The apple that ain't so big

Trip Start Oct 05, 2005
Trip End Apr 06, 2006

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Flag of United States  ,
Thursday, January 12, 2006

After a gruelling night flight courtesy of American Airlines I was not in the best of spirits when I arrived in New York. The reception was frosty in more ways than one - I had gone from 40'c to -3'c overnight, and the rudeness I encountered on both the plane and at the airport was, quite frankly, enough to make me want to turn round and go back, even if it meant swimming for six months.

But all that faded into insignificance when I met my sister at the hotel. We had not seen each other for three months, a long time for us, and I was so relieved to be with her again. She promply armed me with a bagel filled with cream cheese and a strong coffee and we talked non-stop until I fell asleep. I hadn't realised how much I had missed her sense of humour and I couldn't remember the last time I had laughed so much.

New York was a huge culture shock. I was expecting traffic, noise and pollution, but instead found spotless streets, silence (nobody honked their horn) and air that felt like Switzerland's finest. Compared with Buenos Aires, the place seemed like a palace. And that's not even mentioning the food... the choice made my head spin, and all so tasty and clean and healthy. I could have spent a week just wading through breakfast.

Sarah and I did all the obligatory tourist stuff: going up the Empire State Building, shopping on Fifth Avenue, taking in a Broadway show. We saw Chicago, which was excellent, but also that night Phantom became the longest running musical, so we popped down to the theatre in time to catch Michael Crawford, Andrew Lloyd Webber and lots of other luvvies outside having their pictures taken for the press.

The cold weather was both a blessing and a curse. I felt like I had a second crack at Christmas in NYC. Most of the decorations were still up and we spent a gorgeous afternoon walking to the Rockefeller Center to watch the skaters and the big glistening tree followed by a service at St Patrick's Cathedral where I sang my first carol of the season, two weeks late. My cold weather gear, brought with Patagonia in mind, was not going down too well on the streets of Manhattan, and Sarah needed a holiday before she started drama school so we booked a flight to Miami and left the next day.
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