It turns out that I had completely forgotten the perils of sleeping in dorm rooms, as if last years experience wasn't enough. Having only one other person in the 4 bed sectioned off part of a 10 bed dorm, I thought I was pretty lucky. Unfortunately, a number of hours into the night (I have no idea how many considering I was in jet lag fueled REM limbo at this point) a lot of seemingly pointless tip toeing and whispering ensued followed by numerous creekings of the bathroom door opening and closing, opening and closing....you get the drift.
Waking at a very unexpected time of around 7.30 am I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself. Having no internet, no common area and no breakfast to go down to, I decided I may as well get myself ready for my first day in New York.
After shuffling around in the dark for half an hour trying to relocate all my stuff, I went down to reception to ask about internet access, only to be told it was $10 a day! "This is New York City" replied the clerk, "nothings free here". So I went back up to my room, whipped out my laptop and started making the most of my $10.
Feeling the mounting pressure of finding a room or facing another few days worth of escalating hotel and food bills, I got on the case of setting up some apartment viewings. I arranged to see 2 in the afternoon, so in the mean time i suggested going for breakfast with my roommate, who just couldn't stop talking about his girlfriend, yawn. Fortunately he perked up a bit when he realised I wasn't interested in him and off we went to one of many Deli's that line the street.
These 'deli's' are like a cross between a Pret A Manger, a canteen and a whole food mini supermarket like Fresh And Wild in London for anyone who's ever been there. There's so much selection you feel like a kid in a candy store, but alas this is New York and you need to know what you want, not ask too many questions and make a snappy decision. So I went for a pesto chicken panini and a coffee - simple but not very American. And yes, I forgot about the tax and ended up paying more than I really wanted to.
The rest of the afternoon involved a lot of walking and a bit of shopping (not for me but it was Andreas's last day and I thought I may as well hang out with someone on my first day). Later we decided to risk the subway and go down to the Brooklyn Bridge for a fleeting yet picturesque visit. Another subway ride took us down to Battery Park (after missing the stop the first time and ending up in Brooklyn), where we mingled with the rest of the tourists on our way over to the Staten Island Ferry, which, I might add was FREE.