14 October 2007

So last Friday (my first vacation day in a long time) we left for New York City at 6am with Chris and Tracy. The drive wasn’t too bad since it was only 5 hours long. Chris had a Nokia N800 (which I kind of want to read books/comics on) which kept me entertained most of the trip. Driving in NYC turned out to not be a big issue as getting to the place we were staying was fairly easy to find (even without the GPS). Where were we staying? Harlem. (We even bought some t-shirts.) Apparently Harlem is not as dangerous as it once was. Whenever we were walking around there I don’t think we ever felt not safe (except when I flexed my muscles). It was kinda weird though with people sitting on lawn chairs on the streets just watching you walk by or a group of kids that were walking and suddenly broke into song and dance. This is how the outside of our building looked:


And the inside was actually really nice and not what you would expect at all. I thought this place was nicer (granted smaller) than our place in Montreal.

Inside our rental unit

After we unpacked we walked over to the subway which was, well, gross. We saw our first rat which Rachel really enjoyed. We lucked out on our first subway ride since it was pretty empty and we all got to sit down (a luxury for the weekend). For the rest of the time in NYC the subway was really busy. Our goals for day 1 were just to buy some cheap broadway show tickets, shopping and touring around. We ended up getting tickets for Rent for like $60/ea which was pretty cheap compared to buying them in advance. We did manage to get lost a few times but the locals were always helpful (not what I expected) in giving us directions and advice. For supper we had reservations at some fancy Italian restaurant (how fancy? they server sheep brain). We couldn’t get in at a normal time so our reservations were for 11pm. The restaurant was packed so I guess people eating supper at 11pm was not uncommon. I had black spaghetti cause how many times am I going to have the chance to eat black spaghetti? It tasted the same as normal spaghetti if you want to know.

Day 2 started with us going to the Rent musical that we had bought tickets for. I thought it was OK but I liked Hairspray a lot more. We did a lot of walking around again and ended up in Central Park where, since no one was mugging us, I had to perform a mugging for the full NYC experience.


For supper we went to this place called something like “The Finer Diner” (I’m probably making that up) but it was like a fancy burger and fries joint. They won a bunch of awards for their burger so I ordered their award winning burger. It was awesome. If I ever go back to NYC this is probably the only place I would want to go again. Our evening plans were to hit up some club and live large. Our plans were quickly shut down when we were told that we had to buy a minimum of two bottles of booze which were at least $300/bottle. Thankfully our crew decided that was too much money and we went to a pub and had cheap drinks at $12/ea. Ya, $12/ea. Our tab was over $200 by the end of the night.

Our 3rd day we took a harbor cruise for about 2 hours (after waiting in line for over an hour). It took us all around NYC and had some dude explain everything we were seeing which was kinda interesting. I guess the thing that everyone takes picture of is the statue of liberty so uh, here it is:

Statue of liberty

It’s a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be. Maybe the X-Men movie made it look bigger. After the cruise we finally got down to business and walked down 5th avenue. We saw all the big stores that you see in movies but the most important one we saw, the Apple store. Open 24/7 and under a glass cube. This was my only stop that I wanted to see.

Chillin outside the apple store

I bought myself a new 8gb nano “fatty” for $220 Canadian. After the Apple store we went next door to the store that was in the movie Big with the giant piano:

The piano from big

Rach wanted to dance on it but there was a huge line up of kids and we didn’t have enough time to wait. In the evening we wanted to hit up the Empire State building but it was really foggy so there was zero visibility.

Our last day in NYC we started off by going back to the Empire State building.

Love on top of the Empire State Building

After that we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a few hours. As museums go this one was pretty cool. It was so big that we all split up so we could all see what we wanted. I was determined to see every exhibit so I powered walked through the entire museum.

My favourite statue at the Met

Me at the Temple of Dendur

After this museum we walked across central park to the Museum of Natural Science. I wasn’t impressed with this one. After going to the Toronto Zoo most of the stuffed (or whatever they are) animals that we saw here we saw alive at the zoo. We bought tickets for a show in the planetarium (I might have fallen asleep) and tickets for the Mythic Creature display. I thought the mythic creatures would be cool but they let me down (thanks for nothing unicorns). Rach and I had a bus to catch at 9:30pm so we had one last supper in NYC in Harlem. I had some pretty horrible ribs, so don’t eat ribs in Harlem.

After the gross ribs Rach and I went early to catch the bus back to Montreal. There was a huge lineup which turned out to be for the 8:30 bus. We waited and waited and eventually they let us on as the very last passengers for the 8:30 departure. We both thought it was awesome that we were getting on early until we got on the bus and there were no 2 seats together left. Rach sat beside some chick who refused to switch seats with anyone. The other available spot was beside some huge woman that took up almost both seats. My choices were half a seat or sit beside the washroom. I chose to smell urine for the 8 hour trip. The bus ride wouldn’t be too bad if it didn’t stop every hour or so for fuel, check-ups, or customs. On top of the frequent stops sitting beside the bathroom with people opening the door into me or the bathroom light that’s always on above me I just gave up on sleeping. We arrived in Montreal at 4am and took a taxi home. It was a pretty horrible bus ride.

So that was our trip to NYC. You can see all the pictures on flickr as usual. I could handle going to NYC again though I could do without the horrible bus ride. Now I have a week off from traveling before we head out to Ottawa to see Chris and Tracy again.