Friday, February 8, 2013

New York, New York – The first few days

It wouldn’t be my life if a few little things didn’t go horribly, horribly wrong in ways that seem to amuse people who aren’t me. So welcome back to my travel diary, and the days leading up to New Years Eve.

The Statue of Liberty cruise
I wasn’t about to waste my first day in New York, so I started the day off by heading to Battery Park where you catch the Staue of Liberty river cruise. Couldn’t go to the Statue though, they were still having some minor issues with the pier in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
It started snowing while I was on the boat. To a girl from Melbourne who has only ever seen snow once before in her whole life and couldn’t get over the fact that ICE WAS FALLING FROM THE SKYYYY, this was a magical and beautiful thing. Until I got off the boat. Then it was just balls. See, snow hits you in its pretty little icy pieces, then slowly melts to saturate you. It’s like delayed rain. And speaking of delayed rain, it then started to rain.

The open top bus tour
When booking one of those open top bus sightseeing tours, I recommend looking into the following area before you book your tickets: that the bus isn’t open top ONLY. Because mine bloody well was. It was 31 degrees Fahrenheit that first day. That’s just below zero in Celsius.
0 degrees + open top bus + wind-chill factor + the glorious combination of snow and rain falling from the sky at the same effing time = THIS WAS NOT FUN FOR ME.

Hailing a cab
I’m invisible, apparently. And I was wearing too many layers to flash some boob.

The reason for my suffering
So people think the reason I wanted to go to New York in winter was New Years. I let them think that because I didn’t want to admit that the real reason was a big ass Christmas tree. Yes. A Christmas tree. I genuinely enjoy sparkly lights and pine trees that much.
Standing in Rockefeller Centre watching people ice skate under that tree while snow falls and Christmas music plays is enough to warm your heart. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to warm anything else. If I had any feeling left in my face, I would’ve smiled. And if I had any feeling left in my hands, my photos would’ve been better.

Class and culture and all that
One of the stops on the bus tour is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It’s a huge European style gothic looking church. As much as I can appreciate architecture and history and fancy things, I didn’t get off the tour bus for the cathedral. I got off the tour bus because the cathedral is one block over from the diner they used on Seinfeld. No one was around at the time, so it only took about two minutes to get a few decent photos, followed by another two minutes or so to walk back to the bus stop. Then came the waiting. The cold, the wind, the suspected onset of frostbite, and the waiting. Turns out the bus schedule ain’t so friendly. My suffering was short-lived however, when a knight rode in on a white horse and saved me (by ‘knight’ I mean bus driver, by ‘white horse’ I mean bus and by ‘on’ I mean in). He was from a rival tour bus company, but told me he couldn’t leave me standing out in the cold and to get on anyway, and ‘just don’t say nothin.’ So I didn’t say nothin. His bus had a bottom level. With walls. And windows. And heating. And he was the first New Yorker I fell in love with.

Next blog: New Years Eve, New Years day, and more New Yorkers I fell in love with (the men are very friendly…).

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