I had spent a little over three months in and around New York, seen many touristy sights and met a tonne of interesting people. I had even made a couple of friends there. So my last few days were spent hanging out with the people I had met, as well as the kiwis that I knew from a previous life.
My last day in New York City. Wow, it's kind of a hard thought to process. I mean, what do you do on your last day in a city that's been your home for the last three months? Do you rush around your favourite places again, trying to take it all in before you go? Do you cram in some last minute souvenir shopping because, even after all this time, you still haven't gotten around to getting that 'I [love] NY' t-shirt? Or do you spend it hanging out with the friends you've made, since there's a reasonable chance you may never see them again?
If you're me, you think about all these questions only on the day you leave. When you haven't packed. So a good chunk of the morning was spent at the laundromat, and then trying to figure out how I had started my trip with my backpack less than full, only to find that I can barely squeeze everything into two bags (my backpack and a duffel - though to be fair I blame a large chunk of my packing issues on the snuggie). Still, I am fully prepared to acknowledge that bringing home more than I left with is a very acceptable way to return from a trip. My goal though, is to make sure that I can still carry everything on my own, with minimum discomfort. We shall see, however, how well that stacks up.
The problem I have, is that my flight to San Francisco was at 7am on the Tuesday morning. This meant that I had to be at the airport by 5am, which meant I had to leave my apartment by 3am. No point going to bed really, so I might as well make a day of it, and not go to sleep until my flight.
One of my friends who lives in New York (a kiwi), also works at the United Nations (for New Zealand), and so arranged for me to take a tour of the UN building.
Nicky was a fantastic tour guide, giving me much of the fun backgroundy stuff that goes on in the UN that you don't get to hear about on the normal tours. Sure, it does mean that I don't get the normal 'this carpet was presented to the UN by Sultan so-and-so', but to be honest... well not so keen on that. This is me representing New Zealand:
The world would be a better place.
After the tour, I walked once more through Times Square. Not that it's my favourite place in the city by any means. It is however, one of the places in the city that I have spent so much of my time; seeing shows, meeting people, dodging tourists, visiting psychics (oh yes - just wait until I write about that!), and dodgy food carts. Also, it was rush hour, and it was faster for me to walk to the subway through Times Square. Also, and by no means less important, it allowed me to finally purchase a couple of those 'I [love] NY' t-shirts; last minute souvenirs which allow me to tell everybody back home exactly where I've been and how I feel about the place.
Then I went back to my apartment, squeezed my new souvenirs into my backpack, fitting everything in it (except for the jar of marmite I forgot), and sat down to a wonderful roast beef dinner cooked by my room mate. After dinner, my friend Rohan came and picked me up, and so I bade farewell to my apartment and room mates, grabbed my luggage, and took the subway into the city for karaoke.
We dropped off my bags at Rohan's office nearby, then proceeded to Fat Black Pussy Cat for an evening of singing, booze, showing off and more singing. I can tell you now, that we brought it - boy we brought it hard. Our plan was basically to bunk down there for the evening until they kicked us out at 3am, and then head to the airport from there. I opened up the evening with a little Counting Crows, then some Mustang Sally, a few other classics, and finished the evening off with a Total Eclipse of the Heart. Rohan and I sang a few duets, but he also held his own quite well:
Also impressive was the karaoke lady host - she had a voice like Christina and Pink put together, and was a lot of fun to sing for, and sing with. We made many friends that night. Mainly because we were awesome, but also mainly because we were very awesome. But also because the people there were as awesome, if not more awesome. A total fun night was had, and was a fitting end to my time in New York City.
At the end of the 'oke, we made our way to the airport where, four hours later, I would be winging my way to San Francisco, and then connecting to Oregon.
New York. I've enjoyed my time there, I really have. I do feel as though I have closure there though; no job demanding me to return, I didn't meet the girl of my dreams or get married, and many of my friends are leaving or returning back to NZ soon. As such, while I would love to go back someday, I do not feel like I need to go back in the next few months. That's how I feel now, of course, and that might well change when I get home. But for now, I'm happy having spent the time that I did.
Thank you, New York; we were great together. We had our differences, sure, and we didn't always agree or see eye-to-eye with everything. But we had fun, and let's remember it for that.