20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Gotan in First

Following the 380

Evening in Times Square

From The Empire State

From The Empire State

Chrysler Building

Gotan on the Empire State

Empire Lobby

Lady Liberty

Gotan and ESB







After 1 visit in 45 years this is my third trip to NY this year. Back on BA after last months Virgin experience. Popped into the Lounge in terminal 5B for a swift drink before boarding and the lady on the entrance said I had a seat change and reprinted my boarding card. My usual experience of seat changes is always negative where someone has checked in late and kicked up a fuss about not sitting together so being a lone traveller they move me. I was about to protest as I was happy with the seat I'd chosen and like sitting upstairs on a 747 but quickly realised that 5K was still a window seat but in First rather than Club. Oh well, bring on the £200 per bottle Laurent-Perrier Grand siecle shampoo.

Interesting to go around NY with a different work colleague than normal, visited some old haunts but also some new ones. In particular Jon was keen to go up the Empire State Building. Haven used my dislike of heights and the fact that Helen has been there before I've avoided it in the past this time I went for it. Bypassing the thousands of touts outside we went early and there were minimal queues. The lifts weren't as rickety as I'd been told and after an initial reluctance to go to the edge I realised it was a very stable building and relaxed a nit - non of the swaying you get with todays ultra high buildings.

We followed this visit with a subway ride to the bottom of Manhattan for a distant view of the lady, the enormous queues and approaching storm clouds put paid to wanting to get closer. In fact we'd only made it a few blocks up Broadway when the rain hot and we took refuge at the bar of TGIF (it was nearly lunch time). After watching the sheeting rain for the best part of an hour and a couple of pints (US pints so not nearly as bad as Imperial pints), we headed further up Broadway and across to the 911 memorial site. Probably because of the weather they said they had spare capacity and were giving tickets out at the entrance (you normally have to pre-apply on the internet). I find it a bit macabre and wasn't sure I wanted to go in but eventually did. I have to say for America it was very tastefully done and poignant.

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