Week 1: NYC. My New York

New York from Exchange Place in jersey

And so it begins. The first themed week of the Pastiche.today is dedicated to where it all started: New York City. 

To be honest with you, I never even dreamed of living in NYC. I was born in Baku, the capital of a small country Azerbaijan, then spent years studying and working in London and thought that is where my true home is. Later, fate brought me to Miami, and then finally to the ripest of them all - The Big Apple. 

I moved here just over a month ago to live with the love of my life, Ben. This city is very special to both of us. Here we had our first date and made our most beautiful, first memories together. 

As an introduction to Ben (who I will probably write quite a bit about on this blog) and myself, I will give

you a glimpse of what we did during our first week together.  Hopefully it will help you to plan your own romantic (or just fun and single) little adventure in NYC!

I still remember how I walked out of the apartment on the Upper East Side where I was staying, and saw Ben for the first time in June of last year (we ‘met’ via Instagram two weeks before the actual date night). From a very first seconds we knew that was IT. We fell in love so fast and deeply that after just few hours together we could not imagine spending our lives without each other. He planned amazing dates for us and made me feel like the most special girl in the world.

So as I have promised, below I am sharing best places my boyfriend and I visited on our first week together in New York:

Times Square kiss, NYC.
Couple in NYC. Ulia Ali


On our very first date Ben surprised me with premium tickets to The Book of Mormon and we had a blast! Being one of the most dedicated musicals lover, I recommend to you my personal top 3 currently running musicals you wouldn't want to miss:

1. The Book of Mormon

You will like it if you enjoy: watching South Park, dark humor

It is not high on my list of favorite musicals, however, The Book of Mormon is definitely a must-see. You will probably end up singing its tuneful and funny songs for many days after!

2. Phantom of the Opera

You will like it if you enjoy: passionate love stories, corseted beauties, opera

I have seen the film adaptation of this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical more times than I can count, read the novel by Gaston Leroux and had Phantom of the Opera music on repeat on my iPod. Safe to say I am a tiny bit obsessed with it. Beautiful decorations, intriguing love story and soul-touching songs. What else could you wish for?!

3. Wicked

You will like it if you enjoy: stories about magic, Wizard of OZ, the colour green

For a long time I was postponing buying tickets to the Wicked musical, but it was so much more than I expected. The set was truly magical!



Board Game Cafe - The Uncommons

We stumbled across The Uncommons cafe when we were walking around Union Square. The cafe has more than 500 games you can play while sipping on your coffee or wine. You pay only $5 to play and choose whatever you want to eat or drink from their menu.

Ben and I were so excited to try and see all the different board games. At the end I walked up to a group of students sitting in the cafe and asked them to join us to play Cards Against Humanity. I love that game and Ben had never played it before, so it was a perfect choice. This game will make you cry from laughter, but it is definitely not for prudes or people who get easily offended, so beware! 

By the way, my boyfriend liked it so much he actually went on Amazon right after and bought all the expansion packs of the game (including the un-official Cocks Abreast Hostility). Now it is pretty much our go-to game and we often play it with friends.

Uncommons board game cafe in New York

The Empire State Building

The ultimate symbol of NYC. Ben took me on top of The Empire State Building on our third date right after a romantic dinner. At midnight! Kissing on top of one of the most famous buildings in the world and overlooking an impressive view of Manhattan at night should be on everyone’s bucket list!

Immersive Theatre

My friends know that I am absolutely crazy about immersive theatre experiences; especially the ones created by the British theatre company, Punchdrunk. I have been to their The Drowned Man play in London at least 5 times (unfortunately it's not running anymore), but they have a show in New York called Sleep No More which is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth story which takes place in the fictional Mckittrick Hotel

Immersive plays are like walking inside a dream (or a nightmare) or participating in a video game. It is a dense, intricate world with a story you can explore by following any character or actor you like. You can walk around the highly detailed and realistic sets, and you may even be selected to have a special 1 to 1 interaction with one of the characters. If you are ever in NYC make sure you check out Sleep No More. It is one of the first things I recommend to literally everyone who visits New York

Forbidden Planet

One of the first things that united my boyfriend and I, was that we are both nerds on the inside. I think we fell in love even more when we entered the Forbidden Planet store with all their Game of Thrones, Assassins Creed, Star Wars etc. souvenirs, figurines, books and graphic novels and were excited about the same things. We even grabbed the same book at one point and it was a very special moment!

Forbidden Planet is definitely a place to see if you like fantasy and sci-fi.

Bonus: it is located next to the Strand which is a huge bookstore with an impressive collection of new and old books.

Forbidden Planet: 832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Strand: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

New York Costumes

This is another great place near Union Square to check out. It is a huge costume store where Ben and I tried all sorts of hats and planned a couple of future Halloween looks together. 

Address: 104 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg, as NYC holds a lot of great, unique and charmingly strange places to visit. I will try to explore and write more about them in the future. What is your favourite spot or experience in New York?

Comment below, I would love to hear from you!