We had an early start this morning and left at 6h30, jumped on the Highway and headed North East to New York City. We crossed over into the State of New York from New Jersey. They say that the city of New York is so impressive it needed to be named twice, New York New York, but in fact this is what is on the addresses of the people staying in New York as they stay in the city of New York and in the state of New York, so their address ends with two New York’s. The capital of the state of New York is not New York but Albany, (about 60km away.)
We had just under 100km to do and there was very little traffic. We rode through all the industries and factories from about 40km outside New York, then over a few bridges and through a few Toll booths and eventually got to this Toll Booth to pay for the Lincoln Tunnel that runs under the river onto Manhattan Island. You can see the tunnel-mouth in the background of the photo.
Yes, you spotted correctly, the Toll was $15-00 per bike, almost R200-00 per bike to use the tunnel.
New York City is split into 5 Burrows, Manhattan Island, Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Stratton Island. We entered Time Square by riding through the Theater Disctrict where all the Broadway Plays are performed in all the many different Theaters. Once we got onto Time square we parked the bikes onto the pavement (highly illegal thing to do) and got some guy to take a photo in both directions, this one is with Central Park a few blocks behind us.
And this one is with the famous Ball that drops at midnight on New Years eve behind us. I am told that on New Years Eve there are people who comes to Time Square to see the Ball Drop down at the stroke of Midnight wearing adult nappies just so they can stay there in one spot and party and not having to leave their spot to go to the toilet.
We were there for less than 5 minutes before a Policeman on a scooter came to us asking us to move off the pavement. He was also a biker and a very helpful guy that told us that parking is very expensive, some places charge $23-00 for half an hour, but that we were lucky as there were some parking-bays on the streets that are free on a Sunday, but that we must be careful not to leave anything on the bike that can be stolen. So we rode half a block and got lucky, ( no doubt because it was still so early in the morning.)
We made friends with the Bangladeshis who had a food cart and promised to support them if they looked after our stuff. We can lock our jackets and helmets with a steel cable and pad-lock but our boots could be stolen. I thought about asking them to put my boots in their little shop but feared they would sell nothing if my stinky boots were left inside their cart.
Pie bought us some liquids for the bus tour, one small bottle of juice and two small bottles of water came to $14-00, (not a cheap city thats for sure.)
Note the Yellow Taxi cab below, there are 13 000 taxis who are licensed to operate in NYC and only they may stop anywhere when they are hailed.
Note below that The Lion King Play is still running on Broadway. The longest running play was Cats which had over 7000 performances on Broadway.
Manhattan got its name from the Indian Tribes that used to stay on the island who called it Manna Hatta which means many hills, and there are still many hills at the top of the Island where Harlem is. A few other interesting facts about Manhattan is that there are 76 train tracks that leads into the main train station. It was first colonized by the Dutch in 1664 (just 12 years after they arrived where Cape Town is today) who called it New Amsterdam or New Netherlands, they even built a dike on the Southern side of the island to hold the water out just as they did back home and that is where Wall Street gets its name from, as there used to be the wall that kept the water out. Then the British arrived with their war ships and without a fight or even one shot being fired, the Dutch handed everything they had built over the the mighty British who had a far superior Navy than the Dutch, and in those days the strongest took what they wanted and did what they wanted, as was the norm in those days and as it had been done for thousands of years.
We hopped onto the bus and did both the Up-Town Tour and the Down Town Tour showing is the entrire Manhattan Island.
I think this is the Zimbabwean Embassy :
Note below how they build, there is a movable “landing” erected on the side of the building every 4 floors onto which the crane can drop all the building material.
Police on Scooters.
NYC is full of Mimes, Musicians and street performers. This ‘statue of Liberty stands dead-still, but when you throw a $ into his hat he makes a few movements before standing dead-still again like a statue.
In the Garment District I saw these shoes, is this the future of the high-heel????
After the bus-tour we went for a stroll through a section of Central Park where some people were lying sun-bathing, others were having picnics and lovers walked hand in hand looking lovingly into each others eyes. But there were hundreds of joggers, cyclists and even kids sailing their remote-controlled boats on the different ponds.
While we were soaking-up NYC’s park Pie was back to his addiction, harassing Studebaker People having their Sunday lunch with their families.
There was even a wedding.
Then we met my Second cousin Mandi and she became our tour-guide, taking us on the Subway to Ground Zero Memorial.
They built this Oculist which is this strange white space from the inside, but a beautiful building from outside, some say it looks like a dove taking flight.
This building is the new World Trade Centre:
Here is a photo from outside the building, it does look a little like a dove, (but more of its skeleton if you ask me.)
They built two of these water-features where the two buildings used to stand with water running into the ground and note the names of the almost 3000 People who died engraved on the rim of the memorial. I noticed that on the back of the Fire-Trucks I saw today that there is a big Sign-Board on the back of the Fire-Truck with the names of the firemen from their Fire- Station that died on 9 – 11.
This man in the subway station sang What a Wonderful Day by Louis Armstrong as we walked past and he was so talented, Mandi told me that he could very easily make $100-00 per hour.
These acrobats jump over people, in this case the 6 people standing in a row behind the guy in the front, but they know how to work the crowd and milk the crowd to put money into their box, we waited for a while but they were not in a hurry to jump.
Mandi suggested an excellent family-type Italian restaurant called Carmine’s, the food was 1st class and we had such a lovely conversation.
We said our goodbyes, put on our Riding gear and headed off towards the North, only to find that due to the United Nations being in-session, many roads around the United Nation Building were blocked-ff by the police and the traffic was chaos and it took us almost and hour to just get-off the island.
Tex and Dog is hot on our heels and spent today in Washington and is sleeping in Philadelphia tonight, so we should meet-up tomorrow evening in the Boston Area.