This is kind of an amalgamation of days for this entry, because we’ve done some stuff, but have also done an enormous amount of sitting around, drinking tea and coffee and eating food cooked by other people. Pretty much what you’re supposed to do on holiday.
The main thing that we’ve done is to go to New York on Tuesday (4th March). We caught the local commuter trains (the suburbs of Philadelphia and outlying regions of New York and New Jersey almost run into each other) for about $40 each. About 2.5 hours each way, but a lot cheaper than the express which is about $120 each one way.
So we got into New York around 9:30, walked up the stairs from Penn Station, and, just as the last time we were here, were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place. Buildings buildings and more buildings everywhere. Along with thousands of people, all zipping around doing whatever they have to do. Rather than stand there gawking saying “I’m a tourist, come mug me,” we set off immediately, not really sure where we were headed, just sure that movement was necessary. We eventually got our bearings and headed north along 5th Avenue. Not long after this Caren says “Is that the Empire State?” At which I look up and go “Yep”.
We weren’t expecting it, but New York was actually the coldest we have been on the whole trip. There was a firm breeze, which was stunningly cold and went right through our clothes. Fortunately, the sun came out and started to have an effect. So by the end of the day we were actually quite comfortable.
We set out for the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A swirling corkscrew like building it is truly spectacular. We went into the foyer and had a look up, and then set out again. Six hours in New York. Plenty to see.
A short walk through Central Park (very cold and desolate looking, with very little greenery ) and we found ourselves at the New York Museum. Another quick trip into the lobby, which was huge and spectacular, of course) and we were back on our way. We walked through the streets around here, looking at the marvellous buildings, and dreaming of the prospect of owning an apartment here. Average price for a 2 bedroom apartment … $1.6 million australian!!!!
We popped over to the United Nations, stopping along the way at one of the ubiquitous Starbucks … meh … but it didn’t look like anything was happening. No flags, and some crappy little protest about something. We were getting hungy by this stage so we hopped on the subway and headed into Little Italy.
Just like it is in the movies, lots of cobbled streets, more restaurants and pizza parlours than you could shake a sausage at. We had read about one pizza shop in particular. The place credited with developing the New York Pizza style and the oldest pizza shop in Manhattan. And man, what a pizza. Huuuuuuugggge (about 18-20 inches across), with real mozzerella and marvellous italian sausage. Yum. And some good italian beer to go with it.
Suitably sated, we set off, just wandering aimlessly, going through neighbourhoods we read about, Soho, Tribeca, Greenwich Village etc etc. All the while we were going “We could live here. It wouldn’t be so hard.” But of course, visiting somewhere with money to spend and eating in restaurants is quite different to living and paying bills and coping with enormous rents and shoebox apartments.
After wandering around for quite a while, it was time to hop back on the train, and away we went. Back to Philly.