Monday, 16 September 2013

Down time in New York

As you will know if you read my last blog post, I decided to go out to New York a couple of days before my job commenced to hang with my friends and acclimatize. The flight was delayed by an hour leaving Heathrow but the upside of the journey was that the immigration process was relatively short compared to the two hour wait we had last year. I spent the next day shopping for consumables for the job and had dinner with my friends at the Stand Up NY comedy club.

Before checking into the hotel the next day, we took a stroll on the promenade of the East River on the Upper East side and admired some of the lovely little buildings tucked down the side streets ... something I never really get to do as it's usually all go go go in the city that never sleeps.

I just managed to get to a friend's birthday dinner on the second Saturday night .. late finish at the tennis, bus back to the hotel, quick shower and change and hopped in a cab for a 10 minute ride to Dizzy's Jazz Club at the Time Warner Centre.  I made it just in time for the 9.30 session.  By 11pm I was ready for my bed, so it was just as well that the next session was due in at 11.30 and off I went!  Such a party animal me!!

I also met up with a couple of my NY friends after work on two occasions but I had to get them to come to me at my hotel as this job was just not conducive to getting out much. Fortunately, the hotel has a rooftop bar and a stunning view of the top of my favorite building the Chrysler, situated on 42nd and Lexington.
"The Chrysler building is one of the last skyscrapers in the Art Deco style. The gargoyles depict Chrysler car ornaments and the spire is modeled on a radiator grille. Since it was restored in 1996 it glitters again like it must have in the 1930s." 

Lunch at Robert
After the job was over and most of the crew had gone home, I stayed on for an extra day to pack my kit carefully and do some last minute shopping, eating and catching up with one of my best friends. We ate lunch at Robert which is located in the Museum of Art and Design and has the most amazing views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. We had a look at the jewellery exhibition within the museum, wandered around the air conditioned shops in the Time Warner building (it was an extremely hot, humid day outside) then found ourselves still there at dinner time so went to Landmarc for our last night together.

The flight back was also delayed by 2 hours and I arrived back the following day to a cold, damp, grey day in London .. aaah it's so good to be home again! 

If you enjoy reading my blog, have a look at my facebook page and 'like' it for updates and daily postings on interesting locations around the world ...


New York .. "just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and everything"

It's a bit of a misconception if you imagine that my recent New York trip was a holiday .. it was over two weeks of full on work (no days off), 12 hours a day minimum and not much down time.  However, as I am the Holiday Queen it is my prerogative to post what I want on my blog and I know some of you are interested in my work so here's a quick run down of my three weeks away.  

All this and more ...
I tagged on a couple of days either side of my job (US Open tennis) firstly to ease myself into the time zone, get organised etc... then a day and a half afterwards to do the same. I got to spend time with my NY 'family' which is always a bonus and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. Also I get to wind down afterwards and carefully pack my kit back into the flight case that would undoubtedly get bashed and thrown about by the baggage handlers. I am pleased to say that I didn't get one breakage either way, so either my packing skills are amazing, or the baggage handlers couldn't actually lift the 30kg weight of my case!!  And that was my small kit!!  I knew pretty much how many people I would be making up so had everything I needed for them plus a little more for any unexpected guests (which they always spring on me!).

Head in the air-con flow
The previous two years of the Open were blighted by hurricane Irene, then a tornado after hurricane Sandy and the joke was that this year we might just get a plague of locusts instead! Be careful what you put out there! The night after we had a major downpour of rain, the studio lights went on for the night session and the flood lights lit the practice courts. Out of nowhere we were then graced with a swarm of seemingly every imaginable insect species which descended upon us at the speed of light!  We were frantically swatting and spraying bug repellent on ourselves and turned the lights down in between on-air segments. I've never seen anything like it. 

The 'A' Team
This year we had our usual team of presenters plus some high calibre guests, the green room/make up room was flooded again, and we had various visitors of the insect/arachnid/four-legged variety, not to mention the high heat, high humidity, perspiration and frizzy hair to contend with but it's all part of my job so it kept me busy and on my toesI'd like to tell you it's a glamorous world but only when it's over do you appreciate your efforts and realise what a great experience it is and I wouldn't change it for anything else!