New York is easy to fall in love with (if you like big cities).
The skyline of Manhattan

Manhattan’s skyline from the Stattan Island ferry

I’m finally back at home. Not just in Australia, but back to where I live, Port Macquarie. It has been a lot of travel to get here from the USA and the jetlag is still hanging around.

I missed my walk in Central Park after the UN on Thursday evening due to the cold, wet and miserable conditions and opted to go shopping and eat and drink instead. No better way to spend my final night in the city that never sleeps.

Keeping to eating away from the tourist traps, I found a little French bar in Greenwich on 8th and 13th that served me chicken encrusted in herbs, served with broccolini and mash potato, served with a tomato based sauce. Accompanying that was a glass of red from Bordeaux and for desert a Baileys on ice.

I spent the evening pondering ways to stay and realised I had no decent excuses for not getting on my plane and that Homeland Security would eventually hunt me down and deport me and then I would never be able to come back. Best to just get on my plane the next day I thought.

But not before that walk through Central Park.

I woke up early last Friday to a crisp, slightly cloudy, but sunny New York day. Dressed in jacket, scarf and hat I raced out the door, collected a large coffee and jumped on the Subway to the park. Thank goodness I didn’t miss this opportunity.

Walking up the stairs from the subway, I could see the leaves and the traffic and the energetic people in lycra jogging, walking, riding and dogs, lots of dogs.

I looked up at the CNN building to find out it was 37°F. Knowing that 32°F is freezing point, I knew it was bloody cold. Not that I needed a thermometer to tell me that, but it was about 3°C. I was regretting not packing my gloves at this moment.

Cold?

The Park is beautiful and magnificent. The landscaping is fantastic with so many different areas – ponds, trees, rocks, statues, fountains, meadows, zoos and many paths. I only had the chance to walk around about a quarter of it due to time constraints, but I was very thankful I didn’t miss the chance.

Racing back to my hostel to shower and pack, I began thinking about why I didn’t want to leave NY; it has a great vibe, there is always something to do, it is old but young, the architecture is varied, the shopping is great, the food is good and it is a city that is alive.

The people are interesting and varied and really do talk very loudly.  I overheard many a philosophical conversation, a couple of politically charged phone calls and quite a few angry people. But also a lot of happy people who kept to themselves and made the streets a kaleidoscope of humanity.

Bench in Central Park

Bench in Central Park amongst the autumn leaves

My highlights are the Highline, an old elevated train track that has been converted to green space by a group who refused to let the train line be pulled down; Central Park; and wandering aimlessly through the streets.

And so came the time to head to the airport to begin my 26 hour flight to Sydney. The humidity slapping me in the face, oh for the cool crispness of New York.

Work yesterday in Sydney involved a LOT of concentration, but my colleague (who had just flown in from Indonesia) and I both made it through the jetlag before flying bright and early this morning back to Port Macquarie.

And so comes the end of my travel… for now.

 

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