New York 2
Anne-Marie took us around town to some of her favourites. The top of the Empire State building on such a crystal clear day was spectacular. It’s hard to believe that this and the Chrysler building were built in the thirties. They are in excellent condition and their Art Déco style shows just what can be done with high rise buildings if some ‘style’ is applied.
We have seen some of the world’s truly great museums, the Prado, the Louvre and the British Museum. New York’s ’Met’ has to be right up there. The totally reconstructed Egyptian Temple of Dendur is housed in its own wing. It was retrieved from the Aswan area on the Nile as part of a US funded project. The story goes that the Egyptian government ‘offered’ one of the five temples salvaged to the US in gratitude. … One wonders??
The forecast snow arrived with a light dusting greeting us this morning. By the time we fought our way out of the subway uptown, it was coming down in earnest. And it didn’t stop!
All of New York seems to enjoy the snow. Shoppers are greeted with heavy mats to catch the melting snow as they enter the furnace-like heat of the store interiors. Now, as we all know, shopping is not one of Paul’s favourite things! On this occasion however, the sheer scale of the stores had him enthralled. Macy’s in particular just goes on and on. A half a floor of LBD (little black dresses) was a show stopper and nine levels of shopping was a girl’s idea of “Died and gone to Heaven!!” PLUS clean toilets!!
Bergdorf Goodman’s was seriously intimidating. Once inside the hallowed doors, dinner-suited waiters have mineral water and hors d’oeuvres for customers to sip and nibble on while they decide what and how many they want to buy/be fitted for!! Scary stuff for two Aussies suited up in their Drizabones which don’t quite cut it with fur coats and rocks on fingers.
Visiting Anne-Marie’s office early in the evening, we caught up with some of her Aussie friends who hold a fair degree of sway over the content of People Magazine where Anne-Marie is a Senior Editor. A few drinks at a local bar with Patrick, a New York journalist who we had met in Australia last year and then off for the ‘Christmas Lights.”
Times Square is yet another New York icon. And again it didn’t disappoint. Tacky, tacky, tacky. You gotta love it!!! Finished the day with a visit to Lombardi’s ‘Pizza Joint’ and then the ‘Mafia Bar’ - an unaltered watering hole once frequented by ‘Uncle Frank’ and others who were ‘connected’ from the 30s through to the late 50s. The night ended with a snowball fight in the back streets of the East Side!
How New York can you get?
Now we are only going to do this once. But!
What about those New York prices? Fares on the subway are reasonable. Better in fact than London. However, there it just about ends!
Sorry, but paying A$60 for a bottle of wine that you know you can buy at the over-priced liquor store over the road for A$30 is sad enough, add to this the fact that the same wine or one of better quality could be purchased through any pub drive-through in Australia for A$15 is a bit much! A$15 for a bread roll with a bit of salad and meat or chicken is about average.
There was one bright spot in this saga. During our roamings through the Lower East Side we came across a street full of 99c stores, great Chinese seafood, meat and vegetable markets and other bargain outlets. Obviously the shopping precinct for the poorer residents of the Big Apple. We were right at home, purchasing some of the necessities for us to survive the remainder of our US trip, a toaster, electric cooking ring, pots, plates, bowls, cutlery etc. Cheap, cheap cheap!
A trip to the New York Tenement Museum put us in our place. We thought we were going to do it semi-rough, cooking in motel rooms etc, but life in tenements 100 years ago was seriously basic. An interesting afternoon.
Our last night was also Italian, a different but again, a great restaurant. The huge prices mentioned above took away some of the gloss, but it has been fun living the life of a New Yorker for a week. Anne-Marie and Ed have been great hosts and shown us a side of New York we probably wouldn’t have seen on our own.