New York - 25th to 29th June 2007

Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, June 28, 2007

We arrived in New York and got the subway to 23rd st and 8th Ave.  then walked down to 20th street.  It was soooo hot! we were glad to get to the hostel.  Unfortunately this one doesn't have private rooms or co-ed (mixed) dorms, so I'm in an all female and Robs in an all male dorm.  Of course he's gutted about spending 4 nights apart from me!!! yeh right. evenings talking footy and drinking with the boys... (he says he has been talking politics and world economics to some guys, Bismark and Jones, in his room from Ghana). Actually he's really enjoyed the conversations he's had with them.
I've had some lovely girls in my dorm, 2 Polish girls, I can't remember their names, 2 Romanian girls who are only 20 and paid an  agency $2000 each to get work in the USA for the summer!! Miss Florence who was an older lady, originally from Africa but has lived in US for 33 years and Daniela, who was really lovely.  She's German and has been travelling for 6 months on her own (she's just gone back home) it was strange because she's done almost exactly the route I should've done 2 years ago.  (Hi Daniela, I hope your boyfriend welcomed you home in good fashion).
We're staying in an area called Chelsea and it's a popular gay area and has some great restaurants, so we're really trying to restrain ourselves as it would be so easy to just eat all day! Our first afternoon in NY we went to an Italian just around the corner, 2 courses for $10 each and it was good! We then came back to the hostel and updated the blog, calling at a chinese deli just on the other corner for butties, mmmm...
2nd day in NY, we got up late, went to Times Square, I made Rob go into the Hershey store!! mmmmmm. We had brekkie/lunch in a soup cafe and then we went up Top of The Rock, in the Rockafella centre.  Unfortunately this is where I dropped  my camera (yes my brand new one that I've had a week!) the display screen on the back has gone all white so you can't see what you're pointing at, although it does still take pictures.  I've been on to the insurance and they arn't really being very helpful, I have to provide all sorts of information for them,  oh well it's just another anoying thing that I need to sort out.  We're going to get another camera tomorrow I think.  (Budget is groaning!) So please bear this in mind when you see the pics for NY.
The Top of the Rock ($17 each) was good, in some ways better than the Empire State Building as you got to see the Empire State from the Top of the Rock which, lets face it, is one of the most impressive sights to be seen anyway.  From there we walked up 5th Ave to Central Park, again it was sooooo hot, we grabbed some sodas and sat on a bench people and squirel watching for a while, then went round the Central Park Zoo ($8 each). this was actually better that I expected and it was really nice to step into the air con'd rooms! we saw the sealions being fed, and felt sorry for the Polar Bears that were flaked out in the heat.
We then wandered back towards the subway via a MacD's (Rob was still needing flu-food!) to be noted that USA qtr pound cheeseburgers are not as nice as UK ones, they're all mushy meat! urgh!
We got an hours kip then got changed and went out to a different italian, which was nice but strange in that it had a big screen TV on showing the BET awards... kinda distracting whilst you're trying to have an intimate meal.
3rd day in NY, got up rather late, again, I'm feeling rather rough with my cold (Rob says its woman-flu, half as strong as man-flu!) I had to sort out the insurance co about my camera, then went to the pharmacy to ask what he thought the bites were from that I have... urgh, bed-bugs!!! I told the hostel and they've changed my matress and bedding but yuck! just what I need.  We then we went to ground-zero, this site has changed so much from when I was here January 2006.  Lots of constrution happening although nothing is actually at ground level yet. It didn't have that same sadness about it as last time either.  We went to the little church opposite which had a few memorial pieces and this was more moving.
Next we went to Century 21!!! shoppers haven (it was like a bun-fight) designer brands at very discounted prices... I needed a new bag as mine broke!  (I feel a trend here) got a cool red Tommy Hilfiger satchel style one for $24, just what I need room to put more stuff to cart around with me!
We walked down to Battery Park and got the ferry to Liberty Island ($11.50 each), we couldn't go up her as you had to book a week in advance for them to do a background check on you! so we walked round the bottom then found a nice soft patch of grass and had a little snooze, it was hot!
After this we came back to the hostel, called in at our local chinese deli for beers and ice-cream.  Got chatting to some Australians (we forgave them for calling us Scousers!) who had rather scary stories about their experiences in the hostel.  Catherine (Melbourne) had a bloke offer to help carry her bags to her room, she thanked him, he left.  She then went out of her room to use the loo and walked in on him "shaking hands with himself" she appologised and left, quickly... a minute later he knocked on her door, asking if she'd seen anything and would she mind coming back to watch him whilst he finished!  uurrgg.  And the boys... well I think that they should have male, female and gay rooms... one of the lads sharing with them enjoyed himself on all fours with a rubber "item".  They were too embarassed to say anything so let him finish! not right!

We've decided to stay an extra night in NY so will be off to Boston on the 29th.  Today, the 28th, we got up late, and I got the name of a camera repair shop from the net which was about 10 blocks away, rang and asked if they could do me a report for the insurance, and they said yes if I could get there within the hour.  When we got there, they said that it was only the LED screen and that they happened to have just one left in stock and that as we were leaving NY tomorrow they'd repair it today instead of the usual 24hrs... fab!  they rung an hour later, it cost $135 (about 70 quid) which was great as the excess would've been 50 quid plus postage to UK of all documentation and the camera. Snap-happy again!
We celebrated by seeing a movie (It was all air con!) the new Die Hard movie, it was good actually, loads of stunts, as you'd expect from Mr John Mclane. Then dinner in the Italian round the corner and a quick tart up and out to experience NY nightlife.
We met up with Luke, Chris, Watto (pronounced Waddo), all from Perth, Leanne from Mebourne, Doug from Wakefield and Triston (not sure but I think he was American).  We went firstly to the US instituation known as "Hooters", not what I was expecting.  There were kids there, with their parents, but I wouldn't have thought this was a family establishment!  Luke fell in love with the waitress, hard lines mate - she's married to an Englishman. 
Outside Robert and Chris were pretending to be Jocks (not scotts) and did some chest jumping to chants of "douche-bag" I will try and upload the video of this...
We went to another bar just up from Times Square, it was okay except that the the drink from the waitress service were nearly $2 more, of course we just wanted to prop up the bar anyway! Back out on the sidewalk, Doug gave a bloke playing tumpet some money to let him have a go... we all then gave the bloke money to make Doug stop! He did get some admiring glances though!  Next we were headed towards 8th Ave where there are several Irish bars, however we were forced into a very dead karaoke bar!  oh well at least there wern't may folk to witness us murdering various songs.  I did an outstanding duet with Luke to Paradise by the Dashboard light!!
We rounded off the night with, guess....yup a macd's!!!!!  it was a good night, but I'd say that was more down to the great company rather than the venues... i didn't rate nuch to NY nightlife the last time I was here, and I still don't now.
Yesterday (29th June) we left NY on the greyhound at 1:30pm which got stuck in traffic in the Lincoln tunnel, due to an accident, for about 45 mins then we just seem to get delayed all the time, we should have arrived in Boston at 6:30pm instead it was near to 9pm.  Managed to find hostel ok.  This ones good, it an HI (Hostel International) really clean and really friendly, helpful staff.  they even arrange things to do.  We've signed up for the pub-crawl for Sat night.
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