Big is better

Trip Start Dec 16, 2001
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Trip End Ongoing


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Monday, November 15, 2004

One week is just not enough...
Standing on top of the Empire State as the sun sets.....it's a big place, and a bit chilly!

Manhattan Island is a shifting blend of regions and a fascinating place in which to just wander. China town, with its rich smells and cheap I LOVE NEW YORK T-shirts. Then cross into 'Italy', fake lawn rolled out for the sidewalk eateries and the fire-hydrants all painted green-white-red. There are signs though that Italy is gradually being invaded by China.
Suburbs that were once abbreviations have become words, SoHo (South of Houston) and TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal)...these are trendy little arty enclaves but don't spend too long there or you won't be able to afford to eat! The Brooklyn Bridge is a good walk at night as it slopes up towards the skyline and gives you the feeling of walking to the toward the top of the city.

There are so many ways of getting views of the city. Helicopters fly charter tours, ferries circle the island, climb up the Empire State building or walk across one of the bridges....now if only that constant mist would go away so I could get a picture! Alas, 6 days of haze thwarted many attempts! I must be the only tourist who has not snapped the Statue of Liberty. The Staten Is. ferry is well known for being a free way of cruising past her famous facade.

Times Square is a bustling humm of people and yellow cabs. Camera flashes alone could light this place, yet it is the one place where the last thing you need is more light! The Toys-R-Us store here has 6 floors and its own indoor ferris wheel! Roll out the red carpet and throw on the tux..I'm going to a Broadway musical! No need to pay full price though when the half-price booth is so close by.

Amongst the hustle and bustle is central park. It's an oasis of tranquility and quiet, where squirrels stalk the lone tourist...do not go into the woods alone! Above the trees are the ever present reminder that a large city looms around you. Hours drifted by as I sat and watched New Yorkers jogging or those being dragged along by large dogs. It is also surrounded by the major musuems. The Guggenheim: bit disappointing actually. The gradual curving/inclining gallery can leave you a little dizzy. Metropolitan: impressive collection and free! There are some ticket offices staged at the entrance that look like they mean business but it is entirely voluntary. Natural History: an entire day to get through! Just keep moving or you will suffer serious information overload.
If you are going to see the major sites I would suggest getting the city pass...it will save you a lot of money and some queues! The Empire State have very deceptive queues, a large portion is tucked away around corners in the basement.

But I was here also to visit Ali + Dave on Long Is. before they moved back home to Aust permanently. It was great catching up after nearly 4 yrs and thx for the roast dinner! :) Long Is. is a much quieter..dare I say dull...place. A place where a man is judged by the size of his truck and probably not on most touristy itineries. The fields were either filled with rotting pumpkins or turf....it pays to watch grass grow!

I could not leave New York without paying homage to the bull. I laid hands upon this holy symbol of the financial world and a message came down unto me and it was said 2005 is the year of the bull!
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