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Published: November 8th 2008
Drinking with Fiona's cousin Stephen in a Speakeasy
Sorry It has been a while since our last blog, but things are a bit crazy in NY and you only get short times on computers. Well we have made it to New York and survived our first week here. It certainly is a city of contrasts. Both Fiona and I were a bit drained when we first arrived, so it took us a few days to adjust to the city after spending so long in the countryside.
New York is everything you expect it to be, busy, noisy with a lot of different things going on. This week alone we have been to a Halloween parade, the Marathon (Go Paula!), seen the election in Times Square and getting ready for the big fight tonight!
Our first night here we saw the Halloween parade, which is a bit like Notting Hill at night, though even crazier. One of the moments from that (if you can call it that) was seeing a near naked man, which large prosthetic genitalia, faking an orgasm over another reveller right in front of the NYPD. Let me just say it had to be seen to be believed.
We've seen many of the tourist
Art or vandalism?
Fiona took this on her adventure to Queens
attractions, in particular spending hours walking through Central Park. We saw the end of the marathon there. If you watched closely on TV you might have seen us cheering on the weary runners, though some did shoot daggers at us as we encouraged them over the line with our chants of 'Keep Going', 'You're almost there' and 'Come on you can do it!'
The Election night was fantastic. We were in Times Square at the CNN stand. The atmosphere was great, people of every colour, from every corner of the world cheering and celebrating. We even managed to stop traffic as we danced in the street (much to the disdain of the NYPD - who arrested this black man just for having a good time - I guess the dream is not complete yet!) We almost managed to blag our way into the BBC's party. We found someone who would let us in, but her snooty boss showed up and we couldn't go in the end. Still the party outside was much better than spending time with those elitist, party poopers. We did go to the Obama campaign headquarters to see if we could help out, but there wasn't much
Is he the new hope?
available so we decided to soak up the NY atmosphere instead.
NY is definitely a big place, you can't do much without the Subway. Though it is shockingly bad, even London is better. There is almost zero information on trains and no idea what train is coming next. What with engineering works going on, it seems the best option is to hop on and take your chances, 9/10 you get to the place you want.
Speaking of engineering works we're staying in a B & B in Brooklyn, where for some crazy reason they are allowed to do works through the night. This is definitely the taste of the 'Real New York', trying to go to bed with drilling and JCBs!
We have managed to meet up with Fiona's cousin Stephen, who lives here and he took us to a cool little Speakeasy bar the other night. Everything was old and wooden, Fiona really enjoyed it, particularly since they serve you two drinks at a time.
Other highlights have been running out of money when buying dinner (they didn't accept cards) so we had to take off our drinks. Even then we were short so we managed to haggle the
Dreaming of work?
Work or walking through Central Park? Mmm tough one
money off! Also I was a bit of a numpty last night and took us all the way to Madison Square Garden to watch the fight in a bar, only to be reminded by a Welshman that it is tonight!
We realised that it has been a month since we left work, it feels so good to say that! We are both bearing up, though Fiona has been a bit grandma-ish, with aches and pains, most probably me as I was a bit grumpy when we first arrived. For me I don't think that New York is as great a city as it should be. I think both Paris and London are better. I think once you do all the toursity things there isn't that much here that makes it stand out from the crowd. Perhaps it symbolises the general decay that the US has been going through in the last decade or so, and perhaps that is why Obama is so popular here as he offers the Hope to renew it (A bit deep I know). It was great to hear him speak on Tuesday (though CNN almost ruined it by losing the connection for a while), you couldn't
Saving the planet
Great view. Shame it's going to kill us all!
help but get swept up in the moment. Yet the next day it seemed as though nothing had happened and the city soon returned to it's manic ways.
Tomorrow we're off to Philly on another Chinatown bus, we'll see what that holds for us.
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