15.04.2009 - 20.04.2009 17 °C
So the evening we arrived in white plains maria drove us on to her house in Tuckahoe which is about 30mins north of manhattan. we went out for tea at mighty joes and then watched some TV back at the house. On thursday we got up and took the train from tuckahoe to Grand Central station which is mid-town manhattan. From the station we walked down to the Empire state building where we were confronted with a 3 hour line to get to the top! we decided that that was a bit ridiculous and walked over from to another famous street, broadway. On broadway we first came to the famous department store maceys where they were having a flower festival for spring which was pretty impressive it was a short walk up broadway to times square the stereotypical scene of new york city! we took in the mayhem for a while before walking across town to the rockerfella centre and radio city by this time it was about 2pm so we thought it might be quite good to get a cocktail in the rainbow room cocktail bar at the top of the rockerfella tower but unfortunately it was closed until 5pm! across the street from the rockerfella is St Patricks Cathedral. The day before we arrived the new archbishop of New York was sworn in to service here but no such crowds there on the thursday! . After we had been in the cathedral and the rockerfella center we thought that maybe the queue at the empire state building had reduced in size so we walked back down there to investigate. It had! only a mere hour and a half wait! we thought that was probably the best we were going to get so we joined the back of the line we eventually reached the top and although it was a little crowded it was worth the wait!! the view of manhattan and the rest of new york was amazing. This was the end of the day so we headed back to the train and found the train bound for tuckahoe.
On Friday we got a nice lie in til about 10 to rest our legs from thursdays walking. Maria had the day off so she offered to take us out for lunch in the city...she took us to little italy! it was brilliant, its the same concept of china town but italian! it was really nice down there and the sun was out so we sat at a restaurant, alfresco style the food was great too...especially the desert restaurant maria took us too afterwards! we then went for a walk through little italy and china town to marias favorite fake handbag shop which brought back memories of hong kong! Maria got a good louis vitton fake and jo got a really good tiffany bracelet! bargains all round! Maria had to head back at around half 3 to beat the new york rush hour, and we had arranged to meet jackie (our friend from new york we first met in Laos) after she finished work around 5.30. So we took a walk round a bit more of china town then started walking downtown past the supreme court to ground zero where the world trade center once stood. They're actually building on the site now so we couldn't see anything there. From that block its a short hop over to wall street where we could sling some abuse at the ones responsible for the recession! unfortunately there were alot of armed guards around the stock exchange but it is quite an impressive street. We then walked down to battery park where the sphere is now located (the sculpture that once stood by the twin towers that they managed to salvage) and a far off view of the statue of liberty. By this time it was time to meet jackie! we planned to head out in manhattan that night for her birthday which she was sharing a party with her friends laura and dave. We went to Queens first to lauras house so the girls could get ready then round to 3 guys', Oran, Orrin and Nour who live up the road in Astoria. They kindly offered me and Jo a bed for the night so we were all set! a few pre-drinks were had consisting of a vodka-champagne cocktail and then in the yellow cab to the bar they had hired out. It was a good night...for most people. Not especially for me, or Oran for that matter. The cocktails before we left and the double shots of tequila resulted in an unhappy mix for my stomach and it decided it didn't want to be unhappy any longer and expelled the mixture from my body...for the first time ever!! True Story!
The next day was a complete write off! all of us were a bit of a wreck and we just kicked back in Queens all day. we went out for lunch in astoria and a ben and jerrys ice cream before we had to head back to tuckahoe where a chinese take away slightly helped the hangovers.
On Sunday we met jackie at grand central for a day of touristy things so we headed straight down to the staten island ferry which with jackies local knowledge is FREE and goes right past the statue of liberty! Since you cant go up the statue anymore because of terrorist fears this was a good option! and on the way back we got a good view of the city . After we got back to manhattan we went round the village which is the shopping area, fun times . Then for our last new york activity we got the subway up to central park and we all went on the old carousel . We said bye to jackie and rushed to get the train back to tuckahoe where maria had made us a farewell yankee pot-roast.
In the morning we took the train and subway to Penn station at madison square gardens and caught our bus to Washington DC, our last stop!!