Sunday, January 23, 2011

Of cold, iconic landmarks and old hotels

Tonight I'm in New York and feeling my way around a new city very different from the familiar ( & warmer) San Francisco. First impressions were great- approaching JFK as the sun set and seeing that famous skyline in the distance,I couldn't help but feel a frisson of anticipation and excitement (I planned this leg mostly because my family said " You can't keep going back to America and not visit New York!) Two hours in a shuttle bus later, looking at traffic, piles of garbage and grimy banks of snow, I was less impressed. My hotel is an old-school shared bathroom building with food smells in the halls and a very old cage lift which trapped my finger as I struggled to keep it open to get my bags on board. But I've begun to warm up to the city ( figuratively at least): popping out to get a bottle of water from the corner store in the evening I looked up and saw, quite close by, the top of the Chrysler Building. I started to walk toward it and after a couple blocks, as I crossed a street, glanced to my left and saw rising up above the rows of 19th century townhouses the top of the Empire State Building. It brought a grin to my face- that's the Empire State Building!! The thing about seeing these two iconic buildings in real life was that as much as they are cliched landmarks, if you can strip away the tacky tourist shops and brand stores in your mind's eye, they are spectacularly beautiful deco buildings in their own right (and surrounded by smaller, unknown buildings of the same era which are just as impressive).
One problem with impromptu
night-time hikes though- a couple of hours later in my super-heated room, lmy legs and face are still icy to touch- must remember never to go out without my thermals and a hat and scarf!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:New York, New York

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