Saturday, 10 July 2010

Arrival in New York

It seemed to take an age. After leaving home at 6.30am on Friday, I arrived at my hotel at 11.00pm. Add on the five hours time difference and a bed for the night was a welcome sight.

Although I have visited NYC before, I have never used the subway, and I was to experience a quick lesson on how to navigate the transport system.

On arrival at JFK airport, the Air Train takes passengers to the various transport connections to get to the city. On departing the Air Train, you then pay for that journey before you can get through the barriers and also buy your tickets for the further trips.

I needed to get the Jamaica Rail Road train into Penn Station, and my combined tickets would cost $12.25. How many foreigners have the exact change needed, bearing in mind all the ticketing is done through machines, no human ticket sales.

So, with the help of an accomodating railway worker it was suggested I put in a $20 bill and purchase a Metrocard - so its good for journeys on future days. I feel like a New Yorker already, without the hassle of queuing to buy a ticket on my next foray on the subway.

Penn Station is weird. I arrived at track 16 at a station where all the platforms are tightly packed together. The next job was to find the subway.

Withouth too much difficulty, The 'E' line was found and I alighted at Chambers St, adjacent to the World Trade Center construction site.

My hotel is the World Center Hotel, brand new and the first new building to be opened to the public after the rebuilding following 9/11.

I may have been very tired, but as I walked around the WTC site to my hotel, the round-the-clock workers could be heard behind the billboards that surround the site gave a huge sense of the spirit in the way in which the city is re-building.

When I checked into the room, I could not believe the view.

Eighteen floors up with the lights of the skyscrapers working as a backdrop to the birds' eye view of the WTC construction site.

When I woke this morning, the view was equally as impressive, and just a little more as I went up to the 20th floor - and onto the outdoor terrace for breakfast.

Today I get the New York City pass that will entitle me to go slighlty overboard with my camera.

After 81 degrees on arrival last night, thunderstorms are predicted today - and I came all this way without a coat!

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