October 25 – New York City – LA – Melbourne
Packed and ready to go, we hit the streets and headed to Grand central Station to catch the subway to the exact and spot as yesterday, only a different restaurant.
We got in our carriage on the train and there was a homeless man asleep across a whole line of seats. The ultimate mans leading. The staff woke him and he basically ignored them and asked us the time and what the next station was. He had no shoes on and there was one ripped pair under the seat alongside a new pair of Nikes. When he got off the train he put on the old ones and it was as if he didn’t see the new ones. I couldn’t work out whether or not someone had left them for him and he was unaware or if he just forgot them. I felt bad I didn’t call out and point them out to him. Even after he got off and people got on, no one sat where he had been. The empty seats and the lingering smell told the story.
Katz’s Deli in the East Village
Home of traditional and delicious Jewish food and the location of the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally.
They have a rather interesting way of ordering – first you are given a ticket when you come in and then depending on what you want, you go to different counters to order and they write the cost on your ticket.
This meant I was queuing for Matzo ball soup in one place and then had to go to a different counter for order blintzes (which take 7minutes to make). Meanwhile Josh was at another counter ordering a pastrami on rye!
It all came together in the end. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the blintzes came in threes when one would have been plenty! If there’s one thing that is consistent about America, it’s super sizing. The blintzes were cheese and blueberry and served with sour cream and apple sauce. They were rather delicious and I managed to eat two. The matzo ball soup was something I’ve heard referenced to in TV shows and movies (The Nanny for one) and read about in books so I was looking forward to trying. I had no idea the balls were so big (that’s what she said) and I had no idea what they were made of. I decided I would just eat and enjoy and google to find out later. Turns out they are only unleavened bread. I was a little worried because there were things like tongue sandwiches on the menu.
This time we got and uber to the Chelsea Markets and High Line. On the way we passed the Ladder 3 Fire House – The one where the truck from the museum had come from.
The Chelsea Markets were a foodies dream – what a shame we were full! We walked around, looked at all the Halloween decorations and the small start up designers. I particularly enjoyed a store selling distinctive head pieces. I contemplated grabbing one for Melbourne Cup Day but wasn’t sure the transportation would be successful.
Walking the High Line
What a great idea to transform the old train tracks above the city into a green space with walking paths, art and places to sit and enjoy the sunshine.
My favourite building in the whole world is located here. I fell in love with it on my first trip when I stayed for two nights in a friend’s apartment on East 22nd Street. I would stroll down fifth ave to the dog park to eat a bagel and the Flatiron Building (famous for being the head quarters of the Daily Bugle in the Spider-Man movie), though not a huge skyscraper, dominants the view here because of its beautiful shape and design. It was the first New York skyscraper!
We watched the dogs in the dog park – also a Sex in the City location: where Charlotte’s dog Elizabeth Taylor suffered a doggy gang bang – and then entertained ourselves trying to get squirrels to come to us even though we had no food. I’m not sure what Josh would have done if one jumped on him.
From there we walked the 19 blocks back to our hotel and sat in the bar waiting for our car service to JFK.
The drive to the airport took forever. We went passed the United Nations and over the East River though Queens so it was not without its interesting things to look at. I did enjoy spotting the Silver Cup neon sign that features prominently in the movie Highlander. Josh had no idea what I was referring to.
For the first time ever I was patted down after going through the X-ray machine. My Camilla gems were very prominent in the image and she needed to do a upper torso search. It is bewildering to me why one person lets it go and another checks more thoroughly. I’ve worn the same clothes in other X-ray machines. My carry on bag has been opened twice and ignored the rest of the times. I only hope they are thorough when it matters.
We flew with Qantas in seats designated ‘premium economy’. Not quite business class but much more recline, with a foot rest and lots of places to stow things. We were also treated to champagne, a good meal and lovely service. That cliche about how good it is to hear an Australian accent after traveling – well it’s true. We felt comforted and at home.
The flight from NYC to LA was nearly 5 hours long and we gained 3 hours (which we lost again flying the next leg to Melbourne).
The aircraft from LA to Melbourne was not as luxurious. The premium economy seats had no cool features and the video screen was in the arm of the seat. To say I was disappointed is an understatement given that this is the grueling leg of the trip and I was really looking forward to a good sleep.
Anyway we are seated and on our way home.
If we don’t crash…
See you soon Harry!