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quickie hi from NY

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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: quickie hi from NY
    Posted: 10 Nov 2009 at 20:11
I have been mostly doing two things since I got here working (yes really) and tipping.

I tried to wrestle my bags from the bell boy but the bugger had them on the trolley before my leg was out of the car, it is so fking expensive, everything is! the best part is that i get away with one breakfast every 3 days as i've resorted to putting half of it (muffins and pastries) into zip lock bags for the next morning then filling up with free fruit

a typical breakfast is scrambled eggs hash brown 3 sausages (I put two sausages today in the mini bar fridge hope they don't open it to restock it), about half a loaf of bread, toasted, SIX mini jars of honey marmalade and jam (yes, in my suitcase) yoghurt, 4 loads of tea bags croissant, muffin and 3 pastries

not even been into manhattan yet, out in the sticks in white plains, loving it here obv but my money's running out and I don't get to do my own thing till Friday, with the rate my money's running out looks like i'll have to mug someone second i get into NY
oh and virgin atlantic prem economy is the dog's bollocks btw

hope ya'll (see what I did there?) are doing well, catch you again soon

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  Quote veronica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2009 at 22:46
I didn't know you were there, glad you are having a good time so far.


By the way Virgin Business class is pretty much the mutt's nuts as well
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  Quote James Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2009 at 11:37
Does this mean none of us are getting a present?
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2009 at 14:36
Originally posted by veronica

I didn't know you were there, glad you are having a good time so far.


By the way Virgin Business class is pretty much the mutt's nuts as well
 
I've never known service like it, plus even as people were boarding, they brought round champagne, bucks fizz or fresh orange juice around THREE times and they actually hang up your coats! Also it was non stop food and alcohol, with proper glass, china and real cutlery.
 
I ran out of time to do all the touristy things but I'm going back in March so will be more organised. Anyone going to NY I can help you plan your trip!
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2009 at 15:23
Originally posted by James

Does this mean none of us are getting a present?
Of course not darlink! I have a fine selection of Ritz Carlton mini pots of jam (raspberry AND grape) and honey and marmalade
It really is an amzing place although not cheap, I am totally piss broke, I mean really REALLY broke. I shall be attending every freebie invite to xmas parties and gallery openings in order to be fed
The outlet shopping in particular, Tanger ($80 round trip which isn't bad, plus on the bus out they come around with newspapers, water and snacks) and you can't use your cell phone ('cell phone' pretentious, moi?) and can't be noisy, also if they say the bus will be leaving at 12 it will be
I also got to see a few things (or varying quality) by queuing up in Times Square at TKTS, incl Phantom I can't believe how close the film was to the play (oh yeah the programmes are free!) the guy who played the phantom was unbelievable plus the girl and the one who is the singer who she replaces, sang brilliantly, at the end though you were really rooting for the phantom The only downer is the usual begging for money at the end the phantom guy was funny and all that but it was a bit disappointing to hear his camp real voice after seeing him play brooding so well. Also saw a couple of art installations, one was a series of cubicles with screenings of various porn stars wanking for the camera but as it was all wrapped up in 'art' it was deemed respectable...
the portions in the hotel for breakfast were huge, but in general, the more expensive the restaurant, the more normal sized the portions were, you only get the ridiculous amounts at the cheaper places but New Yorkers are generally a health conscious bunch with the men workout solid and the ladeez thin and brittle
I started off in the sort of country, White plains but bordering on connecticut, greenwich but moved into the city. The sky scrapers really are overwhelming and even though I tried desperately not to act too touristy I made a bit of a boo boo when I asked where the Empire State Building was (round the corner from my second hotel but could I find it) I was actually almost directly underneath it
Also, (for me at least) if you looked up at all the buildings you could feel yourself getting as bit dizzy
Nightlife, oh my, again almost exactly as you see in the movies, not backward in coming forward. You have to be very blunt and make it clear you're only there to enjoy the music and dance
Yellow cabs, ha! if only they were here! very easy to get one although less so at one as that's when their shift changes (you learn these things!) also crossing the street on the first day was a bit intimidating but one you've got the hang of it you know to cross when the red hand goes steady (only tourists wait for the white signal)
Rudeness, no none! In hotels, restaurants and shops the staff rely on their tips so service is second to none. I was at a restaurant and there was obviously blue cheese in the salad (my mouth started tingling) when I complained (more like an observation saying I couldn't eat it) the manager was called after apologising he stormed off to the kitchen like a man possessed, any complaints are taken v seriously
Rudeness in general was not apparant either, it's all very fast moving so there's no dawdling like a tourist, gawping at things (yes, I tired my hardest not to look like a visitor and was asked (by tourists heh heh) for directions a good few times. Actually it's piss easy to get around as they are no street names, it's all grids and east or west, someone said it was 20 blocks a mile so you know when you can walk it ( alot of serious walking) or when to cab it
it is quite a superficial place and you are judged on how you look and clothes, I should've maybe worn trainers a lot more (oh, running in central park is da bomb!) I have blisters like you wouldn't believe but you can tell instantly who does what, there's a lot of plaid shirts about and likewise suits and then designer gear
A lot of 'white trash' types too, again, it's just like the movies
places I didn't get to see, ground zero, statue of liberty, battery park, these are all lower manhattan and even though a bus would've taken me there easily (oh yeah, a lot of the attractions, museums etc are on a straight route, literally off 5th Avenue, very easy to get your bearings quickly) it was just too far away. although next time I will start from downtown first. I'm going back in March so this time I'll know my stuff
oh yeah, when you get to JFK be warned the immigration hall is as hot as hell, plus they fingerprint both hands electronically and the police presence is overwhelming - everywhere
I would live in NY in a heartbeat, I love London but once you've been and seen everything you want to move to pastures new
Right, back to bed, was only popping on for a second
PS I can see where the culture of making nobodies into 'stars' has come from, when I was there it was all Sarah Palin and the guy who got her daughter pregnant, they were making him over for playgirl and he was a reg on a chat show called (I think) 'the insider' It doesn't matter how big a shit you've been (another 'star in the making' was a guy who walked out on his wife and sixtuplets, he too is being groomed for a career in telly) the media will love you.  Plus the dripping insincerity of presenters and certain people you meet who are trying to big themselves up is wearing
But all in all, I loved every second even though I am now officially piss broke - I think I may keep those jams for myself now...
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  Quote Force Ten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2009 at 06:00
When you go back in March Alex, it's worth taking the boat trip around Manhattan - you get a really good idea of what it all looks like.  It's a long time since I was there though.  The last time, the Twin Towers were still standing and I thought about going up to the top but decided to wait until my next trip as I was running out of time.  Sadly time was running out for the Towers too and I haven't been back since anyway.
 
The breakfasts - yes I remember them well.  I asked for a side order of bacon once, expecting a couple of nice rashers of back bacon and what I got was a whole plateful piled high with their idea of bacon which tasted dire and appeared to be all streaky bacon.  Not nice at all.  I can't believe the amount of food that got thrown away.  I should have done what you did and saved it for the next day!!!
 
Glad you enjoyed your trip.nod
 
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2009 at 13:54
Right, what else? Oh yeah, I was there for Halloween which is a really big deal (if you like seeing spoilt kids dressed up as Britney that is) and thanksgiving which I'm missing (also missing the big parade which is a bummer as it's this w/e) is a massive event, bigger than Christmas

One of the busboys who used to deliver my breakfast was called Oral (yes, really, although I'm sure it was pronounced ORR-RALL but I couldn't get my tongue round it, aherm), so I derived a little enjoyment by filling out the comment card saying How much i looked forward to Oral every morning

Re shopping, on certain Fridays (near public holidays I guess) they have an event called Black Friday where stores have massive deals/discounts, it's Black Friday this w/e Macy's have some great bargains (grrr!) Also, you know how here, you'd die a thousand deaths first before presenting a coupon? Well over there it's THE thing to do, lke a comp for who gets the cheapest deal.

Starbucks, forgot to say that when I was waiting for a coffee (their new sickly xmas one that to be fair, really does taste like creme caramel) they ran out of the crunchy topping so I was given a voucher for a (any!) free drink for next time, you don't get that here do you at least I hope not because I passed it onto the doorman

Despite the melting pot of nationalities in NY (I reckon it's actually easier to be gay than black in NY which is shocking for 2009). You can see the subtle racial prejudice, esp in certain restaurants where the front of house staff might be all white. Plus the obv rich/poor divide, again, the poor white trash look is just as you see on your tellybox.

It was also Veterans Day whilst I was there and watching breakfast telly, they had singing from a band of inbreds calling themselves The Sons of the Silver Dollar, they might as well have worn pointy white hats, plus the religion thang is stifling with everyone thanking God every 5 seconds.

Central park - makes regent's/hyde park, look anemic and very dull in comparason. The weather (apart from the day I queued up in torrential rain for the phantom tix) was beautiful and mild

Whilst I was there about 3 people fell onto the train tracks or under a train (one was drunk one was pregnant) all survived but it was the way that strangers, without hesitation jumped down to save them (all on breakfast telly) that warmed your heart

Space is at a premium over there and you get very VERY little for your money (you could fit the entire bedroom and bathrooom in my second hotel into the bathroom, with room to spare, in my first at the ritz carlton) but I do get that people are now buying apartments without kitchens, eating out every night is very much the norm, plus there's something fun to do every night, even free stuff, like tapings for comedy central tv shows or art exhibitions

Am I suddenly in love with America? No, but do I love New York? Yes!

Originally posted by Force Ten

When you go back in March Alex, it's worth taking the boat trip around Manhattan - you get a really good idea of what it all looks like.


I saw that tour advertised! I was v disappointed I didn't get to see the sight of the Twin Towers or the tribute wall. But I think I've still got the leaflets for that trip so will make that a must when I return (I'm also going to book into the Ritz Carlton at Battery Park, way cheaper than the Central Park one and still easy to get into town. The Hotel Chandler was a bit of a mistake - £100 sterling a night, made it v cheap but it was so cramped plus no bleeding breakfast!

Originally posted by Force Ten

The breakfasts - yes I remember them well. I asked for a side order of bacon once, expecting a couple of nice rashers of back bacon and what I got was a whole plateful piled high with their idea of bacon which tasted dire and appeared to be all streaky bacon. Not nice at all. I can't believe the amount of food that got thrown away. I should have done what you did and saved it for the next day!!!


The Americans can't do bacon, I ordered it for breakfast one day with my eggs and got two giant thick pieces of HAM! (gammon?)

I can't wait to go back, but at least next time I'll be better prepared!
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  Quote Vilt UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2009 at 19:27
Originally posted by Alex

 The sky scrapers really are overwhelming and even though I tried desperately not to act too touristy I made a bit of a boo boo when I asked where the Empire State Building was (round the corner from my second hotel but could I find it) I was actually almost directly underneath it
Also, (for me at least) if you looked up at all the buildings you could feel yourself getting as bit dizzy
 
Yellow cabs, ha! if only they were here! very easy to get one although less so at one as that's when their shift changes (you learn these things!) also crossing the street on the first day was a bit intimidating but one you've got the hang of it you know to cross when the red hand goes steady (only tourists wait for the white signal)
 
 
places I didn't get to see, ground zero, statue of liberty, battery park, these are all lower manhattan and even though a bus would've taken me there easily (oh yeah, a lot of the attractions, museums etc are on a straight route, literally off 5th Avenue, very easy to get your bearings quickly) it was just too far away. although next time I will start from downtown first. I'm going back in March so this time I'll know my stuff
oh yeah, when you get to JFK be warned the immigration hall is as hot as hell, plus they fingerprint both hands electronically and the police presence is overwhelming - everywhere
I would live in NY in a heartbeat, I love London but once you've been and seen everything you want to move to pastures new
Right, back to bed, was only popping on for a second
oh I love NY also great time there-unlike you i'm a downtown girl myself Tongueso it was upper east i never explored-wore out 3 pairs of trainers padding the streets but its the way to see the place-favourite bar was in tomkins square (bit dodgy) but we just went there every night on wat home.Got up the twins before -fabulous at night-and someone got me into that big building infron tof the empire state so had wonderful view of Central park.Arriving by cab at night is fantastic as MH comes into view from queens.Ah memories-wanna go back there again.nod
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  Quote Force Ten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2009 at 18:23
If you get a chance Alex, also try the View Restaurant http://www.theviewny.com/.  If you go just as it's getting dark, you get to see New York just as the lights are all coming on.  There is a fabulous buffet and you just keep going up and helping yourself.  I stuffed myself and didn't need to eat until the next evening lol.  I suffer a bit from vertigo and was worried about going that high up and having the restaurant move round and round, but you don't actually notice it once you're there.  Fantastic views!
 
I was there for Halloween a few years ago and we actually took part in the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village which was great fun.  All the costumes and the floats were well worth seeing - people obviously put a great deal of work into it.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2009 at 14:06
Hey Vilt, long time...
That might be the Flatiron buildling?
 
I venturned into a few clubs and got out again quickly (literally turned and walked straight out again)
 
Force Ten! How could I have missed (or not been told) about this? It looks fantastic (esp the '...children are not permitted after 9 pm' part) That's a must for my next trip, cheers! I know that there's one opening in London soon but I'm not sure they can compete with The View.
 
Funny thing is, I don't have a prob with heights but there was a bit of an uncomfortable feeling looking up sometimes & thinking (well, SEEING!) that the buildings were swaying a bit - of course I could've just been hungover Drink
 
First place I stayed was 20 mins from Greenwich Village, it's like an incredibly long Hampstead High Street with amazing shops, there was an Apple and a Ralph Lauren store just opening as I left. Plus the whole area is very pretty (& clean).
 
My body clock is completely out of sync, thought I was over it but no, wide awake at 3am, day off today but totally ruined it by not getting up til 12 noon :( Plus it's a vile mix of bright sunshine, wind and rain out there, gah!
 
 
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  Quote Vilt UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2009 at 19:52
Originally posted by Alex

Hey Vilt, long time...
That might be the Flatiron buildling?
  
 
 
No the big bugger uptown about 54th-it might be called the GE-used to be RCA near the Rockerfeller icerink.If you go up Empire state you get a good view of the GE so given a choice go up the GE-you get a view of the Empire state and a better view of Central park.On the other hand both are grand.
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  Quote Laura Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2009 at 21:18
i think these may have been your longest ever posts!! NY must agree with you.

My sis in law was getting primed for Black FRiday sales, i'm guessing it's a bit less exciting in east Texas than in NYC though

I'm so looking forward to being told my accent's cute when i go back to America in March, the service really is superb - how on earth do people here get away with being so bloody rude?

glad you're back sweetie xxx
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2009 at 13:23
Originally posted by Laura

i think these may have been your longest ever posts!! NY must agree with you.


Yeah, it did. I think I've found my way home (at last!)


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