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I can see for miles and miles...

In the evening, after feasting on the generous remains of the Sunday potluck provided for the churchgoers, Brian, Candy, Maki and I headed for the Empire State Building, which is just a couple of blocks away. It kind of sneak up on you; the lower floors look like an other block at first, and the other buildings block your view of the tower from ground level until you're right next to it. Then, when you look up, you can really get any perspective on how tall it is.

The interior is marbled and fabulously art deco, though you don't get a lot of time to look at it. Visitors are organised up to the second floor, where they are sorted into queues for tickets and lifts. I had a new film in my camera and sapped a couple of photos, including one in the people waiting in the security area, where people were waiting to have their bags x-rayed. This attracted the attention of a security guard, who insisted on having the film taken out and handed over, so I lost that film. I complained that there had been no warning not to take pictures there, and frankly couldn't see what they were being so paranoid about.  When Maki and cnady came through I little later, verbal warnings were being given. I was very annoyed, and felt better when I reflected that at least I'd only  taken three shots, and so hadn' d lost anything irreplacable.

I'd taken my walking stick, as I was starting to limp, and this proved very useful and we kept getting ushered to the front of queues for the elevators. Once we got up to the oservatory on the 86th floor, I bought another film and the shop. We timed our visit for twilight, so saw New York and the shore New Jersey in the setting sun, and then with all the lights coming on as it went dark. The observatory is the place where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet at the end of 'Sleepless and Seattle' - the open-air balcony that runs around the outside of the building. It was packed with tourists but the views over the city and rivers was breathtaking. I'm glad we did the cruise around the island first, as it gave me some perspective on things as seen from above. Visiting the Empire State Building might be an obvously touristy thing to do, but it is worthwhile.

After the ESB, we took a cab into Chinatown, and had a large meal in a small restaurant. We started with soft-shelled crab, which are still just an season. They're ot as large as English crabs, but still quite a challenge to handle with chopsticks. They are friend, and you can eat the whole thing. I wasn't that struck on them, but ate most of mine. (I woke up with an allergic rash on my forearms today - wonder if it was the crab ? That's the only thing I ate I haven't had before). There were about half a dozen other dishes of meats, pea shoots, chicken and noodles, prawns, squid and scallops. All good. Afterwards we wandered around the corner to a Chinese iecream parlour. The regular flavours are lychee and black sesame - the exotic flavours are strawberry, vanilla etc. I had vanilla fudge ice cream, which was excellent.

We wandered through an Italian street festival to celebrate Saint Gennero, of whom there is a local monastry in the area. Chinatown and little Italy overlap somewhat. There were carnival stalls of everything from hoopla to one offering the World's Smallest Woman to gawk at. Many many stalls selling food and drink, some with gifts, including a religious goods stall, offering a china plate clock painted with the face of Jesus, with the boss for the clock hands centred on his nose. It was fairly busy, but nothing, apparently, to what it would be in the day time. This festival goes on for two weeks.

Today, hopefully, Radio City.

(I'd use an lj cut on this if I could figure out how to do it on Candy's laptop)



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
24th Sep, 2007 17:09 (UTC)
I hope you manage to snap some photos! :D
25th Sep, 2007 01:29 (UTC)
I did but I don't know how well they'll come out. Brian has taken 100's on his digital camera and has promised to burn them onto cd for me to bring home.
25th Sep, 2007 08:43 (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I am really enjoying reading about your time in the states, even though I haven't yet thought of any constructive way to respond to your posts :oS

Am glad you're having a great time :o)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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