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Published: March 10th 2015
About to depart
It's 10.22am on the 1st day we have in New York. Yesterday the travelling was long and tiring - but surprisingly hassle free. We were quickly through the immigration without any complications then stopped in a diner just outside the airport to share some fries and discuss the almost incomprehensible instructions to get to the hostel left for us from our hosts. Actually, when it came down to it it was not too complicated after all, plus we managed to swing getting two trains and a bus for $7.50 each. However, by this point it was getting late (around 10 by our body clocks), we'd been up early, and the bags were beginning to feel very very heavy.
The entrance to the 'hostel' was a non-descript door in the middle of a residential street with a small TripAdvisor sticker peeling off of it. As we approached it a black guy was talking into a headset on the street just outside - or so I thought at first. Actually he was talking to us, and he, the proprietor of 'Pacific Loft Apartments' invited us into his basement living room as our room was being set up. So we sat with his wife
On the plane
watching Jeopardy and vaguely wondering if we'd inadvertently wandered into imminent danger. Soon enough though we were led to our apartment just down the street and left to settle in until the man returned to drive us to the ATM so we could get him the remainder of the payment. I've just asked Rosie, Kate and Matt to describe their first impressions of the flat - I got 'dingy' twice and 'shit-hole' from Matt. I would have to go for 'grimey'. It was a combination of tiredness, expecting an actual hostel not just a small room in a large shared building and the layer of dirt that coated the kitchen and bathroom that made first impressions so poor. Looking at it this morning it's not that bad. We've clean bedding, a kitchen and a bathroom all to ourselves - as well as a small dining area. It was the kitchen that let it down really. The fitting are ancient and, most disconcertingly, other people's half eaten foodstuffs were still in the fridge and cupboards.
After giving the guy his money, we went for a slightly downbeat walk to the shop to grab some cleaning supplies and a subway. The food
Flying over Quebec
did a lot to lift spirits, and it was off to bed promptly. On the up side, Manhattan is easily within walking distance, and the block does at least feel safe. Just asked what everyone's impressions were this morning - got 'bearable' twice and 'better'. It's a start.
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