It was always my dream to go to New York City and after 2 and a half years I made my dream come true. Many of my friends were au paring in America, I researched it and thought that it would be the best way for me to go to America and get paid while doing it, so I became an au pair. I was with a family from Long Island New York and stayed with them for 7 months. We had our ups and downs but all in all it was a great experience.
These are some of the places I visited in New York City.
Grand Central Station, 89 E 42nd St, New York
In most movies I had seen (Step up 4, Get him to the Greek, and Friends with Benefits) there is always a scene where they kiss, bump in or meet their loved one in Grand Central Station. The moment I had walked into the station, it was truly breathtaking. Yes I am a “drama queen” but I could honestly see myself in that movie and Justin Timberlake having people dance around me or the guy in Step up telling me his going away with me or Russell Brand booking out the whole station for a date just to make me feel special and then some guy knocked me and I was totally back to reality but even just standing there I couldn’t believe that I could touch things some people will only ever see in movies.
The first image is of the Flatiron building. When I saw it I really didn’t realise it was the building until I stood on the side then proceeded to the front of it. This building reminds me of when I was young and would take my ironing board out and “act” as if I was doing something to my clothes. It was really something I was happy to see. Of course the second image is of the streets of New York that is filled with the famous “Yellow Taxis”. It is really everywhere but the price you end up paying just to use one, WOW I think I would rather walk to my destination. One of my favourite experiences was to visit “Starbucks” and have an Iced Mocha or Pumpkin Spice Latte. There isn’t one in Cape Town, South Africa and the first thing I ordered was an Iced Coffee (which was nothing like we have but just filter coffee that was stored in a fridge, p.s not my favourite) I was so excited I just added so much sugar and milk, it ended up tasting really nice. I was just glad I finally got myself a Starbucks coffee. The love sign, the love sign, the love sign. On my final 3 weeks I had really missed home and wanted to just be with my boyfriend, family and friends. I had remembered the Love sign from a picture a friend had put on Instagram and I said to my friend Shannon that “we need to go there today”. We walked for hours and went sight-seeing which was so much fun, we totally looked like tourists. I had finally reached the love sign and I instantly felt loved which is completely weird but I felt as if everyone that meant something to me was there holding me and I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I was in Cape town again with my loved ones.
TIMES SQUARE, MANHATTAN, NY
Times Square where do I begin. I had gone to Times Square many times but my favourite was my very first time with my friend Rache. We had so much fun, running around going to the red steps to take pics in the crazy lights, going shopping for at least one item and just having some tourist fun. We took pictures of everything in the Street, the Naked cowboy, the crazy people dressed in cartoon characters and the cops haha (that was the best). Times Square at night seriously is the best! You can find yourself getting lost in the moment and looking at your watch after a few hours not realising that it is 2am and it doesn’t even feel like it because of all the lights and the buzzing atmosphere.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING ,MANHATTAN, NY
Everyone knows about the Empire State Building. It is one of the biggest buildings in New York and when you stand in front of it, you don’t release what it is until you move away more and stand afar you are able to see the building and how big it really is. The Empire State Building is a 103 story skyscraper located in Manhattan. It has a roof height of 380m and with it’s antenna spire included, it stands at 443m high. It’s nickname was giving by the catchy phrase we here in music lyrics “the empire state” which means New York state, thus the Empire state building was named. It stood as the World’s tallest building for nearly 40 years. Those were some facts they I found pretty interesting about the building. Sometimes its good to find out the history of a monument or building that was made many years ago. One of my favourite moments I got to see in America was their celebration on the 4th of July Independence day. The fire works were truly amazing and what stood out to me was the empire state building lit up in red, blue and white. It was so awesome to see and be apart of.
CENTRAL PARK, MANHATTAN, NY
Central Park was one of the places I didn’t really get to take pics of because I was too busy, my phone died, I simply forgot or was just in awe of the place I was in. I always see people walking through the park, having a jog with friends, a couple kissing some where or just a family having fun with each other. It is such a great place to relax and have a picnic. Sometimes I would see people having a boot camp or yoga session in the park and it just look like so much fun. Some places in Central Park are very romantic and I really wished I had my boyfriend with me. I had never had a chance to see the fountain and the place where “Blare and Chuck Bass” got to run out after their crazy love moment and I was super upset with myself but I will go back to visit my amazing friends and Central Park will be my first stop.
One of the places I had to go to in NYC was definitely Brooklyn. When I walked in the streets of Brooklyn I felt as if I was at home in Cape Town. There are families in the street and almost every house on the corner is a house shop. It was truly amazing to be there. I went to Dumbo where you see the amazing view of New York City in the background of the first image. On a Sunday they have a market where you can buy anything and everything. A few hours after I had gone, the VMA’s were in Dumbo and Katy Perry was the artist who sang. I was pretty upset that I didn’t get to see it but I saw them set up, that does count right??? Ever since I watched movies or series there is always one scene where they end up doing something on the Brooklyn bridge. Recently “how to lose a guy in 10 days” came on and I just thought of the day I actually walked on the Brooklyn bridge. It is really a scene out of a movie like even when you just put your foot on it, you want to take a picture. I had seen some locks on the bridge where people all over the world had written their name on it and attached it to the bridge. I forgot my lock like a crazy person – so that is still on my bucket list as well as Paris’ locks bridge.
Statue of Liberty,Liberty Island, New York, NY
September 1875 – Contraction started. October 28, 1886 – Opened.
I am not going to give you the History of the Statue of Liberty but I will tell you about my experience. My first view of the Statue which in the first image you can’t see at all, which is what we basically saw and that why my friend Rache is sad and I’m laughing because we really thought we would have been able to see it closer on our trip around New York with our Au pair agency. It was such a classic moment because all the au pairs were like “ummmm is this all we get to see?” The second image I went to Madame Tussauds with my crazy friend Shannon (who was an au pair from the UK). We decided on her last few days before returning home, that we would just go and do some crazy things. Madame Tussauds is a wax museum where you can see Celebrities, Statues, Famous events and People that have left a great legacy before passing on. It was great fun and I totally had to put my head in the Statue because I really thought you could when you see the real thing. My friend Kim, also from South Africa, but is studying abroad, went with me on a trip over the lake to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty in person. As we were on the boat it was so funny because we both suffer from really bad sea sickness, which isn’t the best plan if you don’t know anyone else but we survived. Approaching the Island, the Statue was so huge, really, I thought it was smaller and really didn’t know how to react. I took so many pictures and truly enjoyed all the history I had learnt about the statue. I also received a certificate for visiting the statue which I thought was so awesome as a tourist to have as a memory.
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Hillsong NYC – Carl & Laura Lentz Lead Pastors
About Carl & Laura Lentz
Carl pastors Hillsong NYC, a church in the heart of Manhattan that has a passion to serve the city and make an impact worldwide. If you can’t find Carl at Hillsong NYC, you can find him at MSG watching the Knicks as he attempts an NBA comeback.
Laura was born in Australia and lived there most of her life, until she graduated from Hillsong College where she met her husband Carl. She is excited to be a part of Hillsong NYC and knows God has incredible things ahead for that city and nation. She has been passionate about building the local church her entire life, and about delivering the gospel in a method that makes sense to a generation that is desperately seeking a cause greater than themselves. Laura and Carl have three amazing children who wrestle bears and bunnies.
I attend Hillsong in Cape Town and I wanted to visit our campus in the States. I went every Sunday and loved every minute of it. Heard many different pastors from around USA preach, learnt so much in the time I spent with my Hillsong family and I am truly blessed that I got to experience it for those 7 months.
These are some of my Amazing friends that I met on my trip and I miss them all like crazy. I also put up a picture of Victoria secret and Madame Tussauds.
I really miss all of my crazy friends and do plan to visit them in the future if they don’t beat me to it and come to Cape Town. What is your dream destination to visit??
God bless xxxo