Our final night in Boston gave us a sneak peak of the American winter that was fast approaching us. New York, however, was not so subtle in introducing us to the elements. In typical New York fashion, the cold weather got up in our face and let us know who the boss was. These two little warm blooded Aussies were a long way from the red sands of Broken Hill (and, in my case, the wog-filled streets of East Keilor). Despite the chilly conditions and a nasty cold that I had caught on our last day in Boston, I soldiered on valiantly and suffered in silence so that Jess could have a memorable New York adventure. Isn't that right Jess?
As with our time in Boston, we managed to catch up with a few old friends who lived in the Big Apple. First up on the visitor rounds was Mari -- another of the American girls who had studied in Australia a few years back and was now living in New York. Mari took us out to dinner and drinks several times and missed her calling in life as a New York City food and drink tour guide. She knew how to pick an awesome place to enjoy a bite to eat. Our first night together was at a Peruvian restaurant that left us fuller than a fat chick's boot! Another night she took us to a cool place called Momo Fuku for a late night treat - cereal milk flavoured ice cream and crack pie. As its name suggests, the ice cream tasted exactly like the milk that is left over in your bowl after you finish your cereal. And the crack pie? Well let's just say that the sugar rush it gives you should probably be illegal.
Our next friendly catch-up with was with Mark - the brother of my lifelong friend Katie - and his partner Dallas. Mark has been living in NY for a few years as a sax worker. No, you read that wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter and have another read. Mark is a professional saxophone player who has been plying his trade in NY - i.e. living the muso dream! Mark and Dallas took us out for coffee and brekkie on a few occasions and showed us around some of the lesser known parts of NY, like Queens and the Upper West Side where John Lennon lived (and died). Being fellow Melbournians, they also made sure we got a dose of decent coffee. Because a good cup of coffee in America is rarer than rocking horse poo!
As well as catching up with old pals, we managed to cram in a tonne of touristy stuff. Here's a brief rundown of what we managed to do in our week in NY:
- visited Top of the Rock (the observation deck at the Rockefeller Centre) and took some sensational snaps of the NY skyline over sunset
- went for a morning bike ride through Central Park. It sounded like a great idea but the combination of navigating one way streets and fighting off a cold meant that it wasn't quite as picturesque and "sound of music" as we imagined it would be
- soaked up the bright lights of Times Square with visits to the M&M store, Toys R Us and the Disney Store - because you're never too old
- perused the streets of Midtown which included Grand Central Station, the NY public library, Christmas markets and public ice rinks
- went to a Brooklyn Nets game. They lost but we still had a ball and spent a fortune on nachos and sloppy game food
- had a pastrami sandwich at Katz' Deli - site of the famous Meg Ryan fake orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally". Yes, we had what she was having. The sandwich, I mean...
- visited the Original Soup Man - the man who inspired the famous "soup Nazi" Seinfeld episode
So there you have it. In typical NY fashion, our stay was action-packed, and bigger and better than we ever imagined.
Next stop: Philadelphia, PA