New York diary (with pictures)

All people in the diary are referred to by their first initial. ;)

(Warning: Image heavy)

I had to get up at 5:00am. At least I think it was 5:00am, my memory is a tad off. So I slept on the coach. And ate at the airport. Er, probably.

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^What I look like when I get up at 5:00am

There were three movies on the plane plus CSI and House and a couple of other things. I ended up watching The Legend of Zorro and then House. I dunno how come this took seven hours, but there you go.

Our first glimpse of America was snowy:
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After that there was a lot of hanging around. Then there was a coach journey, then the hotel. Said hotel was very nice and I wish I’d bothered to take a photo of the lobby.

This is pretty much what you got when you stepped out of the hotel:Exif-JPEG-422

Me and some others went up to the top floor of the hotel, which was nicer than our fourth floor, and took photos:
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And this is the view from outside our hotel room, whih I shared with three other girls. We were outside the Church of Scientogy. (Dude!) But I didn’t see Tom Cruise:Exif-JPEG-422

Hmmm…what happened next? From what I remember, everyone went out in groups. I stepped into Times Square all lit up at night and I was awestruck. Hey, I come from a small town in a small country, surely you can allow me a moment of awestruckness:

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If you squint, in that last one you can see the massive V for Vendetta poster. I like that poster and would have liked to take it home. Didn’t, for obvious reasons.

The icon maker in me is delighted to announce that Times Square at night is a fantastic source for light textures.

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See?

We wandered about looking for somewhere to eat. Instead we found a shop called OMG Jeans, where I bought a T-shirt. (I’m still in two minds about whether to keep the carrier bag they gave me or not) It has fast become one of my favourite T-shirts.

We then wandered about looking for somewhere to eat, again. People were beginning to bitch at each other a bit then (out of earshot- we’re that nice. :p) but I didn’t care because I was too busy looking at stuff.

We then had tea at TGI Friday’s. It was very nice. One thing that’s probably weird only to me: in most of the restaurants we went to over the days we were there, there were signs instructing people what to do if someone chokes. I’ve never seen one of those in England, and it struck me as rather weird. But I soon got used to them.

I wasn’t actually very hungry, from what I remember, so me and another girl shared a load of cheesy potato skins. And I don’t think we managed to eat all of those, either. Still, two of the boys ordered ribs, massive portions, and the bill for us all came to more money than I had brought altogether. Luckily, cheesy potato skins don’t cost much.

At the end of the meal one of the guys, A, raised his glass and said something along the lines of ‘Here’s to a great holiday, everyone!’ And we all raised our glasses. Not really important, but it was a nice moment, you know?

Then I believe we must have gone to the hotel and to bed, although my memory isn’t filling those bits in. But anyway.

*****

I spent ages trying to remember what we did today, We went to the UN, that’s it.

We went via Grand Central Station:Exif-JPEG-422

(The tragic thing? I think I actually said at some point ‘It looks just like it looked in Madagascar!’)

And outside:Exif-JPEG-422

Ooh, and the Empire State building:

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We took a tour around the UN, and got to see all the major stuff. Unfortunately, I was running out of space on the camera by then because the bloody thing only takes 23 photos at a time. So here’s three photos-

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And then we went to the gift shop, and then some of the boys had a snowball fight ouside the UN, which was just plain awesome until a security guard came out and told them to stop it, at which point they all hid their snowballs behind their backs.

Then we went to have lunch. Which was hot dogs.

I think that was also the day we went to Macy’s. Thing is, though, the rest of our group ran off and went through another door for no readily apparent reason, and since it was the biggest department store in the world, y’know…we looked around but then got bored and left. We had unlimited Metro cards so we went shopping. I brought several gifts, and possibly a few more hot dogs. And OREOS! I love Oreos and I can never find them in Britain for some reason. I tried to keep a packet of Oreos in my bag at all times. I mostly suceeded. Glee.

If that was the day we went to Macy’s, it must also have been the day we went to Central Park, so here’s Central Park in the snow:

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We wandered over to the ice rink and they started playing Green Day. This pleased me muchly.

And then it was my favourite part of the entire holiday, which was the trip to see The Lion King. I love that movie, as you may or may not know, and so was very excited to see the musical. I got all dressed up in my new top and this utterly gorgeous white skirt which I got before I went- I looked very pretty (I don’t say that often, believe me) which helped avoid the fact that I was dumb enough to bring a floor-length white skirt to New York.

My favourite picture I took:Exif-JPEG-422

Before we went in there we went to the McDonalds next door, which I swear is the ugliest McDonalds ever. It was like eating inside a factory. I’m only sorry I’ve got no pictures of it.

Inside the theatre was gorgeous. My crap photography does not do it justice:Exif-JPEG-422

The musical itself, of course, was spectacular. Every five minutes it was ‘Ooh look, an elephant!’ ‘Ooh look, a baby elephant!’ ‘Ooh look, a moving stage!’ ‘Ooh look, Scar has a pimp cane. Dude’ and so on and so forth. It was so good I’ll probably end up seeing it again in London.

I have to admit I like the movie better, though, but that’s just because hey, I’m a movie person. And the musical cut my favourite line- ‘If it’s important to you we’re with ya to the end.’ which never fails to make me go awwwwwww at Timon. But they left everything else in, and added some great stuff, so…I loved it, as I may have said. And I have to write a review of it for Theatre Studies. That shouldn’t be too hard.

*****

Since it was actually a Theatre Studies trip cunningly disguised as a shopping holiday, we went to a Drama workshop a few doors down from the hotel. I wasn’t actually expecting to enjoy it for some reason, but I loved it. I got to play a jilted wife shooting her husband. Dude.

Then it was more shopping. Or was it CNN that day? Christ, I can’t remember. Still, whatever happened, it must have taken up the rest of the day. Okay, I’m just going to carry on and hope it comes back to me. It was probably CNN that day, so here you go:

We went to CNN and the weather was freezing cold and I was glum. I hate cold weather. But I did take a picture of a shining globe thingy:

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CNN was pretty interesting, but unfortunately I can’t remember much about it. Still, here’s a picture of me outside, the wrong way up: (will rotate it when I can be bothered)

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Ooh, and this was probably the day I went on the Toys R Us indoor ferris wheel. Is it sad that this was actually my second favourite part of the trip? And the massive Toys R Us was pretty darn cool as well.

On the ferris wheel we got the Monopoly car. Heh.Exif-JPEG-422

The view from near the top of the wheel, of the King Kong display:Exif-JPEG-422

And lastly, a roaring life-size robot dinosaur.Exif-JPEG-422

We went to Planet Hollywood for tea, but I didn’t eat much, partly because I was running out of money and partly because I was starting to get homesick and tired and stuff. Still, what I saw of it was nice. I wish I’d enjoyed it more.

*****

At the beginning of Day 4 it was announced that our flight had somehow been wrongly booked and we were staying another day. This was greeted by cheers; then everyone had to stop to wonder if that meant we’d be getting straight off the coach into school.

But anyway.

We went to Madison Square Garden and had the backstage tour, where I took photos:

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And then we went to Ground Zero. This was an odd experience, because I knew at least one person who really didn’t want to be there and we just…sort of wandered around. It was very cold and someone said it was eerie, which I agreed with. We went down and had a look at the memorials, but I didn’t take any pictures because it didn’t feel right. I did take one of the church opposite, though, that was blackened from the explosion:

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And on the way out we passed a bunch of people holding up banners that said 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. This was weird to me.

Then we went on a cruise that took us past the Statue of Liberty. I remember I had a packet of Oreos around at that time. I ate some of them while waiting for the boat. It was bloody cold.

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And then we wandered around aimlessly for a bit. Me and two others ended up walking around with the teachers, which wasn’t too bad because we ended up in McDonalds. (I’d wanted a McDonalds all day)

At some point, while we were waiting for a train, this woman came up to the only guy in our group and told him how cute he was. I think we had quite a long conversation with her. Either way it was funny, simply because you never see that sort of stuff happen over here.

At night I was tired, and although everyone else was going out I didn’t want to, so I stayed in the hotel and watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory instead. And fell asleep in front of it.

*****

Me and J, a girl who I have known for ages now I think about it, went shopping for the last few hours of the trip and ended up in the big Hersheys store. That was quite good. Otherwise, it was freezing cold, which was annoying.

We ate in the deli next to our hotel. I had macaroni cheese and it was vile. I found out later that this is because processed cheese was used to make it. Americans, I demand you do something about that.

And then…we grabbed our suitcases and left. We went to the airport, where everyone laughed and joked a lot and I had pepperoni pizza, then we went on the plane, where I watched Pride and Prejudice and slept.

And here I am now. :)