Welcome to New York, the air temperature is 7c

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Nov 13, 2006

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, November 6, 2006

Hi ya'll

Okay, we've made it to the States. Email, as with most other things are extortionate so I'll atempt to get my thoughts down as quick as poss so dear readers please exuse the spelling mistooks..
So where were we, I think the last night in London hasn't been mentioned. We finally got to meet up with some of Clare's friends. We met Ben & Jasmine in an East London Art Gallery come creative folks meeting space/DJ bar area. We watched a short film on rap music in Columbia and then on to the pub. It was a good night, and I'm glad Clare finally managed to see some mates, as I've spent the majority of the time in England rushing around from place to place catching up with all mine, some of who missed out. We did get a splattering of sigtseeing and shopping in-between the visits. It was all a bit rushed and pressured.
There have been a few changes in London since I left, notable the Polish immagrants who have flooded in since they joined the EU. All out hotel staff were Polish as well as the bar tenders in the pub, and I'm told by others around London that the have all moved in with vengence. I'm sure the other Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania etc have all joined the call as well. I chatted with the bartender about it, and he said he earned 10 times less working in a managerial office position in Warsaw than running a bar in Whitechappel. Go figure.

Ok, on to the big apple, which we are starting to take generous sized nibbles out of, and are getting hungry to bite as much as possible in the 5 days we've got left, without to much indigestion I hope!
ist impressions, everything is bigger, brighter, louder and faster than than Britian. This includes the cars, buildings, food portions, country, and of course the people. Even arriving at Newark airport I ws struck by an incredible rude guy mouthing off at the poor Spanish woman at the shuttle transit desk. She took it all gracefully as if nothing out of the ordinary. We jumped in the V8 van to the city driven by an impatient big Chilean male who honked the horn enough to make an Indian proud. Unfortunatley it didn't do much got as traffic was backlogged for miles heading into the Lincoln tunnel. Ity didn't stop him from swerving in and out of lanes with no indication and flooring the throtte at the slightest opportunity however.

The New York skyline is such a vision you see everyday on the telly, but here is the joy of travelling, seeing it with your own eyes. It's the 3D effect, complete with sounds and smells and all the rest which tells you your here. The Empire State building dominates, but still didn't look a massive as I'd hoped as I've been waiting to see it since a kid. Fist impressions of the Chelsea hotel in the West Village where we stay. Dead basic bunk room. No frills at all, but hey were are paying about 25 USD a night each. Can't get much for that in this town. We won't spend much time here though. In fact we headed out almost imediatley to meet another friend of Clare's who lived in the hip East Village area.

It took a bit of finding as the 300, 10th St East near 1st avenue, from West 20th and 8th route was somesort of mathmatical nightmare... Oh well, jetlag may not have helped. We'd been up since 5.30am in England and had a few the night before. I did sleep on the place a bit, but not enough not to notice the rude British Airways service. We left 1/2 late as they were loading the special meals, but then we were given beef rolls for breakfast despite ordering vege. When I complained the chap had a go at me saying they were having issued as sooo many people had orders differnt meals. Not my problem buddy!! hey, I'm staring to sound like a Yank already. Also I'm getting off track. Ok Wenn, Clare's friends lives in a tiny apartment which they pay US$1500 a month for a no bed room recantble room with cockroackes on the stairwell. She has only been here a short while but knew a happening vege place to take us. I had hige lentil burger with mashed potatoes and somhow finished the lot. The service was fast. Wenn enlightened us that New Yorkers won't wait and will complain if made to wait. Also she let us know to expect all sorts of mad people on the street yelliing all the time, and not to be alarmed, it normal! The mad dress sense of the patrons of this area amused me. Imagine hippy crossed with design lable junkie.

I'm not doing a good job of keep it short again am I. Ok, yesterday we went up the Empire State building and went to Times Square.

Hmm, well, the day getting away on me and I haven't had breakfast yet alright!!
Going up the Empire State was something I wanted to since roughly forever, and it didn't dissapoint. The only is that I'v done so much travelling now and have been up the Sky Tower, Sydney tower, Eiffel Towe, St Pauls, St Peters, Kuala Lumpur towers... that the high didn't blow me away. I'll blame the Sky Tower in Auckland though as it's not my favoutite. We were at the bottom on the Empire State looking up, and I said to Clare 'Does it seem high to you', to which she said 'The sky tower is higher' For that I'll blame the sky tower for taking the icing off. I'm not sure if she's right. Anyway the view from the top - Auckland city vs New York City. Sorr Auckland, you have lost this one by a long way. It's unreal, and special up there, you get a bit bewildered by the skyscrappers. Luckly I had Tony the cabbie as an audio guide to help me get my bearings. He was talking in a mock Sicilian cab driver whatdayamean kinda way. It was pretyy cool, and he gave the history and ethos behind what makes New York such a great city. The immagrants, the energy, the love of life, the fact it's like nowehere else.

Times Sqaure was alsmost equally bewidering and a bright lights big city kinda way. Talk about putting Picadilly circus in it's place. Try turing the volume up to 20,000. We wandered into Toys R Us. Talk about kid in a candy store for Clare. She loves looking a cute stuff it there were three levels of it with a ferris wheel in the middle, and T-Rex at the top. She liked the lego version of the Empire State better I think, complete with oversized lego gorilla!

Okay I'm really out of time now.

Y'all come back now.
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