E.E.U.U. 2018, September
01-September-2018, Malaga- New York
The so longed-for day arrived. I didn't even want to think about how many hours of sleep I had that day. Just to remark that I fell asleep at 23:00 and I woke up at 03:00. I arrived at Malaga airport at 05:30 after leaving my car in ECP parking, our usual parking whenever we go on holidays. I was asked some questions when checking-in unusual if my destination wouldn't have been USA. At the security check and after getting rid of all my metallic stuff, there was something in my pocket unpleasant for the machine that made it beep. After the pertinent verifications, the security agent decided that I was not dangerous for the flight and let me pass without problems. I had plenty of time until embarking in the flight number D270 through the gate B18 where I reached at 06:40. Speaking again about my lack of sleep, just a small reference to my jet-lag: I left Malaga at 08:30 AM and after eight hours and a half travelling, we landed at 10:00 AM!! Too many hours without sleeping.
No delays at the take off, a big plane with only two rows with three seats though, with only one aisle. The central seat was mine, a 35 years old or so Spanish woman to my right and an American father with Hindu roots, who travelled with his family, to my left. The eight hours journey was tiresome. l had to stroll the aisle from time to time to activate my blood circulation. There was a kind of multimedia screen in front of every seat with which you could listen to music, watching films with some earphones handed over by the stewardess, you could even watch the actual position of the plane and the time left to the so longed-for landing. It was 16:30 when we finally reached JFK in New York. A safe and stable landing for the plane was a big one. The passport control could be made in two different ways: "Manual" and "Automatic". "Automatic": you placed your passport on one of the numerous machines for that purpose at the country border, your data was read and a picture of your face was taken by the computerized device; your fingerprint was also captured. "Manual": All the above data was retrieved by a customs agent manually. My bad luck decided that my passport was not readable automatically and I had to wait a queue to cross the border. Once this queue was over I managed to enter the country without problems. Naitik was waiting for me at the passengers exit. We met there when I picked up my luggage, we took a taxi and we headed to Hoboken in New Jersey just in front Manhattan where Lucy, Naitik and Natalie lived. The jet lag was a problem from that very moment. After meeting my people at their apartment, I had a long siesta. As I told before, we took off from Spain at 08:30 AM and after 7 hours and a half it was 10:00 A.M. A Czech (or German) style restaurant was waiting for us when my siesta was over. German sausages with potatoes, exquisite fermented cabbages enjoyed on some wooden benches. Pleasant dinner, listening to 80 's music. "Pilsener Haus & Biergarden" was the name of the establishment. A stroll along the edge of the Hudson river made our stomach work properly and at the same time Marta, Mariana and me enjoyed the views of Manhattan at night, with all the buildings and skyscrapers illuminated. Once our stroll was over, our bedchamber was waiting for us, the second rest for me that day.
Moments before flying to EEUU
Detail of the plane seat
Manhattan from Hoboken, night picture
After resting all night along, we faced a whole Sunday in South Manhattan or Downtown as that part of the city was known by the Newyorkers, so the streets were expected to be overcrowded, and we had to be prepared for this. We bought the tickets for a small ferry to go from Hoboken to Manhattan which took about eight minutes to reach the other bank of the Hudson. There was another way to cross the river: taking a bus that crossed through a tunnel under the river, cheaper option but slower and with possibilities of heavy traffic that could be really annoying. Once in Manhattan our next aim was "One World Observatory", a tower built after the 11-S terrorist attacks and the demolition of the Twin Towers. An extremely high building with 102 stories, taking 47 seconds to reach the top by lift. It goes without saying that the views from the top were astonishing. The whole "Downtown" could be gazed without problems from this place, The Liberty Statue, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and the hollows left by the Twin Towers that are now two huge squared fonts with the shape of the destroyed towers. After visiting this high building it was the turn of The Brooklyn Bridge. You could hardly walk because of the crowd. The bicycles riding along its own lane had to stop very often because of the plenty of people invading it; we even saw some bikes running into some pedestrian without further consequences. A restaurant at Pier 17 was the place where we had lunch that day, located by the Hudson. We made to the Ground Zero to make some selfies by the hollows left by the Twin Towers restructured to two huge squared fonts under the ground level. Being without internet connection in USA was a great issue. The sim I bought in Spain turned out to be a great failure: I inserted it in my smart phone and no connection was obtained. Finally, after finding an AT&T store close to the city council, about three hundred meters far from the Oculus underground stop, we entered to try to solve the sim card problem. Our negative surprise was listening to the employee telling us that that sim card was useless. Holafly was the firm that sold us this worthless card charging us 44€ and granting us unlimited data transfer during the fifteen days in New York. After contacting them they promised a 50% refund...
We enjoyed the Oculus thoroughly at our return from Brooklyn Bridge. It looked like a fish skeleton from the outside, totally white; and it was a typical tube interchanger at the inside, with very high ceilings and a very preserved aspect. As a remark, just saying that the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was the creator of this building. Wall Street was waiting for us to visit it's famous golden bull, where the selfie is compulsory. Though we tried, it was impossible to make a single picture for the crowd, shooting selfies as well, prevented us from a minimal approach. Our return to Hoboken totally exhausted was by ferry.
Ferry to cross from Hoboken to Manhattan
One World Observatory
By the underground interchanger "Oculus" (Santiago Calatrava)
03-September-2018, Intrepid Museum, Downtown Ferry
That Monday we had plans for the six of us for Naitik had his day off. He, against all odds, hadn't visited The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum and we decided to visit it. The Museum itself was an aircraft carrier called USS Intrepid. All kind of airplanes, helicopters, spacecraft and even the Space Shuttle "Enterprise", for me the main attraction, could be found inside this huge carrier. One of the USSR, the"Soyuz TMA-6" was also exposed in one of the bays of the vessel. The famous"F-14 Tomcat" from the film"Top Gun" by Tom Cruise could also be found on deck, being the aim of all the visitors, the F-16A Fighting Falcon of 1978 made in USA, the Italian MB-339 from 1979, the Israeli Kfir C-2 from 1976, the North American helicopter AH-1J Sea Cobra from 1971, the also North American "Project Oxcart, Blackbird" from 1967, the Polish MiG-21 PFM from 1959, the North American helicopter UH-14 A Iroquois "Huey" from 1969 among many others could be admired in this astonishing museum.
The flying experience in a couple of simulators could also be tested with the "Gforce Encounter" (the live acceleration in a supersonic plane) and the "Transporter FX" (a mission in a jet-fighter of the North American Navy).
Another interesting visit was the submarine "Growler". The crew room, the Attack and Control room (with it's two periscopes reachable for the visitors), the stern room for the torpedoes and other key places of the submarine, could be visited, for they were open to the people. The submarine opened its doors in 1989 and its the only one in the world with remote-controlled missiles publicly exposed. A close view to the daily life in the craft which was considered top secret in the past was the aim of this part of the museum.
For we were at the piers area, we took a ferry to go along south Manhattan called"Circle Line Ferry", in particular a line called"Landmarks Cruise". The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, South Street Seaport, the Brooklyn Bridge, the UN Building. A total of an hour and a half enjoying exceptional views of the Big Apple. A ferry took us back to Hoboken. It took eight minutes to get there where we had dinner with Naitik, Lucy and Natalie. The following day We were travelling to Washington DC by bus, thus some baggage was needed. Naitik, using his home laptop and internet bought the tickets for us.
Space shuttle "Enterprise", Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
Tomcat (from the film "Top Gun"), Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
Ferry along south Manhattan , passing by the Statue of the Liberty
04-September-2018, New York- Washington
Breakfast at our friend's in Hoboken. As a remark, Hoboken was the hometown of Frank Sinatra. That Sunday was the turn of Washington DC by bus. Our luggage was ready since the night before, a couple of bags, just enough for three days in the USA capital. A bus took us from Hoboken to to the "Port Authority" bus station at 40th street. After some blocks on foot until the corner of 36th. street with 7th. avenue where we should take the bus of the firm called "Washington Deluxe". It reached Washington DC in four hours, reaching "Union Station" in the capital of EEUU at about 15:30. Reaching "Columbia Heights" by underground was our next aim. This was the nearest point to the apartment we found by Booking.com with public transport. Then, with the help of Google-Maps, we found the place where we should sleep the following three nights, at 3228 13th. street NW in Washington DC. After a ten minutes walk we reached our apartment front door which didn't open with the code we were given by the owner of the house called "Good Night Sleep". He had a phone number to which we addressed via Whatsapp for we hadn't US voice contract associated to our line, only data. Fortunately there was a reply to our help request at the other end; after some unsuccessful attempts with the code, they told us that there was a couple of keys in the mailbox that opened both the main entrance to the building and the apartment itself. Everything worked fine. Washington DC was waiting for us to be strolled after our luggage was in our apartment. It was a quiet district populated mainly by black citizens. Three stories attached blocks, and at our block in particular, lived a family in every story. I personally liked the area itself. After fetching some information from internet, it turned out that some riots in April 1968 related with the murder of Martin Luther king took place in this district. Nowadays it's a quite pacific neighbourhood.
The tube took us to the National Archives and from there, after a half an hour stroll we found ourselves at the National Mall, reaching the surroundings of the Lincoln monument. A very famous scene of the well-known movie "Forrest Gump" when Tom Hanks gives a speech to the crowd was filmed in this monument. The Capitol and the White House was in our stroll, as well as the famous obelisk (monument to Washington) which was the world's highest structure in 1884, 170 meters until the Eiffel tower was built in 1889.
Washington was a beautiful town for us, with plenty of gardens and green areas where American football and soccer teams usually trained, mainly in the Smithsonian Museums surroundings. The weather was hot and humid, and because of the proximity of the Potomac river myriads of mosquitoes flew around specially at the sun set, and made you sweat and fight constantly against those unpleasant insects. We returned using the same way till the National Archives, and from there back to our apartment with underground, making a stop to buy Mexican food in a fast-food establishment called "Chipotle".
3228, 13 NW street, Washington DC, our apartment
Picture with the Capitol at the bottom
Obelisc monument to George Washington
05-September-2018, Smithsonian Museums
After breakfast and a fast shower, we made to the National Archives again using the tube; this was a key place of the city because of its proximity to the Smithsonian Museums, the monument to Abraham Lincoln, the White House, the Capitol and the obelisk to the first North American President, George Washington. The FBI administration building was on our way; I was willing to make a selfie there, but I had the sensation of being observed by the security service of this entity. Taking advantage of the fact that the Smithsonian Museums were free and they were all in the same area, our cultural tour started in the Smithsonian museum of Natural History at about 10:45. An astonishing deployment of information related to nature in all its aspects, fauna, geology, insects, besides the amazing section related to Nature Photography, divided in Animals and Ecosystems, Terrestrial Sciences, Human Diversity, Fossils History, and an interactive section for the kids.
Then, at about 13:30, our aim was one of the two Museums that I liked most: the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This foundation had the biggest planes and space crafts collection in the world. Planes like the one built by the Wright Brothers (used in 1903 to do the first propelled and controlled flight of the history), the Apollo XI lunar module (first tripulated mission to the moon), the Explorer II cabin, the structural tests vehicle of the Hubble telescope, the Mercury MA-6 capsule, the Skylab 4 module, the Spirit of st. Louis (first plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean), the Bell X1 (first plane flying to the speed of sound), a Lunar rock, a Martian rock (touchable for the visitors), a Pioneer 10 replica (first human object leaving the solar system), the "1960 Air Force One" (used for the first time by John Fitzgerald Kennedy)... I only mention the most important from my point of view. A vast number of planes, space crafts, drones are missing for naming all of them in this blog would be a very long task.
Our next stop was at about 16:40, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. It was dedicated to the life, languages, history and the art of the Indian nation of North America. This museum has two branches besides that one in Washington DC, one in New York and another one in Maryland. For we entered a bit late we couldn't see everything we had in mind that day. We reached a happy hour establishment called "Bus boys and poets". Mariana had a cocktail called "Tap Water", a mojito for me and a lemonade for Marta. Then the tube took us back to our apartment in Columbia Heights. A fast food restaurant with very nice looking pizzas called &Pizza served us our dinner to take away. We were done with our pizzas at about 21:15 and ready to go to bed.
FBI building administration
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
06-September-2018 - Smithsonian Museums
Breakfast at our apartment with foods bought in a supermarket the previous day. After a first attempt to start our route, an improperly fitted tile on the sidewalk with some water underneath splashed on Mariana's and Marta's trousers which forced us to return to our place. After fifteen minutes our route was resumed, at about 09:45. The underground took us from Columbia Heights to Foggy Bottom. Once in Foggy Bottom we split up for we had different likes in Museums: Mariana wanted to enter the Smithsonian American Art Museum (a place with a huge North American art collection), and I wanted to enter the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We agreed to meet at 13:30 between the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the official monument where the victims and the survivals of the Hitler's Third Reich genocide are honoured and receive public recognition. At the very entrance of this Museum you are given a small booklet with the data and personal story of a survival or victim of the massive assassination by the nazis. The building had four floors and the visit started at the fourth one, and concluding at the second. A lift took you to the beginning of the tour. As you went down you were closer and closer to the exit, following the Holocaust chronology with pictures, newspapers clippings, original nazi uniforms and 70 video monitors with short stories related to this black stage of the world history. The fourth floor referred to the years 1933-1940, when the Jews were basely excluded from the European society and the invasion of Poland by the nazis. The third floor showed the years 1940-1945 and it was focused on the "Final Solution", that's to say the extermination of the Jews. The extermination camps and the ghettoes were specially highlighted in this part of the exposition. The second floor was about the Jewish resistance, the rescue, liberation and the post-war period. At the end of the exposition a short Holocaust testimony after another could be seen in a continuous way. The "Tower of Faces" was something to underline as well; it was part of the permanent exposition, a three stories tower in the building with pictures of the Lithuanian village Eišiškės daily routine which reached a population peak of 3500 inhabitants. In 1941, September the SS surrounded the village and killed systematically everyone. Another interesting part was the "Hall of Remembrance", official monument to the victims and survivals in the Museum. Candles to the memories of these persons could be lighted up in this place.
As 13:30 approached I had to speed up my visit for I hadn't time enough to see everything as thoroughly as I wished. I met Mariana and Marta at the agreed place and time. Lunch time was approaching so we chose a kind of buffet to the open air with fast-food to be eaten on tables and chairs in the middle of gardens and trees in front of the Air & Space Museum. The price-quality ratio of that place was not the best, but we hadn't another choice.
We kept on visiting Museums after lunch. It was the National Museum of American Indian turn. Our visit started at 14:30 earlier than the previous day finishing at 16:30. Then Mariana went to the art gallery again while Marta and I went to the National Museum of American History. This Museum went over the recent history of this country, managed by the Smithsonian foundation as well. It had three stories where more than three millions of objects, like the Abraham Lincoln hat and Judy Garland's shoes used in the film "The Wizard of Oz" from 1939. Our visit started at 16:00 and had to be over at 17:30, that's to say in an hour and a half time, for we had agreed with Mariana to meet in front of the Natural History Museum at 17:30. Then we made to the Chinese Quarter to have a mojito at "Hill Country BBQ". The funny story of the day happened there: I was asked for my ID card when I ordered my mojito. Back to our apartment by Underground with Mexican food from the same place "Chipotle". Our day finished with 25000 steps.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
National Museum of American Indian
National Museum of American History
Hill Country BBQ
07-September-2018, Washington- New york
Breakfast at "home". A quick shower and we started to do our luggage to return to Hoboken. Loaded with our bags we took the Columbia Heights to the"Union Station" bus station. Some presents for Spain were bought there. Our bus left Washington DC, a quiet and beautiful town. The rest of our holidays returned to the crowd and rush, that's to say, Manhattan. But we weren't upset because of this, we weren't indeed for we still had so many places left to visit. The return by bus delayed because of a car accident that caused queues at the entrance of New York. We finally reached our destination, the bus stop at 36th street. It was about 15:45. Then on foot we reached "Port Authority" bus station at 40th street, which we had used everyday to come and go from Hoboken to Manhattan, just in front of the "New York Times" headquarters. As previously stated, crowds in a rush were constant in Manhattan. A real hive of persons in a hurry wandering up and down the sidewalks. Fortunately our stroll was short, from 36th Street to 40th street, just four blocks, and although walking with our luggage was not a comfortable task, we managed to reach our destination to reach the bus number 126 in gate 204 which should take us back with Lucy and Naitik. We were narrating our adventures in Washington DC having a coffee at about 16:30. The rest of the day was at home, for, besides we were tired, the weather was not good and it could rain at any moment. After a quiet dinner we went to bed.
Union Station, Washington bus station
New York Times headquarters, in front of our bus station
08-September-2018, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
Rainy day in Hoboken. Our aim that day was an outlet called Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Naitik rented a car early in the morning when all of us were sleeping, a quite common habit in Manhattan for having a car in such a crowded area didn't provide many advantages. We left at about 11:30 with our rented Nissan Pathfinder with 8 seats that our friend had got. After one hour, our shoppings started in this trade paradise. If you wanted to renew your attire with first brands clothes at very competitive prices, that was the ideal place. Firms like the following sold their bargains just because those articles belonged to a past season: Adidas, Asics, Bose, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Clarks, Skechers, Dior, Citizen, Columbia, Converse, Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, and a long etcetera of more than two hundreds well-known brands at give-away prices. Shake-Shack was our choice for lunch just after arriving to the outlet for we didn't manage to park our car until 12:30 PM. Nothing special for lunch, hamburgers with potatoes and ketchup for a change... Our real shopping started after lunch. A couple of Columbia t-shirts for less than 20€ each; it's impossible to find those t-shirts in Spain so cheap, you would be charged 50€ minimum. Marta bought a wind-breaker jacket of the same brand as well. The Levi's store was very interesting too: the Spanish 110€ trousers from "El Corte Ingles" costed 39€ at that place. Lastly I bought two more T-shirts at the Tommy Hilfiger store 35€ each: the price in Spain was about 60€. A wok called "Kung Pao Wok" was our pick to have an early supper. It was a kind of buffet where you were served and you took your tray to some tables around for this purpose. Both Mariana and Marta were happy with their new acquisitions at the outlet. We were back in Hoboken at about 21:30. No significant problems with the traffic when returning.
Columbia store at "Woodbury Common Premium Outlet"
Levi's store at "Woodbury Common Premium Outlet"
Kung-Pao Wok, at "Woodbury Common Premium Outlet"
09-September-2018, Lunch in Holmdel
Going to a familiar lunch with Lucy's brother in law was our plan for that day at the outskirts of New Jersey, concretely to a district called Holmdel. The weather was not pleasant although the heavy rain didn't appear. Our Nissan took us to that place where we were going to have lunch, reaching our destination in an hour. Port Elizabeth was on our way, palace where we played football with my former firm Sea-Land in 1994. Holmdel was a pleasant place with new constriction detached houses with their own gardens. A total of nine persons had lunch in a kind of improvised self-service with home-made food. The owners of the house were on their 60's. The woman was sister of Steve, Lucy's brother in law, of about 55-56 years old professional saxophone player with three Grammys in his curriculum. His artistic name was Steve Slagle, composer, saxophone and flute player from Los Angeles and resident in High Manhattan.
We returned to Hoboken at about 20:30 after a pleasant day.
Traffic notices to Port Elizabeth
Place where we had lunch with our friend's family
Outside "MoMA", Museum of Modern Art
"Starry Night" by Van Gogh
The weather was still cloudy and some raindrops fell from time to time. We chose the bus to go to the Big Apple. Once at "Port Authority" bus station the tube took us to MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art. It was our second visit there, we first visited this interesting place in 2013. We enjoyed more our first visit, it wasn't so crowded and all the pieces could be admired better. In this second visit the number of persons at the museum was so big that in front of nearly every piece of art there was public. The picture of Marta with her favourite picture "Starry Night" by Van Gogh became a classic. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 53th. street and 5 and 6 Avenue, pieces of art by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Henri Matisse could be found in this museum. I had time for a stroll around Rockefeller Center remembering the year 1994 with my ex job-mates of Sea-Land inside a Limousine. While I walked, Mariana and Marta entered an establishment where a famous doll in USA was sold: "American Girl" was called the creature. The whim of our daughter costed 120€. Columbus Circle was our next stop. Our umbrella was open for some minutes because of some light rain. After fifteen minutes we were stepping in "The Shops at Columbus Circle", a huge shopping centre located a this Square where we had lunch in a big supermarket where all kind of fast food was served to be consumed on some tables around. After another fifteen minutes stroll we reached "Times Square" going down Broadway. Our aim was "Encounter Odyssey Ocean" by "National Geographic". It was an exposition focused on the youngest members of the family to raise awareness within the environment, in special with the sea. It was basically a multimedia deployment on the floor and walls with very realistic projections of all kind of sea animals, from the smallest ones like plankton to the biggest ones like whales, including sharks, dolphins, seals walruses etc. One of the last scenes was really breathtaking: a whale with its huge mouth wide open projected on the walls of the room we were at that moment seemed to swallow every single person of our group.
It was Gulliver's Gate's turn; my watch showed 17:30 when we entered this exposition dedicated to show miniatures of famous places of different places around the world in a super detailed way, more than 25 cities from the five continents. A real display of technology to show places like the 09/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, The Triumph Arc from Paris, The Brandenburg Gate, the Colosseum in Rome, the wind mills with Don Quixote in Spain, the Taj Mahal in India, the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, and along etcetera were exposed in a very detailed way in this place. But the most remarkable for me was a whole airport made small with arrivals and departures in real time, airplanes displacements within the different terminals, everything a in a very detailed way. Our visit to this interesting place Was over at about 18:45. We made then to Port Authority Bus station, our usual station that took us from Manhattan to Hoboken. Our gate 204 leaded us to the bus to our apartment's district. Dinner with our friends and then a deserved night rest.
11-September-2019, Metropolitan Museum
Our second bus tour around Manhattan was our plan for that morning. Once in the Big Apple we reached the National History Museum with underground, crossed Central Park on foot until the Metropolitan Museum, our next destination, where we reached at 10:30. This is one of the most relevant art Museums in the world. It has more than two millions pieces of art from all around the world. It has important Egyptian, African, Byzantine, Islamic, from Oceania and Middle East art collections. Pieces of art by Raphael, Tiziano, El Greco, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Picasso, just to mention some of them, can be found in their showrooms. My personal opinion if you compare this museum with MoMA was that the Met (abbreviation of Metropolitan) was much more attractive and more comfortable for visiting. After the lunch break in Dig Inn, about twelve minutes far from the Met on foot, we resumed our visit to the museum at about 14:00. We finished our visit one hour later. We heard about a cake-shop called "Lady M", or the cake boutique. Its name was a good reason to try one of their delicious and expensive products; but every single penny we paid for them was worth it. Then the tube took us to the 34th. street where my favourite store in NY was, "BH photo-video". Marta and Mariana made to a bookshop and I strolled to the before mentioned store. It was a Jewish establishment and as such, they had a lot of days off that mouth, for instance "Rosh Hashana" from 09 /Sep to 11 /Sep. My negative surprise was finding it closed. Because of this I had two hours until meeting Mariana and Marta between the 08th Avenue and the 34th street. I strolled around Madison Square Garden, but the place I liked most was the High Line, a 2,3 Kms. lineal park, a kind of high gardened, touristic and very crowded passage. Once my two hours stroll was over I made to our previously agreed meeting point to meet my two women. They arrived on time. We made then to our apartment by ferry. The police presence on the way to the docks was very high, and some streets were closed. That day happened to be 11th/Sep and the fear to another terrorist act was in the air, but it turned out that a big crane working with skyscrapers had fell down. From the 34th street to the 42th were closed by the police. Neither pedestrians nor cars were allowed to enter the area between those streets and the 11th avenue. We were advised via loudspeakers that we had to use the dock number 82 to take the ferry to Hoboken. After waiting a ten minutes queue, we got on the right ferry to our apartment at the other side of the Hudson river. A dinner and a shower at about 19:30, and we went to bed. My day finished with 24.000 steps.
Facade of Met
Hall of Met
Hall of Met
12th-September-2019, South Manhattan
We reached Manhattan by bus that day, crossing the Hudson through a tunnel under this river. Once in "Port Authority" bus station, the tube was our mean of transport to reach the "World Trade Centre", going through the "Oculus" underground interchanger, previously mentioned in this document. The south part of Manhattan was our aim that day. Taking a picture of the famous golden bull in Wall Street was a difficult task; it was early though and for that reason we had some hope. But even at that early hour of the day the tourists gathered around this golden statue to take a photograph, furthermore, the threat of showers was present that day. We managed to get pictured by a couple of Japanese around. Then we tried to enter the 11S Memorial but again we run into long queues to visit that place, so we gave up again. The Brooklyn Bridge was our next stop. It was less crowded than the previous time, so that we could stroll in a more relaxed way and for longer. China Town was close and we reached it after a twenty five minutes stroll. The trade in this area was astonishing. If you were looking for souvenirs variety, this was the correct place. A fresh food, fish, meat, all kind of vegetables market could be found there as well.
Our pick for lunch was of course a Chinese restaurant. I have always loved the Chinese food, and I was not brought down then either. The only "downside" was the size of the dishes they served us, a lot of food was left over. After buying some souvenirs for Spain, we made to Little Italy, the district where the Italian colony was settled down. A kind of fair or local party was being held with several attractions on the streets. BH Photo-Video was our next where we reached via underground. Mariana and Marta went to buy the doll in fashion in the USA called "American Girl" while I bought my caprice in my favourite shop BH. I didn't know what to buy, a drone or a Mac Mini. My last option was buying a small pc bought by parts to assemble it at home, and this was my choice. An Intel Nuc with a last generation I5 processor, two hard drives, one SSD and the other one was an M2 format drive, with 8 Gb of RAM, all of it in on small cube of about 12 or 13 centimetres long and 3 or 4 centimetres high, a delight for any computers fond. I had my new cool computer at about 16:45 in my hands. Our agreement with Mariana was meeting at 18:00 between the 8th. Avenue and the 40th. street, so I had time to walk over Manhattan by myself under the rain. Rushes, throng, noise everywhere. I stared, still, under cover, all this crowd walking fast to nowhere all over the Big Apple. Finally, at about 15:00, by the "Port Authority" bus station I met my two women again. Our usual gate number 204 lead us to Hoboken where a dinner and our bed were waiting for us.
"Oculus" underground interchanger (Santiago Calatrava)
Golden bull, Wall Street
13-September-2018, Touristic Bus/Ferry
We woke up early that day. The bus number 126 took us Manhattan at about 07:30 going through the Hudson, using the tunnel underneath this river. Our plans for that day were getting tickets for a touristic bus included in our pass tu visit several touristic attractions in New York. It was 08:15 when we reached the office where getting our tickets. For it was still early we had breakfast Starbucks in front that office. With our breakfast still in our throats we made again to our office called "Gray Line" (that was the name of the firm). The route was supposed to last all day along. The two stories bus took us to south Manhattan or Downtown. It was lunchtime. Then, after lunch, it was the turn of the ferry. This boat reached the very south end of the Big Apple up to the UN building. The boat returned using the same way, getting off at the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum which we visited on 03th. December. We had the chance to enjoy astonishing views to the Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Centre building, the Statue of the Liberty and the whole south coast of the Big Apple. The first part of the tour, by bus, lasted around an hour and a half, like the boat tour. Once we disembarked at the before mentioned museum, it was then the turn of the second part of the tour by bus, another two stories one. Uptown or North Manhattan up to Harlem was our next aim. This vehicle went along the edge of Central Park while the guide set forth interesting information as we moved forward. Details like the current residence of Steven Spielberg, Diana Ross, Michael J. Fox, the Dakota apartments where John Lennon lived and was assassinated, and much more information I will not mention because the list would be huge. Harlem was another place worth visiting. In this his district at the north of the Big Apple celebrities like Colin Powell and Al Pacino lived their youth. It had nothing to do with the image of conflictive district crowded with black people that most people have of this place. A nice looking neighbourhood, normal people on the streets, 90% afroamericans though. We passed in front the Met at our return, skirting the east side of Central Park along the 5th. avenue, passing by the whole floor where Jacqueline Kennedy lived (yes, I mean what I said, a whole floor), in a building just in front Central Park, between the 5th. avenue and the 85th. street; an apartment with five bedrooms which furniture belonged to Luis XV. Our route was over. We saw our guide off with a generous tip for his information was really helpful. After strolling to Columbus Circle and having a coffee at a cafe called Pret a Manger we returned to Midtown Manhattan or the central part of the Big Apple. There an interesting attraction called Top of the Rock located at the Rockefeller skyscraper was waiting for us, from where the views to New York were impressive. It's direct rival was One World Observatory and though the latter was some metres higher, many people thought that Top of the Rock went beyond in viewable area. when we reached the top it was plain to see that the opinion of most of the people was right. Our visit was over at about 18:00. Within one hour we intended to meet Lucy and Naitik somewhere in Hoboken. This place was a restaurant called "Elysian Cafe". As usual there was not many things to choose from the menu; it was a very nice looking restaurant though. The prices were exaggerated compared to Spain. You can eat well and cheap in our country. Our return to the apartment was at 21:00 to spend our last night in New York.
Touristic bus around Manhattan
Ferry around south Manhattan
Top of the Rock
"Elysian Cafe" restaurant facade
14-September-2018, New York Malaga
Our last day in New York started. It was not exactly holidays for the whole day was dedicated to our return to Málaga. The way from Hoboken to JFK was very long. The first part was the fastest, using the ferry to do it, and the second one, slower and more tedious, with underground. Around one hour and a half by tube to reach JFK. Without the help of Lucy and Naitik would have been impossible to reach our destination for we had a five pieces of luggage, being two of them very heavy. They leaded us to the last underground stop before JFK,. We left our apartment at 11:00, and had lunch in a restaurant called "Cookshop". When we finished our lunch, a girl took us a picture of the two families. Heavily burdened with our luggage, we strolled to an underground stop close to the Chelsea Market. After agreeing to meet somewhere in Europe the following year, we saw them off. This last part to JFK was the slowest, more than one hour to reach the Terminal 4 from where we should take off. The check-in with Delta, our company, was quite fast, unlike our security check: we had to bear long queues to reach the embarking area. Finally we managed to reach our gate B35. Seven hours and thirty minutes from New York to Malaga. A landing without problems at the planned time. The jet-lag we had to suffer lasted about two days. Once our jet-lag was got over, we returned to our daily routine. I want to remark from this blog Lucy and Naitik's hospitality: we always felt their apartment as our own house from the very first minute.
Picture at the "Cookshop" restaurant door