29/9/10 NYC

Again the forecasts got it wrong and it was a hot, sunny day.

Wachovia Securities CIMG0844 CIMG0848 CIMG0860 We took the uptown loop of the Gray Line tour round Central Park and Harlem. Another superb guide, Raphaella.  Harlem looked good – broad boulevards and the famous rows of brownstones with stoops (stairs between street and door). Raphaella also pointed out some beautiful stonework on the pre-60s buildings we passed.

On the way down past the east side of Central Park we came upon the inevitable film shoot (so frequent they don't raise much curiosity – this was for a TV series I've never heard of).

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Raphaella told us the ridiculous rents people pay in this area, and that this is the home of many prep schools and nurseries costing thousands of dollars a week, where prospective pupils (e.g. Madonna's kids) have to pass interviews at the age of 2.  Having passed they get all their outdoor activities in Central Park alongside everyone else as the schools can't afford playgrounds!

In the afternoon we took the downtown loop again but got off in Greenwich Village, where Madame found on a street stall a novel supposedly set in Garnethill, the area of Glasgow in which she grew up. We seemed to take the wrong avenue and walked away from the interesting bits of the Village into a fairly nondescript bit leading to  Canal Street, where, tired, hot and grumpy we found Broadway again (New Yorkers again always helpful). We picked up the bus again for a couple of stops to the Staten Island Ferry, from which we could enjoy the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. On Staten we tried to contact a friend we planned to but weren't sure whether he'd reply by text, Facebook or email so, after resting our bones, we took the Ferry back and decided rashly to walk to Chinatown. Our route took us under the Brooklyn Bridge as it got dark – very dark – and we found ourselves in a residential area, looking for a pharmacy as Madame's shoes were hurting badly.  Having bought some plasters we were directed to Chinatown through empty streets, finding it with some relief. A good meal, subway and bus home and an early night.

I liked this company name in Battery Park:

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