Homeward Bound

For our last full day we scooted out sharp to secure some internet time (just so we could update our 15 blog followers) before doing anything else. This was necessary because the hotel we are staying in occupies the only plot in New York that you cannot tap into a free hotspot and, as such, they have used the scarcity to charge six dollars per half hour for a connection.

They will feel the pain for this action in my trip advisor review. Access to the internet is like running water these days. What on earth are they thinking?

After that we took the subway to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to the Smorgasburg market which advertises over 100 stalls selling food (and fleas it says?). I didn’t get any fleas but I did get some great food. Three lots in fact.

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Smorgasburg

The first round was basically a bag of chips with thousand island dressing, but they made it sound better. There was quite a lot of crispy bits hidden under the big fries on top, but they were tasty. Eight dollars though, that’s just ridiculous for a bag of chips.

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Looks good – but does it look $8 worth of good?

Round two was a waffle cone ice cream. This was a fresh, soft waffle folder into a cone with a ball of ice cream and sprinkle stuff. We asked for caramel sauce but they missed it out for some reason. It was also delicious – but ten dollars? Ouch!

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A lot of empty space under that blob of ice cream – LONG LIVE JAMES ICE CREAM IN NAIRN!!

Finally we had a cheesecake doughnut. Four dollars wasn’t too bad. It filled a hole – get it?

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Prospect Park is almost as big as Central Park and is a very pleasant spot to walk about in. It was new to me too so I was happy to have spent some time here.

We then took a bus to its destination – which was nowhere near ours. We didn’t realize that of course. We were dropped at the Barclays Center where the Brooklyn Nets play their basketball and where I knew that I had once met someone who walked there via the Brooklyn Bridge.

If they walked there we could surely walk back that way.

Well if it wasn’t the longest journey since the trip to Boston. We walked forever.

It was thoroughly enjoyable though.  The walkway down the centre of the bridge is divided in half – one side for the several thousand walkers who walk it every hour, and one half for the twenty or so cyclists who use it.

So inevitably the thousands of walkers encroach upon the cycle route a tad. Well you should hear the language!

Anyway despite the bike dodging and the challenges of working your way through a crowd coming in the opposite direction also dodging bikes, and stopping to take pictures, it was good fun and something I had never done before too.

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Can’t stand photo-bombers!

We then walked over to the 911 memorial.

It’s pretty impressive, a matching pair of New York block-sized fountains with the names of everyone who died cut into the huge brass plates surrounding it. They place a flower in the name of anyone who should be celebrating a birthday that date so it is quite sad to find one there. It’s sad enough anyway but that brings it home even more.

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After that we were pretty worn out so we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty for free. They’ve got a bit devious since I last did this trip. It used to be possible to take the ferry and then run round to grab the next one coming back. Now they close the doors of the departing ferry just a fraction before releasing the incoming passengers so they have to spend an hour waiting for the next one.

I guess I can see why.

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That boat damn nearly got in the way of our picture

We ate at Bareburger on a recommendation and it was very nice indeed. It was forty five dollars though for our two selves with drinks.

Still good by our UK standards, but we’ve had more for less.

Finally we took the train to Penn Station and walked to Starbucks to check in to our flight home.

Next morning we just had a few final things to tick off before making our way to JFK for the flight home. Firstly, we headed to the Chrysler Building to look at the inside of the lobby which we have never done. I wasn’t sure if you were allowed to.

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‘That’s the door, Sir, when you are ready’

Did you know that the term ‘lobbying’ (when referring to a politician) probably comes from a habit of trying to catch US Presidents inside the lobby of the Willard Hotel in Washington DC? Because they stay there before their inauguration.

You do now.

Secondly we wanted to visit the New York Library because for all the time I spent in the city, I never once borrowed a book or even stepped inside this place.

It was closed. Something on that involves making a globe out of flowers.

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Sadly we shall never see the planet all covered in flowers, nor inside the library

Never mind the Morgan Library has an original Shakespeare folio and a signed copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost – we’ll pop round there.

It was closed. Monday holiday.

So we had lunch in a place called Penera which was absolutely wonderful. The orange scone was amazing and I am going to set it as a Bake-off challenge as soon as I get home. We also had a Pecan twist and a Pecan Roll to take away. A nice cup of British tea too.

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I wonder if the American reluctance to stock good old British tea (from India) is due to the chaos at Boston? Is it a sore point still?

Anyway we finally packed our bags and navigated the subway system to JFK so that I could sit and complete this final blog entry so that all of my 15 readers can finally get on with their lives.

As I reflect on our holiday I feel very happy and reinvigorated by the journey we have undertaken. I also look back on the blog and read some moans and groans though, and I wonder if I have accurately recorded how good it has been. It has been amazing. I just moan for the fun of it. I don’t like to pay for rubbish but I am not mean, I paid a fortune for this holiday so how can I be?

I also don’t like to see people give less than they ought. I give everything to enjoying my holiday so I expect that from those employed in the holiday business.

We have come from the South to the very North, deliberately to better understand America, its music and its history. I feel better informed and enriched by the experience. Is that not what a holiday is all about?

We didn’t relax – I can do that at home.

Until next year – a poor persons drive in a camper van I suspect – thanks for reading this twaddle.

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Elvis has left the building…

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One thought on “Homeward Bound

  1. Brilliant & entertaining again Ali, look forward to hearing about it again when we meet. I like the reprimand for me at the end in a quiet way, about saying it is time to come home. Just me trying to read between the lines ( no pun intended) Have a good safe journey home. FIL Andy

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