I recently spent 10 days in New York before I made my move north to Canada. I’ve been kinda putting off writing my take on it, as it’s a petty sensational city, and hard to sum up. Easily one of the top 3 cities in the world. It’s America’s biggest and bestest, anything and everything happens there, so the movies would have you believe.
It was a pretty fun past time, to walk the streets and Parks trying to identify the back drops from movies I know, or TV shows. Of which I was able to identify a bundle, like the pigeon lady bridge from Home Alone 2, Superman’s ‘Daily Planet’, the diner from Seinfeld, the old library from Ghost Busters oh and the part on the movie Limitless where the girl takes a pill and runs down into the ice skating rink to escape a guy whose chasing her…
It’s weird kinda, as you constantly see New York being the location of all the crazy stuff that goes down in movies, it’s just funny being there and nothing that grandiose went down. No aliens, no invasion from different dimensions, no giant gorillas or lizards, just everyday was stinking hot.
I arrived pretty darn tired after my long sleepless night and flight from London, and to top that off my luggage didn’t join me in New York and when it did it was minus my running shoes… 😭😡
Missing luggage did however make it easier for me to get myself over to Penstation, where I met my buddy Sam, very easily and quickly by New York standards.
I used to live with Sam in Christchurch, so it was nice to be staying with him and his lovely wife Sarah, in a city they now call home. They’ve been in New York I think for a year now, so they knew a thing or two about how to navigate this massive sleepless city.
I was rudely awoken from my cheap beer dream, as the price of a nice cool amber drop octupled from Eastern Europe prices. No longer would I find beer cheaper than coffee or water, a sad reality to be broken from, I know. It’s not like it was any better mind you, most of the time it was much worse. It was frustrating and heartbreaking all in one.
Still though, I was in New York.
On the Sunday in some borrowed clothes, we took a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty, which is not as big as it is in the movies. But the viewing deck in the head was a pretty awesome place to be. What an icon that is, and to be up close and personal with it was very unique. We then pushed on to Ellis Island, where we got to take in 100 years of immigration. Everyone who immigrated to the US, well everyone who wasn’t rich, went through Ellis Island. Some really tough stories to read. One particularly horrific one that stood out to me was of a complete family that immigrated over from Eastern Europe, only to loose grandma, as she had the beginnings of blindness, and thus was considered a burden. So in the wisdom of bureaucracy, she was torn from her family and sent back to a country now devoid of any family. They never saw granny again.
On a lighter note, I had heard about a historical bar where George Washington drank and bid farewell to his generals after the War of Independence. That was a cool place!
I went up Trump tower, that was kinda cool, the decor I thought needed upgrading but it was fun seeing all the fuss outside on the streets and having to go past sniffer dogs, heavily armed policemen and metal detectors to get inside.
There was always plenty of things going on in New York, very often the subway would be crowded to the levels I witnessed in Tokyo. Though in New York they didn’t have nice men in smart suits pushing you inside the subway carriage, you were on your own for that. But thats not really my cup of tea so I’d wait for the next one.
I ate a lot of ice cream in New York, mainly because there were a number of cool places doing cool things with ice cream. The first place made it with liquid nitrogen, so it was extra thick, cold and creamy. They also offered frozen cheese balls, that when you ate them, thick steam was the outcome, hence they were called dragon balls. Another cool ice cream place offered cookie dough like ice cream, that surprisingly, was a bit much. I like cookie dough, but I usually only have perhaps a tea spoon of it whilst making cookies, not a massive scoop of it in a bowl.
Time square is an experience! I went through it twice, each time near midnight and each time it was packed. There were plenty of random street acts all vying for your tourist dollars. I think the funniest ones I saw was a pudgy iron man, and a Mexican Micky mouse. Was fun just to people watch, as there’s a lot of interesting peoples in New York.
I went to a number of museums in New York, the best by far was the smallest, but it was right up my alley. It was the private collection of JP Morgan, the elder, who establish the business for his son. His library was super impressive. He had so many first editions, the most impressive being a Gutenberg Bible… so very cool! But his collection of ancient Assyrian artefacts were the things that gave me more enjoyment, as they were 4 and a half thousand years of awesomeness!
I don’t think I saw any famous folks around. I’m not usually the type to be overly fussed either way.
I mentioned already that it was super hot, it made exploring tiring. But most places had air con, so I tended to try and spend more time indoors rather than out. It was far to hot for me to try out my new running shoes in a meaningful manner, I’d often get 5 kms and start over heating. But I did manage to run around Central Park one night after the humidity had finally caused it to rain. So I got to run along the very famous parts of the park. Something I’d been looking forward to for quite some time.
I had a great time in New York, plenty of photos, memories and good times. I think it would be a place I’d be keen to return to in the fall, as it would be a hang of a lot more manageable than the heat of the summer.
I note to those thinking about visiting New York, double your budget. New York is really nice, but it’s an expensive place.
So I’m now in Canada, back in a place I used to live. A place where I spent half of my 20’s. So many memories, not much has changed mind you, well, except the people and me of course.