Helen and Rob's Trip to New York
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If you've come to this webpage looking for information about the Statton Island ferry, then your spelling is obviously as bad as mine!
Well, you're only 30 once, so I thought that I ought to do something special for Bird's 30th birthday. A weekend in New York sounded like a good idea, so we got a good deal through Ebookers (excellent service). We flew out of Heathrow at Friday lunchtime, spent 2 nights at the Milford Plaza hotel (about 5 minutes' walk from Time Square - and Helen actually walked it) and then flew back on Sunday evening. It was a brilliant weekend.
Time Square and the hotel that we stayed at
We arrived at the Air India check-in desk in good time (we even got to use the First Class queue because I'd joined its Frequent Flyers guvna). Fortunately, we spent long enough in the standard queue for me to get several eye-fulls of the bird-in-front's G-string (thanks due to Helen for pointing it out to me). Unfortunately all the window seats had been taken in Delhi and Bombay, but we did manage to get two seats together.
Helen left me in the bar with Stella, while she did some last minute shopping. There was some nice totty at the airport, hopefully some of it was going to be on our flight.
According to Helen, it was going to be hot and sunny in New York (pretty much like it was in Slough). The weather forecast that I had read had mentioned cloud and rain, but Helen knew better.
Anyway, after my Stella, and more security checks, we boarded the plane. Unfortunately, our seats were close to screaming pokiness. I didn't see any of the Heathrow totty on the flight, but there was plenty of sexy Indian totty (almost as sexy as the one sat next to me at the bus stop as I'm writing this). Good job I had my cap with me.
After 5 cans of Indian lager (I didn't want it all, it was forced upon me) and a nice lamb curry, the pokiness didn't seem too bad. It was also a very short flight - we took off at 13:15 and arrived at 15:30. No wonder BA is taking Concorde out of service - our Air India jumbo-jet did the journey in just over 2 hours. Sorry, Darren, but I don't know what type it was, you'll have to ask Bird.
We landed in New York to find that the weather forecast that I read was more accurate than Helen's mis-reading of Metro.
After queuing for ages, and perving some more at the G-string totty, we got through immigration. Customs was even easier; all he asked me was, "Have you got all your bags?". We were in (ooh-err missus). Then we had to get to our hotel. Seeing the queue (sorry, line - we were in America, so I had to use the lingo) and preferring public transport, I suggested that we take the bus. When it came to pay the fare, Helen paid for 2 single tickets, having already decided that we'd get a taxi back to the airport ("Yes, dear").
The journey into the centre of New York at 5 o'clock on a Friday was rather slow, but we got to see Queens on the way. We then had to change at Grand Central station for a transfer to our hotel. That involved gimmering that would have made Tim Viney proud. Still, the bus driver kept us entertained. She shouted at all the other drivers even more than Helen does (but far more politely than Queenie did in Penzance at Easter - "Stop being so f***ing polite!").
The hotel looked quite promising - next to an Irish pub and opposite a steak restaurant. We checked in and went up to the room. It was on the 22nd floor and that wasn't even the top floor. The room was small, but functional and the view was scary, so I closed the window.
We had been invited to Molly "Boobs" Porter's graduation barbeque, but were fairly tired and very hungry. We arranged to meet Molly on Saturday and then headed to the steak restaurant for dinner. There were no tables free, so we were forced to prop up the bar. Helen had a Diet Coke, but was quite tempted by the scary green cocktails. A nice polite American didn't even complain when Helen sat in his seat.
Anyway, after about half a bottle of Bud, we were seated. We both ordered steak and I'm sure that mine was almost as big as the cow would have been ("a steak the size of Cat's tits").
No space for pudding, so we paid the bill (sorry, check) and headed back to the hotel. Helen was up for a drink in the pub, but I was a bit tired. We were back at the hotel by ten.
After the early night, we were both up early (ooh-err missus). Molly called us at about 8 and said that we needed to be at the half-price ticket booth by 9, so off we went. The queue wasn't that long and we were fortunate enough to join the queue (sorry, line) behind a man with an umbrella big enough to keep all 4 of us dry (him, his son, Helen and me). I was bit concerned that we might be stuck with pokiness, but he was quite a nice kid. After a while, I suggested that we get some teas and coffees - Helen didn't need telling twice! Off she went to Starbucks. She seemed to have taken ages, so I started whinging (not like me, I know!). "How long does it take to get 4 hot drinks?", I said to the kid (whose dad had gone off wondering), just before we saw Helen crossing the road. Obviously, I told the kid not to tell Helen what I'd said. "Of course not", he said, "you've been waiting patiently for the last 15 minutes". So, not all 13-year-olds are pokey!
The half price ticket queue
Anyway, after about 90 minutes waiting in the queue, we got our tickets. We got tickets for 42nd Street and the kid and his dad got tickets for The Lion King for the whole family - why the kid's elder sisters (two 16-year-olds and one 20-year-old) didn't queue I'll never know.
Well that was enough "lining up" for one day, so off we went to get some breakfast. Not the best breakfast in the world, but it did the job. Some weird thing in the menu about egg white costing extra confused us, but it filled the hole (ooh-err).
Then it was time for Bird to do some shopping. Off we went to some big department store called Macey's. It didn't have an electronics or electrical department, so I had to join Helen in the totty's clothes section - it's a hard life, but someone's got to do it! After about an hour, she hadn't found anything that she wanted to buy, but I had done plenty of perving.
After that, it was off to 43rd Street to watch 42nd Street. We stopped off for a hotdog on the way (when in Rome.....). We made the mistake of choosing the first hot stand that we saw. There was a reason that there was nobody queuing there - we should've got to a more popular hot dog stall. We hadn't done very well at buying food so far.
Our local for the weekend
Anyway, we got to 43rd Street in good time and even had time for a quick pint before the theatre. We found a bar called Joe Franklin's, which was just opposite the hotel that we were staying at. I was in love as soon as we walked in - the woman who greeted us as we walked through the door had a fantastic cleavage - had I died and gone to heaven? Anyway, after a quick pint, we went to watch 42nd Street. It was absolutely amazing - they fitted so much into the first half that I couldn't believe that it only lasted for an hour. Brilliant dancing, brilliant singing and loads of totty - what else could a bloke ask for? Well, I got $2 off the price of our half time drinks. Then it was back in for the 2nd half. More feet tapping, singing and, of course, perving.
We were going to meets The Boobs From New York in the hotel bar, but decided that Joe Franklin's was a much nicer pub (the service was friendly, the beer was nice, Bird got to chat up the barmen and I got to perve at the hostess who definitely had the mostess). We called Molly on her mother's cell phone (I'm getting there with the lingo), got no answer, so left a message. Unfortunately, the phone is pretty unreliable, so the message didn't arrive. I eventually met her in the hotel bar and then went back to Joe Franklin's for dinner, so that Molly could meet Helen and I could perve.
The girls seemed to be all right with the idea of keeping me company at Hooters (maybe it was those scary green cocktails that Helen was drinking), so we asked the barmen how to get there. Amazingly, neither knew (or both were good liars). They reckoned it was on about 52nd Street, which sounded too far to go to see some hooters.
[A bit of a change of location for writing the rest of this web page. I'm at Birmingham Airport and can't understand what the locals are saying]
We had a brilliant night out. All the bar staff were friendly and the service was excellent. Combined with the Mayor's anti-smoking policy, I enjoyed New York's nightlife. The bars were all open late, so we didn't have to finish drinking at 11 o'clock. There was even a Starbucks open at 11:30, so that's where we ended up before walking Molly to the station. Everything was still open, but we headed back to the hotel. The light pollution from New York is terrible, the night sky looked almost as light as during the day. There was no chance of seeing the stars as we were walking back.
Today was our time to visit The Statue of Liberty and Central Park. Climbing the Statue of Liberty isn't allowed any more, so there seemed little point in paying for a ferry to take us to the island. Instead, we took the free
Statton Staten Island ferry, which goes past the Statue of Liberty and also gives a good view of Manhattan. The ferry also had a Starbucks on board, so Helen was sorted.
The Staton Island Ferry
The Statue of Liberty
And a view of New York
After that we took the Subway back to Central Park for a wonder around and to have a bite to eat (good food, but the service could have been better - still she was totty). After walking back to the hotel, we realised that we had time for a quick pint in Joe Franklin's. Unfortunately, the Hostess with the Mostess wasn't there, but the service was up to its usual standard.
We found time to look at the statue of the fireman that was outside our hotel. It had been commissioned in 1999 and completed in 2001. On the 9th of September, it arrived in America and was being processed through Customs on the 11th when the World Trade Center was attacked. A couple of days later, the front cover of the New York Times showed a picture of a fireman in the same pose. The statue was then donated to the city of New York.
Statue of a Fireman
Anyway, we flagged a taxi and off we went to the airport. Helen then argued with the taxi driver about the fare, took us to the departure gate instead of the check-in desk and, when we eventually got to the check-in desks, had a moan at the staff for being gimmers.
We still got a curry on the plane, but there was even more pokiness than before. There was so much pokiness that we couldn't hear the safety brief (which is Helen's excuse for not turning her mobile off until halfway through the flight. Not only that, but the flight took longer - we left at 18:30 on Sunday evening and arrived at 06:45 on Monday morning. I think that the pilot must've gone the other way around the world than Friday's pilot did.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend.
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Created on: 26 May 2003. Modified on: 05 Jan 2008.
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