powered by SignMyGuestbook.com
2004-05-04 - 6:33 p.m.
Last time I wrote I was in tourist town half an hour out of Orlando. I'm now
in a coffee shop in the East Village of New York City in a short-sleeved
t-shirt for the first time since I got here (to New York that is).
On our last full day in Orlando Cristan and I went to Universal Studios'
"Islands of Adventure" theme park which is definitely the park I would
recommend for cool rides, beats anything Disney has to offer.
Sunday was another travel day. I spent a couple of hours in Orlando airport
because my flight was later than Meaghan and Cristan's, then over half an
hour on the tarmac because we weren't allowed to take off due to too much
air traffic around La Guardia airport in New York. When we finally got to
New York and out of the airport it was FREEZING. And by that I mean zero
degrees celcius. For the first two days in New York I was walking around in
a short and long sleeve t-shirt, turtle neck jumper, jacket and beanie and
I've still never been colder in my life. And two days later I'm hot- go
Our hotel in NYC was opposite Madison Square Garden, a block from Macy's and
five minutes from the Empire State Building (which are respectively the
World's Most Famous Arena, the World's Biggest Store and the World's Most
Famous Building if you believe the proud and patriotic but slightly
misinformed signs). We had dinner and a couple of bottles of wine at a real
Chinese restaurant (you know the ones that serve Pig's Intestines :) on the
first night, then I proceeded to get drunk at the Hotel Bar and harrass the
Irish guitar-player for some Crowded House.
Our first full day in NYC required an emergency stop at Macy's in a vain
search for thermal underwear (apparently even freezing weather doesn't stop
the stores putting away their winter stock well before April), and a quick
change of plans when we saw the size of the queue to get up the Empire State
After buying our subway tickets and a brief battle with the transit police
(I'll leave that story for Meaghan) we headed to lower Manhattan and caught
the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back, snapping plenty of photos
of the skyline and Lady Liberty along the way. Next we headed up to the
Stock Exchange, The World Trade Centre site, the Brookyln Bridge, Chinatown
and then back to our hotel to warm up.
I wandered up to Times Square at night, had dinner by myself at a Japanese
place (the hot sake and Miso Soup was just what I needed) and that was more
or less the end of a very busy day.
Yesterday we checked out the amazing view from the top of the Empire State
Building, then split up and I managed to get an express train to Harlem
rather than to the station closest to Strawberry Fields in Central Park. It
was good to see all the different sides of New York though, and it gave me
the chance to see all of Central Park, top-to-bottom, rather than starting
at the more popular end and giving up before I got all the way. I also
checked out the Guggenheim museum and later pathetically followed the
example of a couple of tourists in front of me and took a photo of the spot
where John Lennon was shot. I have sent 12 rolls of film home with Meaghan
and I still have 3 weeks left before I get home!
Last night I headed down to Irving Plaza, a venue which is about the size
of the Metro, and managed to get a ticket to Ben Kweller from a scalper (who I
didn't trust at all, despite the fact that he seemed nice enough I half
expected to not get in and never see my $50 again, but I was pleasantly
surprised) and saw a great gig, which made me feel like I was at the Metro
or the Newtown RSL and not across the globe in one of (not *the*) the
World's Biggest Cities. I'll save the review for the select few of you (you
know who you are) who will appreciate it.
This morning we did a quick walk around a few more places near enough (well,
kind of) to the hotel- the Massive Public Library, the Rockefeller Centre,
St Patrick's Cathedral, the Waldorf-Astoria and the United Nations Building,
and by 2.30pm I had waved goodbye to Meaghan and Cristan and was on my own.
I am staying at a Youth Hostel in the East Village, which is so my kinda
place. Record Shops full of Indie music (even the coffee shop is playing
good music), heaps of twenty-somethings walking around who radiate left-wing
hippie vibes, and organic vegetarian restaurants and laundromats on every
corner. Okay so organic vegetarian isn't usually my thing but I quite
enjoyed my Ceasar Salad with strips of dried seaweed and my Carrot, Apple
and Ginger juice. Beats most of the greasy crap we've encountered in the
last three weeks.
I'm tempted to go to the Ben Kweller instore which I think is just down the
road, but I think last night was good enough. I'm more keen to go back to
the Hostel and meet some fellow travellers in the common area. There was
nobody around when I got there- they try to clear everyone out betwen 11am
and 4pm, but it's 5pm now and I think just hanging around for a few hours
could be just the right thing for me after all the sightseeing I've done in
the last few days.
Anyway, if you're still reading now, there's a slim chance that you might
get through at least half of my photos before your eyes glaze over, so come
and see me in early May.
I'll write again from the UK. Don't work too hard over there!