After managing to sleep in the same bunk bed we woke up and did some packing/cleaning where we threw away cartons, price-tags or other evidence of our sinful worshipping to mammon in hope the evil customs god would be merciful. YMCA did not take responsibilities for electronics in the luggage we left there after check-out, guess who’s backpack was a little heavier than usual today.
Two sandwiches, juices and a muffin – a bargain at 22 USD. Prices for healthy food or at least decent quality are weird, you can get awesome noodles at a restaurant for the same price as a sandwich, I guess in Sweden it’s at least expensive in general, healthy or not.
We brought the food to Central Park where we enjoyed the marvelous sun and the less marvelous children at the nearby merry-go-round. There is something I really like with bigger parks, somewhat soothing to get nature close but still in the range of wifi or some other indications of civilization.
After finishing breakfast we walked on to Strawberry fields, the memorial site of John Lennon and strolled further north towards the lake where tourists could rent boat and oars to paddle around in. We decided not to but instead enjoyed the sights from shore and played around with the camera. We walked around the lake for more calm and serene views before leaving the park for shady delivery businesses that Mirsada had got us involved in.
At the package pick-up place we arrived explaining we were here to pick-up a package “for a friend” with unknown contents. After a few jokes the fine lady preferred to open it “to see that it wasn’t any drugs” while laughing, luckily enough it was some electronics. Next stop was the UPS store where again we were shipping “electronics”, I’m glad they didn’t ask further questions since they looked a bit suspicious when we explained we didn’t had a address in the US to use as “from”.
With a little more than an hour left before our planned departure we went searching for Mirsada’s Dermalogica store again, no luck however with this and we realized we were getting short on time. We managed to get to YMCA and hail a cab only 15 minutes later than planned. We had however, not planned with rush hour. The traffic jams and our budgeted marginals in time seemed to start painting up a rather uneasy picture. When we finally got to JFK we saw that check-in was not 90 but 60 minutes before, which left us with a minute or two on the safe side.
My bag weighted 39.8 lbs, allowed weight was 40, nice. We didn’t have time to get proper boarding passes but after passing security we treated ourselves with a snack, a 5” pizza and strawberry donut for yours truly while the healthier part of us had some egg-white sandwich, guess what tasted best. We are now in the air, the plane left a little late so I guess next challenge will be the rather slim connection in Brussels.
Today it was thursday, also known as the day when B&H would re-open after some religious two-week holidays called Succot, I do have to say that being the largest and cheapest store in NY in Photo/Video and totally close down for religious reasons like that is impressive in a way.
I quickly found myself a queue slip and got to the sales expert, hasidic jew, with corkscrews and kippa, like about 95% of the > 200 employees. He was very knowledgeable and answered my questions and reserved my precious 580 EX II and a Hoya Filter kit for my new 50mm lense, but he seemed a bit distracted or perhaps cross-eyed since he’s eyes flickered to my chest while talking to me all the time.
While looking at bags it struck me why, I had my t-shirt from Jordan with the face of a boy and arabic writings. I remember asking for the meaning of the text and that they said it wasn’t offensive but hmm, well I got my flash at least. In the end I didn’t get a bag and left the photographers mecka happy as a drunk in June.
It wasn’t more than fair that we did some shoe-shopping for Mirsada after the geek browsing. However they had rather nice shoes for men as well. In the end we ended up buying in total nine pair of shoes, Mirsada four and yours truly beating that with five. I felt like a respected contributing citizen in this consumption society we live in, yay!
In order to avoid any ugly street fights with local bag ladies we decided to head home and drop off our shopping bags. No rest for the wicked so after dumping the newly purchased goods in our bat cave we headed off to the Staten Island Ferry, a free ferry for the commuters which conviently passes Lady Liberty. The weather was nice and the scenery both leaving and getting back was awesome. I guess it didn’t look just the same for the immigrants back in the days.
After the roundtrip we strolled around in downtown, checking out Wall Street only to find it secured, perhaps someone had jumped from the roof? As we walked north we got a nice view over Brooklyn Bridge but decided it wasn’t worth the walk to cross it. Instead we continued our stroll and headed towards Chinatown and Little Italy.
Rather hungry we got into a cheap but apparently popular vietnamese restaurant. I suffered another humiliating loss when it came to choosing dishes though since mine was above average while Mirsada’s was superb. Well, I guess you can’t win them all. As nightfall had arrived we strolled through Little Italy and tried one of the many local pastries which frankly was somewhat of a disappointment. We decided to head home, but only after a brief stop at Uniqlo for some final shopping.
We headed off to buy some creams from Dermalogica to Mirsada after a brief breakfast. I was surprised by the amount of different facial creams that existed and thankful for me not needing to pay the hefty price for them. Three small tubes and little more than hundred dollars later we were done, and this was apparently really cheap compared to Swedish prices.
We continued with some strolling along the 5th, some nice stores but we kept to window shopping since nothing really fabulous was displayed. The weather was nice so we decided to take the trip to Empire State Building today. The pre-printed tickets saved us standing in the 4 minute long queue, well planned of us.
The view was very nice, one could recognize familiar buildings from the skyline and I enjoyed walking around getting nice photos in all directions. Twice of course, on for each lens. It will take some time to master the 50mm, but I did get some nice bookeh on a few photos on Mirsada in my newly bought blue jacket at least.Despite the nice weather it got quite cold after some time with the ever-blowing winds so we got down and sniggered at the tourists heading up in t-shirts as we went down in full winter gear.
We decided it was a day for culture and headed off to the Contemporary Art museum and got tickets. I still have a lot to learn in appreciating red squares on white background but there were some nice paintings. We were almost ushered out though since they announced that the place would close in 15 minutes when we had done only little more than half the floors. We had a very nice latte like the artsy partsy couple we were at a nearby café.
To complete the culture we walked in a fast pace to Times Sq were we bought cheap tickets to the Broadway show Gypsy. By cheap I mean half the price, not the price itself. We headed off to St James theatre and seated ourselves in our, very nice I must admit, seats. The show was about the rather frantic soccer-mom who really wanted her kid(s) to end up on Broadway, rather ironic to read about the actors “this is a dream come true” statements in the information leaflet but it was a nice show, and quite an experience. Not sure I’d like to spend that amount of money every night on theaters though.
Rather tired we strolled around Times Sq and then Broadway home searching for noodles but were only greeted by closed restaurants, to lazy to walk back we got some yoghurt for Mirsada and hit the sack.