My girlfriend and I came home from the four day trip to New York City, with the main idea being to celebrate New Years Eve there with some of her friends, but somehow shopping seemed to sneak itself into the schedule.
The flights and changeovers were comfortable and non-eventful both there and back with the girlfriend sleeping on my shoulder during both stages. We had a really nice cab driver from the airport that brought us to our hotel quickly and safely, especially considering the traffic. Coming back, the guy couldn't even be bothered to get out and help with the luggage!
Although we were greeted with grey skies, the realization that this was the first time either my girlfriend or I had been to New York City with a date (making the trip that much more special) the day seemed less gloomy. The days seemed to trade off overcast for crisp blue skies with the temperature dropping considerably on the former. It went from cold to frickin' freezing!
Being the seasoned traveller, the girlfriend found a great place to stay, The Cosmopolitan Hotel-Tribeca located between the red and green subway lines. At only $150 a night and just four blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, I can't imagine staying anywhere else. Even though we were located in Tribeca, there was no sight of Deniro or Coppola, I guess you can't believe everything you see on an American Express ad.
The plan to meet two of the girlfriend's girlfriends had some obvious upsides and painful downsides. What man wouldn't want to be surrounded by three beautiful women, all of them giving a fair amount of attention? Of course, what do women like to do when they get together but gossip and shop? The gossiping was really not that interesting to me as I really had no idea who they were talking about. Since yours truly is a straight, red-blooded male, my reaction to prolonged shopping is an obvious one. Fortunately I bought the girlfriend a Nano IPod for Christmas and had something to play with as the girls debated one color over another for a sweater that none of them really needed to buy.
Ending each day exhausted with throbbing feet, here are some thoughts about a few things that surprised me;
New Yorkers are really nice people.
No matter who we asked for directions, everyone not only had time to help, but made sure we understood where we were going. One morning the local Starbucks didn't have their delivery of bagels and suggested we buy one next door at the nearby deli, letting us eat in the store as we had our coffee. Everyone offered up 'Happy New Years' and 'Have a great day'.
How many Starbucks do you need?
They have one of every corner. Not kidding. There was one to our right as we walked along a street, look to the left and there was another one. Get to the lights, yet another Starbucks on the next block.
It's actually very clean
Although the streets were clean and there were no real odors to speak off, the feeling was it was more because of the cold winter weather (hot temperatures not only bring out the smell, but the homeless people too.) and the holidays.
There are an awfully lot of Asian women there.
Obviously of American birth, but still a large demographic. Maybe I'm just noticing this more since the girlfriend is of Asian decent, but I really don't think that's it. Certainly makes the city look pretty! They like to date non-asian men......
It's a noisy place.
We stayed on the fourth floor and the noise from traffic as well as pedestrians came into our room so loudly, I thought we'd left the window open. The girlfriend's friend who lives here agreed, explaining she wears earplugs to sleep.
And so many of them too
It's nice to see that Rolex is trying to lose that stuffy image by having their watches sold on the street by very informally dressed salespeople. Although they do need to learn to speak a bit louder instead of mumbling that they have some for sale as you walk past. I'm sure they're trying to be discreet because of the great prices, after all they don't want to get mobbed. Who would've thought they were so affordable?
There must be some logic to it
I know the film industry is having a hard time getting people in the cinema, but selling their new releases on the sidewalks for five dollars seems like a strange way of doing it.
What about the motorcycles?
Since this is a motorcycle blog, what did I find on two wheels? Spotted this Harley parked the first morning.
I really didn't expect to see too many bikes. The traffic is everything they say it is and all you could imagine. Drivers bustling for space and lane position, either not seeing other vehicles or simply not caring. You'd have to be more than a little crazy to brave the traffic. That first day I saw a BMW touring bike zipping up the street.
While shopping with the girls, or should I say trying to keep up, came across a cool uptown department store display featuring a Triumph.......didn't photograph too well.
Spot the motorcycle!
Not motorcycle related, but it was nice to see that mailboxes are safe in the big apple. Felt bad for the Swedish tourist who got busted for not using enough postage though.
Our final day in New York was New Years Day and the city was quiet (at long last), calm enough for the riders to come out. Mostly BMW sport/touring bikes like this one....
..and even managed to see a Harley guy trying to find someplace to park down the street.....
We had a great time, but it was nice to get back in the warm weather and open spaces of South Florida. As matter of fact, with four days of girl talk, shopping and a lot of walking it was time to do some male bonding on the back of a Harley........
More of that later!
Hope you and yours had a safe and happy new years!!!!