Sore feet and aching legs probably best describes our New York adventure. Not long after we arrived we hopped the Staten Ferry over to Manhattan to begin our exploration. We hopped aboard the open top bus and did part of a tour downtown but got off at the Brooklyn Bridge as it was on our bucket list to cross. Cross it we did, all the way to Brooklyn and back. The wind was blowing, there were hoards of people. The walkway is actually above the traffic and not particularly wide add to that the bike riders who think they own the path and it ends up being a wee bit frantic.
On our first full day, we again rode the ferry over then walked around to the ferry wharf to take the ride over to the Statue of Liberty. The weather turned a little wet, so it was a bit bleak over there - we did a lap around the statue then headed back over to Manhattan. We then walked up to the 9/11 memorial, two huge square recessed waterfalls that you look down into. Around the outside walls are engraved the names of all those who died. Again the weather was not being kind so we set off to walk up to Times Square. For those who have been to New York before you will know that the walk from South Ferry to Times Square is bloody miles. We did manage to find a great cafe where we partook of the best cup of coffee we have had since leaving home. Decent coffee is unheard of in this country - Starbucks is considered the best!!!!
Wandering even further we reached the Empire State Building. Rode the lift up to the 86th floor and looked out into fog and mist. The rain was still with us. There were moments when the clouds parted and a great view opened up, but blink and it was gone. That night we found a great bar on 8th Ave and enjoyed a great meal and a couple of IPA's.
Next day, the rain had stopped but the wind arrived but we were out again and really learned how to use the subway - the fastest and best way to get around NYC. We went to the Discovery Centre in Times Square and saw the most amazing exhibition called Body Worlds. People actually donated their bodies to this particular exhibition. Called Plastination the (dead) bodies have their skin removed, they are then sawn up in different ways and the end result is the human body on display. Bones, muscles, organs, the lot. Absolutely fascinating.
Later we visited the Top of the Rock - the viewing area at the top of the Rockefeller Centre. This time we were only on the 64th floor, no rain this time, a beautiful clear view all over NYC - but the wind was horrific. It had been blowing all day, but up there it was freezing, needless to say we did not stay long. We finished the day again with another couple of IPA's and a great dinner.
Today we visited the Guggenheim Museum. The architecture of the building was what attracted us there as it is so advanced in it's style, both inside and out. For that I would give the place 10 out of 10. As for the exhibitions, well do data projectors connected to an electric cord which is plugged into and old shoe appeal to you as art? Perhaps a word or two in letraset on coloured paper may appeal more. Neither of those exhibitions appealed to us. Surely they are joking. We left quite disgusted and headed across the road to Central Park where we walked from 86th Street to 42nd Street to Grand Central Station, took a few happy snaps, then hopped the metro and ferry back over here to Staten Island.
NYC is a frantic city, it is alive and it is real. Unlike the ghastly LA and the plastic Las Vegas.
This will be the last post for about 3 weeks now. Tomorrow morning we head out of JFK bound for Grand Cayman Island then to our connecting flight to Havana, Cuba. Internet and mobile phone services are almost unavailable, so the next post will come to you from Toronto, Canada sometime near the end of April.
Starting off in Sydney we head over to the US for a few days in Los Angeles, then Las Vegas and finally over to the Big Apple. Then off again, down to Cuba for about 18 days for some old cars, cigars and Baccardi. After that we head north, this time to Toronto in Canada for a whistle stop before crossing the Atlantic to the UK. One of the highlights there will be a week down on the Isle of Wight. Jetting off again we will then spend approximately the next two months driving around Italy and France. After all that hard work we journey over to Greece where we will island hop using the local ferry systems, with 3 nights on Santorini, 3 nights of Mykonos and 3 nights on Paros. Yep, we love doing the tourist stuff! Finally we begin the long haul home stopping off on the way in Honkers for a little retail therapy.