I fell in love with New York when I fell in love with HipHop at the tender age of 13, during a six week vacation with the maternal parental’s side. I took my first bite of the forbidden Big Apple and I must confess, I haven’t looked back since. Such was the formidable influence of the city on me during my six weeks stay, I returned to London embalmed in oversized jeans, a Yankee twang, and Nike kicks to match.

On my second visit ten years later, I was duly welcomed by the city that drew me in as a teen. I Carrie Bradshawed my way through the fashion boutiques in Queens, Baby Phated my lil a$$ off hoarding matching shoes and bags and ate my way to glutinous utopia – Everyone knows the food in New York City is to die for, no literally, like you ‘can’ die, but the heavenly sensuous feelings your tastebuds get from near enough any well recommended restaurants – whether it be regular Chinese from the local take away, Bubba Gump Shrimp, or pancakes at iHop – everything tastes like heaven on a heart attack inducing platter.

I was well overdue another trip to reignite my Empire State of mind in the city that never sleeps, for at least we firmly have this commonality – for I too am of the nocturnal ilk. Upon approaching my third visit last month, a further ten years after the previous, I knew the treasures that lay before me and gleed like an inquisitive teen through the anticipation of the familiar, or so I thought.

Of all my visits this would be the shortest, a mere three days, but it turned out to be the three coldest Days of Our Lives and I was literally thrust into Another World of oblivion upon departing JFK. Bar the soap opera references, it was January, it was snowing, and everyone knows, Rudolf visits every year with Santa – ( Yes he does, because I like many have an 8 year old to deceive so bare with me here)

New York is renowned for its pretty white Christmas’ almost every year. I’d only ever visited in the summer and autumn but I was to learn very quickly, the true definition of WINTER. It was the coldest temperatures I have felt since watching Titanic. I can only liken it to when the gorgeous Leonardo Di Caprio froze to death as the ever loving Jack, saving dear Rose after the Titanic hit the freezing iceberg and sank the ship into the deep depths of oblivion in the North Atlantic Ocean. In the words of R’n’B singer Omarion, there was now an ‘Ice Box‘, where my heart used to be.

My saving ‘Jack‘ came in the form of my luxurious residence at the only oceanfront hotel in Long Beach, the  Allegria Hotel. A hotel known to many as the hotel where, ‘Manhattan meets the Hamptons‘ and I agree wholeheartedly. From the food, to the exquisite interior designs, gymnasium and rooftop pool, there’s not much else more one could want for here – apart from a real life ‘Jack‘ to share it with.

I hope upon my next visit, I can have my heart melt and sink for my own ‘Jack‘, to indeed share the ‘freezing ass minus fiddy degrees’ temperatures with, but until next time, I still Love you New York!


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