"I am just going outside and may be some time"

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End May 05, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So I have decided after seeing the main tourist traps of New York it was time for an expedition north - to Niagara Falls.  Having been somewhat spontaneous about this, I committed the lasd few days to research and supplies.  I read and debated all the minutae.  When to go? To bus or fly? To stay overnight? Should I visit some surrounding sights?  Some time late in the night I decided a best compromise of time and resources would be an overnight bus to and then from Buffalo, with connecting buses to Niagara at the ends of the day.
So it was planned, but still there was a sense of trepidation for this adventure. The weather looked to be gloomy and I certainly didn't have the clothes to sightsee in snow.  Also this would be two full days without the homely comforts of a shower, toothbrush or bed. I would certainly be a frozen and grotesque sight for my fellow passengers.  So I set off in search of some underclothes, but it was to no avail.  It seemed New York was out of long-johns.
Between deliberating and searching I chanced upon the most delicious food yet in the city. The first was an elusive slice of New York pizza.  Huge, greasy and difficult to eat walking.  The cheese and sauce were blissfully simple but highlighted the simultaneous crunch and chewiness of the base.  The second was the new KFC (Korean Fried Chicken).  These tasty marvels took New York by storm several years ago, shaking the well established foundations of buffalo wings.  The first bite of the juicy crunch yielded to complex sweet and spicy flavours of the coatings.  The whole gamut of taste was rounded by the bitter sourness of the accompanying pickles.
The final toast of the day was at the cooler than cool Momofuku, celebrity chef David Chang's first enteprise.  It is no wonder this 8 year old eatery still maintains its cred.  Packed with the young and up-and-comers of Gen Y, the ambience was brilliantly alive.  Above all of the coolness was the deftly executed food.  Rabbit and duck cooked to smoky perfection accompanied by sweet and bitter local herbs.  So much alike was the experience the Izakaya Den that for a moment I could have been home.
The only real disappointment here was the American Museum of Natural History.  As you can probably see I am quite a fan of old things, and dinosaurs are probably my favourite old thing.  So I was rushing in with quiet excitement.  Although the dinosaur displays were excellent, the exhibits were generally confusingly laid out and the information too diverse.  What I did manage to take in was interesting and not elementary like most natural history museums, but I think the scope of the museum proved too much for me.  What was visually disappointing was the models in windows.  I found this to be a curiously homogenised way of displaying animal and plant life and made me feel like it was all quite falsified.  I did enjoy the Hayden Planetarium, but even there, Whoppi Goldberg's voice was a little too fantastical to be believable.  Call me a traditionalist but why not Morgan Freeman? His Godlike timbre would have been perfect narration for the heavenly journey.
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