Off to New York!

Tonight I’m heading off to New York to visit my friend Andy whom I met at grad school in Sydney. I visited New York once before in 2001 just after the terrible tragedy of 9/11. The city was definitely in a state of shock, and I’m sure I wasn’t able to enjoy the vibe of this awesome city as much as I could have, so I thought it would be a great chance to see New York again.

The trip started on a red-eye Virgin flight nonstop to JFK. It was a comfortable flight. I made my way from the airport to the subway to come into the city to meet Andy at his work place on 5th Avenue.  When I arrived, the whole front of the building was ‘for lease’ shops, so I thought I had gone to the wrong address. I called and found out that the ‘main entrances’ were on the side streets. I went in and got my visitor badge and went up to Andy’s office to see the floor and the views.

After a little tour, I left my luggage and headed out to see about one of those double decker bus tours that his colleague had suggested. Turns out that it was a pretty good deal, so I bought a pass that gave me unlimited use for 2 days, on all 3 tours that they give of Downtown, Uptown, and Brooklyn. I got on and did the downtown loop. I walked around the West Village because the bus was pretty crowded, and I wanted to be on the deck above so I could see better. I took the subway back to Andy to meet up for lunch at his cafeteria.

Once I got back, I was so hungry that probably anything tasted good, but this cafeteria was great. They had all sorts of foods, but the most appetizing thing to me was their fresh deli sandwiches made to order. The views from the cafeteria were incredible as well, and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.

I then headed back out to get back on the bus to do the downtown tour parts that I had missed. It was pretty cold so despite the great views on the upper deck, I was getting a bit cold. After taking some pictures and taking notes of some places I wanted to ‘revisit’, I headed back to Andy’s office so we could head home for dinner.

Once we got to Washington Heights, we headed out to a Dominican Steakhouse. We ordered two steaks to share, and I have never seen so much meat on a plate. It was overwhelming! We had a fun dinner catching up and talking about Andy’s experience so far in NY. We then met up with his roommate to go to Harlem to watch his friend John sing 80’s cover songs in a bar.

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