New York, New York
Trip Start Feb 24, 2003
13Trip End Aug 23, 2003
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Where I stayed
I arrived in NYC late last Monday night and settled into the fantastic "French Room" at the East Village Bed & Coffee - definitely a place I'd recommend to people not interested in staying in an overpriced sterile hotel room. Anne, the owner, makes you feel completely at home and although her dog Fang was a little snappy when I first arrived he has since become my new best friend (sorry Nic - but I'm sure you understand). I poured myself a huge glass of Baileys over ice and with plenty of refills sat at my window looking out over the street and planned my weeks stay.
Those who know me well will agree that I am one of life's greatest horizontal champions - I'd sleep til noon everyday if I could, but with New York being the city that never sleeps, I felt much compelled to do the same. I was out the door at half 8 and in at the epileptic's nightmare that is Times Square by 9. Plenty of sailor boys in their crisp whites caught my attention for a little while until I went into tourist mode. Now normally I'm a "traveller" spending quite a bit of time in each place I visit, getting to see things the ordinary tourist misses out on, but with only a week here I decided to get on a hop-on hop-off tour bus. The tour passes took me downtown, uptown, over to Brooklyn and on a night time tour. Playing the dumb tourist was great - waving to people from the top of the open double decker bus and standing right in front of the Empire State Building when asking where it was. I tried that a few times until the joke started wearing a bit thin. On me.
I was walking past a construction site when someone called "hey Zena" - must have been the short pleated skirt and knee high boots I was wearing..
Walking back through the East Village that first night I literally bumped into a few people. We got to talking about tattoos (one of the girls was getting her first one and asked for advice - easy... make sure you're straight when you pick out your design but get completely pissed before the needles start), New York and Sydney. When they found it was my first time here and that I knew not a single soul they invited me to tag along to a club they were going to the next night in the Meatpacking District! Anyways, the next night I was pretty tired from another day of sightseeing and actually called and cancelled, but then about 11pm I thought fuck it - when else am I going to get another chance to go out with the locals, so I went and danced the night away with some very cute gay boys.
Despite a major hangover the next day I was up early again to catch the Staten Island ferry. It was the perfect day for it - clear blue skies and only a smattering of people around. Later in the day I took the subway up to the Met and of course that was when the blackout happened
Unsure of which bus to catch as I was used to getting the subway, I stopped off near Times Square to ask a policeman. The bus stop was right where he was standing but bus after bus was packed so I stayed talking to him for a couple of hours. OK, now this is where I have to quote the cop "please no pictures of me, and change names to protect the innocent", so let's just call this guy COP. It was extremely hot and I was hankering for a beer when COP suggested we go buy a 6 pack to drink in some dark corner
The power came up on the upper east side the following morning but didn't get to the East Village until the next night. Still, there were hardly any reported problems, just lots of community spirit, laughs and cold salads.
Kristina flew over from Ohio to spend the weekend with me, which was wonderful... we spent the days wandering through the shops of Soho and Greenwich, eating delicious food in Chinatown, and discovering the BEST mango daiquiris.
So there you go... I met loads of wonderful people in a city that is supposedly renowned for its rudeness, happy to give advice on where to go, what buses to catch and even where to get the best street hotdogs. I've travelled the world and have always said that I'd always call Sydney home, but now that I've been to New York City, that all could change...
Oh, and I'm already planning a December trip so that my children can witness a white Christmas!