Je suis Pascale: March 26, 2015

So, as I told you two weeks ago, for my spring break I was heading south, but not as south as most of you. Just a three and a half drive from Providence to New York City. For every European, NYC is a dream.

In our imagination, this is the city where everything is possible, where dreams are big and the lights shine bright. That’s why I had high expectations before arriving. And I was not disappointed at all. We took the bus and arrived at Port Authority, which is near Times Square. So right away we were in the middle of the city’s wonders. It was past midnight and there are lights everywhere, the shops are still open and the crowds surrounds you.

I soon headed to Brooklyn where I was staying. When you cross the East River, I noticed another atmosphere. I was in Williamsburg, which I found to be an interesting neighborhood: a mix of orthodox Jews and hipsters. I actually think this is my favorite part of the city. The small coffee shops and vintage boutiques on Bedford Avenue, the walk along the river and its amazing view of the skyline, everything here made me like this place. And you are only one subway station from Manhattan!

Of course I did a lot of touristy things: the MoMa, the Met, Central Park, the Empire State Building… but I preferred wandering all around the city. What about the nightlife? Is it possible to compare it with URI one? I think you already know the answer. You can’t even choose among the variety of bars NYC offers. However, if I would give you an advice, try a speakeasy. This kind of bars date back from the Prohibition and naturally are still hidden. You have to know the address and how to get in before you go because there is no sign outside.

I went to one of them where you have to cross a scary warehouse before entering a secret door to a beautiful, thirties-look-like bar. You can then drink the beer you ordered in a mug or champagne out of a teacup. Yes, a teacup, because you know, alcohol is forbidden…

When you can’t stand right on your feet anymore, you exit by a door hidden behind a bookshelf. (And yes, you feel like Harry Potter!)

But that is not the only surprising thing I did. I had the chance to go see the show Sleep No More. We cannot really call that a “show” in its traditional meaning. It takes place in an old hotel in Chelsea. People dressed like in the 1930s and they give you a white mask you have to wear. You take an elevator, the door opens and you are in a scary hotel with characters all around. You arrive in the lobby and you see a pregnant woman who looks afraid. So you follow her to the ballroom where she met a man. And then a maid comes, and then a groom, and so on.

This was really an amazing experience. In a nutshell, NYC is a great place and for sure I will come back, I still have a lot to discover!