Friday, June 16, 2006

New York Vacation..A Summary

Empire State Building
Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
Having got over the shock of returning to Nagoya in the midst of the rainy season( its currently 31 degrees and very humid) and jetlag I've had a chance to reflect about my trip to New York.
First, Im pleased I did some planning beforehand.Knowing how to get to places,say from the airport to your accomodation cuts down on time and stress particularly if you arrive later at night.
Secondly,theres no way you can see or do everything.Plan ahead and check which days things are closed or offer free entry.Some museums offer free entry on certain days.Also check what displays or special attractions are being offered.The Whitney for example didnt have all its permanent exhibitions on display.
Thirdly,dont ignore some of the smaller cheaper museums.I was impressed with both the Police and Fire Museums.There are about 15 or so museums alone in the Battery Park area so lots of choice.
Fourthly,there are many food options.A cheap breakfast for me was a cinnamon bagel($1.75) a small bottle of water ($1) and a couple of bananas ($1).For lunch a Murrays Bagel filled with meat and other fillings set me back around $5 along with a muffin($2).
Other cheap options also filling are pizza strips,large pieces cost around $2.85 each.Healthy alternatives are available you can pick and mix your own vegetable salads in many different delis and supermarkets.
Fifthly,dont forget to factor in the price of admission to museums and art galleries.Nor should you ignore a variety of free things available.I spent a relaxing day in Central Park walking and reading.Battery Park and Bryant Park are other places to chill out and relax.
Sixthly,be aware as far as accomodation is concerned you pay what you get.Chelsea International Hostel has cheap basic accomodation.
You must be prepared for small rooms,toilets that can be blocked and overflow and lines to use the toilets and showers.
While I cant blame the Hostel for the behaviour of some of my roommates it was a little noisy (the double bunks were metal framed) and hot as there was no air-conditioning in the room.I think it would be very stuffy come mid summer.
Meanwhile at $99 a night the Larchmont in Greenwich Village was much better in terms of noise and amenities though again I was required to share a toilet and shower.
Some highlights..sharing my lunch with some squirrels in Central Park,the Butterfly Conservatory at the Natural History Museum,the Museum of Modern Art,Jackson Pollack special exhibit at the Guggenheim...just walking about and recognising different landmarks such as the FlatIron Building then turning round to see the Empire State Building looming over your shoulder..
Finally I dont think New Yorkers are as gruff and unfriendly as portrayed.A quick smile usually broke the ice and most people as anywhere were prepared to answer what must seem to them stupid questions from another annoying tourist..

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