Some of you might be interested in reading my quick journal about our trip to the States? Then you know what all we have seen and where all we have been (and how difficult it can be if someone who likes to photograph things and someone who would be happy with the occasional snap, tourist-fashion-like travel together!) Sunday, 2 April 2 p.m. off to the airport in Hamburg Flight to London/Heathrow with British Airways, from there, also with British Airways to JFK Airport in New York. Arrival at 10:50 p.m. (American time), immigrations, baggage claim, taxi ride to our hotel on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Arrival actually on Monday morning at 12:35 a.m. Monday, 3 April Breakfast at a Starbucks on Broadway, then walk through Central Park (entering at Strawberry Fields and going round The Lake and through The Ramble and past Belvedere Castle). 11 a.m. meet-up with my long-time e-mail friend Abedin from Bangladesh, resident in NYC for the past 12 years, first trip in New York subway with him to his office in Jackson Heights, Queens, checking on e-mail there, then Indian lunch, back to Manhattan, Grand Central Station. There we said good-bye to Abedin, all planning to meet again on Wednesday, but unfortunately no further meet-up came about... Upon leaving the station we saw Madison Avenue and the Crysler Building including a short "exploration" into the lobby (the doors to the elevators are exceptional!) Trip to Brooklyn Bridge, walk across and back. Dinner at UNO's in Columbus Avenue. Tuesday, 4 April Woke by 3 and was fully awake for hours, fled the bed by six and went for an early walk in Riverside Park next to our hotel. Breakfast at a Starbucks nearer by, also on Broadway/81St. Trip to Ground Zero, where works for the new building are on, renewing the subway station and laying the foundations for that new building. Checked our e-mail in an internet café for the rental car voucher we were still waiting for - so far in vain. Took the Staten Island Ferry out to Staten Island so we would see the Statue of Liberty from relatively close up. The ferry is free - good! Lunch in that self-same internet café with a very varied choice of food (buffet-style); at that time it was frequented by lots of executives from the offices around. Subway to Penn Station, found ourselves right in front of Macy's (the towering Empire State Building only a couple of blocks away - what a sight!), quick tour round Macy's without buying anything, but marvelling at their ancient old, wooden and rumbling escalators. Then walked to and through the General Post Office building and on to the Chelsea Piers. Sat down in the sun in a spot outside the wind and rested our sore and walking-weary feet, but then walked back through Chelsea in search for the Rockefeller Center. Found it after quite some searching and finally asking around and neared a first marriage crisis, since Andreas was tired and his feet were sore and his stupid wife said "We are in New York only once, so we must try to see as much as we can!". He would have liked to give up our search for it much earlier in order to return to the hotel and rest on the bed roll: ). Saw the ice rink, sat down in the café for a while but didn't order anything (no one cared), then returned home and had dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant in Amsterdam Ave. Upon coming home, we came past a huge amount of fire trucks who had been called to reported smoke in the house on Broadway/80St, but it was some false alarm in the end. 12 fire trucks for one false alarm... oh! Wednesday, 5 April Abedin had wanted to be back at the hotel as early as 8:15 but couldn't come, so we decided to do the tour to the observation deck of the Empire State Building on our own, after we had treated ourselves to a very hearty, full American breakfast before. I refused to believe the weathermen's forecast of snow in the area... ... and enjoyed the fact that there were NO LINES in the Empire State Building! Few people were around, and there still was a view, though grey, and while I photographed out north, Andreas came round to alert me to the fact that all of the south tip of Manhattan was getting "lost" in "fog" which proved to be the snow front. Soon the view was zero and it was snowing fiercely. Just perfect! After an hour's wait for the front to be through (no luck) we went back down, but did not enjoy the streets too much so returned to the hotel to make some new plans. The afternoon was all different from the morning and we set out to 66 St, Lincoln Center (Metropolitan Opera House), and from there towards the Trump Tower (second near-miss marriage crisis, as Andreas was tired and his feet were sore and he was fed up with his photographing wife who took so long in walking and stopping and aiming and shooting...). Found it at last, but the waterfalls inside the combined shopping mall/food court were NOT the ones I had wanted to find. But ice-cream soothed Andreas somewhat, so he agreed to walking to the SkyTram at Queensboro Bridge to "fly" across to Roosevelt Island from there and back. (New cause for a crisis when I suggested we not immediately go back but walk in search for a good spot to get a pic of the United Nations Building...) Dinner at "Good Enough To Eat" on Amsterdam consoled us loads. That was the best dinner we had in all our time there! Thursday, 6 April Starbucks-breakfast, then out to Chinatown and all the area around (Little Italy, which can hardly be found anymore, Bowery ... all decidedly Chinese by now). Back to the hotel. 1 p.m. first TPF mini meet-up with Chris who took us on a short ride to Wave Hill Botanical Gardens in the West Bronx (nice area, beautiful gardens). After Chris had dropped us off at the hotel again, Andreas wanted to go on an excursion to JFK airport by subway just so we would know if we'd be able to manage the distance with all our luggage on the following morning, since we were to pick up our rental car from the airport then (had received and printed out the much waited-for voucher by then). So we did a subway tour into Brooklyn, later south Queens, and on with the bus to the airport and back, missed a beautiful sunset while there (it almost physically hurt the photographer in me, while Andreas never gave it a second thought). Then returned and stepped out of the subway at Times Square to get some nighttime shots there (I had therefore lugged my tripod around all the time). Mega marriage crisis as Andreas was hungry and tired and fed up with me photographing, and I was mad with him for saying that postcard views are all I'd need to have, and we did not speak for the remainder of the night... To those who have come to here: thanks for reading . More to follow (11414 characters are too many for the system in one post... had already shortened my report by 2000 characters, but still no good, so now a division is required).