New York! New York!

Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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What I did
Just about everything! (or so it seemed)

Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, May 5, 2011

We arrived in New York early on Thursday May 5th - after taking the "Red Eye" flight from San Francisco (so called because you leave San Francisco late at night and after 5 hours arrive in New York early in the morning, usually a bit the worse for wear and with red eyes from lack of sleep!)  We opted to take a taxi to the city (a flat fee of $45 + $5 toll and tip) rather than tackle the famed subway system with luggage at rush hour!  It was a good choice - though I was confused that the driver seemed to be taking a much longer route than my iPad Google Map suggested.  It turned out that President Obama was going to be in New York that day and many roads were closed for security reasons.

When we got to our hotel (just a stone's throw from Times Square)  it was obvious that the President's motorcade was going to go right past our hotel, so we decided to go to Starbucks and fortify ourselves for the wait.  We waited 2 hours, but we weren't disappointed.  All I saw was a bunch of black cars, but Max thinks he saw Obama in one of them. The President was visiting a Fire Station that had lost 15 firefighters on 9/11  (just around the corner from our hotel).

The next few days were a blur as we attempted to do all the things on our "wish list".  Actually we were pretty successful, tho' we were kept very busy.  We paid for a 48hr pass for the openair "hop-on-hop-off" bus, so we started by doing the "Downtown loop" and "Brooklyn loop".  We arrived back at Times Square about 6pm when we checked out the cut price musical tickets and got tickets to see "Jersey Boys". 

The next day we were up early to go to the Statue of Liberty - this was very high on my "things to do" list because it is so iconic and significant to who America is as a nation of immigrants.  It didn't disappoint and was fascinating.  Ellis Island was also included in the tour (this is where the immigrants were processed before being allowed onto the mainland).  America was encouraging migration for a long time and the processing often only took a few hours - more than once I found myself thinking about the current situation with our Australian detention centres.  More than 40% of Americans have an ancestor who came through Ellis Island.

We spend 6hrs visting "Lady Liberty" and Ellis Island, but we were determined to also walk the Brooklyn Bridge, so we headed out on the Subway to Brooklyn and walked across the historic bridge.  The story about the building of the bridge is fascinating (I first learned about it on a TV mini-series called "The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World"). After coming back to the hotel for a little rest and some dinner we headed off on the City Lights Night Tour on the hop on/off bus.  We slept very well that night! 

Our last day in New York we had a little sleep in, then joined the bus loop that would take us around Central Park.  We hopped off near the end of the tour at the entrance to Central Park and hired bikes for two hours and had an enjoyable ride around the park - about 10 miles.  After that it was time for lunch and we found a Diner with food at very reasonable prices.  I had several famous New York "culinary delights" that I wanted to try (a bagle with cream cheese, a hot dog, a pretzel, and an egg creamer) - this diner offerred the egg creamer so we had to eat there!  (By the way, and egg creamer doesn't have egg or cream in it!  Basically it is a flavored soda - I tried vanilla and Max had a chocolate one.)  Our verdict, different but nice - a refreshing alternative to a milkshake.

From Central Park we headed off on the subway again, this time to "Ground Zero".  After a little accidental detour to the "Ground Zero Museum" which is about 20 blocks from the World Trade Center site, we finally got there.  You can't see much because basically it is a construction site, but the new World Trade Center buildings are going up.  We didn't stay long and headed back "Uptown" (the northern end of Manhattan Island) to go to "The Top of the Rock" - this is the viewing platform on the top of the Rockefeller Building.  It's not the tallest building in NY, but has the best views of both the city and Central Park.  

Well, I'm exhausted just writing all that! Maybe I'll give Max a chance to add his two bits to it tomorrow.  

We started our 9 day tour today and we are in Boston tonight and heading to Quebec tomorrow.  Boston is fascinating and such a significant location in American Revolutionary history.  I'll try to write about it soon. 
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Helen and Bruce Lindqvist on

Sounds like you are having a great time - maybe a little hectic sometimes! keep enjoying the experience.

Karina Miegel on

WOW!!! That sound all so exciting!!! I bet you are enjoying it all!!!
Great Pictures!!

Hayley on

Glad your having a great time, sounds so busy, I love reading about your adventures!! Take care, Love Hayley

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