new york

Long Island

I caught this shot coming into JFK airport at about 5:30 in the morning, just before we landed. The view is looking up towards Long Island, in the general Boston Direction.

This was taken with the point and click, but considering the circumstances, I think that it came out ok.

Gibson Guitar wall

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A wall at Planet Hollywood, Times Square. It contains a couple of hundred Gibson Guitars, mostly the Les Paul.

This is a fitting memorial to the famous Les Paul, who died on August 13 2009. He created the Gibson Les Paul guitar, which was played by almost every rock band in the world.

He also invented multi-track recording, which of course revolutionised the music industry.

Lets make that 16 means of Transport in USA – the Limo

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On Thursday I phoned to book a cab to take us to the airport from Manhattan to JFK Airport on Friday.

So, we were all packed, waiting at the hotel reception for the cab to arrive, when an eight seat stretch Limo pulled up at the door. It could not possibly be ours. The driver walked in to reception and walked straight up to us. "Are you room 522?" – he asked.

Yes – the Limo was ours! So, Lois and I went to JFK airport in style. I really felt like a rock star. It was fantastic! I have no idea why we got a stretch Limo, I have no idea why it cost the same as a yellow cab – but I was not going to complain.

So, New York – we will be back soon. Keep up the style!

Trains, planes and aircraft carriers

New York is the most amazing city! It is always busy with people and traffic rushing about at all times of the day.

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We went up the Empire State Building, which is about a block from our hotel. The viewing deck is on the 86’th floor, and the view was fantastic – you can see the entire island of Manhattan, and much further on a good day. The queue’s are about one hour long or so, but Lois’ white cane did the trick!

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Yesterday we took a three hour cruise around Manhattan, and got to see the different neighbourhoods. We say the 59th bridge (as in the 59th Street Bridge Song), the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the United Nations building.

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Ground Zero was very sobering – it is just a very big hole in the ground, with lots of construction happening. A selection of photos of 9/11 were on display, as well as a signboard listing the names of the people who lost their lives. The atmosphere was very sad and thought-provoking.

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We also visited the Intrepid museum, which contains a WW2 aircraft carrier, a submarine, and a British Airways Concorde. The submarine was really fun to visit. It was very cramped and quite claustrophobic. The hatches we had to climb through were very small and cramped! I was interested to learn that the crew only showered once a week, and then for only one minute at a time. It must have been really fragrant down there!

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The Concorde, which was donated by British Airways is really not a large aeroplane – it is tiny! It might have been a really fast aeroplane, but it is also very cramped inside. You are definitely paying for speed, not for comfort. I suppose that I can say with a straight face that I have now been on the Concorde.

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It is a good thing we went to the museum when we did because it is closing on Oct 1 for maintenance for a year or so.

So on this trip, we have been on the following modes of transport : aeroplane, ferry, train, bus, subway, car, horse and cart, spaceship, Concorde, tram, submarine, battleship, amphibious vehicle and of course foot! Not bad going for a couple of weeks.

The weather has generally been very hot, but New York has been raining the last couple of days – just like Cape Town! I am loving the trip, but I am starting to miss the dogs, our food and of course my bed!

I seem to have picked up a cold – I think it is from the air-con and hot weather outside, so I am laying low today.

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