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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

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Sunday in New York
OK, where did I leave off? Ah yes, I had been out to see the Wet Spots Saturday night. And, strangely, after running around Manhattan for sixteen hours, I was a bit tired! So I slept in Sunday, for the first time in ages. I didn't wake until about 12.30 in the afternoon - blissful!

I was going to take it easy in the afternoon, but then thought - well, heck, I'm in New York, better make the most of it. So I went to visit the Empire State Building.

(There are some pictures towards the end of this set.)

The subway here gets me all disoriented. They deliver you across town, but then you come up some stairs on to the street and you have no idea which way you're facing or where you're supposed to go. The exit signs usually say useful things like "West 72nd Street, NW Corner" or the like. So I emerged from the subway station near the Empire State, and pulled out my map, trying to work out which way to head... Then I looked up. The Empire State building is quite a big one, as you can imagine... And there it was, about a block away! So much for needing directions.

The building is actually quite old, it was finished in the 1930's, so it has this lovely art deco thing going on. There are actually two observation decks, one on the 86th floor and another on the 102nd. The process is: queue. Buy a ticket to the observation deck. Take elevator to the 80th floor. Take another elevator to the 86th floor. (Later) buy another ticket to the 102nd floor. Take yet another elevator - this time an amusing retro one complete with attendant who manually opens the door - to the far smaller 102nd floor.

Most of the observation deck on the 86th floor is outside, and damn it was cold when I was there! Great view, obviously, but I didn't feel I was any higher than, say, the Rialto back in Melbourne. Maybe because New York is proportionally bigger!

It was interesting to see just how big Central Park is, it must take up fully 15% of the island of Manhattan.

I took the elevator up to the very top observation deck, on the 102nd floor, which was blissfully less infested with other tourists talking very loudly. It was quite amusingly retro as well, with art-deco designs on some of the glass features. You could also see some of the girders holding the thing up - I patted them to reassure myself that the seventy year old steel was holding up just fine.

The inevitable gift shop was full of the usual kitsch crap. You could even buy a DVD of King Kong, since it features the building in question!

After that, I headed back to the apartment, and eventually made my way to the West Side YMCA to use their gym. The YMCA is actually a hotel of sorts here, but has a huge gym. Unfortunately I mis-read the closing times, and they turfed me out after only about an hour. However they do also give you a towel with which to mop up your sweat!

I think that was more or less all I did on Sunday... I have been a busy cookie, before and after...