Archive | October 2012

A beautiful ending in New York

All holidays must come to an end but some endings are better than others. Slightly paranoid about not missing flights I gave myself plenty of time on the subway which took about an hour and actually went very smoothly with most of the journey above ground so I could watch the sunset that was brilliant shades of orange and I couldn’t wait to get off the train at JFK airport to get this photo of the sky with One World Trade standing out on the left of the skyline and the iconic Empire State building on the right.

The benefits of checking in early are that sometimes you get to change your seat. Although I had chosen my seat online there were no bulkhead seats available but I asked when I checked in and was given this one near the emergency exit right at the back of the A380. While it wasn’t quite as lucky as my upgrade when I flew back from New Zealand it was still great to only have one person next to you, plenty of legroom and no constant traffic like in an aisle seat. The best of both worlds and definitely one of the best in economy class.

After all my travelling last year I didn’t think I was going to travel so much this year but plans change and the travel bug has definitely bitten so now it’s back to saving and planning for the next trip. In the meantime you can follow my adventures back home in South Africa here and on Twitter 

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Last item on my list of things to do in New York

It was my last day in New York. My flight out was scheduled for 11:00pm so I still had a whole day to make the most of. One thing that I hadn’t done yet was the Staten Island ferry. Just a couple of subway stop from Brooklyn I emerged at the bottom end of Manhattan where the Staten Island Ferry terminal. You can’t miss these huge orange vessels that go back and forth every half hour and carry over 4000 passengers. It is also absolutely free so what budget traveller could resist plus you get to pass the Statue of Liberty and fantastic views back to the NY city skyline as you make your way towards Staten Island.

I was so preoccupied with the ferry that I hadn’t actually done any research as to what to see on Staten Island but was content to take a walk along the water’s edge looking back towards New Jersey on the left, Manhattan in the middle and Brooklyn to the right. Just along the promenade from the ferry terminal I came across this intriguing sculpture. Reading the plaques around  the sculpture I discovered that it is called continue reading + 3 photos

Top of the Rock

After a relaxing overnight stay in the country it was back into the city to make the most of my last 36 hours in New York. Still on my list of things to do was Top of the Rock. I arrived just in time for a tour of the Rockefeller Centre which was included in my NY Pass ticket and was arguably the most insightful tour I went on while in NY. I learnt that the Rockefeller Centre isn’t a single building but a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres of real estate.

As fascinating as the tour was it was the view from the top of the GE Building that I was really excited to see. At 850ft (289m) the GE Building is the 10th tallest building in New York and while the masses flock to the Empire State building I am inclined to say Top of the Rock is better because continue reading + 3 photos