I wanna be a part of it.....

Manhattan Travel Blog

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Times Square (minus the naked cowboy man)

We decided to forgo the pleasures of the Greyhound bus and get the bus to New York with Bolt Bus, as fantastic bus which had leather seats and wifi for about 1/3 the price of the Greyhound! The arrived into Chinatown in the middle of the day and it was absolute mayhem. We jossled past people selling fake watches, sunglasses and designer handbags out of cardboard boxes, and tried to avoid hitting people with our backpacks which was not an easy task in itself! After a quick snack at Burger King, where the server asked if we were going camping (??), we made our way to the hostel, an easy subway ride away.

Ground Zero
The only problem was that we got on an express train by mistake, and watched as our subway station shot past at high speed. Once we could actually get off the subway we couldn't get on a local train it seemed, so ended up getting BACK on the express train, watching our stop sail past again, and starting all over again!


Our hostel is huge, the biggest in the USA with about 600 beds. Yesterday was the date of a bike New York event, so it was very busy, and we had some enthusiatic middle aged women in our room. Unfortunately their enthusiasm for starting each day at 7am by having a very loud conversation in the dorm room has led to us being grumpy most mornings as neither of us can understand how they could be so rude. In fact unfortunatly everyone in our dorm room has been very rude, talking in loud voices when people are sleeping etc.

The Statue of Liberty
Some people have no hostel ettiquette, no consisderation at all.


On our first proper day in New York we met up with my cousin Jess and were shown round the mid town area where she is staying. We had a brief look at Times Square which we hope to visit again at night time for the lights, and saw the 'man who plays guitar wearing his pants' which was just creepy. It was a grotty weather day but we had a lovely day, finished off with a meal and NEW YORK CHEESECAKE WOOOO!


Although we bought a travelcard, we wanted to make sure we walked through New York too, althought it would be impossible to walk everywhere, it's huge! We went back to Chinatown where we had got off the bus, to experience the chaos without the burden of backpacks.

On the ferry!
After picking up some souveniers, dodging guys selling 'Rolexs' out of briefcases and being offered drugs several times we left the main street and walked down to Ground Zero where we were appauled to see more people selling tacky souvenir models of the towers, and disaster photo books. We spent a couple of minutes across the road from the site, just looking at the hole in front of us where the towers would have stood. The area is a building site as they are constructing a memorial, but it is still a shock to see where the surrounding skyscrapers are, with an enormous gap in the centre. After stopping to listen to some conspiracy theorists who seemed to think that the US government had blown it up themselves we decided to leave the circus.


The ferry over to Statten Island is free and takes you right past the Statue of Liberty which you can't climb up anymore, so we walked down to the ferry terminal to join the crowd of other people with the same plan.

The Mexican morris dancers!
I have never seen such a badly organised setup before in my life. Expecting some sort of ticket and queue system, we were surprised to just see a gaggle of people hanging round in the hall by the closed door to the boat. We had to wait about 15 mins for the next available boat, by which time our gaggle had turned into approximatley 500 manic tourists shoving the front people against the double doors. The doors opened, and these 500 people (or just 100 really pushy ones at the back) all surged forward to try and get through these double doors and onto the boat. Thankfully we made it through unharmed! The boat didn't actually seem that full once we had got going, until we got closer to the Statue of course, when that side of the boat looked to be in danger of tipping over completely as everyone clambered to get their photo. Once we got to the other side most people also barged their way OFF the boat, to run round to the other side and get back on the same boat.
The formal gardens in Central Park
In an attempt to avoid this we decided to hang around for the next boat, even though we didn't actually leave the ferry terminal as we'd been told that Statten Island is quite grotty!


The weather seemed to perk up abit on Sunday so we took a stroll around Central Park and enjoyed the sun. On our way down to the park we walked into the middle of a Mexican festival parade which was fun and interesting even if we didn't have a clue what was going on! We especially 'enjoyed' the Mexican style morris dancers!


Central Park isn't like I expected, it has many different sections, wooded areas, open spaces and formal gardens. Although it was quite busy, it never seemed crowded or noisy which was a very pleasant surprise.

Playing baseball in Central Park
After walking around most of the top third of the park we decided to stop for some water, and walked through to an open section where there were about 5 baseball pitches. A couple were just being used by friends for a muck about, but several were being used for what we think were youth teams, in full kit with shouting coaches in the dug outs! We found ourselves a little spot on the hill and watched one of the games. We hardly understood a word they were screaming about to each other but it was really fun, ya'know, for a game of rounders 'n' all!!


In the evening we met up with Jess again and went to a free comedy night we had seen advertised. We couldn't hear half the acts because they weren't talking loudly enough and they spoke soooo fast, but the MC was hilarious and we had a good night. Unfortuntely time ticked on (as it does), and before we knew it we had to go, as all 3 of us had early starts in the morning.

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Times Square (minus the naked cowb…
Times Square (minus the naked cow…
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty
On the ferry!
On the ferry!
The Mexican morris dancers!
The Mexican morris dancers!
The formal gardens in Central Park
The formal gardens in Central Park
Playing baseball in Central Park
Playing baseball in Central Park
19,920 km (12,378 miles) traveled
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Manhattan
photo by: Fitnessguru729