The stewardess uttered those 5 magical words that every passenger wants to hear. “Would you like an upgrade?” How good was that? We were upgraded from economy to Business class and from that point on, this was a Euphoric holiday!
A lot of my friends were surprised that I’d never been to the USA, but I guess there has to be a first time for everything and New York did not let me down. A boutique hotel near Madison Square saw us well placed and we were soon off exploring Greenwich Village, St Marks, Alphabet City and all of those other places that we know so well from TV and the silver screen.
The New York skyline - one of the most breathtaking things I've ever seen
We had a list of things we wanted to see and do, and nearly all of it was with a connection to popular culture in some shape or form. We saw the Apollo theatre in Harlem where James Brown recorded his famous live album in 1963, we had soul food on 110th Street, we walked through Central Park to Strawberry Fields, near the Dakota Building and then we saw where Santa’s sleigh broke down in Elf!
On a practical note, our feet were aching after one day! I’ve never known anything like it. Maybe because we wanted to see so much at ground level or maybe we didn’t realise just how far we were walking. Whatever it was, we bought jelly insoles for our shoes the next day. Problem solved!
What else did we do? We rode the A train to Coney Island and took photographs at Nathan’s hotdog house (where every President for the last 100 years has eaten a hot dog). We pretended we were in the Warriors film and then walked under the overhead railway like in the film The French Connection. We shopped for boho chic in Park Slope and ate like Kings in Williamsburg.
NYC Taxis - a great way to see the city
Times Square was like the ultimate film set!
We even went to a speakeasy in Greenwich Village. We had to knock on the door and a slot opened – we were let in and there was a jazz band playing under the stairs. I had what I think was the most alcoholic cocktail I have ever had in my life – the Casino Royale no. 5. I wish I had a photograph to show you but they all came out blurry. Euphoric? Not half!