New York, New York

Trip Start Jan 03, 2008
Trip End Dec 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
Regency Inn & Suites

Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, March 14, 2008

New York is beautiful...if you can get past the homeless people, the major construction and redevelopment, the traffic & the pollution - noise, litter and smog! But we absolutely loved it. It is so alive.
We gave ourselves plenty of daylight hours arriving into New York (maybe we are learning from our mistakes). We arrived at the Regency Inn & Suites at midday, check in was available at 3pm but we could leave our bags and come back then. She then gave us directions to the parking building they were using as there one across the road was under construction. This took us 3 and a half hours to find (it was only a block and a half away) but traffic, one way streets and Nancy (GPS) having massive meltdown and sending us through the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey did not help. Finally after tears to the parking attendant, he wasn't going to take the car as they were full; we parked the car and walked back to the hotel. It was a dive! But as Spud reasoned we would only be sleeping there and the location was amazing. We were 500m from the Empire State building, one block from Madison Square Garden and about 5 blocks from Times Square.
The kids and spud took off to the Empire State building. After my John Hancock building experience I could not be cajoled into it so I headed to the bar at the bottom to wait. About an hour and a half into waiting and two pints of the Empire lager, 50 police cars and ambulances came roaring up to the building and completely surrounded it with full sirens & lights flashing. I was beside myself. The barman explained it was a drill (he thought) to see how quickly emergency services responding in case of an attack. I needed a couple more pints to get over that one! We then took the girls to check out Times Square at night where we had dinner and checked out what show we wanted to see the next night.
The next day we took off on foot all the way down 5th Ave to the financial district and Ground Zero. The hole in the ground is unreal, it was a very surreal experience and emotional. I just felt sick. For the amount of tourists there it was a very quiet. Then off to Battery Park and over to the statue of liberty where we were lucky to secure a ticket to go inside and up to the top of the pedestal. They closed the walk up into the head and crown after Sept 11. It gave us an amazing view of the city and especially the dent in the landscape with the missing twin towers.
Then back on foot up through Soho where I oogled the shops. Back to the dive quickly to change and then up to Broadway where Jordan, Cameron and I had 2nd row seats, centre stage at Mamma Mia! It blew the girls away. The show was unreal.
Next day a bit of souvenir shopping, Cam NEEDED a small statue of liberty, we all needed an I love New York T (apart from Spud) and a stroll through Central Park. New York was heaps of fun, we felt safe at all times but I think we are all a little jaded now. Only 2 sleeps until Bon Jovi.
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