Thursday, 22 May 2008
Day 1 (London - New York)
Arrived at Heathrow on time and took the Heathrow express to t3 from Sebs lift to T5. The checkin took over an hour but security was not too bad a line. The flight set off on time and went smoothly. We arrived in JFK on schedule and had collected our bags, got through passport control and customs, bagage reclaim and took a taxi to central Manhattan (only $45) in about an hour.
We got into the hotel and then left (hotel Courtyard by Marriott E 40th st (5th Ave)) in about 10 mins to go on a rapid tour of New York. We left about 4pm and set off up 5th ave to go to Times Square. A couple of photos there and then as we wandered back down Broadway we came across the espn br that just happened to be shoeing the Rangers UEFA cup game, and as it was the last 20 mins we decided to pop in for a quick beer and watch the end of the game. Rangers managed to lose 2-0 and from the play we saw they did not deserve much more.
Then we went off in search of the Empire State Building by taking our bearings from a map in a BoA vestibule (the vestibule didn't lock and Jill Goodacre was not there) so down broadway to 34 th street across from 6th ave to 5th ave and we found the building - the observation deck was still open (it is until 1am) so we joined a queue to go up it. This queue led to another queue all with snaking lines, and as soon as you rounded one corner you found another line to join. fortunately it was not busy and we got in a lift up within 30 mins. The views from the 86th floor were great although agreeing to walk the last 6 floors was too much like exercise. There was a little mist in the air so there was not perfectly clear views but the pics should come out ok.
Then we decided to get a subway down to Battery Park, which requested a little backtracking to get to the station on 34th street on 6th av. we got off on something like russel st and came out just below ground zero. a quick look at the building work there and some of the buildings around it, and we continued on to battery park and the view over the river to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis lsland. We then wandered back north to find wall street, the NYSE and the bronze bull near by, with this achieved we walked up Broadway past city hall to some food that by now we were desperate for. The goal was SOHO or little Italy. We did not find and restaurants in SOHO (in our v brief look) so made it over to little Italy and found an Italian restaurant. By this point i was getting tired and was not sure if i was on england time or NY time. Anyways the food was fine and we left there and caught a taxi back to the hotel and were asleep before 11pm.