We finally did it, booked the train (yes, the train!!), booked the hotel and booked the ‘Top of the Rock’ experience (pics follow 😉 ), looks like we are actually going to New York! Me and Anna have been dreaming about going to New York for years now and the day has finally come. On the 28th, we made our way to the Ottawa bus station to take a Greyhound bus to Montréal where our train to New York City was leaving. Greyhound is a very big bus company in America comparable to Flixbus and Megabus in Europe. All this happened in the middle of the night – at 2 am! All ready and set with packed lunches and fully charged laptops and phones we sat in… McDonalds… in Montreal killing 5 hours until the train departed.
Unlike Anna I had slept for a few hours before we left to catch the bus to Montréal, so it was only her dying of tiredness. Finally getting on the train and having found quite decent seats with some okay leg space – because the struggle is real!- we made ourselves comfortable and got some sleep for two hours until we reached the U.S. border, being woken up by screaming police officers, because apparently everybody has to be awake at the border. Our passes got checked and we had to fill in some documents and around 2 hours later (I know right, 2 hours!!!), immigration was finally done. We kept going…Anna was doing readings for her classes and playing candy crush, whereas I had the most productive time of the year, applying for hundreds of internships for this summer. Maybe not a hundred but it was at least 5! The process of filling in all my personal information, work experience and going through the same boring questions of why I wanna work for that specific firm (which I have just coincidentally found somewhere online and never heard of before) and what, I think, role the firm plays in financial innovation is just TIRING. But hopefully it will all pay off eventually (literally)! At 10pm after 12 hours we finally arrived in the big Apple.
We got off the train, went upstairs and left the train station, suddenly standing right in front of Macy’s. It was simply BREATHTAKING! We made it!!
Getting to the hotel in Jersey city, NJ which is only 25 minutes on one ‘PATH’ train away from Penn Station in NYC, we had to find out that WE (Anna blames it solely on me…) had booked the hotel for the 28th of January instead of the 28th of December… This has never happened to me and the first time obviously had to be during the most expensive season in the year…wow. Luckily though we could easily resolve it the next morning and got to stay in the hotel, thank God!
We woke up to rain and fog over Jersey city… nevertheless, we were so ready to explore New York with the first stop being Central Station! It is such a beautiful building, however obviously it was crammed with tourists, passengers and busy-looking business men sitting in the few cafes there. The main hall looked just like I remembered it from Gossip Girl, only Serena was missing. The atmosphere was very mystical, it was only the train departure announcements that made it feel like an actual station. See yourself:
After visiting the public library afterwards we just kinda walked along some avenues and streets to get an ‘overview’ of downtown Manhattan. We deliberately did not buy a metro card as we wanted to walk to see more of the city and despite the rain we did not regret that decision one second! The pretty walk through the fairy lights was in front of Lord+Taylor, a high-end department store. The public library was also very interesting to see. Obviously we saw less of the books but more of the tourists and students that took a seat there to study or just to relax. If I was living, no actually, When I live there, I will definitely pack up my books and laptop to sit down there to study. How cool, right?!
Still feeling that 12 hour train journey in our bodies, we called it a day and returned to our hotel at around 4 in the afternoon to chill, find food somewhere and to plan out our next days in the city. We ended up discovering a street just around the corner from our hotel with a lot of Indian restaurants and shops so we picked one restaurant there to eat in and the food was delicious! I am in love with Indian food! However, besides that, I loooove Jesus (and church 😉 ) and we got to see the End-of-Year service at Hillsong church NYC the next evening which was beyond exciting! Don’t worry, I will definitely report about that in the next post!