29.12.2008 - 05.01.2009
Finally out of the non English speaking world and back into some sane-ness. Everything should be sooooooooo much easier now right…….. right. And this is the point where you think I’m gonna spiel off some random story about how hard it was in New York, but I’m not, because it is soooooooo much easier.
Maybe it’s because we are quite traveled now and have gotten used to figuring new places out no matter where they are. Or maybe we are just more confident in talking to people we know will understand us but the USA has already gotten off to a flyer.
Straight off the plane, pick up the bags, onto public (easy to read the signs now there in english) transport and into the city. First we stayed in Harlem just above Central Park, not really the crazy palce the movies make it out to be. Sure you don’t see that many white face’s around but everyone was polite and helped us if we needed any directions or the like (loving the NZ acent….’oh man, do you know Flight of the Conchords).
Surprised with how wide the roads are here, we just kinda assumed that a big metroplex like New York would be all cramped up, but it really felt like you could spread your arms out here (not that hard after the tiny quarters of Cairo and Alexandria).
Lake at the top of Central Park
Because we were so close to the top of Central Park we went for a few walks around and in it. Absolutely stoked with the weather, nice and crisp bright blue skies, big up’s NYC winter.
Lake in the middle of Central Park
Ice rink at the bottom of Central Park
One of the places I wanted to see was Grand Central Station (actual name Grand Central Terminal). Awesome place all marble interior and well, just big. There was no flash party freeze frame (see link ) but was still cool just to sit down and watch the bustle.
So good to be back on working and efficient public transport
So the time of year we just happened to be in New York didn’t just happen. It was meticulously planned (translation = just happened) that the middle of our week was New Years. Cool right, we’re in on of the busy cities in the world right at the busiest time, where the biggest new years party in the world is gonna be taking place… oh yeah bring it on (and on it was brought).
Times square as it looks when your right in the middle of it. Sweet that’s the spot we want.
So on actual new years eve and we went to time square early at 2pm and there wasn’t really that much doing so we got some cheap tickets to a play 1 block away on Broadway. All My Son’s with John Lithgow and Katie Holms (nice dress Katie). The show finished at about 5pm and we thought we’d just go stand in the square for a bit until things started to get going.
Things were already in full swing as all streets had been blocked of for about 10 blocks in each direction, which we had to walk around just to walk back down a few blocks to the pen we eventually got put in.
Times square as we could see it from 10 blocks back
So it’s was about 6:30 and we were in position……… 10 blocks back. You couldn’t hear any of the music or anything and could just make out the big TV screens. But the atmosphere was cool, lots of people pressed together ready to hang around for 6 hours until midnight, or so we thought.
It was cold and not just a little, we later found out it was the coldest new years eve on record (very reputable sources, ha) about negative 7 with wind chill. We lasted one pre count down at 7pm and looked around to find the 1000 people that were in our area had been reduce to just a few hundred of us all crowded up the front.
Some locals told us they’d never seen people leave the party before let alone a mass exodus.
Not a happy chappy
So we left the streets and headed back to our hostel, which was a good move as we met up with some random young aussies who were going to crash a party of some guy they had just (or we now believe never) met. So we tag along and end up on the 33rd floor of an upper east side building in Larry’s flat with a fridge full of festiveness and a bunch of locals who were all having a good time. He even brought out bottles of champagne for the count down.
View from the crashed party
A few days later and we moved hostels downtown and ended up just hanging round the area, walking the city.
Give me that hotdog
We went on a food tour of Greenwich village and soho, which is a big recommendation as you get a walking tour and lunch at 8 different places that you wouldn’t think to go if you were only visiting.
Before anyone asks, no we didn’t go up the Empire State Building cause then how would you get to look at the building itself. Instead we went up the Rockefeller centre so we could look out over downtown (Eempire State and Chrysler) as well as the best views over Central Park.
Top of the rock
View over central park
We didn’t get to do half the things that we wanted to do here so it’s going on the ‘if were ever back in the USA again’ list.