Getting to Know New York

Friday, 20th May, 2016

I forgot to mention that last night at dinner we saw the most extraordinary people arriving. Some wore black and were extremely tall and thin, others were dressed in cloaks or had white makeup on their faces. One wore a body stocking or maybe she was just painted. I asked the waiter what was going on. He replied that it was the Domination Convention. I looked it up and found that it was for the world’s Top Dominatrices, Bondage and Fetish models, Webmasters, Fetish Photographers, Performing Artists, Educators, Leatherfolk and Lifestyle People. What will they do? You might well ask, but according to their web page they will have demonstrations, seminars and panel discussions. Unfortunately I wasn’t brave enough to ask to take a photo.

This morning we woke early, checked out and caught the shuttle to the airport. We were given seats right in the middle of the middle row so John would have been trapped but after much discussion and sweet talking on John’s part we were given the seats behind the baby bassinets which were great, especially as there were no babies. Once in JFK airport we decided to splurge on a taxi to save John’s foot. It cost us $70 (with tip) because of peak hour on a Friday afternoon but we pulled up at the Candlewood Suites with some daylight left to see around us.

First visit was to the Big Apple Meat Store to buy food for meals. After putting all that away I couldn’t face cooking so we walked to the corner of the block and had a Greek meal at Snack Eos. We opted for Greek fritto misto, shrimp Santorini and lamb triangles. This was accompanied by a glass of New York red wine – a Shinn Estate Vineyard Merlot. The food was great and the waiter very amusing. He was interested in the blog and hoped I was going to write about more than the wine. Looks like I’ll have to write a review on Trip Advisor as well.

The flights have taken their toll and John was unsure if his foot would see him to Times Square and back but we made it. It is only a few blocks away and worth going to for the flashing signboards, Disney Characters and the people who come to look at them. Hopefully John will be able to walk tomorrow but if not we can adjust the program. The weather was quite pleasant today but rain is forecast so that will just mean more indoor activities.

Saturday, 21st May, 2016

When you look out the window of our room on the 21st floor you see a building opposite with many windows. Looking down you can’t see the road. Looking up you can’t see the sky. Our room is a good place to sleep and sometimes eat but there is no reason to stay in otherwise.

We headed out this morning with no clear plan in mind. Well, I had one but John likes to play it more by ear. Sometimes that works and it did today.

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Checking out Times Square

We walked back through Times Square towards Central Park. Last time we were in New York we completely missed Central Park, partly because it was so cold. We passed a lot of young people trying to sell us rides in horse drawn carriages but John decided he was fit enough for a bike ride. We hired some bikes with helmets at $15 for two hours in a shop a block away from the park and wheeled them down to the bike track.

It is such a good way to see Central Park. There are no cars and there are designated bike tracks with fast and slow lanes. I even managed the hills without too much difficulty. The only problem was the seat on my bike progressively tipped foreword so that I was continually trying to get back up. The bike company looked pretty new so I was quick to tell them about the seat adjustment when we returned. John was still walking without any problems so we decided to go home via the Rockefeller Centre. As the weather is grey and almost raining a trip to the top was not a priority. We explored the food courts and shops in the basement. The area was quite dark and gloomy on this grey and gloomy day but we found a Pret a Manger where we bought a couple of sandwiches as we realised we were quite hungry.

The walk home was interesting as we saw Radio City and Carnegie Hall which are so familiar in our subconscious memory. Our hotel is near the garment quarter where every shop sells material. A street over is the jewellery quarter. As we arrived at 339 W 39th Street we could see the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market at the end of the street. Definitely something to check out tomorrow morning early.

We usually like to cook some of our own meals when we are in a new city. This way we get to shop locally and experience some of the local culture. We bought pretty basic staples. Spaghetti, a jar of Bertolli Arrabbiata sauce and some minced streak, a salad mix containing 15 different types of leaf and a small bottle of Balsamic vinegar and a bottle of olive oil which should stay with us for the entire trip. To put a bit of zing in the mince mixture we bought garlic cloves and some West Indian chillies. You would think that I would know my chilli by now but these looked fairly innocuous. I removed the seeds and put all four chillies in the mince mixture. Bad move!

When not only my fingers but the top of my hands started burning I realised I had made a mistake. Only large amounts of spaghetti, salad and water helped the mince go down. I looked up my little chillies on Google and found they are also called Scotch Bonnet and are the 21st hottest chillies in the world. John had three helpings so he thought they were fine.

The more mundane activities today included washing down on C level where a kind young man helped me negotiate the washers and dryers. Later when John found he had a bottle of red wine and a broken corkscrew the same young man arrived with a replacement. Surely this deserves a tip! I have his name but how much and will he still be around?

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