Start spreading the news...New York, New York!
New York Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
Touchdown! At last...the flight was good, landed on time at East Coast time. That's the other good thing about this service, it gets you in near lunchtime, and by the time you get into the city you have a good bit of the afternoon and the evening to enjoy, and it's not a wasted day.
So, landed, bolted off the plane to beat as many people as possible to customs (last time Mark and I waited for an HOUR), got through quickly, collected the bags and headed out to find a taxi. After my mum started an argument with the taxi queue steward for letting other people skip into the head of the line, we found a cab we could all fit in with bags and set off through
The one thing I forgot to mention was, that on the 14th February there was a huge dump of snow, and it practically brought the city streets to a standstill. Then the temperature dropped overnight and the snow froze. There was no thaw the ENTIRE time we were there...admittedly, it made for some fab photos, but dear goodness was it gold. We think the most temperate it got was somewhere around -5c. So the taxi queue gave us our first introduction to proper cold, I was thrilled I'd packed my gloves and beanie and scarf in my carry-on luggage so I was able to whip them out and save my ears from the first stages of frostbite. Everyone else was cursing they didn't think of the same thing! Haaah Haaah!
Anyway, the journey into the hotel took about an hour and a half because traffic was crawling up some of the street because of the snow, which banked up about 3 feet high at the side of some of the roads.
Right back to the matter at hand! I'm a bit like Billy Connelly that way, I'll perhaps take the long way round to tell a story, but (usually) get back to where I was supposed to be!
We'd booked to stay at the Doubletree Metropolitan on
Check in was pretty easy...I used the self-service terminals in reception after waiting for 5 mins for a clerk to become available, but a cabin crew had just arrived, so I used the computers instead. Mark and I got booked in fine, but Mum and Dad's room keys weren't dispensed. One of the doormen realised we had a problem and helped, bringing us the two key cards and our four warm welcome chocolate chip cookies out to us. Oh, they were SOOO good.
The rooms were fairly basic, especially given the trendy reception and bar area, and the bathrooms were really rather tiny (you can't open the door if someone's standing at the sink...i.e., I pushed the door open when Mark was shaving and left him with a door handle shaped bruise on his side! However, the beds were unbelievably comfortable (we'd read about this on TripAdvisor) and the rooms were, on the whole, clean, so it was fine.
OUT INTO THE CITY: After unpacking, we headed out up towards
We stopped in at St Patrick's Cathedral where I took some nice photos. I was really amazed by the number of homeless people who were obviously in the cathedral to get out the cold. There were some really sad looking people there, some lying down asleep, others still sitting upright, a couple with bottles in brown paper bags beside them, all sitting off the main drag, near the shrines and statues. I suppose for many of them this was as comfortable as they were going to get, but it really brought it home that everything in NYC isn't shiny and nice, but at least they were able to thaw out for a bit.
After St Pat's we crossed the street to the Rockefeller Centre and Rink, we didn't skate - we were cold enough as it was - but admired those brave enough to put themselves through it!
After that I made a pit stop at SAKS FIFTH AVENUE...I figured it was worth a try to see if they had genuine UGGS which I decided I'd treat myself to if I could get them because of the favourable exchange rate. I also thought I'd have no chance getting them because every would be wanting cosy toes. But, joy be unconfined, they had a pair of the thick soled snow-proof ones left, caramel and in my size! Yaay!
Finally, it was back to the hotel and out for dinner at an Italian pretty near the hotel.