So I'm Moving to New York...

Right now I am (hopefully) on a boat, somewhere in the middle of the Irish Sea (probably feeling a little green). Below deck is a van full to the brim with the bulk of our belongings.

Earlier today we said goodbye to our flat. Our lovely little corner of London that we had called home for the last 3 years & 3 months, is now to be occupied by someone else. Sure the rent kept going up and would have eventually priced us out anyway, but it was our first little home together & we were really quite fond of it. Now though, it's time to prepare for our really big adventure!

For over a year the idea of us relocating to New York lived on in some tiny way. At first it was a delicate seed, occasionally growing in size only to be stamped right back down. But then, then it became a more solid idea, a sapling! We filled in forms, we waited. We filled in more forms, we waited again - we jumped through a lot of hoops! And despite life's best efforts to crush this idea it persevered, we persevered! Now we have the visas in our hot little hands, our one-way flights are booked & boxes of our belongings are making their way to a different continent from this one. This is really happening.

But first we have a few days back home to recuperate from moving, a few precious days catching up with family & friends (and lots of cuddles with my dog!), because this may well be our last visit to the Isle of Man for some time. Then we move in to a stranger's spare room back in London for our last few weeks living on British soil. Everything is feeling just a little bit crazy right now!

From the Wedding Album

This time six months ago we had just said "I Do", and were probably being pelted with confetti (mostly by my mum) outside the registry office. Six months already eh? That feels like no time at all, but also like it should be longer - oh time you fickle thing you!

Ordinarily we'd have seen this as an excuse for an evening of not having to cook, but life at the moment consists of living knee deep in boxes, packing every free moment that we get & trying to eat the entire contents of our freezer before Tuesday. So for now we'll bank this 'excuse-for-a-mini-celebration' until a time when life is less hectic. I can not wait!

I've blogged a few times about wedding related stuff & things, but today I figured I'd share some of my favourites pictures from the photographer on the day, y'know, 'cause I can ;-)

*All pictures in this post are by Shan Fisher Photography

A visit to Stonehenge

Earlier this month I ticked off another of my 26 before 26 goals - hurrah! - with a trip to Stonehenge. Growing up, the majority of our family holidays took place in good ol' England; we spent countless hours packed in to the car, driving to various locations across the UK. But one place we never visited was Stonehenge. So when my sister announced that she would be getting married in Wiltshire this year I made plans to finally visit!
The day after the wedding we left the newlyweds back in Swindon & made our way to Amesbury. Sadly Barack decided to go the day before so we missed him, but the site was still suitably busy, what with it being a Saturday. We were also treated to a day of glorious sunshine which made the coach loads of tourists almost bearable. This handsome guy ^^^ however managed to "forgot" his hat so he got a fancy new Stonehenge cap which he looks pretty darn happy about!
Stonehenge is possibly the most famous prehistoric monument in the world and is believed to have been built some time between 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The site is the remains of a ring of standing stones in the middle of one of the densest Neolithic & Bronze Age monuments in England and is thought to have been a burial ground. Stonehenge is also a place of religious significance and pilgrimage to Druids. (Druidry is a form of modern spirituality or religion that promotes respect for all, worship of nature, and harmony.)
Another interesting fact about Stonehenge: my mum took her first ever steps here in 1959! But she's not a druid...

An Exciting Announcement...

So today we were finally able to "start spreading the news"* that...

WE ARE MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY!!

Yep, as of November 1st we will be living in the Big Apple! It's taken a long time to get to this point, but now that all of the official documents have been stamped and our one-way ticket to the city that never sleeps have been booked, it's become a crazy reality! We are both incredibly excited & terrified in equal measures! But it wouldn't be a proper adventure without the roller-coaster ride, am I right?!

But before all the real excitement begins we have the in-no-way-fun task of packing up the entire contents of our flat to move it back to the Isle of Man next week. Oh joy of joys...

*I'm sorry.

NYC: Brooklyn Flea, Pancakes & The High Line

We started off our last Sunday in NYC with a trip to the Brooklyn Flea Market, a huge market that takes place every weekend and is ranked one of the best in the U.S. During the winter it moves inside and at the time of our visit it was in the old Williamsburgh Savings Bank - a very beautiful building (see below) - in Fort Greene, however it has since moved to 80 North 5th St. in Williamsburg. There were so many wonderful stalls full of all sorts of interesting things, and lots of delicious looking food! Sadly we left empty-handed this time but we'll certainly be visiting again next time we go!
After the market we headed over to Manhattan and to the West Village for brunch. We stumbled upon a great little diner called La Bonbonniere, which was tiny! And due to it's petite size we had to wait a while for a table but it was worth it - the food was delicious! We both opted for pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, and Andrew had a bagel on the side (boy loves bagels). This was all washed down with that beautiful American idea of bottomless coffee...mmm...
With our bellies full we made tracks (no pun intended) for the High Line - a linear park built on a disused 1.45 mile section of the West Side Line of the NYC Railroad. The High Line begins on Gransevoort Street in the Meatpacking District and ends on West 34th Street. The construction of the park began in 2006 & is set to be completely finished in 2015. However the third & final phase is actually opening today - hurrah!
From 1934 to 1980 the High Line was a freight rail line that connected directly to factories & warehouses, allowing cargo to be loaded & unloaded inside the buildings. In 1999, at a time when the historic structure was under threat of demolition, a group called Friends of the High Line was founded by local residents who fought to save it.
There are a number of public art projects on the High Line that are commissioned by High Line Art. These artworks are always changing. They are displayed on billboards, projected on walls and appear as sculptures both big & small. Walking along the High Line really is a beautiful experience - seeing the city from a different angle, enjoying being outdoors away from the crazy of the rest of the city, surrounded by incredible works of art; it is it's own kind of heaven.
After the High Line we spent a lazy afternoon window shopping (but you don't need to see that) before grabbing some dinner & returning to the Rockefeller Plaza to get some Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. We were so full after pizza that we ended up eating them for breakfast instead - mmm cake for breakfast...

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More posts from our time in NYC:

NYC: Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry & Wall Street

NYC: Central Park, The Guggenheim & Times Square

NYC: Central Park, The Guggenheim & Times Square

On our first full day back in NYC I was invited along to a Flickr meet-up in Central Park, and in particular would be meeting my pen-pal Kaitlyn and her boyfriend Kevin for the first time! After meeting everyone at Columbus Circle we sat on some rocks for introductions before heading to the very iconic, and beautiful, Bethesda Terrace.
At the centre of Bethesda Terrace is a pool with a fountain sculpture of a bronze angel (top picture) that was designed in 1868 by Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public commission for a major art work in NYC! The arcade (third picture) is also especially beautiful, with its Minton Tile ceiling designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. The tiles were produced in England and the Bethesda arcade is the only place in the world where they are used to decorate a ceiling rather than a floor.
After a lot of wandering around but not very much photo-taking (oops) the four of us separated from the rest of the group to grab some lunch & get to know each other better. I'm so lucky to have met Kaitlyn through Flickr (you can check out the incredible work of this super talented lady here!), they really are two of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting!
After saying our goodbyes we headed to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (or The Guggenheim, as it's better known), an art museum on the Upper East Side. We planned to visit on a Saturday as from 5.45 - 7.45pm they adopt a "Pay What You Wish" entry (instead of the usual $22). We arrived at around 5.30pm to find a huge queue, which admittedly made our hearts sink a little, but luckily as soon as the doors opened the queue moved quickly and we entered for $1 each (which was all we had as apparently they only take cash during this time).
At the time we visited the atrium was taken over by the Gutai: Splendid Playground exhibition. The Gutai group is the first radical, post-war group in Japan & Splendid Playground was the first large exhibition devoted to them. The atrium looked even more wonderful with their work in place!
Our main interest in The Guggenheim was, quite obviously, the building. The architecture is fantastic! It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright & has been the home of The Guggenheim since 1959. It's a cylindrical building, wider at the top than the bottom, and has a continuous spiral ramp that goes from the ground floor all the way to just under the skylight. I'd highly recommend going on a Saturday evening just to explore the inside, as sadly you're not allowed to just pop in for a look...
Before heading back to Williamsburg for the night we jumped on the Subway down to Times Square (after all what tourist trip to NYC is complete without ticking that one off the list?!), and I can tell you that it is indeed as bright, loud and busy as you probably imagine it to be. Over 39 million people visit Times Square annually, making it one of the world's most visited tourist attractions!

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More posts from of our time in NYC:

NYC: The Met & The Upright Citizens Brigade

NYC: St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013

NYC: Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry & Wall Street