Tag Archives: cab

New York, 2005, Part 1: Taking a bite

Ah, New York- where every street feels familiar as it is out of a TV show or movie that I have watched.

I arrived in New York at midnight and immediately did the wrong thing by being talked into a black market cab, forgetting that I should have headed for the legitimate taxi rank. But it was late and all I wanted to do was get to the Big Apple hostel in Times Square where I knew my friend Phil had booked me a bed.

The next morning we woke up, grabbed a bite at the corner deli, passed the queue in Battery Park waiting to get to the Statue of Liberty and caught the free Staten Island ferry past the statue on Ellis Island. Gotta love a ferry ride- especially one with such a good view.

Back in Manhattan, the World Trade Centre was gone and had been replaced by a building site for the Freedom Tower Memorial. The surrounding buildings were still damaged.

Central Park was too big to walk the whole way from one end to the other- so we just hit the pond , took in the view of Belvedere Castle and visited the amusement park above the famous Bethesda Fountain.

I recognised the trees of the Liberty Walk, a tunnel and the handsome cabs that always seemed to be featured images of the park. I loved Central Park and wished I had more time to explore it further. We went to the MET and I absolutely adored the Temple of Dendur.

That night, we couldn’t find a bar easily near where we were staying so we went to the bar at the top of the W hotel which was quite swanky and expensive making us penniless backpackers feel a little out of place.

The following day we visited the New York stock exchange that had a huge American flag with and even bigger charging bull outside. This was the Wall St I had heard so much about.

We went to the United Nations buildings with all the flags and I relished walking down 5th Avenue passing the famous Chrysler Building, the Rockefeller Centre, Cartier and SAKS– so New York.

All I could afford in Tiffany was a key ring and the FAO Schwarz toy shop where I found the very cute American Kennel Club collection- wish we had that in Australia when I was a kid.

For something different, we went to Harlem, which didn’t seem scary at all with families having picnics in the park. I liked the Columbia University library and tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a student at such a well-known school.

From one school to another, we went to Greenwich Village and were in New York University/Felicity territory. Purple NYU banners surrounded Washington Square Park with the arch and the hanging elm.

We visited the West Village, the Meat Packing District and Soho where I found my dream loft apartment. It was Fleet Week and here the bars were overflowing and easy to find this time around.

Related posts: Argentina, 2005, Buenos Aires, 2005

The NEW Amazing Race Australia

The new Amazing Race Australia premiered last month and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on this season.

As you know, I am a fan of the American Amazing Race. I love the travel around different countries in the world- seeing places I have been to and places I would like to go. I also like watching the silly contestants not even knowing how to pronounce the name of a country, let alone where it is.

I actually wanted to enter in the Amazing Race Australia myself, but was told by my peers that they would never let me in as I had travelled too much. It’s true that naïve travellers make the show.

This season on Amazing Race Australia, they are pitting Australian teams against New Zealand teams in an age old grudge match between us and them. The series even opened with a tug of war between the two countries. I wonder if the rest of the world is aware of this country rivalry?

I thought it was good that they went to Christchurch in New Zealand as the city has been devastated by earthquakes and is going through recovery and revitalisation. Thay are also going to really cool places like Africa and Russia.

But I thought that the sheep challenge in New Zealand, the Thai massage in Thailand and the Russian dancing in Russia were all a bit cliché. And making a fire as one of the challenges is very Survivor.

I like the funny Australian colloquialisms like “shot at the title”, “aura faffery” and “team Lorna Jane”. I wonder if watchers around the rest of the world will get them?

We are half way through, and the teams are continuing to make several rookie mistakes:

  • Checking in luggage
  • Not reading the whole clue
  • Giving up too early
  • Not buying a map
  • Helping other teams
  • Not waking up on time
  • Using an express pass too early and before giving away your second express pass
  • Being at the wrong bus terminal
  • Running past the clue box
  • Fighting with your team mate
  • Not finding the clue, not reading the clue, missing something really simple and then not back tracking straight away to fix it.

Tiredness also seemed to be getting to the contestants in the very early days by episode two.

My wish pick  just for pure niceness alone are the Foster Parents- Cat and Jesse. I don’t think anyone deserves to win more.

However, I suspect the winners will be Team Jesus- Dan and Ryan- they may not be the physically strongest team like Best Mates- John and Murray- but they are definitely smarter. Team Jesus are also cool under pressure making them the team to beat, but it could be a close battle towards the end as Best Mates are very competitive.

A final thought- you can never pick your cab drivers and sometimes, that’s all the difference between winning and losing in the final leg.

Stay tuned…

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Related posts: The NEW Bachelor Australia, TV Replays and Movie Marathons