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Sarah and Emily’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 02 Sep 2007

Location: New York, USA

MapSo we made it to New York! Our last stop before home and we were going to do it in style! Simon joined us for the 12 hour journey to New York from Greensboro and lived first hand the traveller life.

Poor Simon, just not used to long journeys! As we keep reminding everyone, we did 3 days on a Greyhound, 12 hours is not very long at all, and we had the whole packed train to amuse us! We decided to travel on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend, so it was like playing a game of sardines with a bunch of worryingly unhygienic people on a questionably cold train. So Simon was living the dream with us now, and had booked us into a nice cheap hotel near Times Square. It was cheaper than our hostel for the Labour Day weekend, so we hopped off the train, grabbed our checked luggage and grabbed a NYC cab, living the dream!

Not quite so when we got to the ‘no questions asked’ hotel in Times Square. We were a littel bit concerned by the make shift ‘security desk’. It was similar to something we would put in thew home corner at school as it was two desk shoved together with a phone and a filing tray, nether the less, we were given our key and showed to our room. Well told to get in the lift.

One should always get a strange feeling about a place when a police man greets you at teh life door, but we were tired and excited to see our home for the next 3 nights. Well, we have stayed in some interesting accommodation (including a stock room floor for new years eve) but this was incredible. The smell and the size were worrying but the hair in the bath kind of topped it off. As Simon said “you can take the time to fold the loo paper into an arrow, but you can’t swill out the bath?”. Indeed, but this is all part of the dream so we headed out for a look around, and put our heads down for a mad weekend.

The next day we were up early to hit the sites. While watching TV we could only get a decent reception for the news, and were greeted with the headline “Brutal murder at budget hotel”. Oh yes, that was our hotel. The very same. The reporter (stood outside our room) carried on to tell us that the day before a woman was found chopped up in bags under her bed on floor 6! Never fear, we were floor 9 so we were very safe... let’s go shopping!

Simon warned us that the queue (sorry line) for the Empire State Building stretched for miles, so we were ready for a long wait, but because we always land on our feet, we were in and out in no time. The views were great and we had time to hit Central Park. Simon’s feet were mangled from all the walking. After a year of poverty and no cash for transport we have feet like a rhino’s behind, and nothing can cause blisters but the most hardcore of adventures, but even we were struggling. Popped into Tiffany’s to buy some treats and then we headed back to the death hotel to get ready for the night life!

Simon’s choice of bars is somewhat different to ours, but we were happy for the change, so we jumped at the plan to see the meat packing district of NYC. Let’s just say that we didn’t stay tee total for long and after a visit to a psychic, a bar with no lighting and peak into a leather a bar, we were warmly ensconced in a little bar giving away caps and t-shirts to any beer drinking people. In that area, we were the only ones downing pints. What happens in New York stays in New York, let’s leave it at that.

Sunday we were worse for wear, and all we could manage was a trip through Greenwich village to see the markets, Soho for the crazy tacky gifts and China town for it’s manic hussle and bussle. We took the walk over Brooklyn Bridge and returned back, blisters and all for Simon to pack, ready for the very early train home. And we were moving hotels. Surely the next one can’t be that bad...can it?!