16.07.2012 - 17.07.2012 33 °C
So I've decided to start a little blog about what I'm up to in the states, partly to remember it for posterity and partly because I'm going to so many places that a little part of me wants to brag about it. But it's not in my modest,generous,intelligent,handsome nature to brag much so I will try and limit that as best I can.
Flight over was uneventful but nice enough. I was on one of virgins newest planes whose nickname was esther apparently. Food was good, watched a couple of movies (tower heist and project x) and tried to sleep but didn't really. Thought I was snoring too loudly so stayed awake for the rest of the flight. Guy next to me didn't talk once which is fine but I was pretty bored after a while and simply watched the map on screen as we came across Canada, Maine, Boston and into new York. Does anyone else just look out of the window for hours? I find it really interesting especially the little islands on the way into JFK . Who lives there?
Got through immigration the quickest ever (no random questions about what I teach and to whom like last time) and then went to find the hotel. Now I've been to NYC a few times and thought I remembered the grid system fairly well so when I got to penn station on 34th street west and my hotel address was 48th street east, instead of getting a taxi, I decided to walk it. Bad idea. Especially considering the temp was 31 degrees and rising. It's never good when you walk close to shop doors hoping to get a short blast of their air con. By the time I got to my hotel after numerous wrong turns and false starts I was dripping in sweat and looked a mess. I also underestimated the standard of hotel I was staying at. I had booked it on Priceline which is this American site where you can negotiate your price. Usually I stay at hostels which are cheap and cheerful but I thought I'd do a bit of luxury for my first stop. So I walk in with my Adidas trainers, sweaty tshirt and baggy jeans and it's like walking into the ritz. Doorman dressed up like a member of the queens cavalry and bellhop after bellhop "can I take your bag sir? Would you like a glass of water sir?" etc. it was strange to be honest but I could get used to it! The room was ok although I forgot how minibars worked and helped myself to a mars bar and bottle of water before realising that had cost me 12 dollars...
Showered, changed and then went to find food. Felt slightly worse for wear considering my body thought it was 10pm and I'd been awake for 17 hours. Walked around the area, missing out 5th avenue by accident and walking over to third. One thing NYC has got right is the number of places to eat. There is no reason a tourist should go hungry. I went to a place called good burger which I think is a small chain in NYC and indeed had a good burger and the best banana milkshake I have ever tasted. The waitress and her friend who was hanging about (waiting for scraps from the size of her) kept giving me the look over while I was eating. I mean obviously I'm a tourist and I'm from England but I didn't understand their overt curiosity. This has been a common theme where ever I've gone though. After eating, wandered round ,went to check out getting a data sim for my iPad, wandered some more and then felt tired and sweaty again. I think the area I'm staying (midtown east ) is only good for shopping so thought I'd do some of that the next day, if only to get some regular fresh cold air.
Went back to hotel, tempted to order room service but everything seemed to come with cheese and it seemed like a waste of money anyway and then fell asleep. Bed is really high and I have to climb on and off...remind me of when I had a bunk bed
Random: the family of 6 next to me in Starbucks look like they're from Scandinavia. All of them have an iPad/iPhone or both. Is that strange?