Saturday, January 27, 2007

Australia Day

We celebrated Australia Day yesterday. We got some Boag’s, meat pies, Violet Crumbles, Tim Tams, and other Australian food. We played cards and two up (we knew it was the wrong day for that, but it’s all we could come up with).

Penny made our guests drink a glass of milk through a Tim Tam, which was fun to watch and a good laugh.

It was very cold yesterday, and our fridge was full, so to keep the beer cold we just put it outside. It was the best fridge of all, the beer was icy cold, and you didn’t have to juggle leftovers or cartons of orange juice to get one!

The only other news so far, is that I got an iPod. I was listening to it soon after I got it in the supermarket. People were looking at me a little strange, but I thought nothing of it. After a little while I realized that I was singing along with the music that only I could hear. Oh well, in this city no one cares.

The other day I read that the pommy artist who does the 3d street artwork was doing one in Union Square. Ever since I first saw the e-mails about this guy I wanted to see one of his works. Today we went to Union Square and saw the one he did there. (Another tick in my list of things to do before I die). It is a picture of a lady in a fountain pond. The funny thing was that the Asian tourists who were there taking pictures were throwing coins into the ‘water’ as if it was a real pond. A local was standing near us laughing at them with us, and we thought that we should walk a few feet away and just throw some coins on the ground to show them how stupid they looked.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

5th with a Friend

One of my friends from Chapman Primary is in the city at the moment so we caught up today. We walked up a bit of 42nd Street and then up 5th Avenue. We checked out a few places I haven't been to before. FAO Schwarz was probably the coolest - it's the toy store from Tom Hanks' BIG. These photos were taken there...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thinnest Apartment

We wandered the streets in West Village and found this apartment which is the thinnest apartment in New York City. (P.S. This photo was taken last week or the week before when we had a REALLY warm day - hence the short sleeves. Everyone was in a brilliant mood - out on the streets, playing with their kids, eating out... I miss the summer.)

Roosevelt Island

Last week we caught the overhead cable car out to Roosevelt Island (a tiny island that is closer than Brooklyn). The view was great but too hard to capture with photos. It really is amazing how far and straight the avenues stretch. Once on the island, we caught a 25c bus up to a light house so I could take some photos.

First Real Snow

We didn't get the White Christmas we had hoped for. In fact, it seemed as though we may never get snow. Apart from just a couple of days, the weather hasn't really been so cold. We've had a couple of sleety snow moments, but the real stuff didn't fall until today, and then it still cleared quickly. I have been walking to school every day, except for the bitterly cold. This morning, despite the snow, it wasn't actually cold. So, I decided to walk for a couple of reasons: 1. So I can say to my kids "I used to walk 3 miles in the snow!" and 2. To capture wintery Central Park on film.


More sight seeing from when Sal was visiting

The order of events is all wrong - but you get the idea. We did lots of sight seeing all over New York City. These first ones are some of the cool big buildings in the Financial District. City Hall? or The Court House? Maybe?.... I just like how they look anyway.

Now, I'm not too sure about this one either. The sculptor called it "Eyes" but I have my doubts!

We caught the Staten Island ferry again. You can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The best time to do this trip out is sunset, but it's also very cold.

This is the other Staten Island ferry. There is no subway between Staten Island and Manhattan, so people commute on the ferry (for free) each day.

The Brooklyn Bridge. (I love it!) We walked across and were going to have pizza at a place I found in my new book ("1001 things to do in New York City"). Unfortunately, I'm not the first person to read the book - the line was out the door and up the street. We didn't have time, so John and I will need to go back another time.

Macy's was having big sales after Christmas. It was pretty crowded. We had planned to take some photos of the world's first escalator, but struggled against the crowds. Sal and I did shopping most of the days she was visiting. John thought it was a great joke as we both had mini-backpacks and matching shopping bags.

This giant cockroach was somewhere downtown. It's only a little larger than the ones we get inside from time to time. We're actually more at war with the mice, with John's catch approaching 20 at a rapid rate. They have normal mouse traps here, but they also have horrid ones that are just a very sticky sheet of paper. The mouse gets stuck to the paper and can't get off. As much as I hate having to kill mice, I think normal mouse traps are far more humane. It's cruel to let a mouse struggle until it starves to death.

There's a cool place in Soho (?) that serves all different flavours of rice pudding. Samples are free and delicious. We got a container to share - mmm. There are really cool signs here that I'm sure John would have photographed had he been with us, but he wasn't. I'm sure I'll be back there!

We ate lunch in Little Italy. It was a pretty good feed for a nice price (a lunch bargain) and the restaurant was well decorated. People kept flowing through the door the whole time we were there. We also went to Chinatown for bubble tea, however Sal doesn't share my enthusiasm over them!

Dylan's Candy Store has SO many lollies, chocolates, ice-cream sundaes etc, but you pay through the nose for them. I've not actually bought anything there yet. I just go for the fun of looking. Even the stairs have candy in them. We also went to the Hershey store and the Lindt store (where they gave us free chocolate) and to the M&M store that was more merchandise than chocolate.

Toys R Us is another great place to look around. The photos below show a picture that hangs on the wall and is made from lego. There are a couple of these in the store. We've all seen fancy 3D Lego creations before, but I thought this was a clever idea for something different.

I took Sal ice skating at Bryant Park.

This is a fence of tile memorial messages that were made after September 11. There was great variety and creativity. We also went down to ground zero and looked around the area. The Freedom Towers are yet to be built - a constant point of contention amongst New Yorkers.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Christmas Day

We had a fairly easy day for Christmas. We slept in just a little and then went to Saint Patrick's Cathedral for the Christmas service. We got a bit confused about the times, so when we arrived, it had already started and we left before it had completely finished. The cathedral was very lovely, but the service was very formal, and a bunch of tourists (and us) stood at the back during the service.
We had prawns in many flavours and combinations, as prepared by John. They were SO good and SO filling. With full tummies and a little wine, we couldn't help but nap for a couple of hours.
When we woke up, we went to fifth avenue to show Sal all the Christmas windows and building decorations. It was a bit of a wet night, so out came the umbrellas.

After Christmas and New Years (John)

All of our Australian friends have left now. It was nice while they were here, because we could play tourist with them. A couple of my favourite things are the A, C, E 14th Street subway station, and the Empire State building.

At the 14th Street station there are heaps of little bronze statues. They are mostly of little people doing various subway related activities, such as sneaking in, building the station, or waiting for a train. I love wandering around the station finding these little guys hiding everywhere.

The Empire State building is always fun. There’s not much to tell, it’s just a very high building in New York. It’s very impressive that they built it so long ago.

We did New Years Eve in Times Square, with the ball supplied by Tiffany’s I’m told. We got there at 1330hrs, so the wait was a killer. We were on 7th between 43rd and 44th, if you wanted to google it. The NYPD was superbly bad at how they handled the crowds, but I’m sure they were pushed to their limits with numbers. I only heard of one bloke being locked up… for public urination. This was probably helped by the fact that there’s no alcohol, bottles, or anything else on a long list of items not to bring. We thought that it was good, because with drink comes trips to the toilet, and once you leave for the toilet they won’t let you back in. They were expecting record crowds of over a million people, so it was awesome to be a part of it. Pen and I both wore the silly red hats they gave out.

During the night I acquired 3 red hats. After the show was over and we were walking to a job I had to do at 0130hrs, a little old Asian lady approached us, and asked if we wanted to sell one of our hats. I asked her how much she wanted to pay for it, and she offered $20! I took the money and it paid for our food for the day, and we still have one each. I checked on ebay, and people are actually selling… and bidding on these things. I’m shocked. Perhaps we don’t need two hats…

Otherwise not much else is happening; Penny got some Heelies for Christmas, and now falls on her arse while walking the dog. Very funny.