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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

USA day 7: New York

Absolutely KNACKERED! Pulled into Penn Station between 4:45 and 5 because the traffic was so bad getting into Manhattan.

I've determined that upper west side - you gan get to about w97th and anything much above that gets a bit more grotty and more and more like Morden as you get nearer to Harlem.

I still think Harlem is less threatening than Lewisham. It seems that the people in New York - the ethnic minorities, are trying very hard to transcend the stereotypes, and rise above them, which is very much to their credit - whereas in London, they are trying to live up to this image they have - the Harlem 'gangsta'.. THING, where poor is cool and 'street' and whatever, which by all accounts is a dying breed here. It's kind of funny, that all these London kids are trying so hard to be something they think exists in New York, but they've got it absolutely backwards. Bit pathetic when you think about it really - to live up to a stereotpe that no longer truly exists.

So... yeah. Pulled into Penn around 4:45/5, got on the subway for well over an hour... felt close to two hours to be honest - got off at Jamaica and took the airtrain to JFK. Couldn't find the damn hotel shuttle. It was like 8pm by this time, had to call mum in England to call the hotel because I can't figure out how to call US landlines from my mobile - I've tried every code I can think of under the sun, but I just get some annoying american woman going 'sorry, the number you've dialled is incorrect. Please try again' - or words to that effect.

Had to go BACK on the airtrain for another 15 mins to C station - Federal Circle - and get the shuttle from there. It would have been a little bit helpful if the expedia people or the hotel people had included something about that in the details they send out!!! thoroughly peeved about that. The shuttle leaves every hour or so -so had to wait 20 mins for the airtrain and then another 20 for the shuttle. Finally got in between half past 10 and 11 - starving - I hadn't eaten anything all day apart from a breakfast muffin at the starbucks in Boston at 10am - but I was so knackered I couldn't be arsed to eat - climbed into bed and watched the weather channel for the latest on Ike, while writing this. Ike is turning out to be an enormous fucker! on the satellite pictures, you can't even see the gulf coast - that whole horseshoe is just a white swirl! the experts have labelled it as a catergory 2-3. I'm not sure what that means, but it's bad. The whole of the gulf coast is on red alert.

It's WELL noisy in this hotel - and it's a bit skanky, but what do you expect for a 2 star airport hotel?

Apart from the aircon smelling like incontinent grannies, I have no real beef with the place. It is perfect for what it is - an airport hotel- plus you get free internet and breakfast and airport shuttle. Oh yeah - and the water still tastes absolutely vile - even in Jamaica (which fyi, is out in Queens) Just tastes like pond water. Have to slum it tonight because there isn't really any place to buy bottled stuff from - by bags were heavy enough as it is without having to lug around 100 litres of Dasani.

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