Walt Disney World ICP - Day 74 - New York here I come! - 15th August 2013

So today was the day for me to make my way to New York, the city that never sleeps. I got the Magical Express at 8:45am, which was actually the one before mine but I managed to get on board anyway as it wasn’t too busy.

Breakfast at the airport was at McDonald’s as there were no remotely healthy choices. I felt really bad for having breakfast there but I did need to eat.

The plane journey started off very well - I was surprised to get offered a drink throughout the flight as that wasn’t something you’d get back in Europe for such a short flight. Then about two hours into the flight the captain told us that because there was a holding pattern in Newark and there were at least ten aircraft ahead of us we wouldn’t have enough fuel to hold for an hour above New York so we were going to have to stop in Washington D.C. for a quick refuel. This quick refuel ended up taking about an hour and a half and then we had to wait an extra 30 minutes on the runway before take off. It was an absolute joke and the flight ended up taking closer to 5 hours than the 2h45 that was originally scheduled.

The view of Manhattan from the AirTrain at Newark Airport

When we eventually arrived, as I had no checked bags, it was a quick journey out of the airport as domestic flights don’t go through immigration or customs. I used the AirTrain to get from Terminal C to B and had a Subway sandwich there, and then made my way to New York Penn station on the NJ Transit. I was really surprised by how old the trains were with brown leather seats. It was very odd.

My housemate Tom had told me that going to New York was like “stepping into a film” and it really really was. As soon as I came out at Penn station I thought “Wow, this is exactly like how I imagined it.” There were the yellow cabs everywhere, the huge skyscrapers, all the people, the smoke coming out to the road from the subway, etc. After one day I could already tell that New Yorkers are definitely more rude than Floridians and have an “i’ts-all-about-me” attitude. Good customer service isn’t really the norm here clearly either. It’s a bit like London but Londoners are definitely more friendly!

Times Square!

It was only a 15-minute walk to my hostel, so instead of getting the subway one stop I walked it and I got to take in New York a bit more on the way too. The hostel is in a great location - right in the middle of the very expensive and fashionable district of Chelsea and just opposite a police station so safety wasn’t going to be a concern. The room is basic, as I expected, with nothing but a bed and lockers but the ensuite bathroom is spotless and so much better than what I had back in my Disney housing so I can’t complain really - and I’m in the heart of Manhattan which is so, so convenient.

After dumping my things, I bought a weekly MetroCard for $31 and went over to go to the Top of the Rock - I bought tickets for an hour later at 10:05pm and went up to enjoy the view. It was really cool seeing New York from above and central park being a huge part of that in the middle, but I feel it would have been much better during sunset - that was the original plan but the airline delays ruined it. So, if I ever came back, it’d be just before sunset. I had a photo taken at the top as well as part of the premium ticket which made for a nice memento. One of the best things about the Top of the Rock is that you can get a photo with the Empire State building in the background which you can’t do on that building itself.

View of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock

I took the subway home - they’re fast and 24/7, but not the cleanest - and went to bed shattered. I’ve got a busy day planned tomorrow.

Next Post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 75 & 76 - Exploring New York - 16th and 17th August 2013

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