Our first night at the hotel was “enhanced” by the fire alarms going off in the hotel just after we’d decided to go to sleep! The false alarm of course heralded a convoy of very loud vehicles from the New York Fire Department!
We then had several well spaced public address messages in the hotel to tell us all to ‘stand down’. Oh what the hell – we only live once, you have to laugh!
Yesterday morning we were up and out at our favourite breakfast place at 7:30 (body clock problems!). Then it was a quick visit to Grand Central Station to find city and subway maps (Subway not Metro as we called it last time).
We popped up to Times Square to see the preparations for New Year. Here’s Doug with No 1, Times Square (where the ball drops at midnight) behind him.
They have already sectioned a lot of it off ready for the celebrations.
The Christmas lights are all over the city but not as we know them in the UK. Trees are lit rather than lots of overhead decorations.
One World Trade looks fantastic now that it’s been topped out and finished at 1776 feet. From the trade centre site we made our way to Battery Park where we met up with a queue for the Statue of Liberty tour which was 1/3 mile long! With the temperature at freezing point and the wind stripping the heat out of our tender British heads we decided to give it a miss ……..
…… and take shelter in O’Hara’s bar (which sat next to the Twin Towers and survived).
In the afternoon we went on a shopping spree in Downtown Manhattan – here’s Doug outside the New York Stock Exchange. (As we’re coming back by sea our weight limit isn’t an issue now, so shop we did!)
Going out last night to a few bars, chatting with the locals has given us a change of plan: One sensible New Yorker said that it was “suicide” to go to Times Square for New Year – “why stand in the freezing cold with a million strangers for seven hours, where you can’t drink and you can’t pee, just to watch a ball drop!” So, we’ve taken the hint and we’ll spend the time having some fun with the super friendly locals somewhere. (Survival is all about adaption).
Anyway, now is our chance to send our very best wishes to all our family, friends and readers for a great New Year ahead. The message coming out of the TV at the moment is “Be Brave in 2014”. Lets all go with that one!
Love and best wishes to you all!
(Picture supplied by our great friend Marcy)