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Vagabonding Our time being 'of no fixed abode'.

New York, New York

USA | Monday, 27 August 2007 | Views [799]

By the time we’d sat on the train all day we were wrecked by the time we made New York late that night. Then the subway was all messed up and it took a while to get to our accommodation. Boy did we need some sleep!

We spent the next few days doing what you do in New York – just wandering around it. The city itself is the attraction and you can get a lot out of it for free. The buildings are often fabulous and I’ll admit feeling a bit choked up when I saw the Chrysler Building again (my favourite!). While I’d been to New York before I hadn’t done it all so we went up the Empire State building, wandered around the main buildings, looked in shops, watched a parade for India Day and considered taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, but then decided we weren’t really interested enough to warrant the time and expense. We deliberately didn’t go to ground zero. Nick seemed to really enjoy visiting Wall Street and we had a look at the Stock Exchange which they seem to have tightened up now (last time I got tickets to go in and watch the trading but they didn’t seem to be doing that anymore). We wandered through China town looking for food but ended up in Little Italy and had pizza instead J 

We also headed over to Brooklyn on the Subway. I wanted to visit 328 Altantic Avenue. The story goes like this – my Great Great Grandfather (Fritz/Frederick) ‘emigrated’ from Prussia to New Zealand in the mid 1800’s. We have some letters from his sister, still in Danzig (now Gdansk) to him, and to my great uncle Ernest. One mentions the address of  one of Fritz’s brothers (I think) who had emigrated to New York, and we have a photo of them there. So I wanted to check out the address, which I found but the current building has only been there since 1948. Still it was nice to go there, see the neighbourhood (and I found a great wool shop!).

Which reminds me, New York is almost a city I could live in – it’s a city in which trendy knitting shops exist and I found a trimmings and buttons shop that is so huge I couldn’t believe it was real! So many possibilitites. Also it’s so very multicultural that you hardly notice you’re in the USA (not my most entirely favourite country). The bookshops are also fantastic. The first Barnes and Noble I went into there was incredible, the selection and variety of magazines for examply could keep me entertained for years. They have an enquiries counter and I asked if I could move in but apparently that would cause some problems with their insurance ;) They also have lovely parks and I really like that in Bryant park there was a free Reading Room, with loads of interesting books for people to read at tables beneath the trees. I learned that there’s an American poet called Gwendolyn Brooks! Read a bit of her stuff and it was quite thought provoking which I guess is what poetry supposed to be!

On the last night we went to a comedy club just off Broadway and had a few laughs (we thought they were having a laugh when they said there was a two drink minimum – but they’re weren’t!). It was a good night but when we emerged onto Times Square the lights were so bright and overwhelming that I literally got a migraine!

After a bit of a panic about our flight being cancelled due to industrial action (which was actually resolved before we even found out about the cancellation) we took the subway to near the airport and then the air train. It was an easy and pretty relaxed journey compared to London/Heathrow or Gatwick with their ubiquitous chaos.

We flew back to the UK via Shannon, Ireland and were beyond knackered by the time we got to Heathrow. We had time to kill before meeting up with my old flatmate Reuben so we lugged our packs to the British Museum, checked them in and spent a few rather dazed hours looking around there again. We had a great night with Reuben, zoning out in front of movies. We went to the Sainsbury’s nearby and got preprepared Indian meals for dinner to keep it simple – but it wasn’t! Man, the timing and co-ordination required to get all the different bits ready at the right times was beyond us! Next time we’ll order in.

The next day we headed to London Victoria coach station and got the bus back to Bristol to be reunited with Vinnie (a moment we’d both been looking forward to a great deal). He was still there (yay!) but someone had broked a wing mirror (boo!) and tagged him with a little bit of graffiti, although I have to say it doesn’t look too bad – I almost like it! (yay and boo!).

What we hadn’t anticipated was that all the boys in the Bristol flat were going to be away that weekend – most at the Shambala Festival (which we got tempted by but need a rest too much to go). We were going to spend one night but Dan sent us a text to say we could stay as long as we like, that no-one would be home over the weekend and we could look after the place for them. So with desperately needing some quiet down time we decided to stay for the weekend and wait for them to get home on Monday, and sleep…… and catch up on the blog....

 

Tags: Sightseeing

 

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