Friday, 26 September 2014

The first day: Jet lag, banking and tequila

I feel like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Like I know for sure I’m not dead trying to reach out to my now widowed wife about my unjustified murder, but I definitely feel like I’m having an outer body experience. In some countries (well probably most) they refer to this as JET LAG, or as I like to call it: ‘stop fucking with my body clock’ syndrome.

I’ve been in NYC a mere 48 hours and all I seem to want to do is nap. I mean don’t get me wrong, every time I see the Empire State Building or a cute guy I squeal with excitement but as of right now, it seems nothing in comparison to a cheeky midday snooze or early evening slumber. I am putting this down to the fact that a lot of my energy was used on trying to contain my life in two very large, very over-the-luggage-allowance suitcases; nevertheless we made it.

I have to point out that it’s not that I have been entirely unproductive nor excited for that matter. The first night itself was understandably a right off, like a bad One Direction song that you want to forget ever existed type of thing; basically I slept. The next morning, following another emotional goodbye to my pops and sending him off on a two week hols courtesy of himself to California, I immediately left Jamaica (Queens) and headed for the concrete jungle. Half an hour later in traffic, my nerves had officially left me as I looked forward to reaching my home for two weeks in SoHo – courtesy of a very nice, super sexy girlfriend who I now am forever indebted to. If i’m honest, if couch surfing was always this good, I would never look for a place! As Jagged Edge’ ‘Let’s get married’ came on the radio (and I immediately asked the taxi driver to ‘turn my shit up’), I realised that it was the perfect song for the perfect matrimony: NYC and I back together again.

Finally, having arrived at my destination I decided to ponder around on Broadway, take some snaps for Instagram, purchase toilet paper and open my first bank account. Note to self, it’s probably not okay to show the bank manager a video of you behaving explicitly at Hip Hop Karaoke, but in this case in no way did it even hinder the process for me. In fact, you are now looking at a Chase Private Client - not sure what that means but I felt super special.

Day one ended with a Mexican feast involving another hot girlfriend and two of my favourite things: chicken and frozen raspberry margaritas. Not sure how I temporarily forgot about the whole USA-free-pour situation but I was kindly reminded after two drinks and a shot of tequila - which by the way looked like a jug as opposed to a single 25ml shot – and they thought Brit’s had no limits. Pft. More ramblings tomorrow I promise as it’s nap time again.

Ps. Microsoft word is trying to Americanise my shit but I ain’t letting it happen!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Goodbye London, hello clouds

I never thought saying goodbye to London would ever be hard. When I was around 15 years old, someone asked me if I liked London to which I replied ‘HELL NO’ – those were my exact words - based on the experiences of an adolescent that lived on the outskirts of one of the most exhilarating cities in the world. If I ever remembered who that person was that asked me, I would go back to them and tell them I changed my mind. Head over to Instagram now and type #lastminutelondon into the search bar - you will be able to see just how much one person can really fit in, in a small amount of time when they really want to.

I’ve been on my flight to NYC for about three hours now and two glasses of red wine later, all I can think is that I should have packed dry shampoo in my hand luggage for that extra boost when I land. I don’t want any New Yorker to think that I arrived in town following a bad hair day.

People often use the expression, ‘The world is your oyster’, I get the gist but the phrase still riddles me a little because I believe that the world will always be your oyster and you can have absolutely anything and everything you want at any point. As I sit on the plane bumping my head to some 50 Cent circa 2004 – very fitting for the destination and all don’t you think? – I come to realise that my wish for wanting to surround myself with like-minded people came true. I just need to make it clear that I could not have made this move without any of you (y’all know who you are). I have taken your letters of love with me and will cherish them more than Justin Bieber does his ‘Beliebers’. I can’t believe I just referred to the Biebs – must be the altitude. Back to the point, because I do have one, it’s just amazing to have people who support you when it comes to making a big change. Okay, had enough cheese for one day? I have to apologise for my hazy red vino-induced state.

Each and every visit I have made to the Big Apple over the past few years has involved a HUGE bucket list and the doing the impossible of squeezing a jam packed tourist day and full night life schedule into a measly 10 or so days. This time round I haven’t made one because I have all of the time in the world – that’s pretty dope.

As I listen to the new Chris Brown album - don’t judge me – I am beginning to think about what my first moves in the big city will be. Lord knows I need to get my nails did. I think after so much anticipation, an excitement that is remotely similar to your first school crush has begun to bubble up within me – I’m just hoping the burst won’t get me arrested! It’s so nice to be here. Tomorrow I head to a friend’s couch and start to figure out my life aka make a million and one very organised, to-do lists. Will of course keep you updated.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Stuff in NYC: A week to go

Part 1: I take myself too seriously

2014 was a big year for New York. It wasn't really but hip hop heads the world over rekindled their flame for Nas' Illmatic as it celebrated 20 years since it's release and I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for a record amount of times - actual number yet to be confirmed. What I really meant was, 2014 was a big year for me and New York as we decided to take our sordid love affair to the next step.

I need to start Part 1 of Stuff in NYC with a bit of contextual information. For those who know me intimately will have to come terms with my often fluctuating levels of stress-headed-ness. Shouts out to Gabrielle Bernstein who helped me kickstart the year with my new found faith in meditation - girl showed me the light; this led to a series of daily Instagram positivity posts which I still genuinely believe in. However, with the genes of a high-blood-pressure prone family running through my veins I came to realise that there is no amount of yoga in the world that will be able to stop me from being anxious. Just like i've inherited my dad's temper tantrums, i've also been handed down his 'everything is too much all the time syndrome'. At some point earlier this year I decided I would have to do something drastic that would catapult me straight into a situation so remote from normal that all my anxiety would have to find something better to do. See ya later sucker.

As a result, I decided to quit my job and relocate to NYC for the foreseeable future. I make it sound more badass and Eat, Pray, Love-esque than it actually is because in reality it took a lot of balls and there's also the part about winning the green card lottery. I'm doing it because the time is now and mama needs an adventure. Fuck you anxiety and lookout Manhattan, H is coming to town. So here we are, a week away from lift off - no job, a couple of couches to crash on, a few dollars and a BIG dream. Needless to say the main issue has really been condensing my entire life in two suitcases but I have taken it as a wonderful opportunity to re-brand. Right now I am going for a Holly Golightly meets Aaliyah attitude with a strong dose of minimalism, POW!

So I think that about covers it. As a gesture of good will and desperation for an audience, I would like to officially invite you to follow me on this journey as I talk my way into my new life in the concrete jungle. I was only four years old when a young Nas claimed on Illmatic, 'Nothing's equivalent to a New York state of mind' - and I guess he was right.