New York in a day
New York Travel Blog› entry 21 of 23 › view all entries
The craziness beginsâ€¦â€¦.
Woke 10:30ish, coffee next door at Cranberry Gourmet and met Cath Wilkins. She was this 26 year old Kiwi girl whoâ€™s been living in London. Sheâ€™s been hiking in Africa and told me about this tour she did that took her up close to the mountain gorillas. Sheâ€™s also already toured around Europe so she filled me in on a few things there, but we got chatting and decided to tour New York together.
We went to the nearest railway station and bought the all-day trainpass, then caught a train down to the world trade centre site. It really does kind of affect you emotionally when you look down these streets where you had seen footage of people running away from the falling buildings. Some of the messages on the walls nearby are also quite moving, especially anything written by children who have lost a parent in the disaster.
So we walked down around the World financial centre, suits everywhere being a weekday. We were planning to go in to the New York stock exchange but were quite taken aback by the fact that not only good we not go in, but there was also guards with semi-automatic weapons out front.
Took a while to find Wall street, we were speculating that they mustnâ€™t have put a street sign up because people would keep stealing it. Walked down to the Staten Island ferry since as Cath put it, we should probably go see â€˜that lass with the flameâ€™. So the ferry took us past Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty. Then jumped on the subway to go up to the Brooklyn bridge, did the walk across the Brooklyn bridge. Then subway up to the other end of town to go see Central park.
Since we were in the area we went over to the FAO Schwartz toy store, of course famous for having the big piano used in the movie Big. Unfortunately it was covered up by a Simpsons exhibit. Wandered through the famous shopping district, where Cath was recognising famous shops left, right and centre however I canâ€™t say I knew too many. The famous auction house was there (Sothebyâ€™s ???)
Grabbed lunch (yes this is all pre-lunch so far) at this nice cafÃ© looking down on the street, then wandered through Central Park. It only takes a few minutes of wandering in to the park when the rest of the city just seems to melt away. Went over to the john Lennon tribute at Strawberry fields. At about 4ish we decided to go back to the hostel and get some sleep and agreed to meet back up later at about 6 or so.
Slept for about half an hour or so and then enter Steve (with the shaved head) and John the Scottish 22 and 21 year old chemical engineers. Or as the English lad would later call them, the Jackinese chemists. Both of them played football, Hearts and St Johnstone fans respectively. I agreed that Cath and I would meet up with them later to make use of their VIP Empire State building pass. Howâ€™s this for a connection, Steveâ€™s auntieâ€™s neighbour is Frank Sinatraâ€™s cousin (also called Frank)
Met back with Cath, went along to this event called Broadway under the Stars in Bryant Park. About 15,000 people were there in a fairly small area so we left after a half hour or so. Met back up with the Scottish lads and Cath at the Irish pub next door to the hostel.
Ended up at Jack Dempseyâ€™s pub where we launched in to many drinks. There was a guy falling asleep at the end of the bar who provided us with many amusing photos. Gradually the rest of the bar emptied out so we were moved downstairs were we wound up playing pool against these Spanish speaking strangers. For some reason, must have been just the right amount of alcohol, but I was on fire at the pool table and we managed to go the majority of the night without paying for the table. Quite bizarre to wind up in a lock-in in a New York pub, incredible!