New York – Arrival and Day 1

Saturday the 17th of August was again a day of travel. Taxi to the airport, the usual check-in hassle with taking even the shoes off and going through full-body scanners, then hours of flying without free movies (but series on my new Nexus 7). We arrived to the Big Apple (more precisely, to JFK International Airport) on the afternoon, from where we had to make it to our Airbnb apartment in Jersey City. This was not too difficult in theory, but in practice, it took quite some time, and a misfortunate event made it also quite miserable. So we first took the AirTrain at JFK airport (and bought a 7 day subway pass, a MetroCard) to subway line A to the WTC. This went well (although took surprisingly long on the subway), but the problems started at the WTC, where we – first of all – could not find the PATH train station. While walking to the wrong direction with our luggage, one wheel of our new large bag broke (thanks to the horrible temporary sidewalk surface near the WTC site), which made it very difficult to roll it afterwards (and trying to fix it I immediately cut my finger to make things even “better”). This – on top of being already quite tired from the travel – was a bit too much for me and I got quite annoyed very quickly. Just a few hours before this I was still so happy about the new bag while we were rolling it across the smooth airport floors with almost zero effort, so seeing it break down so quickly – at the worst possible moment – was a huge disappointment. Somehow we managed to find our way back to the PATH station, buy a pass for the PATH train (since the MetroCard is not valid here), and catch a train towards Jersey. Then we got off at Groove Street and still had to walk a half mile to our apartment. Unluckily that half mile with a broken bag weighting more than 20 kilograms took us much more than expected, so when we arrived to the apartment we were feeling quite down… The area in Jersey felt OK, and the apartment was also very homey, but we were so tired and annoyed, that it took us quite some time till we started to appreciate it. Then after we managed to freshen up a bit (thanks to the tiny tiny shower), we went to a nearby pizzeria which had very good reviews (Rustique Pizza). It was a really nice small place with indeed quite good pizza, which came on its own side table! Originally I was not sure if a small pizza would be enough, but after we ordered I saw a big one being placed next to the table behind us, and I immediately knew that I made the right choice sticking to the normal size one. Clio did not even manage finishing half of her plate, so we had some leftovers which I planned to eat (but then did not really manage…) on one of the coming days… On top of everything, Clio’s MacBook died (did not manage to find the HD anymore), so we had to make an appointment to the Apple Store for the next day to have it checked… So as you can see, our stay in New York got a bit of a troubled start, but luckily things got much better soon. (And I also started taking pictures.)

Sunday was our first full day in NYC, which we started with a breakfast in the nearby Starbucks (coffee and croissant for Clio, breakfast sandwich with eggs and chicken plus some orange juice for me), then took the PATH train and the subway to the corner of the southwestern corner of Central Park.


The weather was quite grey all day long, with a few drops of rain here and there, thus the light were far from optimal from a photographer’s point of view, so I went for a full black and white processing of the pictures taken this day. We first walked around the southern half of the park, looking at the huge boulders left there after the last ice age, crossing the famous bridges, some nice small trails, and staring at the skyline along the border of the green area.


The size of the park is quite impressive, you could easily spend a full day out there, especially with a frisbee or a pick-nick basket. Also, being a Sunday, the park was closed for motor vehicles, so the roads going along the inside of the perimeter served as a huge outdoor velodrome for the local cyclists, runners, and horse carriages. Originally we also wanted to rent bikes, but at the end we were happy we decided not to, since all the nice walkways were for pedestrians only.


Around noon we headed back to the southeastern corner to visit one of the most famous Apple Stores of the world, the huge glass cube on the 5th Avenue.


It took around an hour to have Clio’s computer checked and repaired by one of the hipsters behind the Genius Bar, but it was ok, since I got to spend some time looking at some gadgets (when I managed to move through the crowds inside).


After the repair was done, we crossed the park towards the American Museum of Natural History. We spent almost three hours inside, as it is indeed a very nice exhibition.


I especially enjoyed the meteorites and dinosaurs, while Clio liked the sea creatures (and maybe the minerals) the best.


Also the museum building itself is beautiful, especially the entrance hall. Unluckily the Rose Center for Earth & Space was closed for renovation, although that was the part I was looking forward maybe the most. After the museum we had a late lunch/early dinner at a nearby place, then walked down to the Hudson river Greenway, which is a long and narrow stretch of green along the river.


At the end of the day we walked inwards Manhattan again to see the modern buildings and spaces of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


As it was already getting dark, we headed back “home” from here, and probably went to sleep early and tired, as we always did after a full day of sightseeing.

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