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Old December 17th, 2004, 10:12 PM   #1
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Year in Review : 2004 US Northeast US Part 2

August in New York

I was based in Philly but visited New York for five consecutive days thanks to the cheap Chinatown buses. It was cheaper to commute than to pay for the hotel.

On Day 1, I got off the bus near City Hall after noticing a jam into the final Chinatown stop. After stumbling around a few blocks not knowing where I was going, I came across Brooklyn Bridge. What a surprise!

Brooklyn Bridge

Here is another Dennis Trident :

Next stop was a quick hot dog lunch and then meeting vincent for a walk around Central Park. The food was terrible. Well, it was much worse than the US$40 sushi buffet in Midtown back in April. Contrast that to the French restaurant in Old Montreal that only costed about CAD$300 for 5 people just a few months before ... that was a much better deal. But then, everything in New York is more expensive!

Around Central Park

The Fairmont hotel in New York was a lot nicer than the one I stayed in in Montreal!

After I first posted these photos, I realized that photos are not allowed at the AOL Time Warner Center. How come vincent and I didn't get in trouble? Our cameras were snapping photos quite prominently!


Macy's! - Why didn't I go inside?

Ground Zero
I walked around the perimeter of Ground Zero and visited the WFC complex one cloudy morning. I decided to take photos in cloudy weather because I don't think a bright blue background would've fitted the solemness of the scene. I remember on 9/11, I was checking my email at the university and I thought I had stumbled across a movie review when I saw a short blurb : World Trade Centre destroyed.

United Nations
The UN offers tours regularly throughout the day. As a student, I got a special discount, and with the coupon I picked up from my free guidebook, I saved an extra $1. As with my previous visits to the UN, I stocked up on stamps and souvenirs at the gift shop. I didn't expect to see the General Assembly hall. I was quite surprised and delighted it was part of the tour!

Cruise Around Manhattan
My friend and I bought a New York pass, and one of the tickets included in the package price was a 3-hour cruise around Manhattan. I actually had taken the 2-hour version before, but it was during the windiest and coldest day in December and I opted to stay indoors than to venture out for some phototaking.

I thought I saw you in Hong Kong!

.. and we quickly hopped over to the USS Intrepid to see the Concorde and all those planes!

USS Intrepid

New York is an incredible city. There are skyscrapers everywhere, yet at the same time, a lot of the residential areas are very pleasant. There are lots of trees and the heights don't range too much, so the view from the street is very good. I regret not having taken more photos on Park Avenue looking towards Grand Central. The view from the bus was very good but I was too lazy to hop off and snap a picture. My friend and I did a lot of walking for those 5 days. We were shuttling back and forth throughout Lower Manhattan and Midtown. By now I think I can navigate the New York subway system pretty well.

Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is western New York State's largest city. It is across the border from Canada and home of HSBC USA's headquarters (formerly the Marine Midland Bank). Interestingly, their skyscraper dominates the city's skyline. 2 hours away in Toronto, HSBC's skyscraper is hidden somewhere downtown.

Buffalo's downtown is pretty quiet, but I like how they pedestrianized the main thoroughfare and put a transit line in it.

City Hall has an observation deck near the top that is free. The view is great. Strangely, it is quite deserted. I went twice on two different days and I didn't see many people there at all.

... and yes, I visited Abercrombie and bought something there

What's Next for 2005?

2005 might see Florida back on the agenda after trying unsuccessfully to go for 2 years, but I am tentatively planning a trip to Chicago sometime in the spring or early summer. I've been to Chicago once before but it was before my digicam days and I didn't have a lot of time exploring the city that time. With another free plane ticket at my disposal, I think Chicago would be the most logical choice for a nice long weekend. Other than that, 2005 should be more Europe-focused for me.

See my other thread : 2004 Year in Review in Canada Click Here!

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