Sunday, 12 June, 2016. 23:34
It’s been a very busy and full day, beginning just after 06:30 when we went down to breakfast at the hotel, having woken fairly early due to the jet lag. We spent the day exploring Brooklyn with David D., who I’ve known for maybe 25 years or so, and who had moved to New York to live with his American wife nearly 20 years ago. David is a keen photographer, and has published two photo collection books on New York: As Seen in Brooklyn, and Manhattan: Top to Bottom.
Being a keen photographer myself, I explained to him that I had not brought a digital SLR camera with me on the trip, but had elected instead to bring a 35mm film SLR, loaded with old black and white film which expired some time back in the 1970s. I figured if any place was suited to retro black and white photography, it was New York. (For colour photos I relied solely on my iPhone.)
I woke up before 04:00 with jet lag and couldn’t get back to sleep, but M. slept until about 06:00. We went down to breakfast at the hotel soon after it began at 06:30. The buffet selection included cereal (corn flakes and raisin bran), bread for toasting, bagels, pancakes, boiled eggs, sweet pastries and doughnuts, yoghurt, and bananas and apples. We stuck to cereal and bagels and fresh fruit. M. tried another coffee from the automated machine in the lobby but after one sip decided to stick to a hot chocolate instead.
We walked over to a subway station near Times Square to get some tickets and then catch a number 3 train to Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. We tried to buy Metrocard tickets from a machine, but it wouldn’t take my Amex card because I couldn’t enter a valid US ZIP code. So we had to pay cash to a lady in the booth. Don’t they think of foreign visitors when designing the ticket machines?
Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
We arrived a bit early, but David was there waiting for us. He took us out and past the Grand Army monument towards Prospect Park. Along the way he informed us of a lot of the history of Brooklyn, which was interesting and a great way to understand the area a bit better. I felt a bit like we were Anthony Bourdain or someone from a travel show, getting the inside story about the place from a local.