03.12.2009 17 °C
East Village - Our Neighbourhood
Our front door at the East Village Bed & Coffee. This was a great place to stay, its communal lounges an ideal environment in which to share tales and a glass of wine with other travellers. Particularly memorable was the German couple who'd travelled over for the weekend to get married at City Hall.
Decoration at one of the many nearby community gardens.
We spent quite a bit of time hovering at the Tompkins Sq Park dog park shown here. Hilarious canine and human interaction.
Squirrels, what can we say? We love em. This Tompkins Sq Park resident is munching on peanuts we bought from a street vendor on our trip to Chinatown. (After our bowl of Pho and before our stroll through Little Italy).
A few streets from our base on Avenue C is St Mark's Place, a hip and vibrant spot for good eats and quirky stores and residences.
New Yorkers love their pets - here we have 'holistic petcare' in the East Village.
Obama optimism abounds.
For easy access to Manhattan, we purchased a 14 day metrocard. From that moment, we gleefully jumped on and off subways, gave directions and travel advice to the locals (on at least four occasions) and allowed our eyes to bug out at the big black rats running along the tracks.
For speed and efficiency, travelling by subway is the way to go but if you want to remain above ground and take a bus, you may discover as we did, how incredibly kind, patient and helpful New York City bus drivers are. Buses are often late and take a long time to reach their destinations, not just because of the notorious Manhattan traffic but because of the behaviour of the drivers.
In New York City bus drivers:
1. Stop, get off the bus and spend whatever time is necessary to gently help the elderly or disabled onto the vehicle.
2. Spend the time explaining routes and stops to confused or forgetful passengers in a speech devoid of the grunts, shrugs and impatient sighs some New Zealand bus drivers are so good at.
3. Refrain from driving off until everyone is seated.
4. Greet you in a friendly way.
The way people are the driver's first concern is well worth the extra time.
At the Met:
Food in the Land of the Free
What is a trip to New York without sampling the ubiquitous hotdog?
Phil, putting coronary risk aside, mans up and eats a Twinkie. My tastebuds, after one bite, pronounced the sticky, spongy object to be unworthy of consumption.
Crowded and impossibly glitzy - Times Square at night.
A little further up the street, crowds stopped and smiled at the newly-weds having photos taken.
NYC Public Library
Peace and tranquility surrounded by skyscrapers
Central Park Zoo residents such as this dwell in the tropical house and, not far from here, a kea sits looking a little sad to be in an enclosure without car roof vinyl and window rubber to destroy.
Empire State Building
Wall Street and the Financial District
We couldn't dodge the 30 or 40 middle-aged tourists groping the enormous bronze bull for the best photos but the irony of posing with the bull-market bull in a recession didn't escape us as we slipped past on the bus. We also visited Battery Park and Ground Zero while in the downtown area.
Out and About
- A blur of swanky poodle shops, freebies on the streets, Phil being told off for walking too close to a cop in Penn Station, gyro stalls, Radio City Music Hall ....
Grand Central Station and me, v small and happily insignificant, in the middle.
The big lady from France