RACHEL FOX
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New York - Day 5 and 6

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Saturday 13th and 14th January 2017

Considering this was our last day in New York, we seemed to fit in more things than on any other day during our stay. It was also the most relaxed day. We had from around 9am to 4.45pm to continue exploring before we had to be back at the hotel to get ready to leave for the airport.

The first stop on our agenda was returning to FIT to visit the FIT Museum. We got to the building just before opening so we were the first ones in. This made the experience really chilled as we could spend as much time as we liked looking at all of the pieces and reading the plaques to go with each. The exhibition that was on was called The Body: Fashion and Physique. I will do a whole blog post on my observations and findings from the exhibition, but in summary Fashion and Physique explored the complex history of the ‘perfect’ body in fashion. I particularly enjoyed seeing the relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the nineteenth century to the present.

Once we had seen the entire exhibition, we headed for the High Line. When I went to New York with my family a couple of summers ago, we didn’t get the chance to do this so this was the one thing that I said I definitely wanted to explore. The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. It was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City.  We spent around 40 minutes up there, walking and taking photos, however the temperature was in minus numbers and therefore we were struggling with the freezing winds. We all wanted to spend longer walking the length, however we opted to go and find a Starbucks to get warm instead. I can imagine that this would be a beautiful walk when it was warmer weather. The New York landscapes that can be seen is so picturesque and it gives a real full view of different parts of the city, from roads to the river. The walkway is surrounded by plants and art work.

We then headed to hunt for one of my friends’ stores that her current uni project is based around. Similar to me and Dr. Martens, she wanted to visit to gather some primary source research and photographs. We were looking for the luxury lingerie brand, Agent Provocateur. We eventually found it and while she went into the store, I went into &OtherStories just up the road. The store is located in a beautiful building with white steep stairs to get to the main entrance. Once I entered through the large white doors, I soon realised that the store layout and items on sale were very similar to that of the UK. I had a wander round, looking at the jewellery and clothing and came across the sale stands. I tried on a shirt and a plain basic grey t-shirt. Unfortunately they were too big for me so I didn’t make a purchase.

To get to our next location, we had to walk through Greenwich Village, New York’s neighbourhood of artists which is in some ways very bohemian. This was one of my favourite walks and is located on the west side of Lower Manhattan. I really loved strolling past all of the fitness centres, gym clothing stores and small independent healthy cafes and restaurants. The area was so relaxed compared to the centre of Manhattan. It is also home to Washington Square Park which I imagine would be such a lovely walk to do and place to visit in the spring/summer.

After our walk, we eventually found the Glossier Showroom. This wasn’t on our original plan of things to do on the trip; however we saw some of our course mates’ photos from the day before so we decided that we had to go. The space is located on Lafayette Street, between Howard and Canal. The showroom was at the top of a building so we had to get the lift up to the space. It was quite a small room but was laid out so stunningly. The whole thing was so Instagramable; I was constantly taking photos. The space is Glossier’s way of allowing consumers to view the products in a physical location, allowing them to come and shop their entire lineup of skincare and makeup products. I loved the natural, baby pink and floral motif that ran throughout the decor and display stands. I enjoyed the pop of colour too; light blue and a darker pink/purple shade. This reflects Glossier’s website aesthetic and gave the whole place such a clean and glossy feel.

On our walk to the showroom, we spotted a market located near China Town and Soho; Canal Street Market. My two friends wanted to go in here for lunch. Earlier in the day, I had been to Wholefoods in Chelsea to pick up a box that I filled up from the salad bar. While my friends were eating their wraps and fries from one of the stalls in the market, I ate my pre-bought lunch. Once we had finished eating we realised that adjacent to the food hall was a market of beauty and jewellery stands. I really enjoyed walking round as it was almost like a lifestyle experience. Canal Street Market’s tenants represent top retail/design concepts and showcases up-and-coming players in the downtown NYC community. The layout of each of the stands was so picturesque with Pinterest lights wherever you looked. From one of the arty retail booths, my friend picked up a pair of earrings.

On the way back to the hotel, we walked past another Sephora so we quickly popped in as my friend wanted to pick up one last product, a Becca powder Highlighter. My other friend also brought a lip mask. This is because it was so cold and her lips were staring to crack and split! Once we finally made it back to the hotel, we had just enough time to open our cases and grab the things we needed for the plane.

We got the coach back to the airport and went through the bag check in which was so unorganised. We were doing a group check in and boarding passes were being shouted out and handed to the individual all over the place. The luggage hand in was also just on a machine unlike the UK desks. I was so surprised as to how small the terminal was; there was hardly any food and drink places to choose from. The few stores that were there were really expensive, even for a couple of bottles of water. When we eventually got on the plane, someone was sat in my seat which was rather unsettling. I had to find an empty seat so luckily I found a vacant one. I didn’t feel as sick as I did on the flight going but because of it being an overnight flight, I tried to sleep but I just couldn’t find a comfortable position! Someone fainted on the plane and the turbulence from the wind was very strong so the overall experience wasn’t as smooth as I would have hoped for but we did land 45 minutes earlier than expected.

I picked up a porridge pot at cafe Nero to eat on the coach back to the uni. Once I got back to my flat, the next job was food shopping to stock up my fridge for the next week. I went almost straight away as the shops would have been soon closing for Sunday closing hours. When I got back, the next task was unpacking which I always dread when I return from any trip.

I really enjoyed the trip overall. It was amazing exploring all new different areas of New York and I enjoyed walking to each place, taking in the city sites on the way. Having said this, I was exhausted by the end of the trip; I don’t think I’ve ever done so much walking in such as small amount of days before! This is the approximate number of steps that we did each day: Tuesday 19,500, Wednesday 23,600, Thursday 24,000, Friday 22,200 and Saturday 25,600.

Rachel

TravelRachel Fox