Wednesday, 13 November 2013

New York City

Back in the spring of 2010, I ended taking an entire day and walking around New York City.

Most guys from Bama have this fantasy of New York, and just wandering around.  We don't know anybody there.  We can barely name eight places to go and see.  But we tend to have this rational loss of fear when it comes walking in the midst of Manhattan.

I came to find the Battery down by the bay to be some magnet for tourists.  Vendors sweep through and have all kinds of stands to sell you cheap ice cream or sodas....which you really need on a hot day.

At some point, you wander over to the Empire State Building, and discover they charge you around $35 for the elevator ride.  You feel like a dope paying that much money, but you can't claim nothing much for such a trip, unless you've been to the top.

The view?  It's a million-dollar view, and a guy could spend hours up there and gazing off at the streets and traffic below.

A guy will glance down at the top of the roofs below and wonder who does maintenance....if any gals are sun-bathing.....and anyone ever camps out on the roofs?

It's curious from all the Seinfeld episodes....there never was an Empire State Building episode.  Course, you'd have to wonder if George met some damsel from Dallas for the day and fell deeply for her....before finding out that she was going off to some Swedish cruise ship for a year.

New York City is not for wimps.  You need to think hearty thoughts, and prepare yourself for just about anything....from a parade, to some robbery on the street.  I think this is the prime reason that most Bama guys fit in so well for short visits.

Grand Central Station is one of those things that you need to walk by.....jump in....have something to sip....and then walk out.  It's probably not the enchanted place that it was in the 1940s.

Tourist-magnet?  Well, that's one of the problems with the city now.  It's like Venice or London.....too many folks there for touring, and all dressed like some guy at a Fourth of July parade.

Food?  Well, yeah.....stick with authentic Italian pizza or pastrami sandwiches.  You can't go wrong with that.  Higher prices?  Yeah, don't say much.....it's the norm there.

Wall Street?  You need about an hour to run through....pet the bull statue, note the fancy walking area through the district, and see what needs to be seen.

Every Bama guy ought to take three days off in his life, and ride the plane up to New York City.  You don't have to tell your church minister, or admit this to the guys at the shop.  Ensure you got some extra t-shirts, decent walking shoes, a sock with fifty quarters to whack on any robber, and a hat to identify yourself as a foreigner in their midst.

Once you return, you got it out of your system, and life gets to being a bit easier.  Well....until four or five years later, and you get that thing in your mind again....running off to New York City

1 comment:

Don said...

I can recall being in NYC only one time and I wasn't there to see the sights. On orders, I went to what I think was called Manhattan Beach AFS to board a troop ship for an 11 day trip on the front edge of a tropical storm to Bremerhaven, Germany from where I travelled by train to my new duty station at Panzer Kaserne near Stuttgart.

The trip on that little ship was likely my most horrible experience in the military. Everyone on board, where we were crammed in like sardines, got seasick from the way the ship bounced around from the top of huge waves down into a deep valley of water, then back up to the top.......over and over again for days.