New York New York!
Trip Start May 02, 2011
22Trip End Jul 05, 2011
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Where I stayed
H.I. Hostel, 891 Amsterdam Avenue
OK, we got off to a REALLY bad start. I'm only writing about it now, now that we're home because neither of us wanted to worry anyone, but BASICALLY - on our first night, at 10pm local time we were turned out on the streets! What happened was that we went to the Hotel that we had booked ages in advance, and we turned up and the door was locked. We knocked on the door, were allowed in and we were really happy, saying "Hey, we have a reservation under 'Sincock'" and then the guy said "Oh. Well, we don't do reservations anymore. We've been shut down for three months." Cue, panic. Remaining fairly level headed, we asked if they had a spare room, which they didn't. Both of us were pretty pissed off, and so I demanded to know why we hadn't been e-mailed to be alerted of the change, and the guy said "You'll have to speak to management", so we said that yes, we would quite like to please, then he said that they wouldn't be in until after we had left NYC
Yesterday was our first day, so to set the scene we walked through Central Park (really quite pretty, and a lovely view of the cityscape from the Reservoir) to get the subway to Times Square. Completely blown away by it! You have no idea just how big and busy it really is, or how many yellow taxis there really are! Trust me, the films don't even come close. I want to go back in the evening to see the lights properly, so thats on the agenda for tomorrow if we have time. Whilst we were there we went to the Hershey's Factory (in the picture Will took of me eyeing the chocolate stand I look fat. This is because I am wearing a money belt, NOT because I have already put on loads of weight), then to the M&Ms Factory (a bit more fun than Hershey's) but we came away from both empty handed because nothing really took our fancy
Then we took the Subway down to South Ferry to get a free ferry over to Staten Island (it goes past the Statue of Liberty and costs nothing. We're on a shoestring budget...go figure). A bit disappointed by it really, I was expecting her to be bigger and more impressive, but got some nice snaps of NYC as we pulled away as well as of the Statue itself. Got a McDonalds for lunch (the sizes are pretty universal....I feel cheated!)
Had a look around Macy's and stuff. Macy's takes up a whole block by itself, and we were pretty tired and it was all a bit expensive so we didn't stay for long. Decided we would go back to the hostel, where we played loads of games of Monopoly Deal (I have finally started winning!!!) then went for a lie down. We woke up at 11pm and decided to go to bed.
Today the jetlag has FINALLY gone, but unfortunately it is raining (BOO! I bet its gorgeous in England knowing my luck!). Went to Grand Central Station which was quite impressive, had some fun with the acoustics in the archways (if you talk into the corner of a wall, someone standing opposite you can hear you...weird), then went on to Fifth Avenue. Headed for the Trump Tower which was predictably extravagant with it's own waterfall) then into FAO Shwarz. Obviously played on the big piano, then went to find the clock only to find that Toys 'R' Us got rid of it! Shocking. Went to the Rockerfeller Plaza and center, very American, I must say. Had a look around NYC public library which was full of books...and quite impressively built but we didn't linger for very long. Took a subway to Ground Zero (Obama is going to be there tomorrow so we though we'd do it today to actually be able to look around)
After that, we went to another train station and enquired into Greyhound Passes, then came home.
The day after we had a guided tour around Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown, met some lovely Australian guys from Adelaide who we went to lunch with (I managed to burn my mouth quite impressively by accidentally eating a whole chilli by itself without realising. Whoops! Still, I earned some serious man points, even if a waiter DID have to bring me three glasses
of water with ice in...) Then they went to Staten Island while we went to the Empire State Builiding (we went inthe daytime), and it was BEAUTIFUL. So windy though, I was really paranoid about dropping my camera the whole time. We could see for miles around us, so that was definitely the highlight of NYC for me. Even if some guy in a hivi orange coat tried to con us (he said he would give us fast track tickets for $50 each that included a simulator ride. He said it would be worth it because there was an hour and a half queue. When we said no, he said that tickets were $35 each. We said we'd buy them inside
Anyway, my time's about to run out, so I'd better finish up. I'll finish by saying it's strange walking on streets that you see all the time on T.V. and in films, like...you feel you should already know your way around. Very bizarre.
OK, thats it. Hope you're having fun doing whatever you're doing! :D