Final stop NYC

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
1
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Trip End Apr 08, 2010


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Where I stayed
Harlem

Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friday 2nd April 2010:

We hauled ourselves out of our super comfy king sized bed at 0300 in the morning to give plenty of time at the airport before our 7am flight to New York. The airport was only up the road but after all the airport agro we'd had recently we did not want to take any chances.

There was no drama this time, though the flight was a bit choppy to say the least, in fact at one point the pilot asked us to re-read the safety instructions on the back of the seats in front, and I quote, "in case we have to make an emergency landing". Luckily Ang was asleep for that particular announcement. We managed to stay in the sky till New York, though it was pretty hairy at times. Arrived 3pm local time, there is a 3hr difference between the two cities, and it was quite a straightforward trip from Newark Airport to the city. Firstly a free airport shuttle, then a train into Manhattan, followed by a subway train to our hostel location in Harlem, North Manhattan Island.

It was only a 2 block walk from the subway, which was nice as now of course we were lugging about a well stocked suitcase as well as a rucksack and loads of carry on luggage. The place wasn’t that obvious and it took us a while to find it but when we did the hostel owner was dealing with another guest and said she’d be back in a minute. However before that she said she had been trying to call us all day. She said no more at the time but we assumed the worst, that we had no booking. This would have been no surprise. It wasn’t so bad though, we had indeed been booked at a different location for some reason, some kind of scammage going on, but she said she had space for us and could do it at the agreed price so we were very relieved. The place was really nice, a room, albeit with bunk beds, in a beautiful apartment we shared with a couple of groups of people from Germany and Canada. Got a recommendation for a local place for food and went out for a really good buffet of 'Soul Food’ as they like to call it. Basically nice home cooked grub, it was great. The area was really nice too, though we were the only white faces in it we did not feel at all unwelcome, which was nice. Also had a basketball court on every corner, decided not to join in though.

Saturday 3rd April 2010:

Had breakfast in the apartment then took the subway down towards Ground Zero though we had to walk the last bit as the line was closed. We took a quick look at the construction site which was smaller than I had expected, still pretty big though. I was also surprised to see that the construction was still pretty low level, I was expecting high rise buildings by now but I guess they took some time to decide what to do and then get started after 9/11. We then carried on South to Battery Park and the terminal for Staten Island Ferry which is basically a free way to get a good look at the Statue of Liberty, which we did. We then got an obligatory Hot Dog before taking a walk down Wall Street, though not much was going on as it was a Saturday. We then got the subway to Rockefeller Centre, which was pretty uninspiring, then walked to Times Square which was rammed, as you might expect. Queued ages for a crappy steak dinner then went home to eat Easter Eggs.

Sunday 4th April 2010:

Took the subway to the North Entrance of Central Park, which is massive. Picked up some food at our favourite soul food cafe on the way, for a picnic at Strawberry Fields, although we never actually found it. It took us best part of the day to traverse the park, albeit slowly and in a jagged type pattern. The weather was lovely though so it was a really nice day. Ended up in Times Square again where we had a look round the shops again then watched Greenberg at the movies. The film was alright but we both expected a huge and super modern cinema but it was a small screen and no better than back home, still enjoyed it though. Weren’t that hungry afterwards but stopped into a TGI Fridays for a cheeky bit of chocolate cake dessert on the way back.

Monday 5th April 2010:

Went to Little Italy for pizza at a place recommended to us by a couple we met in Honduras. We then spent the afternoon just strolling about really. Saw the Empire State Building, walked along Park Avenue, took a look at Grand Central Railway Station, supposedly the biggest in the world, though I can believe that with over 80 gates! We then spent a couple of hours comparing prices as I was keen to get an ice hockey jersey souvenir. They were a bit more expensive than I had hoped but invested $150 bucks in a NY Rangers top after much deliberation.

After that it was getting late so we went home via a supermarket for dinner before packing our bags for the very last time.

Tuesday 6th April 2010:

Decided to chance it on the subway rather than a Taxi, even though it was quite a trek to JFK Airport from Harlem. It was only 2 trains but seemed to take forever. We were a trifle worried at one stage but we eventually got there with a little time to spare, though not without a little help from a lady who made sure we got on the right train. I must add that the people we encountered in America were really friendly and helpful; I would definitely come back for that reason alone. We spent the few dollars we had left on trash mags at the airport and spent our waiting time gazing longingly out the window, silently reminiscing what has been an incredible 13 months on the road. It’s finally time to get back to the real world unfortunately, but I really cannot wait to catch up with everyone though….
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Comments

e.newbold on

Having now read all your blogs Gary and had agood laugh doing it i might add i have now come to the conclusion that i missed out in life what you have achieved but i'm pround of you and Ange for doing what you set out to do.I would like to wish you all the best in your new life down under ,good luck Dad xxxx

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