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What I did on my holidaz

Today we took the subway for the first time. The carriages are larger than the Underground but rather bland. The seats are hard plastic, meaning that if the subway stops or starts suddenly, the seated passengers are liable to slide into one another. The subway stations seemed to be functional, with no real attempt at decoration or elegance. NYC public transport seems to specialize in incomprehensible gibberish. I can never understand the announcements on the buses when reaching a stop, and the announcements in the subway rival British Rail's best efforts at non-intelligability.

We reached the stop for the Museum of Natual History, which had some very nice mosaics of wild animals on the walls, just to prove my theory of drab subways wrong. The museum is huge and imposing, facing Central Park. We started with the space wing, looking at the models of relative sizes, and saw a couple of features inside the Hayden Planetarium, which looks rather like a Death Star on legs. The Colliding Galaxies features, projected onto a hemisphere above your head, is very impressive. It does a low rumble when things happen like the proto-moon collides with the Earth. Huge planets and stars loom up from the horizon and zoom past from stange angles. It could make you neaseous, depending upon your stomach and ears. I guess the effect is rather like being in a starfight as you fly into a solar system. The images of colliding galaxies and of the billions of galaxies in the universe were particularly good.

After the space stuff, we wandered through the galleries of American wildlife and African wildlife, which were very well done - lots of stuffed animals - and then had lunch in the museum. I drew the short straw, and got a plate of turned out to be tepid, fake-cheese-flavour rubber tubes (sold under the name of macaroni cheese). Most airlines can do better.

After that inspiring lunch, we went up to gawp at the dinosaur fossils. Them T-rex have a very impressive set of teeth, seen close to. I was grateful the thing had been dead for 65 million years. I didn't look at all the exhibits, as I was getting very tired by that time. Our last bit of sightseeing in the museum was the Mythical Creatures special exhibit, which was very interesting. Wonderful life size versions of a unicorm and a griffon, plus models of a dragonk, a kraken and a roc. Also a wonderful pegasus, done in the style of a roundabout horse. Lots of interesting stuff on how some of the myths most likely arose .

After the museum, we took a walk through Central Park, first visiting the Johh Lennon memorial, Strawberry Fields. Didn't have any strawberries, and didn't look anything like a Victorian orphanage either. We happened across some filming for CSI:NY, and gawped at that, though we didn't see anyone famous. After walking what seemed like the length of the park, we caught a cab to a restaurant off Times square, and met Maki there. Americans - or at least New Yorkers - don't seem to go much in serving vegetables with meals in restaurants. I had a steak with mash - no veg. If you want them you have to order them as a side dish, and the choice is very limited. Odd.

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