Sadly, I type this entry on our ninth and last night in NYC. I am sad because I love this city and everything it has to offer, but I think we have seen almost all that we wanted and much more than we bargained for while we were here …
Day six in New York saw me in a waiting room of a medical centre, trying to see a doctor without insurance. Yes, I was the banker who sells travel insurance and did not purchase travel insurance!
I am sure that, like me, you’ve all heard about the horror stories about American medical expenses? I entered the medical centre with trepidation, not wanting to find myself bankrupt for a suspected broken foot.
How did this happen, you ask? Eleven days earlier, on our last (crazy) night in Vegas, I had tried to pull open our massive glass bathroom door when it fell off its wheels and landed on my leg. It was about 40kg and it was a sliding door, not a pull-open door.
So, when the bruising had not subsided and I was sick of hobbling my way through NYC, I took myself off to the medical centre for some X-rays.
So, the moral of the story: get travel insurance and don’t wait 10 days for x-rays. The good news is that the leg and ankle are not broken, but ligament damage and bruising scored me a fancy old man walking stick (seriously, they had run out of crutches).
So, set with a new walking apparatus, we ventured out into the first stormy day that New York City had given us and sheltered in New York’s MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). The museum was full of new and futuristic inventions and an interesting exhibition about rethinking the “American Dream”.
I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but before we arrived in New York I had purchased us NYC City Passes. The pass has provided us with easy entry and tickets for the Empire State Building, MoMA, Top of the Rock, the Statue of Liberty and the American Museum of Natural History. Traveller tip: get a City Pass!
After a quick late lunch, we took the subway to a bar on 14 East 33rd Street called Rattle n Hum. It was recommended by mum and dad and I can vouch for their extensive variety of craft beers on tap. Another one to add to the list of drinking holes we would haunt if we ever call NYC our home.
Disappointingly, we did not stay for the Monday night jazz as we already had a table booked at the Comedy Cellar in West Village. We had a quick Mexican feast of nachos, fajitas and pina coladas and crammed into the cosy Comedy Cellar to watch an array of hilarious local comedians. Much to our surprise and enjoyment, Aziz Ansari was one of the main acts. Aziz is an American actor, writer, and stand-up comedian who stars as Tom Haverford on the hilarious NBC show Parks and Recreation. Jessica Kirson, who we had seen at Broadway Comedy Club on our second night (before going to the 40/40 Club), also made an appearance, and, again, she was spectacularly awful and hilariously inappropriate. Kudos to Kate and Will, who had recommended the Comedy Cellar, we had many laughs.
On exit we were handed a card for half price drinks at a club nearby, so we took the opportunity to carry on with our night and Dan ended up on the karaoke stage with a lovely young woman called Shalonda, singing Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind.
This was followed by another trip to Fat Cat where I proceeded to dominate Dan in Shuffleboard until 3.30 in the morning. The only reason why I am boasting my Shuffleboard skills is because it’s Shuffleboard, and I think this is the only thing that I can definitively beat Dan in.
We decided that a sleep in was definitely needed on day seven as we have been going at a cracking pace this entire trip.
After only a few days of traveling uptown and downtown (from Brooklyn to the Bronx) on the Subway, we are becoming experts in New York public transport. So, we caught the Subway to Little Italy and Chinatown and wandered around for several hours, just enjoying the liveliness and culture.
We had a late breakfast of dumplings at a Chinese bakery on Grand St and wandered 2miles (3.2km) through SoHo (which stands for the area South of Houston Street) to the Magnolia Bakery at the other end of Bleecker Street in West Village. While indulging in a large slice of their famous red velvet cake I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever earn enough to enjoy a shopping spree at Jimmy Choo across the street, or Mulberry down the road ($1,750 for a beautiful green spring bag). Perhaps not, but a girl can only dream!
We strolled around the area, locating the apartment block that Rachel, Monica, Joey and Chandler lived in on the TV show Friends, then caught a cab back to Little Italy where we enjoyed a lovely Italian meal for dinner.
As big fans of the TV show How I Met Your Mother, we decided to track down the bar in which most of the show is set. It turns out that MacLaren’s Pub does not actually exist and it is simply based on McGee’s Pub at 240 W 55th St (between Broadway & 8th Ave). But we went anyway, and while watched one of the basketball playoff games between Indiana and Miami we enjoyed a beer and reminisced about our trip.
So far, we’ve worked out that New York City is amazing, I am a complete klutz with an old man cane and we are two of the luckiest people in the world.
This morning was an early start for at least one very keen Maroons supporter. Dan woke at 5.30am to watch the Maroons win the first State of Origin game of 2012, while I listened to the commentary, still half asleep (in such a small apartment I really had no choice).
But it was a pleasant start to the day and we caught the subway downtown to Battery Park where we jumped on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. With Dan decked out in his beloved Broncos jersey, he was stopped and struck up a conversation with a Sharks/NSW supporter we met on Liberty Island.
This happened again with a QLD supporter he bumped into at the American Museum of Natural History later that afternoon.
The five-floor museum was wonderful and overflowing with amazing fossils, displays and exhibits and is definitely worth more than half a day. I especially enjoyed the Journey to the Stars planetarium documentary that was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. The graphics were amazing and the fact that the documentary was shown on the dome roof made it seem as if we were actually travelling through the stars. It was truly an experience to remember.
Tonight we enjoyed a delicious cocktail and meal at Red Lobster in Times Square before catching a cab back to our apartment for some serious packing and resting. While my leg has not slowed us down too much, it is still in much need of rest and recovery from a hectic week. One bonus is that my walking stick has helped us skip a few lines around town!
Tomorrow we are departing on a bus to Washington D.C. for two nights. I hear that there will be much walking around and many museums to see in Washington. My old man walking stick, Dan and I are quite looking forward to it! Again, the moral of the story… always get the travel insurance!!
J & D
First Published on: May 24, 2012 @ 5:42 #12monthhoneymoon