New York City

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New York, new york. Had a blast :) Ran around like a headless chicken trying to get everything sorted out selling my car, and didn't really relax until then. Fortunately that worked out like a charm. I placed ads on craigslist, and I paid for the best listing on both the .coms, didn't get a single call before I left the country and only one email. A girl rang me from Colorado within two hours of posting on craigslist though, and she bought it. We had fun fedexing documents back and forth, and I went out and met her mother, and visited her mechanic, and went through all that rigmarole. Extremely stressful.

But I got it sold. So after that, it was timme to relax, and see the sights of New York. Which mostly consisted of food, architecture and nightlife. I was so run off my feet that I'd not even looked into what else I might like to see there. Didn't need to anyway :) You can't really go wrong.

After visiting Nancy (the car buyer) 's mum in New Jersey, and getting the big stamp of approval on the car, (mum even wished she could keep it and give the daughter her car) I came back onto the island, on the first sunny day the entire time we'd been there. Beautiful light over the city, just before sunset. Got back to the youth hostel, and through a bit of luck determined that the Malted Barley Appreciation Society of NYC was having their christmas meeting that night. I headed off, subway map in hand.

Mugs Stump Ale House in brooklyn was the starting point, where the beer drinkers gave me a mug, and started pouring tastes off round after round of imported european christmas beers. Had a lovely time chatting and socialising with them, but it finally wound to a close.

But not really! This was just when the bulk of the society went home. The Beer Distributer, Dan, from Shelton Brothers his girlfriend Tessa, and a friend of their's, Joe, with me in tow, all decided it was only the beginning. We loaded into the back of the beer van, sitting on kegs, and rode back into manhattan. Destination, Suite 16, a lounge bar where Dan's brother's band was playing.

Jesus H Christ was the band. A barrel of laughs, especially as they were teamed up with the Four Hornsmen of the Apocolypse for the evening. We all had a lovely time, and eventually we all ended up back at Felix and Risa's appartment. (Manager and lead singer respectively) We had icecream, hornsmen, music, cards, and generally had a lovely time. The next morning I went out for coffee and completed the new york living experience. Big hugs to all those guys and girls for taking me under their wing for the night.

Other projects for my time in new york was to get myself a little ultra compact digital camera, for all those times when you really don't want to be carrying around a big slr. I made a couple of trips to B&H, enjoying the jewish camera shopping experience. Seeing a single cultural group make up the entire staff of a large large shop is quite a sight. Out on the street New York is as multicultural and diverse as any large city, but in the camera store was a different story all together. Even apart from that, the shop is simply huge. And two weeks before christmas, the place was a zoo! Absolutely incredible. Fun though :) Everythings right there for you to play with, all the different types, in all the colours, from all the brands. Well worth checking out.

Took a trip on the Staten Island Ferry on afternoon, to go and see the statue of liberty, and also because it gives you a great view of Manhattan. You can't go up the statue of liberty anymore, so who the hell wants to spend a day queueing to go and stand at her feet? Not me. The light on the city was awesome, even if it was frigidly cold. Mum had left the day before, and I'd given her a lot of my stuff to take back with her. Had a lovely time walking around the financial district, admiring the beautiful old buildings, and walked out onto the Brooklyn Bridge.

Had another night out in alphabet city. Mum and I had gone to the Rockefeller center and had our pictures taken in front of the big christmas tree, and had window shopped christmas decorations in Macy's which was all qutie nice, and then around midnight I'd headed out again. Just walked around till I found a bar that looked interesting and pulled up a stool. Before too long I was barhopping with an irish guy and girl, Breen and Claire, and some old american guy whose connection I never figured out. Another late late night, and walked back home through central park just before sunrise. And wasn't even remotely alone. The joggers OWN central park at that time of the morning. Quite surreal having runners everywhere up for the day already.

Went out and visited Scott's parents in Long Island which was lovely, they are excellent hosts, and it was great to catch up with them. I'd last seen them over a year ago when Scott and I had been rained out of the gunks, and stayed with them for a few days instead.

What else? Ate pizza, admired everyone being all dressed up, right down to pink polka dotted gumboots for wading through puddles. Went up the Empire State Building, stuck my head into posh hotels to admire their decorations. Just generally soaked up the atmosphere really. Had a lovely time, and would really like to have been a little less stressed out for the start. After that it was just a leisurely plane flight home again, and before you knew it, I was at Brisbane airport, where I didn't even recognise my brother, it had been that long since I'd seen him!

South to the Financial District (From the Empire state)

Times square is bright (from the empire state)

Myself and Buddy, at Mike and Lesley Simon's house

overhead conveyor system at B&H

New Yorker is in New york :)

The empire state building

The subway is full of these beautiful mosaics

Manhattan in the afternoon sun