New York, New York!

Trip Start Apr 28, 2007
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Trip End Oct 26, 2007


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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, June 18, 2007

New York, New York!
 
Albany to New York, a little later than planned, was by Amtrak down the Hudson River - a pleasant trip we did 2 years ago. Brian should admit why the train we took was later than expected: he remembered just as we were about to board the 1.05pm train that his computer was back at Branka's and David's house. We had left in haste after discovering that some of Brian's trades needed immediate sorting since this was "expiration Friday"--- baptism by fire, but all sorted and lucky enough to have the remaining leg in the trade bail him out of some of the loss.  So - we caught the 2.05pm train.
 
Hailing a cab near Times Square at 5pm was the next bit of fun; quite entertaining with one cab being stopped and booked in the middle of rush hour traffic for some minor infringement, and the more aggressive New Yorkers pushing further out into the street.
Eventually we met Roberta at her workplace, Merchant House Museum in the East Village. The museum is essentially a family home of a wealthy merchant and still has the furniture of the 1800s. We were amused by an explanatory note on a writing desk which read "During the 19th century letter writing was the most common way to communicate. People sent news, greetings, invitations and more through the mail!"
We remember writing letters; seems like just the other day!
Again, we experienced the ultimate hospitality with Roberta giving up her bed for us and sleeping on a blowup.
That night we enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant just "over the road". The tiramisu we shared for dessert has to be the best ever. (We think we had better start listing our gastronomic delights, and the restaurants we give the "Will_share" 5 star Michelin look alike).
 
On Saturday we walked the Brooklyn Bridge in 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and on into Brooklyn downtown where Roberta took us to an iconic diner/ restaurant called "Juniors" which claims fame for their cheesecake. One serving sunk the 3 of us - being an American size slice. We think we even improved it to "delicious" with the addition of fresh lemon squeezed over it. Clearly the waitress thought we were eccentric - given we kept asking for fresh lemon. 
 
So fortified, we walked onto our next rendezvous which was at a small Jamaican diner owned by Jean who had previously nursed Roberta's parents. Jean had called her diner "A Taste of Delicious" and her goat curry was to die for.  Such subtle and fragrant flavours.  Shame about having had too much cheesecake too soon before -this was seriously good home-cooked food.
 
Evening time and we had a date at the Brooklyn Bandshell in Prospect Park, where there was a civic concert with jazz from "Jazz Passengers" who did a Supremes set, then Joan Osbourne who did ballads, rock and some country. It was a full 3 hours of music for a $3 entry fee, and we were joined by Roberta's mate Gia who afterwards took us for late sushi (yes, we admit - more food and it was very good too)
 
On Sunday morning we walked Wall St to check out the NYSE, given that Jen's working day is based on the action there, as well as the other exchanges in the USA. Seems since 911, the NYSE is not open to the public, but this was Sunday anyway. We were intrigued to read the plaque about the Morgan Bank building on the corner of Wall St and opposite the NY Stock Exchange - apparently it was built only 4 stories high in the early 1900's when the skyscrapers of the day already towered above it - just to flaunt the fact that despite occupying prime expensive Manhattan real estate, the Morgans didn't need the rent from the other 40 stories that could have been built above just those four.  Being prudent business tycoons, they had put in foundations which would support a 48 story building - however it is still just 4 floors.  
 
By then it was late morning & well past time for our coffee fix which we had at the café at Borders bookshop. In North America it seems dogs go everywhere, including into Borders. But then who would want to be a dog in Manhattan? And even Brian was empathising with the dogs on this one......
 
For the afternoon, we had tickets from the ˝ price booth for Monty Python's Spamalot which has been running for 2 years on Broadway, Spamalot was fun even if at times lacking the edge & zaniness of "The Holy Grail" on which it is based.
 
After the show we got sandwiches and did the Stanten Island ferry which is now free. We simply went across and back again enjoying the view of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan.  
On our walk back to Roberta's apartment for her clam linguini we stopped at the Vietnam War Memorial wall with it's long list of casualties, but even more moving were the private letters between troops and their wives, parents and girlfriends which had been shared, and engraved into the glass blocks for all to read. When will it be "OK" to erect a monument to the young men and women killed in Iraq?
 
Roberta's apartment is right on the south end of Manhattan, Southport, just a 10minute walk from Ground Zero. Although we only had time to walk on by that huge hole, Roberta shared with us her photos of the tragic events as she watched from her apartment and then closer to the action when she served as a volunteer based in the church just beside Ground Zero. Hard to describe what it felt like to see those slides, sitting so close to where that took place, so we can only imagine what it felt like to live it.
 
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Comments

justinep
justinep on

Brian´s memory
Oh Brian - it is a good thing you have Jen to help you remember who you are! After the passport issue, I would have thought you would have been the ultimate paranoid ´what have I left behind´ traveller! I know that at this moment you are enjoying the ultimate UK summer weather - not like the 30degC I had in Valencia yesterday :-) But Prague is going to be a different story. Keep em coming.
Love Justine

will_share
will_share on

Re: Brian´s memory
Oh Justine, isnt getting old a bugger, but it has inspired us to buy a GPS, as you suggest, so I dont lose Jen. Guess she could always switch it off when she wants to lose me.
We're back to winter in den Haag. Great to hear that Team NZ won today. Love B (&J)

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