We are currently in New York and loving it! The flight went by quickly and the food and in-flight entertainment were suprisingly good (i watched 'Last King of Scotland', 'Children of Men' and a bit of 'Music and Lyrics'). We arrived on thursday evening and after going through customs really quickly we went straight to our hostel. We then went out for a quick (and huge) slice of pizza before an early night.
On friday morning we got up really early (we were staying in a ten bed female dorm so getting up early is always a good idea as you avoid the fight for the bathroom) and went for breakfast in a local cafe. As it was quite clear we decided to go up the empire state building - it was a bit of a maze getting in but when we got to the observatory the views were absolutely spectacular and we spent about an hour gazing out at the city beneath us. We then walked up 5th Ave to New York Public Library where there was a good photography exhibition. After that we went to Grand Central Station where a nice oldish man took it upon himself to explain to us the history of the station, Alex listened attentively but i was suspicious that he was just after some money. He went away in the end though so i guess he was just being informative out of the goodness of his own heart. I must learn to be less skeptical. We carried on our walk past the UN buildings, which were crap, and then went for lunch. Quesadillas, yum!
After lunch we vistited the Rockerfeller Centre and Radio City Music Hall, which were alright but as we cant do any shopping due to space issues werent all that. Next stop was the Museum of Modern Art which we really liked, some of the sculptures were a bit pants though - bits of steel randomly arranged, anyone couldve done it.
We were quite tired then so we came back to the hostel for a rest. Restorative. On the way back there was a crazy men on the subway - ive always been told thats where all the wierdos hang out and i guess thats true. He was preaching about how awful women are. Some of my favourite quotes:
"Man should not take woman to dinner, he should take her to jail"... "women are the root of all evil" etc. Brilliant!
At 6pm we left our Hostel and got the Subway 1 to Columbia University which is just north of Central Park. We met up with Jehan and Naomi, my mums schoolfriends twin Daughters, who go to uni here in New York. They gave us a quick campus tour (its nicer than manchester) and then we went for dinner at a Greek restaurant which had the most confusing menu ever. We had flaming cheese for starters, which Naomi was an expert at extinguishing. We talked a lot about the differences between UK and US universities and life in NY and San Francisco (where Jehan and Naomi come from).
After dinner we visited an authentic American frat house (which belonged to a jewish fraternity) - quite an experience. We then met the twins' friend Faye and tried to go to some bars but as we were under 21 we got IDed everywhere. It felt like we were 17 again. So we decided to give up and went to a liquor store to buy alcohol to drink back at Fayes (Naomi managed to get served for that). Fayes dorm room had a great view down Broadway and we had a really nice time sitting about, drinking and chatting. Thanks so much to Jehan and Naomi for meeting up with us - we had such fun!
This morning we changed hostels and are currently sitting in the living room of our new accommodation. Its completely different to the other one, much more homely, but looks really nice. Today we intend to head into the west and east villages and have a wander round.
We'll update again soon, in the meantime hope youre all well.
Love Zoe and Alex