Thursday, 22 September 2011

Down under in the Big Apple

And so finally arriving in NYC after a hellish way of getting here, Jackie meets me at the airport - so good to see a familiar face :) - other good thing was my bag decieded to come all the way through to :) head off the Jackies place on Long Island - a very nice area something that i never thought i would see in NYC so this was a real bonus. Head off to bed ready for a big week in NYC :)

 Jackie takes me off for a traditional NY breakfast - bagel with cream cheese - so i was expecting just a spread of cream chesse on the bagel, though i forget that i'm in america - and the bagel is filled with about two fingers thickness of cream cheese, still able to eat it thought quite sickly lol we spend the day relaxing (sleeping) at jones beach - this is something that i never thought i would do - sleeping on a beach in NYC a great way to be introduced into NY, a great relaxing afternoon. Was a weird sensation to as within a week i have had my feet in both the pacific and Atlantic oceans.  After the beach we head over to Jackies aunty and uncles place where we have a bit of a swim in the heated pool with her little cousins and a BBQ for dinner - was a really great day something that i thought again would never happen while i was in amcerica so it was a really nice suprise and had a great time.

My first trip in Manhatten to experience the Big Apple - my first thought was to go to the Statue of Liberty but when i got into the city the weather wasnt too kind and not very good visabilty so i catch the train to ground zero. Ground Zero is a very large construction site with the memorial well underway and the largest tower about 1/3 built. It was just hard to walk around and thing what was there and what happened there and how it was when the towers came down - it was just weird to walk around the area and just think. a very somber area. I visit the church that is opposite ground zero which was a refuge for most ppl on the 11th and became a lost persons vigil as well as a rest area for the fireman and emergency services - it was very surreal, one of the places that you have to experience for urself as words cannot describe it. I visit the memorial muesum that is being used until construction is complete - due to open this year for 10th ann. the memorial is very moving with many stories and videos, just hard to imagine what it would have been like to be there on that day. One of the Saddest things was 2 walls of a room filled with photos of every single person killed on 9/11, tissues where placed around the room and it was hard to look at these photos and not have tears in your eyes - someones dad, son, mum, grandfather, daughter - all so innocent in these photos and to be taken away like that - it was really powerful and emotional.There was another area where paper cranes where displayed made by ppl thoughtout the area - easily over a couple of thousand - also had one of the original paper crane made by Sadako Sasaki  when she was dying after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. One of the stories that i did read was a voice mail left by a husband to his wife - i had to take a photo to remember it, it read:

" Hey Jules, this is Brian...ah listen Im on a plane that has been hijacked....if things dont go well, and theyre not looking good, I want you to know that i absoulety love you. I want ou to do good, have good times, same with my parents. Ill see you when you get here, i want you to know that i totally love you. Bye Babe, hope i will call you......"

After this i went down to Wall st and checked out where the stock echange was and the place where George Washington had his inauguration. After this i slowly walked my way up Lower manhatten back the train station passing through the districts. Soho has some very good shopping - would like to go back there again :) Its amazing the secruity around some of the buildings such as city hall - complete opposite to back home. Walked past the CIA building to lol the architecture of NYC is amazing - i loved it, so mayn different styles all so unique and lots of art deco designs which i loved, it was in one day that NYC became one of my top 3 fav cities.

Todays weather wasn't to good so a trip to the statue of liberty was put off again, with visabilty at about 5 meters so i decided to go for a walk around midtown - first stop was the  Empire State Building - as a big lover of Art Deco - this building was amazing - i only went into the lobby but still it is beautiful and i loved it and if it was decent weather i properly would have gone up. Then moving onto Time Square - wow its amazing just to stand there and look around and you really just have to pinch yourself that you are actually here - so many people so many lights and good hotdogs! After seeing one marvel of the art deco world - i go to the next art deco stand out in NYC - the Crystla  Building - this building you can only go in to the lobby but still it was a lovely lobby and filled with art deco - a happy Marty :) On the way to UN i went via Grand Central station - this is place is pardon the irony but grand - the main hall is amzing - felt like sean connery and kevin costner were going to appear from the untouchables. This is deffently a place to see. The UN is having major renos so i just went into the foyer and muesum -(secruity council was closed and didnt want to pay $20 to be told this is where it is but we cant go in) Still great to say that i have been - the twisted gun statue was awesome.  The final trip for today was to MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, this was amazing - i got to see so many pieces of art and so many artists for the first time. Monets large water lillies - Van Goughs Starry Night, Ansel Adams, William Eggeslston actual prints. So this was a great end to a very busy long walking day!

Finally some nice weather! i head out to the statue! After a short 1 hour wait in line to get on the ferry, i get on liberty island around about 1230, i never thought that the statue was that tall and impressive - i took the free walking headphone tour around the isalnd - but it amzing how long you can just stand there and look at this lady standing there over you and  just thinking about what she means to everyone and just what she stands there for - its very impressive. I would love to go back there and go to the muesum under the the statue - just have to remember to book 6 months in advanced........
Ellis Island was very interesting just to learn the immigration story of another country - after being so close and knowing the story so well of Point Nepean it was good to learn how others found a "new world'
it was awesome to send the day in the sun beginning to remember how close summer was :)

 The good weather continues today and with good visabilty i head over to 30 rock. (Rockafella Centre) you may remember the building from such famous pictures as the group of men on the steelwork above the NYC skyline. on the top (shorter then the Eureka in melbourne) but it was great to see the NYC skyline from above, some say its a better view then the Empire State- i can understand why - u get a great view and get to have a great view of the Empire State itself! The view of centeral park is awesome - u actually get a real sense of how actually big the park is. This was my next stop - out if the Rock i head down to the park and spend the next 2 hours travelling up, down and across the park, it is huge, and so peaceful - the great thing is that as you make your way up the park the sounds of the city die out and you become lost in this park and forget that your in NYC unless you look back and see the skyline. The grassy fields - the multiple baseball fields, turtle ponds, lakes and resivores. This place is huge - you could spend a whole day walking around all the areas. I loved every minute - this is something that you don't get to experience in many of the major cities around the world - i'm very jealous of the people who live in NYC and get to go to this amazing place and whenever they like it really is something else.
That night Jackie and I head out to see Pirates 4 - cinemas over hear and nice all with recling chairs and check out the candy bar - didn't buy anything but the popcorn seems to be double the size of the large back home with add your own extra butter station......mmmmm cholesterol

Last day in NYC :( So i go and see the Museum of Natural History - 4 stories of history - if you can go to this place - its amazing so much in it so much history. it was amazing to walk around just get lost in all parts of the world throughout history - the stuffed animals where amazing, it felt like i was walking around Africa, was a bit freaky as to how they felt like it was about to turn around or blink!
After wondering around the museum for about 2 hours i went over to Central Park where i met up with Clancie again! who i had  met in LA so we had lunch in the park which was great for another random catch up! i also got a chance to have a real lunch - real chicken and a real sandwich - something that wasn't deep fried! lol After having another good walk around the park i head back to Jackies where we were having a BBQ for Jackies brothers birthday. Was great to have a family meal before heading off to camp. On the last night i begun to feel really nervous about camp, it was becoming more of a reality and wondering if this was going to be good, would i fit in, was it that right choice - this was the same feeling i would have for the next 3 days until i arrived at Lincoln. Next day on the plane to Minnesota...

FRIDAY - SUNDAY                                                                                                         
So dropped off at the airport and about to begin the journey to Camp Lincoln. I had no idea what to expect when i got there. so i fly off from NY and land in the windy city and have a hour to kill in the largest airport! not to hard, just walk half the length of the terminal and walk back and its your time killed lol.  so another short flight to MN and im in the state where i will spend the next 3 months in lol. i stand at the baggage carosel for about 15 minutes, after having a stop over in Chicago and knowing my luck with baggage for this trip so far, i was pretty confident that my luggage wouldnt turn up! and yes i was correct - i should start writing horoscopes... arrive at the hotel, decent will do me. just have a night in, about 6 pm my bags arrive at the hotel, hoorah! Have a decent sleep and enjoy being alone, cause i think it might be a while b4 i get to sleep alone for a while! head off to Mall of America the next day! this place is bloody dangerous, its cheap, it has three levels of shops, and i had a whole day there. Hide the credit card. Too late first shop was a two for 1 deal, so was the next shop! damn bank holiday sails! lol i walk away with a new wardrobe almost - i wish i came over with a empty suitcase! I saw Hangover II that night - quite enjoyable same story different location but the jokes are taken to a whole new level! The next day, Sunday, this was the day, the big day, the day i go to camp!, i head off to the mall to kill some time b4 i have to go to the airport to be picked up to head to camp. I watch Thor, my neck feels sore after watching it because i felt that  every shot was done on a angle and watched the whole thing on a angle - weird technique - i think this was a real distraction to the whole movie so anyways - i head back to get my bags from the hotel and head out to the airport and wait to be picked up...but that story will have to wait for another time!