New York, New York - The City that never sleeps
Trip Start Nov 26, 2006
10Trip End Dec 20, 2006
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We arrived in New York from the Caribbean late Wednesday evening, and by the time we had made our way through the terrible NYC traffic to the guest house we were staying at we were rather tired. As one would do in NYC we ordered Chinese take away, wathced some TV and went straight to bed, getting ready for everything The Big Apple may throw at us the next day.
Thursday December 14th, 2006:
Full of energy after a relaxing stay in the Caribbeans we now had 4 days at our disposposal to "do" New York City, meaning no time to lose. Already the first day we were overwhelmed by everything this city has to offer. After purchasing a week pass to the subway we headed for Times Square. We apperently got off one stop too early because the first thing we saw was a line of people outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, quing for tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman. We joined the line for free tickets - wrote down our names and waited for the lottery draw. And yes, you guessed right: WE WON! So if you ever watch the December 14 show featuring Will Smith and Evanesence, listen very carefully as you might hear us laugh.
Later the same day we had Broadway tickets to the Phantom of the Opera, an amazing musical witch gave us goosebumbs all over the body.
In between the shows we walked around Times Square, met Rupert (the dairy guy Letterman occationally speaks to as part of his shows), went over to the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center and took some nice photos of the famous christmas three. Exhausted but very satisfied, we returned to our guesthouse room in Harlem late that night.
Friday December 15th, 2006:
This morning we had an early breakfast and caught the subway to Ground Zero. It's more than 5 years since the fatal attacks on the World Trade Center and the area where the twin towers used to be is now a huge construction zone.
It is surrounded by photos and a timeline of the 11th September events - fresh flowers are laid down everywhere and drawings and personal messages are wrote by those who lost their loved ones. Nearly 3000 people were killed this morning, and the words "We'll never forget" are written everywhere. It was a very special feeling walking around this area while listening to the ringing of the Salvation Army bell and the Christmas songs they had put on. What happened that morning was no longer "only a news story" - it became very very real.
After the visit to the WTC we walked through the Wall Street District down to Battery Park, from where the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island leaves. As it was a rather foogy day we decided to postpone our boat trip to see the Statue of Liberty, and instead we went to the famous Empire Diner to get something to eat. This is a typical American diner serving good food, and it has also been used in several movies, for instance Men in Black. We spent the rest of the day shopping, afterall we're getting pretty close to Christmas...
Saturday December 16th, 2006:
We woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine and no fog! Guess there are less cars polluting the city on weekends... This was the perfect day for a boat trip. Unfortunatly we were not the only ones of that opinion so we spent the most of the day lining up for tickets to the ferry, to board the ferry, to enter the Statue of Liberty etc, but it was all worth it. We got a good and close up encounter with the statue (made from Norwegian copper apperently). The top of the statue, that is the statue's head and crown, has been closed for visitors since 9.11, but we were allowed to climb up the foundation level wich gave us an amazing view of New York and New Jersey.
From Liberty Island we continued to Ellis Island. This is where the immigration office used to be located and more than 12 million people from all over the world have passed through here to get their legal admission to the US. Saturday night we were ready for some fun and decided to go to the New York Comedy Club. This is where the beginning of all Seinfeld episodes are recorded, and a lot of professional stand up comedians have performed here. We were in for a hilarious 2 hour show and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Sunday December 17th, 2006:
What better to do a sunny Sunday morning than a walk in the park?
We lived two blocks from Central Park and spent the morning here in company with people of all nationalities, musicians, dogs, and squirrels. Lakes, ice-skating rink, green areas, statues and fontains are some of the things the park has to offer and this is truely the green lung of the city.
From the park we made a quick photo stop at the Ghostbuster HQ (every child of the 80s and beyond have probably seen the movie by now...) before heading for the Empire State building. It just so happens that Macy's, the US biggest department store, is located only a block away from the Empire State. And voilą, the rest of the day was gone...
Monday December 18th, 2006:
It's time to leave NY. We now only have a 1-day transit stop in Helsinki, Finland left of our journey before we're back home in Norway. So next post will come from Europe!