The first thing we did when we arrived in Manhattan Island, New York was order a pizza. We went for a medium mushroom and broccoli special, rather than a large, as we'd heard they make their pizzas big in New York. Out came a pizza as big as a car tyre! We double checked that it was a medium, paid in quarters, dimes and greenbacks and headed back home to enjoy it with Jess's Uncle Peter.
We were lucky enough that Jess's Uncle happens to rent an apartment in Central Manhattan, so the second thing we did was peer out the 14th story window and spot the empire state building, only a few blocks away!
We had a great few days hanging out in this surreal and oh so familiar metropolis. Jess's Uncle Peter took us out to eat sweet pancakes with fresh berries and a side of bacon for breakfast, and for dinner we had some of the best Mexican food we've ever tasted, washed down with Martinis. The options for eating out, or even eating in, were amazing and it took some self control not to spend the rest of our rapidly diminishing savings on food.. It didn't help that the fresh and exotic Chelsea Markets were just around the corner!
As you'd expect, the options for sightseeing were just as plentiful. We walked through Time Square and gawked at all the flashy signs and eccentric characters hanging around. The colourful three-story M&M store, filled with more brightly coloured chocolate than you could imagine, was an unexpected highlight. We wandered through Central Park and were amazed at the sheer size and abundant wildlife. There were painted turtles in the ponds, squirrels climbing trees and robins pecking around for worms. We rode the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty, and sat down for a few innings of a high school Mother's day special baseball game on the other side. We even rode the old grafiti-covered subway over to Brooklyn and walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge at night to see the city lights. The whole time we had this strange feeling that we'd been there before.. well, maybe not physically.
It was also time for the ice hockey play-offs, and the first eastern conference semi-final happened to be between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils - a local derby! We were pretty keen to watch it but tickets started at $200, so we went to the 'Flying Puck' instead. This was the official Rangers supporters bar, so it was a good thing they beat the Devils 3-0.
We did see some live entertainment in 'Chicago'. That's the Broadway musical, not the city itself. It was pretty amazing, waltzing down Broadway to attend one of the most classic musicals ever. The show itself didn't disappoint with it's catchy, witty tunes, dynamic caste and active orchestra. We can't give too many details though, or those famous New York lawyers might sue us for a copyright infringement.
The 9-11 memorial sobered us up a bit. It just opened in 2011, and is a very fitting tribute to the poor victims and their families. The amount of destruction that happened here is hard to comprehend. It was such a world-changing moment, and it's hard to believe it was over 10 years ago.
It's been a crazy, action packed last few days in this dynamic and intriguing city, but we flew to this side of the world to earn money, not to spend it. So... we're off again, this time to Canada. We're headed to Banff first up, to visit Aidan's mate Marty, and start looking for some real jobs. It's definitely time to settle down and rest our weary travelers legs, at least for a while...