What a Wonderful Town

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Arriving in New York we dumped our bags at the hotel and headed straight out into the snowy streets, heading up to Central Park.  There was no grass in sight, as everything was covered by snow.  We walked through Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon, opposite where he was shot by a crazed fan.  Onwards we saw FAO Schwarz Toy Store. It was absolutely massive and even had one of those huge piano things you step on to play.  Yours to take home for only a cool $250,000 USD.  At the Rockafella Centre kids were ice skating everywhere and the NBC shop was packed with school students buying stuff from their favourite TV shows.  Since we'd caught an overnight bus here we were pretty wrecked so decided to catch up on some sleep and crashed early deciding to see Times Square the following night.
Up early for breakfast the next day we found our way to the subway to see the town.  Unfortunately as it was President's Day (we've never heard of this holiday before) half the subway was on limited trains, some not stopping at certain stations.  After a while we figured it all out and on the way down stopped into a store so Rick could buy a digital camera.  Unfortunately our second Pentax digital decided to give up the ghost when it was accidentally dropped on the floor, the same way the other one did in Russia.  We wouldn't recommend Pentax brand camera at all as they just cannot stand up to the pace of travelling, as we have learnt twice over.  This time we went for a Panasonic which so far has been really good.  Grand Central Station was...well grand, as was the New York City Library.  We decided to walk down to the Twin Towers construction site.  It's strange standing there looking into a construction zone, people going about rebuilding.  You can definitely see a hole in New York's skyline where the buildings used to be.  Since we were so close to Battery Park we jumped on the Ellis Island ferry and headed across to the Statue of Liberty.  It was really really cold out on the island and since 911 you can no longer climb inside up to the statue's crown.  Rick remembered climbing the statue when he was in the States as a kid, a long time ago.  As we were freezing we headed across to Ellis Island to see the old quarantine station.  Ellis Island was the first place many immigrants first stayed when they arrived in the USA.
As the sun was setting we headed back to Manhattan Island detouring to have a quick look at the New York Stock Exchange Building.  Yet another place where the public are no longer allowed inside since 911.  It's sad that things have changed so much and you can no longer go into a building with out having a full search of everything, oh and don't forget to leave that open bottle of coke behind just in case it is a bomb!  After dumping some stuff back at the hotel we walked down the road to see the magnificent Times Square all lit up at night.  Megan and Carlie loved the huge Toy's R Us store that even had it's own ferris wheel inside!  We also wanted to go up the Empire State Building, so after yet another security check point up we went to see New York at night.
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