Thursday 21 September 2017

For the first time in our young lives, we were acting like adults - and loving it

Times Square in New York: ‘after 30 minutes in Manhattan, I decided I was staying’
Times Square in New York: ‘after 30 minutes in Manhattan, I decided I was staying’
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

My memory of the summer of 2008 is a blur of hot, humid late nights, endless shift work and cramped living conditions.

I'd never intended to go on J1. Instead, I was going to visit friends in New York, spend a few days sight-seeing and partying and then head home. But after 30 minutes in Manhattan, I decided I was staying. I sorted out a visa, had an almighty row with my mother ("You're doing what?!"), and started working as a cocktail waitress in two different Irish bars.

In the morning, I served boozy breakfasts in the West Village and, at night, I dished out spicy buffalo wings to screaming baseball fans in a sports bar on the Lower East Side. Myself and my best friend, Niamh, lived together and hopped around the city sleeping in the cheapest rooms we could find.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss