Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have walked a lot of miles in this city, and even more by subway, busses or cab.

There are so many things I haven't done and would still like to do!
Haven't really been in Brooklyn, Harlem, the Bronx or Queens, and despite bad reputation from movies, there isa lot of interesting things to be seen there.
And even in Manhattan itself there would be so much more.

New York surely is a city that I'd like to live in.


Now I'm sitting at home again; just published the pictures of the last two days on Picasa.
The bags are unpacked, and I'll be glad to catch some sleep!

When will I be back in New York City? I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last day - Tuesday

Last night it got pretty late again, first packing all my things. I actually got the bags closed, which I hadn't been so sure of.

Then I went down to the lobby with by laptop to hijack the Starbucks Wi-Fi like everyone else, so I could check my flight back and reserve an airport shuttle.
There I met a girl from Costa Rica and we got talking with each other. We got a beer at the pub on the next block, and so it was 2 am again when I went to bed.

I did rise before sunrise though! Took the subway to Brooklyn and am now standing right in front of the Brooklyn bridge looking towards Manhattan.

Last afternoon it had been Raining pretty badly, but like the weather forecast had said, today is really nice weather!

I looked at lower Manhattan today, starting with wall street. No "occupy" - the cops have closed the whole place and are watching it.

Ground Zero
I was touched and very sad looking at the big area where the twin towers stood. I thought about all these folk, nice people like everyone, going to work there, dying there being killed by sick and hateful people. Every one of them unique, their lives ended.

I went to the memorial site, too, where all the names of the killed are engraved on the sides of the fountain pools.

And did this attack achieve anything? Just other wars, the opinion about the Islam further lowered.

The skyscrapers often are built with ancient castles in mind, or actually copying old temples. They are their representation as a symbol of power in our times, the modern cathedrals.
So the destruction of these two towers filled with innocents seemed to me like the razing of some medieval castle in some completely unimportant war, like almost any. But every single man, woman or child is truly dead for this useless and sinful act.

The new One world trade center is already halfway up.

Right now I'm at Liberty island. Had a great view of the Statute and the city on the boat going there. And I felt really privileged to new able to walk these positively historic grounds.

On the base of the statue is a plaque of a poem by a young American woman of the time. I liked it, and so I put the text out here:


The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883


Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 8 - happy new year! :-)

I didn't make it for Dec. 31, but I still have new year in New York! Not at Times Square, but with fireworks in China town. Welcome to the year of the Dragon. It's the luckiest animal in the Chinese mythology.

On the way to the ceremony I met a guy from Basel, and we went there together. We were both amused and amazed how unorganized the whole thing started. Sometimes there was music played by one group and from the loudspeakers at the same time, and the american anthem was sung by a man and a woman with about 20 seconds delay to each other...
The ceremony, once it began was pretty nice, with dragons and puppets, chinese musicians and a pretty nice and very loud firework!

After that I went through the little parts of town like little Italy, Soho, Tribeca...

In the evening I packed my bags for the flight back tomorrow night .

Sunday, January 22, 2012

7th day - sunny Sunday

"And on the seventh day god rested"...

Well, this city never really sleeps, and there's a lot to see!

I am on the subway driving back from something really nice. I went to the part of the city called the village, south of midtown , which has a lot of small clubs and restaurants. I had planned on going to a club called le poisson rouge, but it was pretty slow there. I also passed by the famous blue note jazz club, but they also had slow music there. I went into a club called the bitter end, where they had a jam session. Really good musicians , I enjoyed the music.

Other people were coming on the stage, too, some really good , and actually I played "take 5" with them on the piano. That was cool . Folks there were just really nice and friendly . And now I can say I played in New York City! ;-)

I also went to the skyride at empire state building. It's like an Imax virtual helicopter flight. Was pretty cool.

The new york subway won't win any prizes on being modern or beautiful... and I wouldn't have thought I'd be riding busses so often. Well it's 2 o'clock again , time to go to bed!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

6th day - Saturday - New York in white!

The weather forecast actually was right! Woke up this morning and new york was white, a heavy snow blowing through the streets.

Central park was all white, the joggers fighting through the snow, but even they had fun. It was frightening to whatch the taxicab sliding though... All the kids making snow balls or families sledding down the hills ... nice!

I've been at the Metropolitan museum of art today, which was really nice. With the snow I finally get to do the museums that I planned on.

Now I'm actually at the Met Opera, watching "the Enchanted Island", a new production with music by Vivaldi and Handel, and the plots from two shakespearean pieces . The program will begin any minute.

I did not spend the $200, I got a standing place (!) for $24!

the opera was very nice! the actors had world class voices. I'm glad to have been here.

Very much fun was the "decentralized boombox party" ! I read about it in "where " magazine. ,So about 100 people came together , many with boomboxes. One guy had the fm transmitter and broadcasted the music to the others.We started on union square, then took the subway to grand central station all together and went on to the library. Everybody dancing and trucking to the music! That was a cool concept.

Actually I met a guy from Germany and his girlfriend. they studied in Massachusetts, and he 's with Google in New York now.

I did have a little bit of bad luck today, too. Forgot my ID at the hotel so I couldn't go to the after party :-( The guy at the entrance just wouldn't let me in.

My stomach and my back were not feeling really well either.

Also a little plastic bit of my camera broke off - it's still working but I had to fix it with some tape. Looked for it for a whole while, but in the snow and dark - no way.

And two of the staff at the museum where inconsiderate jerks.

I had thought of seeing Woody Allen playing jazz at the Carlyle tomorrow, but tickets were 130 dollars...! *Sheesh!*

2 a.m., good night!

Check out the pictures!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fifth day - Friday already!

This trip is actually a hiking vacation! ... Every part of my body that has something to do with walking is complaining...

I know just from a couple of people that they're reading this blog, but from most I don't know if you do or not. So please let me know or leave a comment! :-)

Ok; so now I'm sitting at an Oyster-bar on 7th street right near to my hotel, a glass of red wine sitting on the table. Pretty nice atmosphere, and nicer writing the blog than on the smartphone at the hotel room...

It's amazing how fast the time passes here... already Friday is late in the night... and the day, like the last, was gone so fast!

I started going down 5th Ave. at Central Park this morning; that's where all the top stores are; you look left: Fendi, Gucci, Armani, Rolex..., you look right: Tiffany's, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana... etc. Lot's of stores so posh that I don't need to enter!

I went into Tiffany's just for the heck of it, to have an impression, and they were really very cultivated. I saw on their map that they had a "women's and men's lounge", which made me curious, and I also thought I could use a rest and a coffee. I was really amazed when I stood before the sign and the door, and found out that Tiffany's is even too "upsy" to call their toilets bathroom or restroom; no: it's a lounge!... hm...

Interestingly enough, there's always also stores like H&M or Forever21, with really cheap clothes, that make enough money to persist in these top notch locations.

Talking clothes (me being a guy and normally not very shopping-fevered...):

I liked Uniqlo, a japanese department store - incredibly good price-quality ratio. Very very good service, too.
Also, the Sale at Tommy Hilfiger was really nice, and really, really good service! So friendly and nice, and they even had a free delivery service to the hotel. Other stores don't or want $40 for that.

I also went into a men's apparel store that I don't remember the name of to look for suits. When I found out that their "junior line" starts at $1.200 (!! or !!! **breath**)... they were so nice and polite. I love service like that.

Other than at GANT, where they were really unforthcoming. It's strange how stores or companies do have their very individual atmosphere, which can vary greatly, but which is consistent for all staff in the company, good as bad.

Some of those clothes were reduced incredibly... at their original price I would never have bought them. So: if you want to shop, January seems to be the perfect month!

What else did I do? St. Pauls Cathedral is on 5th Ave. on this latitude. Quite a nice church, great organs, and I looked into it because Tiffany's made the altar.

And I went to Rockefeller Center, which is really a nice place... they have this ice-skating rink in front of the building, a tree alley lit by thousands of tiny lights, and the lighted huge Rockefeller tower... it is awesome.

It went "On Top of the Rock"(efeller Center), as they call the platform on the 70th floor. Really a great 360° view of all of Manhattan. It was so clear that night; all the buildings twinkling, ... great time to be up there.

I spent quite some time there, which was good. Because I seem to be caught by the normal New York phenomenon: they say New York is fast, and I think they are right. The last couple of days, I barely ever made a pause all day. Just so much to do and see! So the time up on "the Rock" and now in the bar really are valuable.

Interesting to me was also the languages you hear on the street. What's the second-most used language in New York? French! There are so many french people here, it amazed me. You hear it very often. Third is Russian! Many women that you can tell (for example, really by their thick fur hats! They seem to have a faible for that) who are from Russia.

I think it's time to say Good night! I'll write more tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fourth day - Thursday

So where have I been today?

Walking around a lot. Was in the amazing Chrysler building, was in the beautiful Grand central station , had a great view of all the city from top of the Empire state building and looked at the United nations building . Then I was at Flatiron building and walked miles of fifth avenue... I just say SALES :-)

It was a little stress testing on the credit card...

There are 2 magazines that interesting for finding out what's going on in new york - one is free and is called "where". You can get it at the hotels. The other's called "time out" and can be bought at any news stand. And then there's the "Village voice", which I haven't found yet. It's also free.

Oh yes and I've started using the subway! Took me about 3 * as long as with a cab and a lot more walking too...

Was way past midnight when I got to bed again ...


Some new pictures are up on picasa - mostly skyscrapers and Times Square!

Strange to wake up and know that it's already halfway through the afternoon in Europe.