As it was our last day, we thought we’d give the Big Apple the send off it deserves – a huge breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner.
With plenty of carbs, we proceeded down to the 9/11 Memorial. The last fifth of the new Freedom Tower was being topped out.
Security was no fun, especially in the heat. I have to be honest, it just didn’t feel good being there queuing up like that; the security made you feel like you were being punished almost. Though I do totally appreciate the need for a safe presence. Anyway, the memorial is very tasteful. It’s pretty, modern and is a beautiful way to remember those who lost their lives in such an awful manner.
We walked to Battery Park to board the Statten Island ferry to sail past the Statue of Liberty. It must have been truly amazing seeing her in the age of immigration, approaching from the Old World, hoping for a new life. I’m sure it was quite a stirring of feelings and emotions.
And from New York, we went on to Toronto… on yet another delayed flight!
Central Park is truly a gorgeous place. An inspiring environment – relaxing and yet busy at the same time. We arrived for lunch time and walked about half of the park. Mitch and me hired a boat on the lake, and with my great nautical skills I managed to ground the boat on a few occasions.
Our picnic consisted of pretty much everything I was looking forward to eat in North America – Pretzel M&Ms, Cheetos with that unhealthy-looking colouring, and Mountain Dew.
We finished up at the park, and proceeded down Fifth Avenue. Had to check out the cube Apple shop. As we walked down Fifth it started to rain, bringing on that familiar smell of rain on warm tarmac.
Attended the NY Mets game at Citi Field against Washington Nationals. The journey to Queens allowed us to view those iconic abandoned warehouses, baron yet bought to life by thousands of litres of carspray in the form of graffiti.
The atmosphere at the game was great – constant advertisements, competitions. We witnessed, with pretzel and hot dog in hand what turned out to be a slow thrashing from the Nationals. Ah well.
On Sunday we caught the sub to the Museum of Modern Art. I’m one of those who loves some of it and hates most of it. The first piece of artwork we looked at was a map of the world, which had been hand-embroidered by Afghanis. Me having a thing for maps, I touched it didn’t I – and received a stern telling off from the security. There were some great pieces there, particularly work influenced by type. Most of it, to me, could’ve been sold in Ikea.
We then proceeded to the Museum of Natural History. We overshot 81st Street and somehow ended up in Harlem. I think, during the whole trip, that’s the only time it felt a little uneasy. Anyway, because of our mistake, we got there in the end, but with just an hour to spend walking around. What we saw was ace though.
I really wanted to go to some of the jazz clubs in NYC, and were recommended to have a look around Bleecker St. Well, we walked around for hours and couldn’t find one place. It was getting late, and we ended up in Little Italy somehow. We sat down at the worst fucking restaurant there. It was a shit-tip. Our drinks got slammed down on the table and spilled everywhere, but you know what, that’s exactly what we were hoping to see – being talked to like shit by an Italian-American! All good fun!
Well it’d be rude if we didn’t have our first breakfast in New York at a diner. I had a stack of pancakes, Mitch had a waffle. Absolutely huge!
After breakfast, we had a look around some shops, including Macy’s. Like every other department store I’ve visited, the women’s section encompasses four floors, the men’s stuck in a corner somewhere.
We visited the Empire State Building, too. Truly the epitome of New York and American Imperialism; huge, powerful and appealing. Gorgeous Art Deco architecture. Queued for ages, and would you believe, someone next to us in line was from the same town as us. Can’t escape the shithole!
After plenty of walking around, we stopped at Dallas BBQ on Broadway. I’ve never seen a place like it. It’s a restaurant the size of a warehouse, with elevators. And the size of the meals…
My trip started in New York City. I flew out with my good friend Mitch, who stayed with me for a couple of weeks of the trip.
After surviving an average speed of 90mph from JFK to the hotel we dropped our stuff off with the concierge, who happens to be an Aston Villa fan, and go exploring. We walked around Broadway and Times Sq until about 2am, mesmerised by all the lights, and how busy it was. It was like the day time hustle of any big city, but at 2am.