Published: August 30th 2010March 5th 1990
Viewed from the Liberty Island ferry
We were due to arrive in New York in the late evening, so again we were taking no chances and we’d booked ahead. The hostel was on the 24th floor of a hotel on 43rd Street. Finding it was a doodle, once we’d worked out in which direction the street names go up and in which direction they go down. Anywhere else, the view from that high up would be fantastic, but in New York all we could see was the side of the higher building opposite.
We loved New Your, despite the fact that everything was almost 50% more expensive than on the West Coast and being constantly asked whether I wanted to buy any drugs started to get extremely annoying. Obviously I had been travelling too long and I looked like someone who took drugs.
I made an early start the next day in order to be able to cover a lot of ground. I was most surprised to discover that everywhere was suddenly covered in a thick layer of snow and the temperature had nose-dived to below zero. I was still determined to get out there and I managed to take in the Empire State Building,
Wall Street, the World Trade Centre, Time Square, Grand Central Station, the United Nations Building, Greenwich Village (although it was too cold for anything to be going on) and Central Park.
I went to the top of the Empire State Building, which was a complete waste of time, as you couldn’t see a thing through all the snow. I decided that it wouldn’t be worth going to the top of the World Trade Centre.
Mike did some shopping to replace all his pink tee-shirts.
The next day I caught the Liberty Island ferry, from which you could get some excellent views of Manhattan. The climb to the top of the statue was up the narrow winding staircase and once there, you could peer through some small windows in the crown. This was the only place in the whole year that I actually met any French people. They obviously don’t travel much, but make a point of visiting their generous gift to the United States.
As it had now stopped snowing, I decided that it would be worth going to the top of the World Trade Centre. It was a lot more spacious than the top of
the Empire State Building and the views were awesome. It was just a shame that it was too windy to go onto the roof.
The next day was spent packing, relaxing and contemplating the idea of settling back down into a routine in dreary England. We had got so used to being able to just move on when we had had enough of a place, that staying put was going to come hard. Still, I had decided that I would be going Inter-railing so it would be good to see family and friends again before continuing the travelling again.
I'll finish with one final piece of advice. No matter how memorable the experience and even with the most excessive picture taking, your travels are eventually going to fade into that unused area at the back of your brain. Keeping a diary may be tedious at the time, but committing those memories to paper will give you a permanent reminder of the most significant experiences.
Who knows, at some point in the future you might want to write a book about your experiences, or do something really sad like create a web site or write a blog.
Also, it is far better to take too many photos than too few. If in doubt take a picture and blow the expense; better that than to regret missing something when it is too late.
So my Travel Tip number 10 and my last is "Keep a diary"
There are more photos below