Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story in Glamour Magazine, here).
I hoped that this trip would be special. It really has knocked my expectations out of the park, though, and continues to be more magical than I imagined. It has been non-stop exploring, eating, drinking, laughing, wandering and postcard dropping. I am not quite sure how I am going to document absolutely everything on here at the moment – just so much has happened! Until I make a game plan, here is a little summary…..
Location, Location, Location
After a frantic and disorganised start to my accommodation, it has ended up working out wonderfully.
On my first night I headed to Stephanie‘s place in west Midtown. As she was in rehearsal until later, I dropped in to a local café for some much-needed coffee fuel as the jet lag was wearing me down. It was amazing to see her and to meet her best friend, Uthman, who was dancing around the lounge (naturally). It made me feel so grateful for those handwritten postcards in Paris which have resulted in a beautiful friendship across the pond.
Beccy arrived the next day and off we went to our Airbnb pad in Bushwick, Brooklyn. We were a little apprehensive as the taxi pulled up into a deserted industrial estate, but once we walked around the corner we saw just how cool it was. Street art, galleries, vintage stores and coffee shops galore – this place has a real East London vibe. It’s New York’s Dalston (except it’s even more hipster). Vogue rates it as one of the top 15 coolest neighbourhoods in the world and that was judged in September – if they knew I was going to visit, I may have ruined it for them. I’ll never be ‘cool’.
Next up I stayed with lovely James (brother of my great friend, Emma) on the Upper East Side and given the fact that James and his girlfriend had never met me before, they couldn’t have made me feel more welcome! They gave me a set of keys and told me to drop in and out as I pleased and I loved hanging out with them for beers and chats (and educating me on baseball).
I swung up to the Upper West Side a couple of days later to stay in Rachel’s room while she was off for a weekend in the Hamptons. I lived with Rachel when I first moved to London and I have loved being able to hang out with her as she settles into New York life as a masters student at Columbia.
A few blocks away was my next abode where I hit my next Airbnb, hosted by John, Marcus and Randy. Owner of the flat, John, also owns a bar just moments away where I listened to some great (and horrifying) karaoke.
Planned and Surprise Meetings
Before I left for NYC I had been in touch with some people about meeting up. Most of them are friends but two were people I have never met. Ashley is one of the girls who runs a NY & LA blog called, Wanderlust in the City and we got on fabulously as we chatted about the project while we searched for a spot to leave a postcard together.
Meghan Markle is mostly known for her part as Rachel Zane in the USA TV series, Suits. She also runs a successful lifestyle blog called, The Tig. I emailed her blog team about my NYC mission (if you don’t know about that, read more here!), as I wanted to spread the word about the project in the hope that perhaps they could put a tweet out. Never, ever did I imagine that Meghan would get back to me personally saying that she would love to be involved. She was so lovely and so supportive of 60 Postcards. It is great to have her as part of #Team60Postcards.
I have met many new people along the way but the two most surprising have been at book events. Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham – utter legends – were two people I never thought I’d meet in life, let alone in NYC on this trip. Both with new books out, I was lucky enough to get in to hear them speak at their separate events, get a book signed and even chat to them briefly in person. AND Lena has one of the 60 postcards. Wow. Now, lets all tell her to read it! (Look out for a tweet tomorrow. Retweet away!)
60 Postcards Stateside
Postcards have been scattered left, right and centre and I still have a few more planned for over the weekend. It has been terrifying but fun, emotional but an honour and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
To everyone who wrote a postcard, you can expect the following when I return:
- A map marking the postcard’s location
- Information about the hiding spot
- A few snaps of the area and the postcard where it is left
- A description of what happened when I left it
What else has happened? I saw Adam Driver from Girls on my flight (must have been a sign), listened to the most wonderful gay man trying to calm down some angry youths on the subway by throwing imaginary glitter on them, I’ve bought shoes the wrong size by mistake, experienced my first bike ride for years on the treacherous roads of New York, danced at a drag bar, got sunburnt in Central Park, drenched in the rain outside the Lincoln Centre this morning and left many bars feeling tipsy and totally in love with this city.
I may only have a few days left here but I don’t intend to waste one minute of it. The fun isn’t over yet. I still have work to do, events to attend and one more meeting with an inspirational man.
Sending love from NYC.