After another trip to our fav breakfast diner, some of us made our way to South Street, renowned for its edgy clothes stores and sex shops. Highlights en-route were the magic gardens, an amazing mosaic creation, and Whole Foods, where we revelled in the abundance of actual healthy food, a rarity in our experience of the US so far (Raf notes that it is rather sad that a separate store is required to provide “healthy” food).
We enjoyed browsing the various lingerie and sex shops, but the real highlight was the thrift shops. Channeling our inner Bristol, we took to browsing through the rails and rails of clothes and seeing how edgy we could make ourselves look. Philly AIDS Thrifts was a favourite, with a whole section of items for only $1. Charlie purchases 6 items for only $18, including a massive red jacket, while Matt spent only $4 on 4 tops!
Having donned our new edgy clothes, we pranced over to Spruce Street Harbor Park to join the others chilling in hammocks by the river. Much overpriced food was bought, including a funnel cake larger than my face. It was a beautiful sunny day so we lazed around most of the afternoon. We played some a cappella/ tour related “shag marry avoid”s, hugely enhanced by the inclusion of Pennywise the Clown from the recent film It. Other highlights include various people falling out of hammocks whilst attempting to get 2 people in, the CUTEST puppy ever, Charlie and Jonny's freestyle rapping and some live music. As it got darker, the park became particularly beautiful, with lights in the trees slowly changing colour.
We crashed Owlcappella’s rehearsal in the evening. We had great fun singing some warm-ups together and then sang a few songs to eachother. Following this we had a social, where we played a massive game of ring of fire (in which El ended up downing the dirty pint) and admired the rapping skills of our hosts.
Our final morning in Philly was ended the only way we knew how - with a hot dang Owl Breakfast. My triple pancake stack with a side of broccoli had enough syrup to absorb my tears, but I was still wracked with sadness at leaving the hammocktastic city of dreams that had welcomed us so warmly. The broccoli came close to cheering me up though. Philadelphians cook broccoli like Suspensions irritate strangers on public transport - with immediate and precise effectiveness.
We had another uplifting thought to cling to though, as from veg to fruit it was time to hit up the big apple. Two of our lovely Owl hosts, Nick and Corinne, waved us off as we hotfooted it to NYC BABY!
We were welcomed with delightful 26 degree sun, for which tolerance levels immediately evaporated, which is incidentally my favourite kind of milk. The sweaty wedgie plus luggage combo was felling Suspensions left right and centre, necessitating an emergency bag-drop at the home of Pitch Fight alum Jess Kim.
Freed from our shackles, we were unleashed into New York City proper, an opportunity which we seized by troughing in a McDonald's and then climbing up small piles of rocks in Central Park.
As the sun set and candid photography became impossible due to levels of lighting, it fell upon Joe to actually extract emotion from our withered aca-hearts with a short leaver's farewell which had many of us sweating from our eyes. Joe is a special individual who will be irreplaceable in the group, and his impact on all of us goes beyond the capacity of this blog entry to surmise. Big up you, Pickin. You're gonna be missed.
We wrapped up with a James Rose Circle Sing™ and then waddled/dashed with ineffective haste to our GIG (ooh fancy!) with the even fancier Nonsequiturs of Columbia University. It was a joy to perform to a New York crowd, and we were wowed by the jazz stylings of our fellow performers. Bidding farewell to some quality arrangements from our year with one last performance was bittersweet, but the crowd left entertained and that's what this group lives for!
The only thing left to do was celebrate and as they say - what happens in New York stays in New York right?
I woke up comfortably this morning on a double duvet mountain to the sound of my beloved squad Lottie and Stan comparing last nights temperature to the fires of hell. Whilst at first confused, it was at this moment I realised I had deliriously (drunkenly?) placed our room fan directly into my face only last night... so here's a formal confession and apology to my poor unfortunate roommates, even though I would definitely do it again...
New York is in fact FIRE. Almost as hot as me.
After a mixture of gushing over the gig last night and panicking about the whereabouts of my purse (hopefully the last edition of 'classic Rach' this trip...), the group made our way to an AirBnB for the last 3 nights!
After dropping our bags we went straight out again to Times Square so that Alice could see it before she (#crie *triggered*) had to leave us to be a real adult back in England. After reminding us that we only had a small amount of time before our Top of the Rock booking, Eleanor Leaper confidently led us all to the Disney store which in turn made us late for our Top of the Rock booking... another episode of 16 suspensions galloping through a busy city late for something. Once we did make it up there- in a 48 second elevator?!- highlights included:
Singing Is Your Love Big Enough one last time this year (look alive for the music video coming in the next few weeks!!)
Me getting enough candid photos of Suspensions taking selfies to fill an entire album - we claim we're not vain..
Dan and Joe giving out their cards to everyone and therefore tears filling the ground to our torsos.
We then, also tearfully, said our goodbyes to OG 'Best Performer' Alice Slayler as she returns to England to slay life becoming a teacher, and returned to Times Square to investigate Broadway tickets. One word- JEEZ. Musical mad Leaper had to let go of her dream of seeing two Broadway shows in a weekend. #RIP. #MaybeWhenShesFamous
Returning to our flat for the evening, we inadvertently noticed (AKA desperately searched for) our susp-favourite show once again - you guessed it - Catfish! From that moment on there was a herd of engrossed Suspensions surrounding the television for the night. When in New York... right?
Finally, the only right way to end this post is a completely out of context quote:
"Big kids wear thongs"- In the tune of We Love Cheap Thrills- Yaz Gezer
The Benedict Piers Rowan Harwood Flag Count: 1,157