Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
13Trip End Nov 13, 2006
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The next day after the Times Sq/Empire State effort was mostly dedicated to exploring Central Park. It was a crystal clear blue day at and we coundn't have picked a better one for it. The idea was to go up to the uptown STA Travel and get a double decker bus pass on the cheap from Adrienne who was on our Czech tour. She was way up past the top of Central park so once we'd bought the passes, had coffee, looked around at the local wildlife, we set off to walk the length of the park.
Once inside the park you suddenly feel world away from the crazy cabs and general chaos of Manhatten. It's remarkable how a park this big hasn't been sold off as real estate, but thankfully it hasn't and it feels like you are way out in the country
Once out of the park it back to the honk, honk end,enless yellow cabs, and enless faces in the crowd. We decided to start out bus tour immediatley. It's a 48 hour pass which had 4 different loops or tours. The first was a night tour at 6pm so we figured we'd hit the ground running. It was blimmin cold up there on the open top of a bus and after 2 1/2 hours we were both iceblocks. It was cool though. The higlight was going over the Manhatten bridge and looking accross to the Brooklyn Brirdge to see the famous skyline all lit up. The other highlight was the big loud New Yorker yelling at us the whole time about his city. These guides use the top of a bus as there stage where they have us plebs as a captive audience to act out there imprssions on the city. This guy was a bit like Newman from Seinfeld but cruder. He's say things like 'Over on our left is the world'd largest gay & lesbian bookstore, on out right is the NYC Army & Navy recruitement and training centre
Next day and another bus tour. This time the downtown loop. The guide this time looked like a retired member of ZZ top. He long beard cirled famously and his humour did they same. He was also a cool dude, in a macho Jack Daniels drinking kinda way. It's a jump on jump off bus so we got out at Battery park to go on the free Staten Island ferry. It sails on bu the Satue of Liberty and has the additional bonus of visted Staten Island, plus being very reasonably priced. As for libetry, yes she was impressive, but sadly the ferry didn't go that close so we decided we'd have to actually to the proper tour to see her later, and as for Sten Island well hmm. Very quiet, very quaint and a bit sureal after manhatten. You cna picture some tumbleweed blowing down an empty Street, a few old folk out walking slowly along. Not to much was going on in Staten Island.
It wasn't long before sanity was returned and we hit Time Sq again and went into the Virgin Megastore, the latgest record shop in the world. There a 3 massive floors of CD;s, DVD's. MP3's honey bee's.. hey it rhymes. Virgib has it's own radio station with the DJ on disply hovering above the music buying masses below
After Virgin we wandered to to Macy's which claims to be the world's largest department store. 8 floors of everying and anything. The first 3 where womens clothing where Clare was happy to browse. I sat down and read a National Goegraphic magazine on India and tried to pretend to be somewhere else. No, not Staten Island!
Next day, and the rains came. Oh boy did they come. It knows how to rain here in NYC. It started in the night and went on all day without relenting. Unfortunatley this was out last day to use our open decked bus pass. Shesh. Oh well, we tried to go and do the updown tour, but were already pretty wet when I was standing to close to the road when a yellow cab went by and splashed me in about 10 liters of water. Picturte someting out of a comedy movie where some dunce has everying go wrong. I wish I could say I say the funny side.
After going back to the hostel for a change of clothes we set of in the other direction to do the Brooklyn tour instead. I'll have to give you the run down on that later as I'm out of time & money. Seeya again now.