New York City 2010

Lady in YYC airport on cellphone filled everyone in on her life plans by being so loud while we waited to board the aircraft. She has 3 jobs but does not plan to teach English forever, flying to New York on Friday the 13th doesn’t bother her but makes her Mom very nervous, her boyfriend’s name is Phillip, she is meeting him there, coming back on the Tuesday (one call) Wednesday (on another call). They are getting married June 19, 2011 in Banff (poor bugger). Mom is worried about the ceremony and weather. She has been in hurricanes and tsunamis so a bit of rain in Calgary doesn’t bother her so don’t worry Mom but her other friend is worried she will have trouble in security since she looks “like a terrorist”. Security guards can be so rude!  Broke a fingernail, weather should be good, need to buy shoes...etc...etc...She also called and ordered contacts for when she gets back but only wants one set because she is not sure how much money she will have when she gets home....

Good thing cellphones are not allowed in flight!!

New York cops might be tough, but they can’t tell directions. Gave us wrong instructions which added a half mile to our initial walk after riding the automated (but not air conditioned!) train into Penn Station from Newark….it was 28 C and very humid, and I had the luggage in NYC crowds. Escalator up to street level did not work either.

Motel was nice, small room like most NYC motels. Remote batteries were dead and door made harsh screech when opened. I fixed that with soap on the door frame, they replaced the batteries. Nice rooftop view of the Empire State building (a bar on the roof of our hotel, how awesome is that??).

Intrepid aircraft carrier museum was fascinating.

After a million miles of walking in the heat and humidity, arrived just as the Museum of Modern Art closed.

We did find an excellent little Cajun restaurant with sliders (tiny hamburgers), corn flake and pecan covered chicken fingers. Went to Toys R US. 4 floors. Massive….the kids were just completely stunned by the selection. I was stunned by how busy the place was. Put 15 people in an elevator…entire store was like that. Has a Ferris wheel in it too.

Guggenheim Art Museum was interesting. One Canadian display on “planting trees” included B&W pics with plasticine figures in small boats, on the leaves, in the grass. No wonder everyone thinks Canadians are a bit weird. A couple 6 year olds could have banged out the rest in about 2 hours. Begs the question “What is art, anyway?”. I’m probably a guy who would give these things more thought than most and no way could I figure out why some of that stuff was there.

Even better was listening to the self described art experts explaining life and death and the art of curves with stress in the middle but peace at the end and the beginning of time while looking at a pencil line on a piece of paper. W.T.F.

My favourites are all called "untitled".

Metropolitan Museum is massive. King Henry the 8th armor suit (the real one), King Tut’s tomb recreated with real artifacts, middle ages armour/weapons… place was incredible. You could spend a week in there and not look at everything. We stayed until it closed

“Stay off the Sphinx!”…was a commonly heard (yelled) phrase (seriously, put it behind ropes or something).

Central park is nice. Cops everywhere. People everywhere. Pedicabs everywhere (note to Dean for future career move!)
Horse carriage ride was fun. Cut off a Honda and also horse pooped on road for him too…my kind of horse! LOL Guy driving gave me a retarded look when I said everyone in NYC seems nice…but yet he was. Ironic.

Ground zero has tiny church from the 1700’s that was right across the road that survived and now houses a memorial. Very moving. New towers are already under construction. 7 total were destroyed, one has been replaced already and main one is under construction. Memorial site will be central to buildings.

Walked down Wall Street. Neat.

Took ferry to see statue of Liberty. Big Lady.

Monday night went to Empire State Building. Fettuccine Alfredo chicken was excellent in first level restaurant.  Shouldn’t eat noodles in public though, they are dangerous. We had prepaid passes so bypassed normal ticket lineup, got on elevator and up to 86 floor. Awesome view. Wanted to go to floor 102 but ticket machine on floor 86 was broken. We talked to security guy. He asked how bad we wanted to go and I said “Its our anniversary, we flew 2000 miles to see it” I guess I made enough of a presentation that we got royal treatment back to the second floor (bypassing all the people and doors and lineups) to ticket office to get 102 floor tickets then bypassed all the lineups and had a personally escorted trip all the way back up to the 80, then the 86 floor, bypassing lineups and peopl once again. From 86 to 102 one old guy ran elevator, all he did was stand in the corner and turn the old handle that selected elevator to run, you had to move for him as he was planted, didnt make eye contact, didnt move and he missed the floor once. Probably worked there since the day the place opened in 1931. I tried to tip a couple guys for their help but they wouldn't take it. And yeah the whole time had noodle slop on my shirt f**k sakes. See what I mean about the noodles?

NYC shopping is huge. Prices are huge. Security is huge. History is huge. Construction is huge. Buildings are huge. Pizza slices are huge. Crowds are huge.

Wooden escalator in Macys sounded crazy, like a kid with 2000 building blocks all at once.

Cab drivers are insane, but they have to be. Roads are narrow, traffic is heavy, pedestrians don't follow signs (can tell natives as they step out to look and start early), drivers don't follow lanes. Imagine Deerfoot with narrower lanes, three times the traffic and 200 pedestrians stepping out every 250 feet or so. 27,000 cabs and 60,000 drivers in Manhattan (cabs run 24 hours/day, cabbies 12)

4 cab rides, none fatal, but close.

Honking horns seems to be a popular pastime. They honk at pedestrians but don't slow down. They honk at each other but nobody pays attention anyway. They honk just to honk I am sure.

Sirens are also a popular pastime.

Every day is garbage day and it gets piled in the front streets.

Hot and humid.

NY accents are awesome!

Street vendors everywhere.
Cops everywhere.
Tourists everywhere.

Convenience store just up the street closed at different hours every night. Convenient.

Pizza place just up the street looked awesome, we planned to go there one night and the night we picked it was closed. Did get pizza eventually and yes NYC pizza is awesome.
Entire city smells of hot dogs, bagels, the ocean, and occasionally garbage.

TVs on airplane died on the way home, was going to help but FAs got it working fine with duct tape and a can lid until it died again 20 minutes out.  I'm on holidays anyway.
Thanks to everyone for all the advice on the trip before we left. It was a great time.


PS You would think the psychics on the street would know in advance I'm going to say no!





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