Friday, December 28, 2012

By the time we get to Phoenix.....

By the time we get to Phoenix, everyone will be sleeping. Our flight out of JFK tonight was delayed and our expected arrival in Phoenix is now midnight local time, 2am by our body clocks. A bit of a bummer since we have a car booked for yesterday! Also a bummer that Delta wouldn't honour our Webjet tickets which included two checked bags. In fact they wouldn't take any bags without us paying for them. One of the reasons we booked with Delta was that the quote included the bags so we're pretty unhappy about that! Given the age of the plane, the lack of in flight service and the chaos of their check in, we certainly wouldn't have chosen them otherwise....and you can be very sure we won't choose them ever again! One thing they do have is in air wifi (expensive of course), hence this blog post is being written in the air.

It took us ages to pack up our hotel room this morning. 8 days in NYC has allowed us to unpack and spread our stuff everywhere.With a late flight today we had the rest of the morning free to visit the Guggenheim and check out the Picasso exhibition. The queues to get in the door stretched as far around the corner as the ones for the toy store the other day but the wait was worth it. We took the free audio guides and I learnt more about Picasso in two hours than I have in a life time. What an interesting man! The exhibition winds it way up through the central rotunda area of the gallery and the circular nature of the display area lends itself beautifully to the ever changing and evolving work of Picasso throughout his long lifetime, during which he created more than 100 000 pieces of art!

After a final subway ride it was time to say goodbye to the city that never sleeps. We've had an amazing week here and there's no doubt we'll be back at some stage. I'd love to see Central Park in the Spring and there's a whole wealth of museums and boroughs that we didn't get to this time.

The stand outs (good and bad) for us in NYC;

The subway is an awesome way to get around the city. A weekly pass got us everywhere we wanted to go, all week for just $29. MYKI is a disgrace by comparison (although I guess it's just a disgrace full stop!)

Bagels. NY has real bagels, great big rounds of bready goodness, including ones full of grain.

Rude, disinterested service people. This was not always the case as we found lots of lovely, helpful people as well but in comparison to the South, New Yorkers (from our observation and short experience) are more abrupt and less friendly and counter service in retail outlets is incredibly slow.

Central Park. What a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city.

Dogs. In hotels, in restaurants, on planes!

Taxis. Those yellow cabs really are everywhere & they're cheap and easy to hail. Unfortunately, once they have a passenger in them they don't stop for pedestrians or emergency vehicles.

Pickles. Whole pickles are served with everything. This was of great pleasure to Geoff because he got mine & Sophie's as well.

High density housing. Brownstone apartment blocks that just go on and on as far as the eye can see.

Human traffic jams. Queues to get in and out of shops and museums.

The views. The Manhattan skyline is magnificent and for me, walking towards it over the Brooklyn Bridge was something I'll never forget.

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