On international territory in the UN
Packed to the brim, New York has found a place in my heart.
I arrived in New York City on Tuesday morning. Following my run ins with the annoying GPS lady screaming at me after I disobeyed her instructions to turn left into a lake, I discovered I could change the language and opted for Daniel and his milder English accent.
Daniel and I were getting along very well until he told me to turn right… into a concrete wall. He was more polite when he told me he was recalculating after I chose to ignore his instructions.
Back to travelling on two legs and buses, I’ve traveled the length and breadth of Manhattan island and Brooklyn, climbed it’s heights, shopped, taken a tonne of photos and learnt that it costs US$3 to make a landmine that looks like a stone and US$50 to feed and educate a primary school child for a year.
I also learnt that Fidel Castro has the record for talking the longest in the UN General Assembly – four and a half hours.
I have fallen in love with this city, it reminds me of London in many ways. The shopping is great, the food is good, the Long Island Iced Teas are amazing and I don’t want to leave tomorrow.
It has been a big change from the desert and LA, not least because of the weather. I’ve been lucky until today. Clear skies and sunny on Tuesday, cloudy yesterday and raining today, albeit cold everyday. According to a sign outside it’s 54°F; that’s cold for anyone who does Celsius.
There’s a different vibe here as well. The economic crisis is more visible; I saw a line yesterday half down the block of applicants for jobs as elves. I also noticed they were all African Americans. Those with jobs seem very pleased to have them and the people occupying Wall Street all appear to be white middle class citizens.
From what I can gather, there is no homogeneous message from the protesters, here or anywhere else around the country. They’re quiet though, for the most part. Riot police were sent in to move protesters in Illinois and some have spent the night in jail and some have made it their mission to spend the night in jail.
With people foreclosing on a daily basis and government schemes allowing people to write off their debts when they find themselves redundant, I can see why they are protesting.
I have only vaguely kept up with the news in the past fortnight, but will have to find out what is happening. I know Gaddafi and the Saudi Crown Prince are dead and that there’s a lot of kidnapped children in the US.
I’m off for a Reuben sandwich at the Carnegie Deli and a wee stroll through Central Park before hitting a couple of last shops and my final NY dinner.