My days in New York

The first days in New York

DAY 1 – h. 8:45
When I heard the small red AirBerlin aircraft rise abruptly (… but on time, which calmed us a lot, because the fact that it
was a propeller plane had put us in a bit of anxiety!) I finally realized: OUR GREAT ADVENTURE HAS STARTED !!!

4.00 h (22.00 local time, New York)
Finally our long day (24 hours of yarn!) Is over! Fortunately, the journey went very well, the two AirBerlin flights were
punctual and accurate, indeed the Dusseldorf –NY flight arrived half an hour early;) Considering the price paid (€ 1200 for
2 flights Milan-NY + 2 Los Angeles -Milan) the treatment was excellent. If it happens, we will still choose AirBerlin.
The controls for entering the USA are many and precise: we have been searched more than once as if we were terrorists
before we were able to board, probably also because of the gigantic hair dryer that I always carry with me and that looks
like a weapon; )

The landing at JFK, which worried us more, was instead smooth as oil! No hitch, not even for the supply of cigarettes
and medicines that we brought to our friends who live in Cincinnati recently, and that in a few days we will reach …
or rather the black agent who asks us why we are in the USA, to our reply “It’s our honeymoon “stands up and,
shaking hands with us, replies with a giant smile:” CONGRATULATIONS !!! “.

Excited and amazed we realize that we have touched the proverbial kindness of the Americans for the first time …
guys … WE ARE IN NEW YORK !!! Our trip includes 3 days to visit New York, before setting out on the road traveling to
the other coast.
To reach our hotel we then take the Airtrack train ($ 7) to the Jamaica subway station, and from there, the metro to the
nearest stop to our hotel (Herald Square Hotel, 19 West 31st Street). The baggage is very heavy (given that a long and
varied journey awaits us, especially in terms of climate, we have a few clothes, but for every temperature … from the
vest to the wool sweater!), We are tired and the road is wide and now that we arrive at hotel we are upset … but we
hardly notice it, New York is fantastic and it feels like being inside a movie! And a guy in the elevator even has the irony
to point out to us that for a single floor we could even use the stairs !!!

We unload our luggage, a shower and go, ready to discover the Big Apple.
We find it hard to realize that we are really going through the streets seen hundreds of times in the movies …
we spend the evening with the camera in our hands and our noses up, we feel like we are dreaming, but everything
is incredibly TRUE!
We have dinner in a Steak House near Times Square with an excellent steak with baked potatoes, putting our vague
English to the test for the first time and trying to understand the difference between the various dishes photographed
above the order desk … unbelievable , we get the same thing on our plate as we had in mind;)
With eyes still full of lights, people and colors we return to our hotel (it is about ten minutes walk from Times Square)
feeling incredibly safe, probably more than in Como in the evening !! Will it also be due to the incredible amount of law
enforcement agencies that cover the city?

TODAY’S EXPENSES:
Flights Milan-NY = € 440
Nordsee lunch = € 10
JFK-Jamaica shuttle = 45 €
Dinner = € 28

DAY 2 – h. 8:00

In our first American day, thanks to the time zone, we wake up early but a little bit bewildered, and at 8 we are already
looking for a place to have breakfast. It seems obvious to us to choose Starbucks … where we don’t understand
anything of what we are told, we leave without realizing a tip that makes the girl behind the counter very happy (!!) and
we manage to drink an immense cappuccino seasoned with everything we find, with the only result of not being able
to digest it all day long!
For the modest sum of $ 23 we also take a cake and a “Protein Mix”, with eggs, fruit and other fresh things.
The day is cloudy and even a few drops of rain fall, but it clears up within a few hours, and we set off on foot to
discover the City.

Today we visit: The Chrysler Building (where they are shooting a movie .. wow!) And the statue of Prometheus, the St
Patrick Cathedral, the Central Station, we look at the UN Glass Building, we still walk in disbelief on Fifth Avenue and
then in Central park (where we also take a nap in the meadows), we go to see the Guggenheim Museum (but only
from the outside), and we continue with a walk in Little Italy.
Here is a hilarious procession for Sant’Antonio, where men dressed as in “Il padrino” carry the statue of the Saint in
front of the various commercial activities and make it pictorially rotate on itself when they receive money offers! We
then move to the bustling China Town and, passing through the market, have lunch with a hot dog taken at a stall and
a glass of fresh fruit at another … In going around the city we realize that car traffic is composed at 70 % by taxi, it is
overflowing with American flags and is not as chaotic as we expected: it is warm, orderly and human, and ancient and
modern coexist harmoniously creating a unique architecture.
And yet … I have not yet fully realized that I am really in NY!
At around 5 pm we go to the hotel with the intention of resting a little before going out for dinner but, probably
because of the tiredness of the day, the melt, the very comfortable bed and the post-marriage (the “big race”). for the
wedding it ended only 2 days before!) we fall asleep and we wake up at 9.30pm. Too much sleep and zero hunger,
so … let’s stay in bed !!

OBSERVATION OF THE DAY:
the kindness of the Americans is as legendary as it is real. They are always all ready to help you without you even
asking … to us Italians this thing seems so incredible that every time we have to ask ourselves if they are not trying to
rip us off !!!
We immediately felt “at home” (will it also be due to the fact that we have already seen a thousand times in the movies
every corner of this metropolis?) And we had the feeling of a very safe city.

TODAY’S EXPENSES:
Breakfast = € 16
Lunch = € 4

DAY 3 – h. 6:00
The spindle and the mega-sleep (more than 12 hours !!) make us wake up to beautiful pimp at dawn.
Let’s have a shower and take a quick coffee at the machine in the lobby of our hotel (only today we discovered his
presence!)
And, as real Americans, with takeaway coffee in hand, we go to get two sandwiches with eggs and ham (I ) and
bacon, eggs and cheese (Andrea): the sauteed dinner is felt !! Today the day is warm and clear and we start to
discover: Flatiron building (the first beautiful skyscraper in NY, I take dozens of photos!), Union Square, then we take
the metro and reach the long-awaited Brooklyn Bridge, where we reach only the first tower and we are enchanted by
the gigantic structure.
Let’s take the metro again and reach Wall street and the Finacial District (with the Charging Bull), Trinity Church,
where we stop to listen to the singing rehearsals of an evocative gospel choir, Ground Zero (always touching, now
it’s a construction site), then we head to Battery Park where we booked a visit to the Statue of Liberty (in fact, ferries
leave here for Liberty Island).
The tickets booked online a few months ago allow us to save ourselves one of the many and very long queues for
the boat, we have to do “only” the queues for security checks.

Unfortunately, despite the early booking, we are not able to win the visit to the crown, but the one on the pedestal is
still satisfying … The biggest emotion is however to contemplate the Statue approaching by ferry! On the way back
we go to Pier 17, a former fishing pier now a shopping center, where we have lunch with an expensive but light
chicken salad and a milk shake, contemplating the Brooklyn Bridge.
We then take a walk along Broadway and make the attempt to return to the hotel, but the metro line is out of order
so we walk a few more miles crossing Canal street, then we make a brief stop at the hotel. When we go out we are
stopped by a strange character on 7th street who absolutely wants to take a picture with me.
Oo it scares me a bit but after being freed we continue then to the Empire State Building where, after more than an
hour between queues and checks (even though here we had pre-purchased tickets online!), 6 floors and feet and so
much effort, we reach the 86th floor while the sun is setting.
The landscape excites us and leaves us breathless, and the photos are wasted!
Tired we do a ride from Macy’s then we have dinner in an “all you can eat” Chinese near the spectacular Times
Square, where in general fatigue I can give a good $ 7 tip to the unpleasant Chinese waitress, and for this I will eat my
fingers all evening!!

OBSERVATION OF THE DAY:
while in all parts of the world at least 2 languages are spoken, the local one and another, in the nationalistic America
we speak only theirs!
After September 11, Americans are also afraid of their shadow, and the controls are exhausting …
Blacks, according to what we have seen these days, appear to be around 50% of the population, and occupied
mainly in the maybe of the order!

TODAY’S EXPENSES:
Breakfast = € 4
Statue of Liberty = € 17
Lunch = € 18
Empire state building ticket = € 30

GIORNO 4 – h. 6.00

NEW YORK – WASHINGTON

The melt still helps us, so at 6 we are standing … we do the bags, the breakfast in the lobby (usually cafferozzo!)
Check-out at the hotel and … for the first time we take a New York taxi !! We call him, in front of the hotel, just like in
the movies, raising his arm and thinking “It was a life I dreamed of doing !!!”
A little boy takes us in less than 10 minutes to the Hertz Car rental, where we booked our traveling companion that will
take us to the Pacific: a Toyota Prius. In less than 5 minutes we hurry the practices, they throw us the keys in our
hands and we are on the road to juggle between “One Way” and rebel pedestrians … Andrea begins to take
confidence with the automatic change while I study the instruction booklet of the half.
Half-hour of travel and the skyscrapers are replaced by campaigns and farms. We stop in a special area and we gulp
down a series of very tasty cinnamon sticks sprinkled with orange juice: P

After about 4 hours we are in Washington: for American highways we travel well, are tidy, clean and without traffic, the
Americans pass the limit only a few miles per hour and travel neatly in their lane, almost in a column. So we arrive at the
destination an abundant hour before the one we had foreseen, so, having found the hotel (even if with a bit of difficulty
because the navigator gave us as traffic some roads open instead only at other times), we park and decide to start looking
around.
Today here in the USA we celebrate Memorial Day so the parking lots are fortunately free (otherwise they would have been
30 $ a day) and when we reach the White House and the Washington Monument we discover that we are also going to
attend a parade in style, with bands and typical clothes.
There are so many people who applaud and wave American flags, despite the atrocious heat that makes them drip even in
the shade! The parade is very representative of the true American spirit, we follow it with curiosity for half an hour then we
continue to the Lincoln Memorial … but the heat is really unbearable and we decide to stop at the hotel to freshen up with
a shower (State Plaza Hotel, 2117 E St .NW, Washington DC), in a really strategic but also little tourist position: around
there are only government offices, and if there is any bar / restaurant, today it is probably closed due to the festivity …
However, the State Plaza is elegant and well-kept, and we have a real suite with a king bed and an equipped kitchenette.
When we go out the weather has fortunately refreshed (and clouded over!) And we take the opportunity to go for another
ride to the Capitol and the 2nd World War Monument, as majestic as the whole Memorial park.
Let’s put a stop to hunger with an indefinite number of hot-dogs taken from street vendors (we have no other choice …
it’s all closed !!) and we rush into our king bed … at 10 pm we’re already snoring!

TODAY’S EXPENSES:
Taxi = € 5
Prius rental = € 845
Breakfast at Cinnambon = $ 14
Hot dogs and drinks = $ 25
State Plaza Hotel = $ 152

OBSERVATION OF THE DAY:
despite the amount of people around, we have seen and made friends with dozens of sociable squirrels!

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