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In A New York Minute

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Scott Newman
Scott Newman

I want to share my first short stint experience of my stay in New York City with my flatmates & friend. It is a tale of humour and craziness. I hope someday to return to this amazing city as there really is so much to do.

The trip started off for me with a Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Seattle. This is a trip that takes 4 hours as you have to cross the border via customs and this takes some time and then there are four or so stops as well. I arrived in Seattle to some heavy rain. (Like Vancouver at the time) I needed to stay at a hotel overnight close to the airport as my flight was early in the morning. I did not get much sleep as it took a while to get to the hotel nearby the airport.

My flight was with the carrier Airtran who were pretty good. I re-connected to my flight to La Guardia, NY at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So the best of this day was spent in the plane, listening to my iPod and reading. Now the goal on arrival was to find my flatmate who had arrived earlier and was waiting for me. I thought I was going crazy trying to find him for over an hour then I decided to try his cell which was off. So I tried my other flatmate who was back in Canada who informed me that he was at JFK airport! Okay, so the taxi ride from La Guardia to JFK airport will cost you around $27.50 USD FYI. I find my friend sleeping on the side of terminal 4, (as you do!) apologised then we set about our next mission which was finding a place to stay in a hostel in Manhattan. Easy eh? We had a drama trying to find somewhere on a very cold and strange place to be late at night on your first night in a huge city. We attempted using the subway but that proved to be a drama getting our bearings quickly when we were very tired. Our organisation skills of this part of the trip were very poor. We had some help from a nice guy in a seven eleven type store who led us to the same hostel that my other flatmate had booked for us for the days that they were coming.

The hostel was located in a perfect position for access to Manhattan and all of the main attractions. The hostel was also in the gay district of the city as we found out pretty quickly in the nightlife of the local area. We had a quick drink and meal deciding to rest up for our first proper day in NYC.

In the morning we decided to go for a huge walk linking up some of the main buildings in the city with my first priority being Madison Square Garden and then on to the Empire State building as we wanted to get some info and prices for shows and entrance. We found a football store in K Town (Korean) who helped us find the right direction for Broadway and lower Manhattan. We headed towards the ground zero area downtown where we were amazed with the progress of the new towers. We then headed toward the waterfront for our first glimpse of the statue of liberty in the harbour. Sneaked a peak at Wall Street before heading to the twin towers memorial. I insisted we went back via Murray Street where Sonic Youth's studio is. Then we progressed back to the hostel the very long way! (We got lost) The girls were going to arrive in the morning so we made sure we were fresh by getting some better sleep than the night before. I insisted we have a couple drinks before bed. 

The rest of our travel party arrived with enthusiasm of exploring uptown so we made our way up Broadway checking out the theatres for show times for phantom of the opera and then I made sure to remind everyone of the New York Rangers game was on so we should scalp 4 tickets for the game. We went to Central Park checking out Strawberry Fields and the memorial close by to the hotel where John Lennon was shot. There is an outdoor ice rink in the park as well as plenty of saxophone buskers. We then decided to walk back along Fifth Avenue checking out the Trump Tower and the Rockefeller Centre. The main event of the New York trip was going up the Empire State Building which I highly recommend.  The views from this building are remarkable. After all this excitement we decided to hit the pub before going to the Rangers game. The Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 2-0. Then finished the night off in the local gay bar before bed.

 On our final day in New York the girls wanted us to walk downtown so we made a trip through Chinatown and the markets to get to the pier for the free ferry to Stanton Island so we snapped up the views which the highlight was the statue of liberty. I would just like to add that this was the only free attraction in New York. We then had a nice lunch in a really old restaurant on the waterfront. Remember to tip or there will be issues! (Especially if you are drinking) We walked via Wall Street watching guys with fully automatics in front of the US Stock Exchange. Then bar hopped our way home in the brisk evening. We had strong ambitions of having an early night for the flight.

The flight back was a drama in hindsight but it didn’t need to be. We caught our plane together from La Guardia to Denver then there were serious delays due to poor weather in the Washington state area so we waited as the ETA went from midday to around 5pm whilst we contemplated what to do. We realised that there was a bar nearby and missed our flight due to simply being away from the intercom and the flight desk did not have our numbers. We took the next available flight (at no charge) to Seattle in the evening spending most of the day in the airport bar playing cards and making friends in Colorado. We all were pretty spent after this and in Seattle we had an important party to attend and as you can imagine there was more drinking, singing, dancing and craziness. I went AWOL during the night and had a very interesting experience around the Puget Sound area. We all got home safely the next day on the Greyhound back to Canada to arrive at 2am. Taxi back to home. What a week!

What I want to know is something that I was going to ask a New Yorker but forgot. “Just how long is a New York minute?”


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