Back from New York City.

I’ll give a rundown of the trip.. more for myself than anyone else because in a week I will forget everything that I did.

The 23rd started bad. A snowstorm crippled most of southern Ontario, making the busses terribly slow. I was supposed to show up at the airport at around 8am but couldn’t make it until 9. On the way from Toronto, I was almost caught in a collision. The cabbie was trying to get out of a snow bank on the road and ended up spinning the car 90 degrees on a off ramp. That forced the truck following us to swerve out of the way and into the wall. Only missed me by about 2 feet.

So I made the flight just barely.. but Mike was delayed so much that he was still 60km from Toronto when I checked in. (he was supposed to meet me in Toronto at 7am.. this was at 9:20)

They delayed boarding the plane for 1 hour. And when I was just getting on the train at 11:00 Mike had just arrived at the Airport. He missed the flight, but the airline was nice enough to swap his ticket with the next flight.

Although we boarded the plane at 11, the plane needed to be de-iced. So we got in a line with all the other planes. Finally, after waiting on the runway for 3 hours, we got into the air.

In New York I had to take the bus to the nearest subway station. For a bus that runs every 10 minutes I was surprised that it was filled past capacity. I missed my first stop and had to backtrack to get to the subway. So I had to get off the bus and into the rain (and it was raining more than I’ve seen in 5 years) Then I got on the wrong train, finally figured it all out though, and managed to find the hostel, Jazz on the Town. At this point Mike was out of reach and still in Toronto.

We were in a small room where 6 people could sleep on 3 bunk beds, there was a bathroom with a broken door that wasn’t attached and had to be dragged along the ground to cover the opening in the wall. After taking a few hours to explore around the blocks close by, I took a nap. In the room I met and had a chat with a guy from Paris.

At 11:30 Mike opened the door. only took 11 more hours for him to get to the hostel than expected.

The next day was all about exploring some of the bigger and easier things to find. Times Square, the Rockefeller Center Tree, etc. We walked a lot of the lower part of Broadway and may of the things around it. We made our way to the west coast of Manhattan trying to find the old navy boat that is open to the public. We never did come across it, but walked down to the very bottom tip of Manhattan where we could see the statue of Liberty. It was late by then so we headed back to our next hostel to check in.

NASDAQ building is a screen.. cool.

Cop shop

Times square

Bottom of the tree.

Radio City Music Hall


Abandoned Pier on west side of Manhattan

Statue of Liberty.. smaller than I expected.

The west end YMCA was a really nice place to stay. Mike and I shared a room with one bunk bed, a desk and a TV. It is close to the lower east side of central park and about a block away from Julliard, and the state opera house.

Christmas Eve evening We went to a small restaurant, and had some really nice wraps. We had the place to ourselves which was pretty cool.

On Christmas day, we got up and made our way to Chinatown. Chinatown was buzzing with activity. The streets were blocked with street vendors selling the same hats, sunglasses and perfume as everyone else. We found a Chinese restaurant for some breakfast, as a bonus it was super cheap. I tried some omelet, fried tofu, fried rice, spinach and broccoli, cabbage soup and some ice tea for $5. From Chinatown we walked north to find a movie theatre.

Entrance to Chinatown

Brooklyn Bridge?

The movie theatre was not exactly like any other theatre I’ve been to. The theatres were small, and they seemed to be able to start a show every 30 minutes. When they started the movie the screen wasn’t synched up, so the cell frame was visible. And it took about 30 minutes for them to correct the problem and start the movie for a 2nd time. We saw The Life Aquatic.

After the movie it was starting to get dark so we decided to go check in at our next hostel. Jazz on the Park is located near the north western side of Central Park. Here we were in a large room that sleeps 14 people. There was a large group of about 70 people from the Australian Institute of the Performing Arts. Plenty of cute girls.

That evening we met up with a couple of guys that were working at the hostel, and went on a trip to Brooklyn. In Brooklyn the convenience stores serve customers through a rotating window. And we saw somebody who had passed out in their SUV and slowly drove through an intersection and hit a light pole just in front of us… very strange. There was a big state building that stuck out, but we never found out what it was. Other than that Brooklyn wasn’t a happenin’ place on Christmas.

On Boxing day we started with a walk through Central park. It’s big. Then we headed down to Soho. I wanted to find the Apple store, which was very cool. Everything is on display and can be played with. they have a glass staircase, and a theatre to demo the products. Some more wandering through Soho and we came across some smaller shops that sold really neat things. After Soho we went to see the UN, and then Grand Central station for the laser show.

obelisk in Central Park

the UN

Me at Trump World Tower

Grand Central

Then we hopped on the subway and went to find the house that’s featured in one of Mikes favorite movies, the Royal Tenenbaums. And I took a picture of him on the front steps.

Mike Tenenbaum

That evening we picked up some beers at the convenience store and drank at the hostel. Drinks are too cheap in the US. We worked it out to be 1/5th the price of beer back in St. John’s. I had 3.5 pints for $3.25. Mike bought 3 bottles of Budweiser for $7 ( they were 2 pint bottles )

Mike and his beers

On our last day, we started with a tour of the Steinway & sons piano store/museum. Most of the pianos are in the 50 000 – 100 000 dollar range. Kind of wished I took some pictures of the place. Then went a couple of streets down and found the music stores. I went in to see the Drum store, but then went to the electronic store.

After that we made our way to the airport for the trip back.

Home and in bed by 2am.