If you had asked me 10 years ago what one of my biggest dream was, I would’ve said “moving to New York”. My parents and their friends had visited New York a few times in my early/mid-teens and I remember always going online each time they visited to watch them wave to us from the TGI Fridays Times Square Live Webcam! A few years later for my 16th birthday my parents took my sister and I to New York. Nothing will ever compare to visiting the city for the first time. I was SO overwhelmed with everything there is to take in. I was obsessed with “The Hills” and “The City” at the time so I was living for all the American stores and the various tourist spots around the city. We stayed at the gorgeous boutique hotel “Hotel Giraffe” on Park Avenue and 28th Street, 3 blocks away from what would be my future home/school (although we didn’t know of the school at the time). One of my favourite memories of this trip was a family friend of ours sending us a limo to take us to their favourite Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side! Such a great holiday with the family!
Two years later I visited New York again, this time with my college whilst training in Musical Theatre at Newcastle College! I absolutely loved this trip, being in my favourite city in the world was just a wonderful experience and we managed to see so many Broadway shows (back when ticket prices were reasonable!) A memory from this trip that sticks out to me is; one of the days I had wandered down Broadway from Times Square.
After having been to New York before I wanted to see something I hadn’t done before, so enjoyed just strolling down. I eventually hit Madison Square Park (almost 19 blocks away, jeez Luke). I had been struggling with phone service the whole trip but for some reason in the park my phone was working fine, so I decided to call my Mum. Our conversation was general chit-chat, but towards the end of the phone call I told Mum of a weird feeling, that I felt crazily connected to New York this time. To which my Mum said she had been speaking to my Dad and said “If Luke calls us and said he wanted to live there/not come home, I wouldn’t be surprised.” The strangest thing about this is, Madison Square Park is on 26th and Madison, a mere 4 blocks away from my future home/school (still at this point I wasn’t aware of the school).
The following year I was obsessed with the idea of moving to New York. I spoke to my friend Billie (my recent director/lover LOL jk) who had attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts on 30th Street and Madison Avenue and she suggested I audition. In October of 2014 my Dad and I travelled to London to audition for the school. At this audition I actually met one of my future friends Danny who I recently worked with at the Scranton Shakespeare Festival! Low and behold, I got into the school! After months of fundraising and working and receiving wonderful help and support from friends and family, it was time for me to move!
On September 12th 2015 my parents drove me down to Heathrow airport and I got on a flight to my new life in New York.
Nothing could have prepared me for what was waiting for me at the other side, but I can safely say, after living here for 3 years, I have never been happier in my entire life. Not only have I met the love of my life, but I get to do what I love every single day, and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather do it all!
I could talk for hours on my love for New York, but instead I thought I would list 30 things I have learnt whilst living here, so with out further ado, enjoy!
30 Things I Have Learnt Whilst Living In New York
1. Walking at a glacial pace is not acceptable, from yourself or from others. KEEP IT MOVIN’.
2. $1 Pizza is the true hero.
3. Broadway tickets got way way WAY too expensive ya'll.
4. An empty Subway car is not lucky. If you realised this too late. Hold your breath until the next station.
5. Fall/Autumn in New York is the best time of year.
6. The most disappointing thing is getting on a Subway car with no AC in the middle of Summer.
7. I actually love coffee. Like, LOVE coffee.
8. New Yorkers are the best and the worst. #dontpissoffanewyorker
9. One of the best things about New York is leaving it and coming back.
10. Crying on the street/in public is perfectly acceptable…(We’ve all been there)
11. No one goes to Times Square unless absolutely necessary. I wrote a blogpost on this back in the beginning days of NevNYC but I still get asked if I go there a lot! CLICK HERE FOR THE TIMES SQUARE BLOGPOST
12. There is always something going on. This has been highlighted to me even more since I came back from 3 months away. You just have to jump in, but you’ll never be bored.
13. New York is a lot more stressful than people show on Instagram, I am totally guilty of this too, but I love keeping my social media positive and happy!
14. Brooklyn is my favourite part of New York. Gino and I were talking about this recently as we are currently working on a recommendation’s section of NevNYC. We both realised that all our faves are in Brooklyn. If you come and visit NYC be sure to visit Williamsburg or Dumbo!
15. Love at first sight is a real thing. After date 1 with Gino, I knew he was the one. And we have been together almost 3 years. Couldn’t imagine my life without him. My fave nugget <3
16. Breaks are necessary. After a crazy day or crazy week of work it is so nice to shut yourself away in your apartment!
17. Brunch is like, a THING here. Everyone always wants to meet for brunch. Even if its at lunchtime. Its brunch.
18. Drinks are also expensive. Being in Scranton where pints of beer were $4 I am now SHOOKETH at pay $8 for a beer of $30094.21 for a cocktail. JK, but not really.
19. The beaches in New York are amazing. If you are here in the Summer I highly suggest heading to the Rockaways! Gorgeous sandy beaches. Avoid Coney Island if you’re wanting to relax, it’s sort of like Blackpool.
20. I have some of the greatest friends in the world. Everyone is always doing the most amazing things and I couldn’t be prouder.
21. Not ALL of the food here is great! New York is known for its ever-changing restaurant scene. I highly recommend checking out Yelp before eating out!
22. Bagels are the best. But eat in moderation. I swear in my second year I had em’ every day. A second on the lips is a lifetime on the hips ya’ll. Now I love a big Sunday breakfast with G.
23. NYC museums are amazing. I swear I have visited The Met like 10 times and still not seen it all. Also it’s pay what you can so don’t be ashamed to pay $1 if thats all you can afford.
24. The west side of Manhattan is my favourite place to wander. I suggest starting off at the top of the Highline (at 34th street) around 5:30PM and strolling down to 14th, getting off and then walking to the West Side river walk. Some of the most beautiful views and the sunset is to die for.
25. I miss home. However agitated I was with living in the North East back before I left, I now have such an appreciation for home, and have the best time when I get to visit.
26. My family are everything. Theres nothing quite like moving 5000 miles away from your family to make you truly appreciate them. I have had the best times with Nev’s since moving away. I miss them every day more and more and it doesn’t get any easier, but I couldn’t be more thankful.
27. New York is a bubble. There is so much going on in the world, but the melting pot of human beings that live amongst one another in New York truly makes you appreciate everyones differences and similarities. I wish everywhere was like that. But being aware of everything else going on in the world is so so important.
28. Art is ALIVE and well. I have met and seen some of the most creative people since living here and I love it! I have such a new found appreciation for being creative, not just in your field of work. But as a human. Create, create, create and read “The Artist’s Way” whilst you’re at it.
29. I have found myself in New York. Everyday I spend here in the city, I discover something new about myself. Either that I like or that I don’t. I am so thankful for the perspective I have gained since moving here and continue to better myself every single day. This one kinda turned into a self-help mantra, but here you can be anyone you want to be.
30. There is no where else in the world I would rather be right now. Gino and I have both graduated this year and have both embarked on our respective, crazy careers. Being in NYC, in 2018, in acting and fashion, and together, is exactly where we need to be at the moment. And I couldn’t be more thankful.
Happy 3rd Anniversary New York!! Heres to many more!
For more updates, you can follow NevNYC on:
Facebook - @NevNYC
Twitter - @NevNYC
Instagram - @NevNYC
*NEW* Photography Account - @LukeAntonyPhotography