I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time.
I’ve wanted the world to acknowledge my love-affair with New York, I want it documented on the internet in more than just my Twitter bio. It is important to me.
Last month I was approached by AerLingus about a blogger competition to win a trip for two to New York (you can vote for me here and there’s more details about it at the bottom of this post – basically every time you vote for me you’re automatically entered into a prize draw to win the same insanely amazing trip) but it gave me an ACTUAL reason to just whittle on and on about that city. About that buzz. That indescrible buzz and beauty and happiness and OMFLIPPINGGOOD, NEW YORK. If you’ve been you’ll be like YES HANNAH, THAT, and if you haven’t you’ll be like you’re weird, you’re mental, I’m going to stop reading this post now, OK, bye.
I first went to NYC when I was 12. That makes me sound like a spoilt little rich girl on holiday, but it wasn’t like that. I flew solo as an unaccompanied minor (it was the week before my 13th birthday just FYI and I was pretty well looked after by the British Airways staff) and went to stay with my Dad’s girlfriend’s (now ex-girlfriend) daughter.
She was ten years older than me and living as a ballet dancer in Harlem. Sounds pretty cool, right? I stayed with her for 4 days. I’m not really sure why I even went, like what the reasoning behind it was. I like to think it was because I was having a bit of a tough time at home and this was just something nice to do to take the edge off, to give me some happiness and release.
We ate pancakes and bacon, I wore a lot of double denim. We rode on a really fast boat on the river, we appreciated the view from the top of the Empire State. I fell asleep in the cinema because gurrrrrl couldn’t handle her jet lag. It rained, a lot. We ate about 78256 ice lollies from the freezer. I bought a Hello Kitty make-up bag and some Playboy flip flops. Life was good. Life was like being in a Mary-Kate and Ashley film. Dream.
Then I came home and spoke about New York approximately once a day to whoever would listen for the next five years. It was nice for everyone involved. I Googled journalism college courses out there. I dreamt about it weekly. I developed like the most insane holiday blues ever, holiday blues that lasted years and years and years and OMG NEW YORK, GUYS, NEW YORK.
Then I started planning a summer before university trip to New York. Didn’t happen.
Started planning a post-graduation trip to New York. Didn’t happen.
Then I got my job at LOOK. A proper job with proper money and when that first pay cheque landed in my account you know what I did? I put the deposit down on that bad boy, I BOOKED MOTHER FLIPPING NEW YORK, yeah I did.
Forget food and car insurance and all that – the need for New York was way more aggressively eating away at me for me to consider like saving or paying for things.
I was supposed to go with a then-boyfriend but things happen and I had a best friend on standby ready to fill the plane seat next to me and ready to take New York, Kim and Kourtney style.
OK, so we *may* have spent the first 24 hours vomming repeatedly and laying in bed and spending a hefty sum of money on room service because of ALL the stomach bug, thanks random lady on the plane, but we lived the dream. THE ACTUAL DREAM.
We shopped in Victoria’s Secret until we thought we might be sick on ourselves again, we bought NYPD t-shirts without knowing they said ‘never forget 9/11 on the back’ – erm, WHAT? and we got drunk on cocktails at lunchtime in Times Square and then Facetimed our friends using McDonald’s WIFI. We made friends with a guy taking photos of people with a giant dinosaur in Toys R Us, we bought a ton of vintage prints from a flea market in Brooklyn, we visited every Foot Locker in Manhattan to find the dream Nike trainers. We gasped at the beauty of New York from the top of the Empire State at night and wished there was somebdoy to propose to us, we drank coffee and ate pancakes every morning, we ate slices of pizza as big as our faces. We visited the Harry Potter exhibition, we got mani pedis, we wet ourselves with excitement in Taco Bell, we froze to death on a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty. We road around Central Park tipsy in a carriage, we road the Subway like pros, we drank more Starbucks than is probably healthy, we had a fucking awesome time. Like a seriously awesome time.
OK, OK, so *maybe I’m wearing that 9/11 t-shirt as I type this. Maybe. I mean, I’m not admitting to anything.
New York is as good as it looks on Instagram. No, but really. And when I see other people out there I’m like JUST TAKE ME BACK, TAKE ME NOW, FORGET EVERYTHING HERE, JUST TAKE ME, PLEASE, GO, HELP.
I got the chance to go last March too on a press trip (more on that here) – I actually worked out that I spent March 21st 2013 and 2014 in the Nintendo store, watching the Rockerfeller Centre and exploring Fifth Ave. And now for 2015? I’ll probably be crying in my pyjamas whilst watching Teen Mom 2 re-runs, because obviously.
When things were getting shaky for me at IPC Media I ummed and ahhed about moving out there, about doing New York for a year, because hello – how awesome?
I applied for a few jobs, I did some research, I considered it – and then I met Chris.
I think living in New York would have taken some of the glitter away for me. Perhaps made me look at it without rose-tinted glasses and would have made the immense feelings of electricity and amazingness slightly less full-on, but I dunno.
I want to go again. I need to go again. I need to take Chris. I need to show him this place that consumes me, make him understand. I mean yeah, blinking heck, he’s going to hate it, I’m going to be SO irritating. So know-it-all, so annoying, like the worst holiday companion ever, but these things happen.
I’m going to drink vodka on the plane and cry at films, I’m going to vlog from the plane, Instagram bacon and Brooklyn Bridge. I’m going to be an internet nightmare.
So yeah, if you vote I might get to go soon for free (yey, yey, yey) and if you don’t then that’s fine too because I’ll probably end up getting drunk and thinking SCREW IT and throwing all my imaginary money in the air and booking it anyway because New York is addictive. New York is haunting and stunning at the same time, it is everything.
The competition is basically me against 18 other bloggers (most of them travel and some with WAY more Twitter followers than me) and will decide which of us becomes the Aer Lingus blogger. The competition is to celebrate the fact that if you fly from the UK to the States via Dublin with Aer Lingus, you benefit from US Customs Border Protection pre-clearance which means NONE of the hanging around queuing in immigration halls when you land (just FYI, anyone who’s ever flown to the States will no this is sheer torture after a seven hour plus flight, SHEER TORTURE).
Oh, and did I mention if you *do* vote for me then you automatically get entered into a competition to win two return flights to NYC, plus accomodation and £1000 spending money?
Oh, and the comp is open until Thursday 26th March and you can vote every single day until then. Obviously the more you vote the more both of our chances of winning increase and OMG ISN’T THAT EXCITING?
I mean not like you’d even want to go anyway right? It’s only the best blinking place in the entire world. Aside from Hogwarts, obviously.