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Camp was over, we had our paychecks burning a hole in our pockets and we had just been dropped off (from a yellow school bus no less) in Central Station, New York City. I was due to meet my best friends from Uni in Vegas in 10 days or so – in the meantime we had a lot of fun in New York and Philadelphia.

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Freedom right after camp
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Leaving camp – NYC

So we searched for some new york accommodation, found a cheap motel and crammed 12 of us in there. We did all the standard NYC sights, climbing the empire state building, visiting liberty island, pretending to pick up the Statue of Liberty using the right angle of photo (you know what i mean, we all have done it, no matter how stupid you look in the process!), partied hard.

Madison Square Garden new york
Doing the tourist thing at Madison Square Garden
Central park New York
Strawberry fields, Central Park, New York
the Statue of Liberty before I knew how to use a camera properly!
the Statue of Liberty before I knew how to use a camera properly!
i heart new york tshirt
The Ultimate tourist

Now I have done a few camps in America and I have made some awesome American friends so excuse me for by sweeping generalisations when I say New Yorkers are an obnoxious bunch of peeps! In your face, swearing, sweating and swaggering – it all gets a little too much, thank God they have awesome Happy Hours in the states eh! Incidently, I remember a time when I went to a bar in NYC and it was 5 CENTS for a beer, honestly 5 CENTS – i literally ordered 40 beers, paid 2 bucks and set them all on a table for everyone to help themselves. I don’t remember even coming home.

partying in new york
Photographic evidence that, despite my chronic memory loss, we were in a bar

One of our co-counsellors at camp was heading back to in Philadelphia so we decided to go with her – turned out to be an interesting few days. Again we filled our boots with touristy stuff, running up the Rocky steps (what a movie) shouting AAAADRIAN and bouncing up and down at the top. NOTE – Rocky makes that look very easy. It’s not.

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The Rocky Steps in Philly
Top of the rocky steps in Philly
Top of the rocky steps in Philly

That evening we were invited to a frat party – my first ever frat experience and it proved to be very memorable. So one of my good friends from Camp – Tez (Pakistani/English, Blackburn supporting, body popping, Islam following legend) and I decided the best way for us to pick up chicks would be to pretend we are professional footballers who got kicked out of the premier league due to excessive partying and we were know scouring American Universities to choose where we  should take our scholarships for one year before we get drafted to the MLS. Our lie was apparently very convincing. We were with about 10 of the camp people and suddenly Tez and I were being treated a level above our mates – fine by us. We got taken down to play beer pong with the frat council:

Fraternity beer pong

Tez and I somehow won having never even played before :S I attribute that to the fact that American guys can’t drink and were all a little worse for wear very early! Free drinks were flowing my way, people were asking us about the Premier League, telling us we should choose their place to study and play etc, very funny. We got summoned up to the penthouse, were the frat leader and all his close friends lived, we were moving up in the world. On the way up we saw some naked guys getting whipped whilst fetchin senior frat guys beers – initiation year apparently :S

We got into the presidents suite – wow! This guy apparently lives here for free, fish tanks in the walls, mahogany desks, Hennessey bottles everywhere. We were caning the free whisky, telling the most outrageous lies and generally having the most awesome night. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. We looked around to see who was at the door….. 2 of our camp friends were there wondering where we had gone. Oh shit. Dont blow our cover. Frat pressie was asking who they were *us in the back ground, making faces, hand gestures, frantic signals to say shut up boys, you don’t know us*. To no avail – “hey guys, we are all singing camp songs down stairs – come down and join us and what time are we meeting the rest of the counsellors?”

ARRRRRRGH – cover well and truly blown. We got manhandled, bundled down the stairs, literally kicked out of the party in front of everyone and banned from ever returning.. public humiliation at its finest. Bloody hilarious though and no matter what they say to their “Frat bro’s” – they fell for it hook, line and sinker. If you are reading this guys – thanks for the hennessey, it was delicious.

A few days later we made our way back to New York, partied hard again, said goodbye to people as our new friends started to make their ways in different directions. I was due to leave the next day so the plan initially was to get an early night for my flight to vegas the next day, I had found some great cheap holiday deals, and was all set to go.Things didn’t quite transpire that way. We were on 2nd street wandering around, casually shopping when we saw a palm reader in a basement of a flat – we tried to open her door but it was locked. Although opposite her was a dingy bar, in a basement running some crazy promotions on booze. We were in within 10 seconds. Beers for $3, cocktails for $4 – it was 1pm but we had nothing to do that day. So dressed in shorts, t-shirts and bags we began an all day drinking session in this dodgy basement bar – so much fun. 1pm became 2pm became 5pm – you get the picture. I remember chanting camp songs around midnight on top the table, trying to teach equally drunk middle aged americans the lyrics.

7 AM the next morning – my alarm is ringing by my head – SHIT, im flying to Vegas at 11.45 to meet the boys. I stood up from my dorm bed, still wearing the clothes from last night and the room had decided to spin around my head at 500 mph for some reason. I shook it off and I realised I had managed to come home without my flip-flops, shit! Oh well, but then I saw I didnt have my ipod either – shit! That’s quite bad actually. What about my book, my phone, my wallet and my f*ckin passport?! I left everything in the bloody pub last night – absolute shocker! Our hostel was on 112th St or something, all my sh*t is on 2nd St and i’ve got a flight to vegas in just over 4 hours. Pete woke up beside me and he had got a wrist piercing last night – a metal bar through the flesh on his wrist, crazy night lol. Jumped on the subway, running through the scenarios of me not finding anything, what happend if you lose your passport?! I was sure I was about to find out. I got to 2nd St an hour later and naturally the bar was closed (it was only about 8 am afterall). I was banging on the door relentlessly, nothing. So I got my spiderman suit on and climbed over the security fence, prized open a window and clambered into the bar – i saw some crazy mother-hubbard type chick looking at me like I was breaking in! I quickly explained my situation before she called the police and she checked the office. Please God let it be there. Please God let it be there. Please God let it be there. Please God let it be there. NOTHING nooooooooooooo. She called her boss and disappeared again – she came back out and said “what colour was your bag” My heart was pumping now, did they have it?!?! Brown leather love! She grabbed it, checked my passport photo and handed it to me!! I gave her 20 bucks and a fat kiss on the cheek, ran outside, spidermanned back over the security fence, rushed back to 112th street with a huge smile on my face, grabbed my bag, headed to the airport, so tired, so hot, so hungover and so happy! I made my flight with 10 mins to spare and I was on my way to Vegas Baby…….

This post is brought to you in collaboration with  Holiday Hypermarket

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3 thoughts on “Traveling after summer camp – New York

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