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Published: June 29th 2009
From the top of the Empire State Building
Dave left Sioux Lookout a week earlier than Theresa on May 12th. Leaving on the train, with a quick stop in Toronto, he set about to explore the delights of downtown Manhattan.
The first thing that struck me about New York City is just how much I recognised everything... The very fact that the city is featured in countless movies and books, gets constant media coverage and occasionally gets visited by some 'would-be-pilots' makes for a strangely familiar place. I found New York to be extremely welcoming and friendly, very well laid out and easy to get around, and it's without a doubt the most interesting western city I've ever visited.
The only 'touristy thing' that I did was to go to the top of the Empire State Building. From the viewing deck on the 84th floor, the views over Manhattan Island and the surrounding area were incredible. Human civilisation has built this! A seemingly endless sprawl of high-rise structures, city streets and traffic. I pondered for a bit before plucking up the courage to ask a security guard, 'which side of the building did King Kong fall off?' He immediately responded by telling me to look over the edge
where I was standing. Five hundred feet below was a construction crew fixing a part of the roof. "That's where Kong landed", said the security guard... I then asked him a few silly questions about Godzilla.
The three things I wanted to do whilst in NYC were, to go for a run in Central Park, to watch a Baseball game in Central Park, and to eat a famous New York hotdog. This is typically what many stereotypical-TV New Yorkers do and I wanted to be part of that. Even though in real life they don't do this!
On the train down to NY, I chatted with a girl from the city. It ended up that her husband played baseball for the New York Times and that there was a game on Tuesday in the park. The Times won. I ran around the park then stopped for a 'dawg'.
I took a ferry to Staten Island, so I could get a decent look at the green lady. The Statue of Liberty stands proudly in the mouth of the Hudson River as she watches over the city. However, I did find it ironic and quite funny that this statue
A shining light
Light shines on the worlds economy, Wall Street
- The Statue of Liberty, the worlds most recognisable symbol of freedom, is closed to public due to the risk of terrorist attack. Quite the oxy-moron based on an unlikely scenario.
On my way to Chinatown I stopped to play a game of chess with a homeless guy in Union Square, he kicked my butt so I bought him lunch. He told me how he loved NYC and how it was a safe place to be homeless. I kind of understood him, in a way that I didn't really understand. It would actually be quite cool to be homeless there? NYC has a vibe to it like nothing I've ever experienced. It's an incredible place and I was in state of semi-confusion the whole time I was there. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't in Capetown or Amsterdam. From certain angles it was even London-like. But it is a city in a class of it's own, whether it was the surreal familiarity or the relentless flow of traffic, the heart of this city beats fast... But comfortably fast...
I liked New York City......
I took the train back to Toronto and met up with Theresa.
there we boarded a plane and flew to Reykjavik, Iceland.
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