Archive for June, 2016

New York diary: Day 4

Sunday, 26 June, 2016

Tuesday, 14 June, 2016. 12:10

We are sitting in Le Pain Quotidien on Madison Avenue up near the middle of Central Park, having spent the morning wandering around through the park. We’ve just had lunch and I am about to go back to the hotel to get ready for the ISO meeting which begins at 13:30.

We slept in this morning until 07:00. I slept much better than the last two nights, and could have slept more. The breakfast room was busy, and we were lucky to get a table, where I had cereal again and an apple. The bananas here are not good – they are greenish, but also with brown spots, and the fruit is mushy. Maybe they keep them in the fridge or something. So I’ve decided to stick to apples from now. M. had some corn flakes and a toasted bagel with cream cheese.

30 Rock, NBC building 30 Rockefeller Plaza
30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The first order of business was a trip to Central Park. We walked north from our hotel, but stopped briefly at Rockefeller Plaza to find the Blue Bottle coffee shop which M. had searched for online after seeing people walking down the street carrying take away cups with their logo on them. She reckons it’s the best chain store coffee she’s found in the US. We also saw the Lego shop there at Rockefeller, as well as the NBC building at 30 Rock. They were actually filming something for the Today Show in the southern section of the plaza, with a crowd of people holding signs and making noise.

Read more: Central Park, Keens Steakhouse

New York diary: Day 3

Saturday, 25 June, 2016

Monday, 13 June, 2016. 19:56

We are sitting in the Caliente Cab Company, which is a Mexican cafe and bar. We’ve just finished dinner, and will head back to our hotel soon on the subway.

Our day started with breakfast in the hotel again. This time I stuck to the raisin bran and fresh fruit, having a banana and an apple. M. had another bagel, toasted, with cream cheese. We weren’t in a hurry, as we wanted to wait until after the morning rush hour had passed before catching a train down to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. We left a bit after 09:00, and walked south to Bryant Park where we found Le Pain Quotidien, where M. got a coffee and I typed up some of yesterday’s diary while we watched workers scurrying to and fro on the street outside.

Manhattan from ferry
Manhattan viewed from the Staten Island Ferry.

After coffee, we walked over to the subway station near Times Square to catch a 1 train to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Here we boarded a ferry that was just about to depart, which was good timing as they only leave every half hour. The ferry took us across the Hudson River to Staten Island, passing Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty along the way, giving us a good look at the latter. The weather was cool and a strong wind was blowing on the water, which made it very cold standing on the open deck.

Read more: Tribeca and the 9/11 memorial, Inwood Hill Park, NY Public Library, Greenwich Village

New York diary: Day 2

Thursday, 23 June, 2016

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.)

Written later

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?

Brooklyn jogger
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.

Read more: Brooklyn’s Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Coney Island, then dinner in Manhattan’s Little Italy

New York diary: Day 1

Wednesday, 22 June, 2016

(I haven’t finished posting all of my Yokohama adventures in the last diary yet – that will come eventually. Meanwhile, I’ve also been to New York!)

Saturday, 11 June, 2016. 08:23. Los Angeles

We are sitting on a Qantas Boeing 747, waiting to take off for JFK Airport in New York. We left Sydney a bit after 10:00, also on Saturday, flying out on an Airbus A380. I thought we’d be on the same plane all the way to New York, as we had one boarding pass for the whole flight with the same seat number on both legs. But when we negotiated the maze of LAX, clearing customs and immigration to emerge on the groundside of the airport before re-entering through security to find our gate, we found ourselves boarding the 747 we’d seen next to us our incoming flight pulled into the terminal.

My view for the next 20 hours.
On board the Airbus A380.

We got up at 06:00 this morning, showering and having a quick breakfast before calling a taxi for the airport. The sun was rising over Sydney as we drove, painting the CBD a beautiful orange and marking the start of another lovely winter day.

At the airport, we were amazed by how much the terminal had changed since we’d last been there in February. Much of it was unfamiliar with the ongoing redevelopment work. M. got a coffee and an almond croissant for a snack before we boarded, and split the croissant with me. Our flight out was delayed a bit because the pilot had been caught in traffic getting to the airport!

Read more: arrival in NYC, Times Square, burgers in an Irish pub, Bryant Park