New York Sketchbooks and Travel Journals

Sketchbooks, Sightseeing & Shopping in New York City

The first two visits 1995 & 2009

The first time I visited New York City was in 1995 when I was just a young thing. My parents took me as a celebration for getting my first Lecturing job and flat of my own. I was pretty skint at the time, so their generosity was much appreciated and it was great to have a holiday to somewhere so special.

I was completely in awe of the sheer size of the city, the height of skyscrapers and the diversity of the people, and was extra pleased to be asked out on a date within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel on my own. It felt like a big Glasgow, perhaps due to the similar layout of streets and the grey skies. We were in a cheap hotel, so I fondly remember popping to the deli next to the hotel, in my pyjamas, to pick up breakfast for us all.

My most lasting memory was of the views from the helicopter ride we took. It flew over central park and I was entranced by this rectangle, packed densely with greenery, in stark contrast to the pale stone colours of the tall buildings that flanked its borders. I also adored the grandeur and opulence of the Art Deco buildings contrasting with the vibrancy of the yellow taxis zipping about at top speed. I saw one 50s taxi and nearly knocked a poor lady over trying to get a good photo of it.

The second trip was in 2009, when I went with my husband Trevor, as a big treat for my 40th Birthday. We stayed in the swanky Sheraton Hotel, (although there were still early morning runs out to the local delis for breakfast) and I loved seeing the hustle bustle and bright lights of New York from our 25th floor room.

We spent a lot of time exploring the city seeing as many of the ‘sights’ as we could as well as discovering some more obscure places that were not in the usual guide books, like community gardens and Mamas Food Shack, (which is sadly now closed) thanks to the cool ‘NFT- Not for tourists’ NYC Guide. I also started work on one of my very first New York sketchbooks!