New York was a mad rush consisting of two days that are, now, a blur to me. Even some of the photos are blurry.
On the Saturday Gareth, Courtney, Jason and I took a taxi to Providence where we were to catch a bus to New York. Our taxi driver was probably half blind; he almost squished a squirrel and went straight through a stop street after that. We found ourselves wishing he’d do more concentrating and less talking. He told us in a paternal sort of way that New York was very overwhelming. “Whatever you do, do not let the city overwhelm you!”
After three and half hours on the bus we started walking towards our hotel room and closer to Times Square. When we reached Times Square we stopped to take it all in. Courtney clutched his chest and gasped, “The city! It’s overwhelming me!”
And it really was overwhelming; the noise, the smells and the clutter of people, buildings and flashy advertising. We spent the first few hours just walking around dumbfounded. For the first time since we left home I actually felt like a tourist especially with Jason walking next to me with a big camera taking pictures of everything.
After booking into our hotel room we lost Gareth and Courtney in a hoard. We shrugged off our losses and went ahead and had a great day anyway.
We took a stroll in Central park, explored over-the-top shops including a three story Toys R Us and also a two story shop devoted entirely to candy coated “m&m” souvenirs.
My favourite though, was the Ripley’s Believe it or Not ‘Odditorium’. Surely it doesn’t get much better than shrunken heads, albino giraffes and three-legged tap dancers.
On the next day Jason and I visited the Natural Museum of History which we had to do quickly to get to our bus on time. At the ticket counter Jason asked how long it would take to do a proper tour of the whole museum. The lady told us that it would take about a week but that we could do it in three days. “Perfect!” we told her, “we have three hours.”
We ran through the museum taking fuzzy pictures, occasionally stopping for a brief ogle. Jason pointed out that when people asked us “what animal does that skeleton belong to?” and “Why is that guy wearing a shell suit?” we’d probably say something like “Oh wow, I don’t remember seeing that.”
My overall opinion of New York: It was noisy, stinky, excessive and crowded. After spending only two days there I decided I could never live there. But despite all of that I loved New York; loved the lights and the signs and the busy energy and everything that made New York excessive.