Top of the Rock

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Met another Al last night after fighting the subway system back to the hostel, just fresh off the plane from the UK glad of the free flight socks on his BA flight being his only spare clothes after them losing his bag.

With Lee joining us as well the four of us dived underground letting Shelly a studying Biophysicist decipher which subway train to get to head downtown to the Financial District. Of course we ended up in Brooklyn first only realizing our error on noticing we were going over the river. Going to get this subway sussed eventually.

Finding our way back we managed to get to Chinatown and ended up walking the rest figuring we were close enough. Along the way we came across the World Trade Centre site, a massive hole although now filled with construction crews and machinery but a strangely still place, the full scale of which only really apparent on staring down into it.

Finally making it to the Financial district we found Wall St although it was little more than an alley when we were all expecting another huge wide Manhattan street. We still hung around being a Monday morning watching the suits go about what ever it is they do in front of the stock exchange before moseying up the street to the only 5 star McDonald's we'd ever been to. It even had a guy playing a grand piano as you munched on another $1 double cheeseburger.

Lee decided he wanted to check out Korea town arranging to meet up again later while the rest of us went up to midtown to take a stroll around Greenwich village. We wanted to take a gander at the flat iron building first though famous for it's cheese wedge like shape which when coming up to it side on as we did you don't notice it so end up walking around for 20 minutes trying to find it unless you see it head on. Greenwich village was a surprise feeling very much like a village a very colourful part of the city feeling removed from the rest of the city's hustle and bustle.

Continuing further uptown we popped over to take a look at the USS Intrepid, an old World War 2 aircraft carrier now converted into a museum that sits on the river. Walking along side the river we could not find it though wondering how the heck you could miss a huge ship the size of a small country.

Spotting a security guy at one of the tourist harbour cruise places nearby we walked over asking "Err...where is the big aircraft carrier?" Giving a lengthy explanation of how sometime last year they came and raised it up out of the mud for a re-fit after it had been sinking into it over the last 25 years it was another few minutes before we managed to get out of him where it was. "Oh, it's over in New Jersey now."

Back in Time Square again (everything seems to centre here) to meet Lee before he jumped on a bus to Boston, Shelly really wanted to go to a Broadway musical but being the traveling types we were did not want to pay the usual high ticket price. Hearing about a lotto type setup for the Rent musical we went over and put our names down to try and score some cheap seats for only $20 each but none of us getting lucky. Shelly was still determined though and on being told about standing room only for $20 she was sold, the rest of us though were a little less convinced with a show at a running time of over 3 hours.

Thinking with our legs Al and I legged it over to the Rockefeller centre instead in order to get a city wide view from the top. The Empire State Building is the one you have to go up because, well it is the Empire State Building, but the trouble with that is you can't see it when your on top of it and what Manhattan skyline view would be complete without it in it. Soaring up to the top floor we arrived at dusk getting to see the city in daylight and at night when the view from up here really comes into its own with the lights all coming on across the city. One guy while we were up here proposed to his now future wife and with that Manhattan backdrop with the Empire State Building lit up in it's centre he certainly chose a great place for it. It is kinda of missing something though without King Kong hanging off the top.

Ticking off another must do in New York we filled up on a Big Mac in Time Square before finding another bar to hole up in half watching the rugby on one TV and half watching the  basketball on another while half talking to the all Irish barman. The sportsbar-ish place was lively enough but tonight was not one I planned to linger out on with wanting to get the most out of my last full day in the city tomorrow.
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