The Big Apple

Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
1
2
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
L-Hostel

Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, April 16, 2009

My first New York Taxi driver... typical that he spoke hardly any english. Told him the address and off we went. Luckily it was a flat rate fare of $45 plus toll and tip to almost anywhere in the city from JFK. I debated taking the train which would make it even cheaper but I hate trains and just wanted to get there.

2 minutes down the freeway and I realised this cab driver was a god damn lunatic. 5 lanes and you'd think he'd be happy to stick to 1... NO... he had to weave in and out of all traffic, god knows what he'd do in the UK without being able to undertake at every opportunity.
BEEP BEEP BEEP, yes I am definately in NY. The movies portray NY as a car horn blowing city and it certainly was. They all give as good as they get, rushing around wasting no time to get where they wanna go.

We rocked up at my Hostel, didn't look like the picture but the reviews they had on their website seemed to make it an ideal place to stay.
I checked in and went to my room, it had space for 8 people but I was the only 1 to have checked in. Secured my luggage and made my way downstairs to where the internet was. Logged on looked up local bars. Looking at the addresses of the bars, I realised I was in Harlem... WTF?!!?!? Harlem!?!?!?! No wonder the Hostel was so cheap!

I envisioned myself landing, getting to Hostel and walking to nearest bar for a chat with the bartender like an episode of Cheers. Wasn't expecting to stay in Harlem!!!!

There was a guy sitting on a PC next to me and I asked if he knew of any bars around that he could recommend. He said that him and his mate were heading down to Times Square and I was welcome to join. Barry and "Red" seemed like nice enough blokes so off we went.

Didn't have a clue where it was but the 2 Irish lads were very helpful and showed me the way to the subway, we were at 118th St Station and got off at 96th St where we met with a lady called Liz. We then all headed back to subway and down to Times Sq on 42nd and 7th.

It was 9pm and dark but it only made the city more beautiful. Times Sq was bright and vibrant, people everywhere, loads of shops, shows and hundreds of restaurants.

I stood there and thought wow... 9 hours ago I was sitting in Heathrow airport, now I'm standing in Times Square. Truly amazing feeling that's hard to describe.

Barry, "Red" and Liz had been in NY an extra day than me so they knew the decent bars. Off we went so I could sample my first American beer!

"ID please"
eh??? What's this knob jockey asking me for ID for... I'm old enough to drink damn it! Doesn't matter how old you look, America is very strict on underage drinking and being asked for ID is something I should get use to.

4am and getting into bed... first night in NY was mega, lots of drinking and lots of new friends :)
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