Thursday, 6 November 2008

Brother Tim's New York diary...

I've been meaning to post this for a while and seeing as I'm feeling pretty optimistic about America at the moment due to a) the election result and b) my career hopes relying on how certain meetings go at AFM, I thought now is as good a time as any. So youngest Brother Tim went travelling round America for a few weeks before we met up with him in New York. The whole time he was sending e-mail updates and he eventually got round to doing a New York one last week. Being much more concise yet all-inclusive and more interesting than my poor attempt to document the trip I thought I'd reprint it here:

'It was a pretty tiring journey...made worse by New York's silly subway system, but I eventually found the hotel and met Chris, Pete and Andrea in the reception. We were all pretty shattered, so went on a mission to find a diner before heading straight to bed.
In the morning, we set out to Coney Island, though when we got there, everything look pretty much closed. We clung to the hope that everything would open a bit later, and so headed to the aquarium for a couple of hours. By the time we came out, we found a little more to do around the place, such as going to see a freakshow, riding the Wonder Wheel (Andrea was a bit scared of that....bless), and having a go on the funniest ghost train I think I've ever been on. For some reason, you go around the whole ride sitting sideways, whilst being violently jerked about and screeched at by rusty machinery.....I've never laughed so much over the whole summer.
We ended our first proper day in New York with a walk along Brooklyn bridge, and a meal at a pizza restaurant...where the waitress had suggested to us that we order a large salad instead of a small....and continued to re-visit our table every few minutes to rub it in that she was right and the large salad was better...she obviously had way too much time on her hands that night.
Feeling a little full after having pizza and doughnuts for breakfast...nice....we spent the day visiting the Natural History Museum and taking a walk around Central Park. But, by far the best thing that happened was in a bar later the same night. After failing to find a cinema, we decided to go out for a few drinks and found this little sports bar. When we had ordered a pitcher of beer, the bartender came over to give us 2 raffle tickets each, saying they were drawing them at the end of the football game on the main screen. We decided to stay and see how it all played out, and as more and more people left, the bartender kept giving us their tickets. By the end of the night, we'd accumulated 7 each in total. And even with 28 tickets on the table, and only 4 other people in the bar who weren't in our group, I was both shocked and outrageously excited when he called out one of our the point that I shouted "WE WON!!" in a really high-pitched voice...and proceeded to crack up.
Nonetheless, we still came away with a CD player...hurrah!
The next day we hit all the main tourist sites; the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, and Times Square. But, all the while, I was looking forward to the evening. For my birthday, Chris and Andrea had bought tickets for us to go and see Hairspray on Broadway. When we had found the theater (let's keep it American) we headed to the closest restaurant, which just so happened to be Cosmic Diner. And as the name suggests, it was a bit weird in there; mainly because of the waiter. I'm sure he was a nice guy, but he did have a habit of just standing at our table, waiting, at all the worst times. I hadn't read the menu but I just ordered the same as my bro because he was just looming over us after giving us the menus. When he came back to take the others plates, I ended up wolfing down the rest of my fries because he was standing over me, waiting for me to finish. Strange...but all part of the experience :o)
Feeling full and perhaps a little freaked out, we went to the see the show, which was incredible, but the night wasn't over yet. Before heading back to the hotel, we climbed to the top of the Empire State Building (well, we went in an opposed to doing a King Kong) and saw a great nighttime view of New York City. We probably spent an hour trying to take photos that would actually come out, before finally calling it a night.
We'd decided that, on our last day, Chris and Andrea would spend the day together, and Pete and I would go off and do something different. As it turned out, our separate days were pretty much exactly the same. We both went to the Museum of Modern Art, we hit the same shops, and we both decided to go to the cinema to see the same film. But all at different times.  The surprise highlight of the day, mainly because it was such a surprise, was bumping into Taylor and Carson in the street. They were two good mates from camp, who had just moved from Canada to get jobs in New York. Never expected to bump into anyone from camp, especially in such a busy city, so it was great to catch up.
And that pretty much concludes my New York, and my whole American adventure.'

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