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Travel journal (Warning: long read!) (part 1)


Just Corinna in real life
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Feb 1, 2004
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Lower Saxony, Germany
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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! :D

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 :D. 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).
(Part 2 here now)

Friday, 7 April
Very early breakfast at Starbucks, then off to the airport with all our luggage in tow, and by subway, no less!

Collected our car and set out towards Washington DC via the Verrazzano Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike (I95).

Lunch at a recreation point (messy affair - those burgers...) and arrival at hotel at about 3:30 p.m.

Cell phone contact with Aubrey (Hobbes), arrangements made for them to come and collect us from our hotel in Arlington to take us to their hotel nearer to Dulles Airport, which was where all the others stayed (too expensive for us).

Met the meet-uppers then first. Went out to have dinner in a place right next to their hotel, but it was no good for getting to know each other since there was a rock band playing (in a res|aurant!) at the volume that would have filled a concert hall!

Got taken back to our place in Arlington later.

Saturday, 8 April
Cherry Blossom Parade and the rainiest day of the year (maybe). Windy, too. Biggest day of the meet-up but all plans went down the drain since no one felt like doing any extended sight-seeing.Therefore hopping-from-museum-to-museum-day.

Breakfast was in the hotel restaurant for the two of us, lunch in the food court of the Air and Space Museum with some (others had wandered of the to the Museum of Modern Art), and dinner was pizza in the big combined hotel suite which was the primary meeting-point for all. First ever Dr Pepper for yours truly.

Night from Saturday to Sunday: Dropped Andreas off at the Arlington Hotel, then four of us on to do nighttime photography in DC (Jefferson Memorial at past midnight, Washington Monument, WW II Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the "Scary Man on the Chair", erm... the Lincoln Memorial. By then it was near to 2 in the morning and HIGH TIME to get back!!! Ooops. (No question by Andreas about how things had gone.... Actually not a word, only a grunt when the light from the bathroom woke him for a second...)

Sunday, 9 April
Breakfast in a diner two blocks away from the "main" hotel with all, then the group started to scatter, many had to catch flights home on that day.

Andreas and I met up with Joe and Sky (from Baltimore and Philadelphia, respectively, so no need for them to catch any flights home) and with JonMikal and Scoob, and MUCH unlike the day before, this Sunday met with all the requirements you can ever have to a SUNday!

So we saw:
- The White House (front)
- The Old Executive Building
- Lafayette Square and the White House (back)
- The Jefferson Memorial (and no more cherry blossoms, only some sorry remains of them)
- The F.D.R. Memorial Park,

out to Alexandria for dinner, then Scoob had to catch a train; ice-cream in the Old Town, back to the station putting both Joe and Sky on their trains home,

- Vietnam Veteran's Memorial at night. (Photos no good).

Monday, 9 April
The Washington Day that Andreas and I had entirely to ourselves, everyone else had left by then or needed to be back to work.

Went to explore all of the Capitol Building (inside and out, we hoped, but could not get on a guided tour that would have also taken us to the rotunda and all, they were sold out for the day). I took loads of photos from all angles and also into all directions (along the mall, of course, too). Went past the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court to the Union Station where we had lunch.

I had run out of batteries and left the recharged one in the hotel, so we had to return, get it, and set out through Georgetown (worth exploring more, just like Alexandria!) towards the Washington National Cathedral. The light was sweetest by the time we had ended our tour inside, and it stayed wonderful, so I made Andreas go back into town for a couple of dusk photos of famous spots (all the memorials again), until we reached a new crisis and he stomped off to the car and let me where I was put with my tripod ... well, as much as he could "stomp" with his hurting feet. Oh my!

But we at least talked through our dinner in the Italian Restaurant in Rosslyn later.

Tuesday, 11 April
Early breakfast in the hotel,

then Arlington Cemetery (and Andreas wouldn't walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier!), and off to New York again to the airport.

We stopped off at Coney Island, hoping to find something nice to buy for the kids, but no luck (Coney Island has seen better times, hasn't it?), dropped off the car at the car rental station at shortly after 4 p.m., arrived in good time for our check in and flew out of JFK on time at 7:30 p.m.

Now double thanks to whoever has read to THIS point, and a big :hugs: !
and I'm sure you made notes in your small notebook, didn't you??? :) I read it all :D thanks for sharing!!
I read it all! Thanks for sharing Corinna! And you were slightly wrong about no one doing any extended sightseeing on rainy saturday. Joe and Sky and Erik and I were out in the rain all day! :D
Oh, you were? I thought you had fled into the Modern Arts Museum (or whatever its real name is?)

And Mentos... I had a little book with me, but I had to quickly write all this up once back home for I did not have time for any notes right there and then. Andreas would have either killed me or himself or someone or whatnot had I even wanted to take NOTES next to all my taking PHOTOS! :shock:
LaFoto said:
Oh, you were? I thought you had fled into the Modern Arts Museum (or whatever its real name is?)

And Mentos... I had a little book with me, but I had to quickly write all this up once back home for I did not have time for any notes right there and then. Andreas would have either killed me or himself or someone or whatnot had I even wanted to take NOTES next to all my taking PHOTOS! :shock:

We were there for a while, but we also went to the Lincoln and Washington Monuments, and the WWII and Vietnam Memorials. :D

I could swear there was one more memorial we went to, but for the life of me I can't remember the name!

Edit: Oh yeah...it was the Korean War Memorial. :D
Sounds like you had a whirlwind tour! I'm worried about packing it all into a week - you'll have to give me some tips as it's been many years since I've been to NYC.

i read it yesterday and then i re-read it this morning :D came back to say that it sounds like you had a brilliant time and even more so photographically. Loved the photographs!
thanks for sharing your journal, loved going thru it :)
Best part of it all is that I am STILL married!!! ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
LaFoto said:
Best part of it all is that I am STILL married!!! ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
:lol: I don't doubt that for a second. But I am glad meeting your crazy online photo gang did not scare him off!

Great journal. NYC still sounds wonderful, despite the snow. :thumbup: I'd go again any time of year!

Thanks for sharing with us. :D

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