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Times Square vs a brilliant having fun evening with the girls : 0 / 1 – AAAD #03


NB for French people : la version française est ici

When I said that I’ll spend my summer in New York, one of the things people have given to me is « New York is pretty hot on Summer ». Yep, it’s kind of hot but not as much as in Turkey where I’ve already been several times. When it comes that it’s too hot, you may enter public places really cool but as for me they are unfortunately too much coldy. Air Climate is a way of life here. At the supermarket, in the metro, when you’re in restaurant, at the library, it’s everywhere. In order to not enjoy life as a Miss Freeze, I’m having my pashmina in my purse and I fight cold thanks to that piece. I’m probably the only single person to do that in the area. I’m writing this from the public library and I can tell that I’m so cold, I have headakes.

But it’s New York so I’m taking that on the bright side. I’m just noticing that’s it’s one of the cultural gaps that has astonished me such as the high level quality of service you have here and the unfortunate no-recycling policy. These are things I have noticed since I arrived on Saturday, July, 31st.

I spent a quite no-sightseeing day on Monday coz I’d time with my friends chatting and I had to update the blog live from Starbucks Cafe. That’s so silly when you know how much there are things to see around here. But, I definitely want to have the time to live without clockrunning and then writing for this blog is a huge part of the aim ot this stay. Maybe, it’s difficult for people to figure it out but I dont’ want to spend the time running from one museum to an other sightseeing place. Coming to New York is also a way to discover the American way of life.


Champs-Elysées vs Times Square : 0-0

I felt really guilty to left the flat at 5 :00 PM. Being rid of this tempting computer, I took the metro. I did not know where my journey will end. And then, I decided to enjoy the marvellous sightseeing of Times Square. I’ve seen reports on New York and I knew that this part of the city is definitely not for me. But this was something I need to see so I must go. Poor girl, emh.. ?

Facing Times Square as something unlikable is silly I know… ! But as for people who like me are not keen on areas which look like as Champs-Elysées, full of bunch of tourists, sellers, maybe you will be agree with me… I spent the evening with my neighbours and I gave them my thought about what Times Square looks to me. I’ve given my thought carefully coz they’re all working in a restaurant based in Times Square. Lucaya travels a lot, she spent two days in Paris. To her, using the Champs-Elysées analogy seemed fair.

It’s great to see all those lights turned on, this giant plasma on buildings but that’s not the kind of things I’m keen on. But, I uploaded two videos in order to let you enjoy the maybe so-called magicness of Times Square. I can say now that I’ll be happy to see those in several months…

An American evening

Once I have done that sightseeing, I came back home. The neighbours asked me to join hem for an outside moovie in the Park. As we walked, they said to me the release tonight was West Side Story. We were seeing Queens Bridge from the Park, a more New York moment cannot be existing as for now… In a grocery, Caroline helped me to buy what most American snacks people are having for the moovies. I buy Raisinets, some grappes with a milk chocolate topping. That’s way too much sugar for myself but at least I’d have discovered something new.

In the Park, we’ve been said that’s the movie is not gonna happen. But we are eight chatty girls so we might have some fun. The girls introduced me to their friends as the French girl living beside them who gonna spent the month in New York. They seemed happy to introduce me. So do I ! I wanted to meet people, now I’m a happy few ! We’re talking about what I’m doing here. I tell them that I wish to live as an American woman here, not as a tourist. Doing something young peoples are doing, karaoke, beach, disco. I wish also to see a musical. Well, I’m very lucky coz Maggie, Erin and Christina are working in that field. Some of them have already been on a tour show and I have no doubt about the bright future of every of them. I will see a really carefully chosen musical which will not be the one every French people are seing when they’re visiting New York. Thank you girls.

Maggie, Caroline and Anna are living on the next floor. They arrived in New York like six months ago. They still have things to discover. They said to me we might be able to sightsee with me like going to the Ellis Island Museum or in Central Park. I’ll be happy to have them next to me and that they show their favorite places in New York.

Coming back home, Caroline asks me to speak French. Anna and her, are the ones who fancy speaking French. Caroline learnt French when she was in Highschool. She speaks a quite good French with that exquise accent that I love. We go to the girl’s to have a drink and by now I feel really American.

I’m now having this American evening I dreamt about like an average Amercican young people. As for me, it values the Rockfeller and Chrysler Buildings from the city… Tonight, I’ve heard lots of things that has surprised me. As for now, I can’t figure out what was those things. I hope those will come back in my mind but unfortunately 36 hours have passed since I lived that moment. Aim of the next days : no more than 24 hours to write things I’ve experienced. Tonight, the girls are coming home to share a drink. This will be an other great American evening.

First sightseeing in Manhattan: so wow – AAAD #02

NB for French people : la version française est ici

This chaotic travel ended Saturday evening at 8 :00 when I reach my final fully deserved destination aka my bed. I was lucky to go to bed at night, after flying. It helped me to not too much suffered from the jet-lag you feel even if you arrived since a couple of days. I’m writing this on Tuesday, August, 3rd because my Internet acces is shut down for a while and I can assume by now that I’m not jet-lagged. My tireness of the moment is because of the difficulties to sleep I experienced before coming. Still, I’m awake everyday at 3 :00 AM, that’s 9 :00 PM in France. Your mind maybe so adaptable, the body did not forget about his own schedules.

First steps in New York

My first day in New York was a Sunday. Since, I’m here, I’m having a new look about American culture which I know probably nothing about. I oftenly trying to figure it out about what an American would think about the Parisian way of life and on a Sunday Parisian way of life for example. I just presume he would have a cultural shock. How the Baker’s can be closed ? And about the pharmacy, how one can possibly make up to his mind that there might be a pharmacy in the neighbourhood that is opened but since it’s some keeping-opened service, there’s no clue to find which of the pharmacy is opened on this particuliar Sunday. In New York, pharmacy opens everyday, 24 hours a day. And you can’t only reach medecines, you’re also able to find cosmetics, food and even a machine to print your pix.

I travelled by myself in Italy and in Spain and even if I did not live in a flat, I was always going into supermarkets. It helps you to find out how people are living their everyday life. Here, medecines are reachable, you add them to your basket like of a box of flour. After this need for food and cosmetics done, I went to grasp Manhattan.

I bought my metro pass for a month. It seems to me really fragile. It’s a very slim shit of paper with a magnetic band. I payed 89 $ to have the illimitated access to metro, well that’s fair. It’s about the same price for a Parisian metro pass.

There’s something in my life I must be ashamed but I can’t really manage it : I’m a fully Internet dependent woman. I can enjoy life without a Wi-Fi access but that’s only if I’m far away from the crazyness of a city and that the times stop because I’m enjoying life through Nature and birds singing. But this cannot occurs in my everyday life even if I’m really far away from home. So I assume that having an I-Touch which can be connected to Wi-Fi seemed a great idea. Aim : going to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue. In the train, I speak to Rob who has a really beautiful longboard (cf pictures in the slideshow AAAD #2). He says to me that ‘s it’s less difficult that I can imagine so we plan that he’ll show me. The chatting made me miss my station and that has be a chance. For the record : next time I want to go somewhere, get down in the neighbourhood but not in the right place to enjoy fully the area.

I assume Manhattan just kissed me

If I had been getting down at 5th Avenue / 59th Street, I must not had this feeling that everything were giant coz the metro station is next to Central Park. The first thing I saw about Manhattan was the 7th Avenue. The narrowness of the streets, the yellow cab from my New York cliches, the highness of the buildings, I’ve seen all of these in an amount of three seconds.  I presume that I’ve never experienced that feeling, even in Venice, Italy, which was one of the most beautiful travel that I had the chance to have… I was so mooved, my stomach was upside down, tears about to fall. I felt a little bit ridiculous, I dit not get what was occuring to me. Maybe it’s about the fact that I’d be waiting for this moment since so much time, since I’m ten exactly.

Once again, I try to think about how an American would be able to visit Rome or Paris. Indeed, when you’re used to a square ericted city, where every streets are symetrical, when streets are named in fonction of the direction, how could you possibly orientate yourself in a city build like Paris or Roma.. ? As for Venice, Italy, being lost that’s the thing about the Doge cité. So going to the 5th Avenue has been a piece of cake to me. I just crossed some streets and then I find a place crowded with tourists, and heard French every ten metters.

When I’m travelling by myself, I try to live as a citizen. I prefer Birkenstocks to baskets, purse to a big bag and the travel guide stays at home. I do not want to be a tourist girl. And since I’m not speaking to someone, one’s cannot notice hearing me that I’m here for sightseeing.

At the Apple Store, I notice that the entrance was similar to ones’s in Louvre which is also in a basement that one’s access helped by a turning stair. And like the Louvre, when you’re on the street, you can see because of the glasses what occurs in the shop. My friends said to me this will be fully crowdy because of the Sunday. But, I was lucky, I was helped by Michelle who answered very well my questions. She gave me attention, something in France, customers are not enough feeling in my point of view (Alexis, this line is for you).

Then Michelle waited for me to choose the right protection for my new purchase. I was a bit desperate to see the waiting lines but as I was paying with my Visa card, she took my payement scanning the things with her I-Touch. Marvellous technology, I’ve loved that ! The ticket will be sent to me by e-mail. I said to Michelle « I’m so excited about this. I might be a shoe-lover but not as much as I’m a technology-lover ». She answered : « And then, this will last you more than shoes and at least, you won’t be injured ! ». I’ve loved my visit to the Apple Store. Thanks Michelle, thank you for the time you gave me in that crowdy afternoon.

I was a bit tired, it was seven and I have been said that it’s not a good thing to be alone at night in New York. But, Central Park was asking me to come, it was so next to the Apple Store. I’ve enjoyed breakdancers (cf Video AAAD #02) and I entered the Park. It’s like the pictures I’ve seen, the skyscrappers are fully above the Park. There’s even a small fair. My neighbour Caroline said to me to have one day long in Central Park. There’s so many things to see. We might go together and rent some bikes to enjoy the Park.

I’ve seen gigs in front of which there were people that decides to leave shyness in the closet (cf Video AAAD #02), some joggers that were dancing, having a break into their running. The threes are really beautiful and I’ve crossed oftenly some little lakes and some hills made by huge stones. But the day was falling down so I stepped to the gate.

I had a really great experience today : 5th Avenue, Central Park and a stop by the Apple Store, some classics. Tomorrow, we’ll see, I might be mooved by some other things I want to do at the moment. That’s what is good about staying one month in a place : you dont’ have to run the clock. Time is money, that’s true but sometimes we’re not enough aware about how having time is a great value.

You have to deserve New York – AAAD #01

NB for French people : la version française est ici

I left Paris really really tired. If I have been noticed about what will happen during my travel to New York, I’d have been desperate. Sometimes when things are difficult, I’m thinking about what my dance teacher Irene used to say when we were practicing through pain. She was saying that you can’t feel how strong you are if you’re not practicing when you’re about to collapse. I’m thinking about those words when I’m about to abandon something. What happened yesterday makes me think about what Irene used to say.

Alarm-clock watcher

I was about to stay alive in order to be awake at 4 :30 AM. A friend thought my travel will be too difficult in that case and came to sleep at home to be an alarm-clock watcher. Open my eyes and discovering that I did’nt wake up is one of my big fear. But, at 4 :30 AM, I was awake even without hearing the delicate song of Rachid’s phone. Then, Rachid sung for me Alicia Keys and we get out. The taxi driver said to me that he was just about to leave when I came to him. He has even been offered to pay for his charge by other travellers in a urgent need of a cab. He said no. Didn’t find him would have been the first issue of the day.

Issues x 3


Actually the first issue occured at Charles de Gaulle when the Air France employee asked me to withdraw things from my huge heavy suitcase. I’d put stuffs in a second hand luggage and he felt that the weight was now reasonnable. I begged him for adding a name label to my suitcase. Fortunately he accepted to wait for that. Without that piece, my arrival in New York would have been a nightmare. For the future: buy a solid label.

Transfert. Arrival in Manchester, we were going to the transfert desk in order to have our ESTA apply checked. The employee said to me I will not be authorized to enter America. I’ve made a mistake filling the application.  I felt totally desperate. There was something that I could do : it consits to go to the Internet café in an other terminal with my three bags, step to one level then to an other one several times, turn here and there and… Some stuffs that appears totally undoable when you are exhausted.

I asked the first person that I met where I had to got. He spoke so quickly that the Internet Cafe seemed really unreachable. I’d just said : « I’m sorry, I’m so tired, I don’t know how I possibly could do that ». Then, tears on my cheeks, it was a need in order to let the pression goes down. He offered kindly to help me. He said to me that I’m gonna have my ESTA apply done in an airport office. He drove me to a collegue who made the application for me. The two have been some heros to me, I was so in need because of my tireness… One more time, I’d been lucky : the New York plane had been delayed. We were supposed to wait for 3 hours, now it’s 5 which had been really nice considering my ESTA issue. Finally, waiting in Manchester airport seemed really quick.

Presenting my boarding card, the lady discovered that the lost luggage’s mysterious passenger is yet arrived. Yes, this belongs to me but what happened ? Had X-ray been putting a veto to my coming ? The suitcase is actually too heavy ? Finally, the company label had been removed accidently. I’d been lucky, the label I’d just put three hours before, begging the employee, was ok. They had the chance to find me on passenger’s list. And now, I know that you need two labels for your suitcase. One on the luggage and one on the top of your clothes in it. Thus, as said this kindly Irish Delta Airlines employee, you could be found even if the label had been removed. He adviced to mark your final destination adress and not your home’s. I was so lucky. I hope my suitcase will be ok.

Mathieu Raylight

The passenger next to me was really smilly. My accent helps him to find where I come from. He spoke me French but I neeeded him to repeat his words. Quebec people have this accent you have to be used to hear before understanding their words well. One of my best friends, Margot, said to me that I’m gonna meet people in the plane which is a really pleasant moment during your travel. I was so lucky travelling next to him.

Even if I was sitting in the back of the plane which has not been a good thing during the motions. Even if the boy in my back was annoying me touching the pad on the back of my seat. Even after all, I would not have exchanged my room. Being next to Mathieu has been a release during that long long travel. He was smilly and kind, exactly the travel friend that I did not have next to me. There’s only a one year gap between he and me. He was travelling for business but he had that way of being that must be natural when you’re him and we chat nicely. We spoke about the cultural gap between our countries. He asked me at what time did young people are taking their independance, at what time did they have their first child. We have laught about his quebecquian expressions and we found the French equal words.

This was really interesting, because neither him knows some words like « apero » or « blog ». I explain to him : « Apero, it’s something you’re making impro, it’s just after work, before dinner. It’s not like a party, it must been no organized ». « But, you need how many time to organize a party ? », he asked. And then, a new cultural gap : in Montreal, a party can exist thanks to only an amount of 48 hours. He helped me on words that French are not using. Thanks for making me laught with the « breuvages » (that means soft drinks) and the rest, Mathieu. We recorded a video about that. Mathieu Raylight (fictive last name), thanks for everything.

Dumping one’s own fear

My friend Margot also said to me that I would feel a bit afraid at one moment. For her, it has occured at the airport before her bride’s world travel. So, I checked, I asked myself when this gonna occurs… ? At JFK, no fear already. In the cab shared with a French girl travelling thanks to a family that welcomes her, no fear. I arrived in the flat at 5.30 PM, local time, it t-was 11 :30 in France. The day had begun at 5 in the morning. So when the smoke watcher was ringing loudly every minute, I was about to cry. And I felt really lonely.

When you check in a hotel, you’re welcomed, you just have to drop your luggage into you room. That time, I had to fix some things. Find the owner. Yeah, we finally succeed in stopping the smoke watcher. There will be a new one today. It’s Sunday but it’s not a country where people are not working on Sundays. Good news, I hate Sundays, this quiet day during which you can’t do all the thing you want when you live in France. Socially, it’s nice, it offers people to enjoy a family day and it helps them with other stuffs I’m not gonna develop here. I’m not so keen on dead times, for me that’s one of the awkwards of living in France. Now, I’m gonna spend one month in the city that nevers sleep. The nice thing is that I’m not living in Manhattan so, if I want to sleep, it’s quiet.

Finally, my first day in New York

It’s 7 :49, I’m awake since one hour. I’m gonna go in the neighbourhood finding a coffee place and then we’ll see. Yesterday evening, I felt sorry to not have visited some places. I felt unwell to have only see the city through an airport reaching home balad. I needed to sleep and I did not want to. I think that I was feeling too much alone…

I needed to go to the neighbours for an ulitmate issue. They have been more than warm to me. They gave me something I need : words. We stayed half an hour together chatting about what I’m doing here, about their life in New York. Caroline and Maggie are still in the New York discovering process. They arrived seven month ago. I think it will helps to make us know each others. Caroline felt excited about that blog. « Don’t worry, you’ll be able to write every single day considering all the things that will happen to you ».  Maggie approoved her and Caroline said that she was feeling sorry not had written words about her New York arrival. Thanks, Caroline, thanks for those words, that’s exactly why I’ll be doing this blog. I promise, tomorow, my words will be more synthetic. And moreover, I’ll speak about New York coz my travel stories might have only interest my folks.

It’s now 7 :57 AM and New York is waiting for me.