Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So good they named it twice

Thank you to Welshcakes for the invitation to guest-post on her blog while she is in Wales. I'd been thinking about what to write about when I suddenly realised that she'll back in Sicily tomorrow ... whoops. So here it is.

The day before Husband and I were to fly to New York Daughter phoned me.
‘Um … have you heard the news today?’ she asked tentatively.
‘Oh, yes,’ I sighed.
‘I was hoping you wouldn’t have done.’
‘Oh well, it can’t be helped.’
‘No, and it’s not likely to happen on two days running.’
‘What’s not?’
‘Another plane to New York crashing.’
‘I thought you said you’d heard that Concorde had crashed on take-off?’
‘No, I meant I’d heard that Central Park was closed because of a mosquito outbreak.’

I hadn’t flown for over twenty years and with each successive year I’d become more and more nervous. The next day wasn’t the best day to be in Heathrow. Every newspaper carried a photo of Concorde exploding. Then when we finally boarded we were left sitting on the runway for two hours; the captain kept telling us, ‘There is a problem with the engine.’ Encouraging to know they were sorting it out on ground.

The main reason for our visit – and the reason why I’d persuaded myself to get on a plane – was for me to finish interviewing the ex-NY cop whose autobiography I was ghost-writing. The publishers wanted the manuscript by August and by June I still didn’t have all the material I needed. So there we were in New York City on some of the cloudiest, most humid days of the year.

We queued to go up the Empire State but when we were within seeing distance of the ticket office, they announced that the clouds had come back and there wasn’t any point going up if your main reason was to see the view. I suppose if you were going to jump or propose it wouldn’t matter but we were there for the view. We never got to see it.

While I spent two days locked up in a hotel interviewing Mikey, my cop, Husband, got to go up the World Trade Centre, see Grand Central Station and various other sights that he told me about.

What did I think of New York?
Well, everything is just so tall.
I know I should have expected it – and I did – but I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed. I spent most of the time wandering round with my mouth open. I’d breathe, ‘That is so tall,’ then round the next corner there’d be an even taller building. It is truly awesome.

I’d like to go back some day.

Because of Blogger's strange handling of spacing I'll tell you here what everything is and hope you can work out what is what.

Top photo: view over south Manhattan from the World Trade Centre.

Next left: Twin Towers in the mist. Right: looking down from the glass floor.

Next: tall building.

Next left: St Patrick's Cathedral. Centre: Empire State Building in the mist and a brief glimpse of Macy's department store. Right: Chrysler Building.


jmb said...

I've never been to the top of the Empire State Building either although I've almost did on a couple of occasions. Usually the queues are too long for me.
I don't think I'd like to have been flying the day you did although maybe it's the safest time of all after a big crash like that. Everyone would be super careful.
Good story and great pics Liz.

Crushed said...

I'd love to see New York.

The double usage, comes from New York city, New York state.

PinkAcorn said...

I flew to NJ last year to visit with my son and his girlfriend. We took the train to NY..didn't like that much. When we got to NY it was so crowded, the weather wasn't so great and those tall buildings gave me the chills. I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Anonymous said...

I know it is no use me wishing as I am not allowed to fly long haul (the brain thing) but if we can ever afford a cruise...

lady macleod said...

I did! I went to the top of the Empire State Building. When we lived there for a year I tried to do all the tourist stuff, and I love "An Affair to Remember"!

very fun post

Colin Campbell said...

I lived there for a while in the 80s when my former wife went to Columbia. Very interesting city. We did all the sites, including the World Trade Center. Very windy. One of the relatives worked there and the logistics of getting people up and down was incredible. I went back about 8 years ago with my current wife for the day and we got to the top of the Empire State Building. Great view. The highlight for her was eating in a real New York Deli in New York.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for this great post, Liz. You were brave to get on the plane at all in the circumstances! Fabulous pics.


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