Thursday, 9 July 2009

New York continued...

Right after we checked in and checked out the hostel we went straight to Central Park, personally I didn't want to but my friends dragged me. After about 20 minutes we went out due to the crowds of Independence Day. We walked to Fifth Avenue smelling the horse poo along the way and the unrelenting drivers! We were also mobbed by guys asking us to rent a bike. We then chose to walk along the side streets - maybe to avoid all of the commotion. For dinner we went to Tad's Broiled Steaks, the portions were quite large (but smaller than what I expected), it was also the first time I'd had beef that rare. Some chose to have chicken instead - which looked exceptionally dry, some went vegetarian, which I found exceptionally comical considering we were at a steakhouse! They only got corn on the cob, some salad and a jacked potato. Having finished dinner and the bottomless drink (I found that I was last to finish my meal at every restaurant - I never considered myself a slow eater, in fact I was quite a fast eater a few years ago) I was hauled into a group who wanted to go to the Nintendo store (not my thing). Unluckily (but luckily for me) it was closed so we headed for Times Square. Personally I'm still underwhelmed by Times Square because it didn't really fit the image of what I had in mind. After taking some photos the "ringleader" (the guy who led us to the Nintendo store) wanted to look around Toys'R'us. I may have looked like a bitch as when we dispersed in the store I headed straight out! Well I'd rather take some photos! We then headed for the Empire State Building having a quick detour at Starbucks, I wasn't really knowledgeable about coffee but when I ordered a vanilla latte the waitress gave me a quizzical look!

The school wanted to go to the Empire State to see the fireworks BUT they'd finished before we got up. The Empire state was exceptionally windy but I did like the night scenery and I took some great photos - I may upload them later. We also had our first experience on the subway, which was unpleasantly hot even for 11pm. Everyone was tired as it had been a long day so most of us went straight to bed.

All in all I wasn't too thrilled with the first day as I was basically coaxed along to places I had no intention of going to.

Day 2 was when I had my luggage fiasco afterwards we had a guided tour with a guy named Gordon, he was really nice but I think his humour was a bit too Americanised. We were initially quite energetic going through Central Park but once on Fifth Avenue we just wanted to go. We walked all the way to Grand Central and was then allowed to go. I found some areas of Central Park exceptional - but in all honesty I wouldn't be bothered to find it if I was on my own! At Grand Central I had my lunch. I went to Masa's, a nice Japanese takeout (ordered a Unagi Bento) but most of my peers opted for the pizzaria - how British, though I was particularly Asian! I then went straight back to Fifth Avenue but was left empty handed partially because one of my friends wasn't too keen and looked particularly bored, I didn't go shopping with him ever again! Though we only got up to Armani Exchange - was well annoyed as I'd spotted a pair of shorts on sale which I was contemplating on buying but the day after they were off sale - boo. But I think my friend purposely tried to sabotage my shopping spree lol. He insisted on staying in a book store for quite a long time, when I asked him if he wanted to buy anything he said no! A bit later he wanted the toilet he took like half an hour! Got me a bit depressed as we were at Sak's and I couldn't afford much of it! The time quickly dissapeared and we were swept up to the Rockefeller Centre. Was somewhat underwhelmed as I couldn't get any good angles of the Chrysler Building.

Wanted to go back to Fifth Avenue for some shopping afterwards, we were just about to go when we were directed by another friend who lost his group who was particularly insistant on going to Chinatown. I wanted to go after dinner as we had like 4 hours rather than the 2 we had then, but he was adamant so we left for Chinatown. Talked to a nice lady (in Cantonese) when we got off, wasn't particularly helpful though. Went to Canal Street and little Italy before heading back. Unlike Chinatown in London the Chinatown in New York actually felt like a community rather than a high end tourist destination. Went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner - I'd say it was the best dinner out of the 4 days. I had a pulled pork sandwich, I loved the pulled pork and burger bun but I thought the chips were a bit salty. The portion was huge as well. Yet again I was the last to finished but my friend opposite finished it in half the time!

As we had a load of time but most places were about to shut we headed to Macy's. All that hype but I knew I wouldn't be a fan. Left there empty handed in what would be an uneventful and possibly the most boring yet tiring day! I personally was much more keen to go to Bloomingdales.

Day 3 we went to the Financial District to see the Federal Reserve and Ground Zero. We also had a detourto a nice pier shopping area where I was to enter my first Abercrombie and Fitch and buy my first thing! A $60 pair of shorts, a bit expensive for me but it's Abercrombie and Fitch and if I was to buy it in the UK it probably be £60. The Federal Reserve was Ok, somewhat interesting. Ground Zero was quite overwhelming, it was an empty space in the middle of loads of buildings we then went to St. Paul's I think. I really didn't feel comfortable looking at all the memorials, I was quite overwhelmed by the experience. I ended up sitting on the seats looking at the messages and thinking to myself.

Most of the group then had lunch at Cosi's - possibly my favourite meal. I ordered a Chicken TBM but the chicken kept on falling out when I was walking. The cookie also crushed in my bag and the most annoying thing was that the water I bought there leaked all over my bag and destroyed my Abercrombie and Ficth bag! :(
Still it was probably the nicest food. We then walked for ages to get to the ferry for Ellis Island. In my opinion the ten mile queue was not worth the time we were at Ellis Island. Absolutely horrenduous, even the food stalls were nasty - rising their prices from $2 to $3. Got to take some photos of the Statue of Liberty and went into the Immigration museum - which was interesting but not worth the 2 hours travel and wait. We then had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. If you don't want to be disturbed whilst eating your fry up then this is not the place! Most of the waiters were a bit hyperactive when serving but straight after you could see how bored they were of the whole thing - trained robots! The food was probably the worst out of the 4 days. It was just fried dry and I can't believe I'm saying this but the smallest portion out of the 4 days!

For the evening entertainment we went to a Broadway Show (having had another guy trying to sell me tickets to another show and telling me to loosen up and have a shag in the mean time - or to that effect!) Oh forgot to mention the Obama condoms we encountered, I wonder if they're patented! lol
We saw Avenue Q which was quite cool, felt like I was in a dream sometimes though! Only realised today that the show will be cancelled this September - what a shame, thought I'd see it again sometime. My favourite character was Christmas Eve played by Ann Harada (typical me), she was really funny and cool. I thought Anika Larsen was a very good singer as well. There were definitely funny parts and maybe not so funny parts but all in all it was a good experience.

Day 4 was the day we were late, my roommates watched didn't work as our alarm clock so we were late by about 10 minutes having had not been to the bathroom or had any breakfast. We had to wear shirts and stuff as well because the teachers wanted us to look smart whilst going to the UN. Yet again an interesting guide and we got to take photos as well. But I was waiting for this day because I knew there was going to be a lot of spare time - no longer will I need to go to places I didn't want to! After having a brief tour of the Museum of American Finance we were left to do what we wanted. I went straight to Century 21! I was dissapointed by it as I wasn't interested in the cheap stuff but I didn't have enough money for the expensive stuff - even though they were at cut prices! Not enough accessories for men either. Went back to the hostel to change but was left on my own as my walking partner wasn't interested in shopping anymore. I was a bit annoyed but was quite happy to roam Fifth Avenue by myself. Realised I didn't have a watch though so everytime I bought something I asked for the time - must have sounded well stupid! Went to Fitch, Diesel (which I could only afford underwear), AX, H&M (both!), Zara, Esprit, Gant, Barnes and Nobles (bookstore). Tried on abizillion things but I was quite pleased with myself, bough one shirt from Esprit, two pairs of underwear from Diesel and a polo from Fitch. Couldn't find my size at H&M, Tried on things on Zara but didn't like them, AX was no longer on sale and Gant wasn't for me. Went back to Times Square for the bizillionth time and ate at Planet Hollywood. Hated the Yellow tablecloths and the Chicken Burger I had was a bit dry. Tried to trick our teacher by buying him a birthday cake but that backfired.

The last day I went to Bloomingdales and Moma. Bloomingdales was out of my price range but I missed the bargains on the top floor! A friend told me he got two shirts for like $20 (though I swear it was the kids section!) MoMa was intersting but a bit small. Bought a glitter ball and a fanpen. Boarded the coach and after a small fiasco with another Skyliner driver we were at JFK. I probably bought the most at JFK - just wanted to spend the money! Bought a magnetic bookmark, two magazines, a massager from Brookstones - really wanted to buy the fan as well and a I love NY T-shirt for my baby second-cousin, forgot to buy water though - stupid me!

Well after a 6 hour flight a nap, dinner and TV I'm here blogging about my adventures. Sorry to bore you but I just needed to type it out!

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