New York! New York!

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Big Apple Hostel

Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, May 8, 2005

 "New York, New York - king of the hill, top of the heap" as the Frank Sinatra song goes. Wash our mouths out with soap but we country bumpkins LOVED New York! There is just so much to do, see and experience and contrary to our belief, we found New Yorkers to be very friendly, helpful and obliging.

However, one of the ultimate nightmares of travelling happened on the way to NY - our luggage went missing! We left Lima, Peru on an early flight that had been changed (since we booked) from a direct to New York flight to one that was going via Miami. There was going to be just enough time allowed to clear customs and immigration before making the connecting flight to New York. 

As we got close to Miami a lightening storm hit and whilst the plane landed OK we were stranded on the tarmac for over 2 hours as the ground staff would not work in lightening. When we finally got off the plane we found our connecting NY flight had also been delayed so we rushed through the airport formalities and literally ran to the plane. We made it but unfortunately our luggage didn't. Then as the plane began to move onto the runway it had mechanical problems (American Airlines again!) and we stayed on the tarmac for another 1 and 1/2 hours before we took off. We were beginning to think we were going to have another night in Miami on American Airlines. Finally we arrived in New York late at night and waited in vain for our luggage. We then went through the tiring process (we had been up since 4.30am it was now 11.00pm) of filling out our lost luggage claim forms. We caught a cab and finally arrived at the Big Apple hostel around midnight.

Our hostel couldn't have been in a better place. It is an old 5 storey building just 100 metres from Broadway and Times Square and walking distance (by our standards anyway) from most things of importance. We were on the 4th floor with no guest lift so just getting to and from our room gave us plenty of exercise. Next door we had a fabulous eatery with serve yourself vegetable and salad dishes and hot oatmeal for breakfast all at inexpensive (by New York standards) prices.

We hit the ground running the next morning and didn't stop for a whole week. By 1.00pm that day we had worked out how to get the cheapest tickets for Broadway shows, had secured tickets for a 2.00 pm matinee that day for "Fiddler on the Roof" and hooray! our backpacks arrived delivered to our hostel by American Airlines. As well as "Fiddler on the Roof" we saw "Mama Mia", "Chicago", "Forbidden Broadway" and "Little Women" over the week we stayed in NY. A way to save money is to purchase a standing ticket which we did for "Mama Mia". You actually get a numbered spot behind the people in the downstairs section and a timber balustrade to lean on - and aching feet by the end of the night! We loved them all but both agreed that "Fiddler on the Roof" was the best production and the most enjoyable. Broadway is wonderful just to wander down at night, so much glitz and full of colourful people, sights and sounds.

The Empire State Building was close and we took the lifts right to the top for a magnificent view of Manhattan. We visited the United Nations, Ground Zero, Battery Park, (to see the Statue of Liberty),Wall Street and many other icons. Most days we walked all day and found New York very easy to get around with its "numbered" streets and avenues. As you walk along the streets the subway trains rubble underneath you and steam pours out of vents to the streets above. There is a whole other world down below. They say you can buy anything in New York - well I managed to buy a hat made in Australia! I lost mine in Peru and was missing it in the New York Spring sunshine. Time to move on again and the Greyhound is booked to take us to Upstate New York.

Footnote: Statue Of Liberty, New York, United States is an official Finalist in the New Seven Wonders Of The World. The Empire State Building is one of The Seven Wonders Of The Modern World. Manhattan Island is also featured in the book Unforgettable Places To See before you die.
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