireworks about an hour before they actually started so we decided it was necessary to go find one dollar pizza. We walked optimistically all the way from Brooklyn Bridge to Little Italy with hope of finding some affordable pizza, but instead we were only met with expensive Italian restaurants. We gave up on our dream of pizza for dinner and walked back to the fireworks eating overpriced gelato as it melted in the hot summer air. 

We were given these 3D glasses which made watching the fireworks even better! 

Waking up the next morning at our hostel in Queens with nothing vital left to do on our itinerary, we decided to catch the bus to Greenpoint in Brooklyn with no particular plan in mind. We were only walking for a few minutes when we unintentionally came across the best pizzeria I've ever visited.  After so much effort trying to get pizza the night before, the feeling was comparable to coming across some kind of oasis amongst a desert. Never have we appreciated pizza so much. 

Vinnie's Pizzeria (148 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn) is filled with 90's pizza themed memorabilia scattered across the walls, has a diner feel and most importantly cheap but delectable pizza. There is even a mutant ninja turtles themed chair out the front which we both sat on, hardly believing our luck that we had come across this place without the aid of the internet *gasp*.  

After having our pizza breakfast we encountered an ambient and locally owned cafe where we sat in the outside area and drank cold brews, somewhat of a north american obsession over the summer time. I also had a ridiculously delicious salted caramel brownie that I shared (reluctantly) with Alex and will forever remember as "that really good brownie I had in New York".

We walked further along Bedford Avenue, occasionally entering vintage stores and taking in the architecture and area as much as we could while making our way to the Williamsburg waterfront. We sat by the water for a while with a view of the Manhattan skyline, recovering from the heat while chatting and watching the waves lap at the rocks. 

Once we had regained enough energy we walked to the famously pink hued Williamsburg bridge. We walked along it for what seemed like hours in the scorching heat, eventually stopping for photos and realising my newly purchased vintage pink top matched the painted pink steel of the bridge. While we had planned to walk all the way along the bridge back to Manhattan, we realised pretty quickly that it would take a lot longer than we anticipated. Instead we walked back along the bridge and made our way to the closest subway station. 

On the way to the subway we came across a small public park in a completely random area of New York with sprinklers and a playground. It was at this point that the magnitude of walking we had done and the lack of hydration combined with the heat hit us, with Alex and I both experiencing symptoms of heatstroke. Luckily we were in an ideal spot to recuperate, both of us running through the sprinklers in an effort to cool down and recover, drinking as much water as we could and sitting/lying on the ground in full view of the parents and children that were playing there.

After almost an hour of recuperation we decided it was time to leave the refuge of the  playground in order to make it to the subway and travel back to Queens. The J (as well as the M and Z) line goes over the Williamsburge bridge and has an unbelievable view of the New York skyline. I would love to catch that subway to work everyday. 

Even though it's chaotic and confusing at times and in summer so hot it gives people (cough us) heatstroke, after ten days I finally understood why people love New York the way they do. Things happen in New York in ways that just don't happen in other cities. Thats why, New York, I love you.