Thursday, January 09, 2014

Visiting New York City - Day 1

Normally I rarely take holidays in January - I prefer to take as much as possible in the summer when it is warm. In the College we already get good holidays over Christmas and the New Year (Dec 24th to Jan 2nd). However, last week the girls and I went to New York for a few days to visit our daughter and we really enjoyed ourselves. The highlights of our first full day were visits to the Apple Store and to the Intrepid museum.

The Apple Store on 5th Avenue is the busiest computer shop I have ever been to. In a large show area, most computers/tablets/smartphones were being examined by customers. We bought an Apple MacBook, but unfortunately a voucher I had bought in Ireland for this purpose was not accepted. Something to do with my voucher being in euro and not dollars. No problem accepting my credit card, which is of course also a euro account. Anyway, Apple Support refunded the voucher no problem when I got home. In the half hour or so I was in the Apple Store I'm guessing Apple did thousands of dollars worth of business - it's also worth mentioning that the Apple Staff are brilliant and very knowledgeable.

A selfie at the Intrepid Museum.
I left the girls and went to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86. This was a super experience as I had never been on an aircraft carrier before. The first part of the tour was through the Growler submarine - very cramped and confined. You have to admire the guts and patience of the sailors who sailed  in this metal tube under the surface of the sea. I also checked out Concorde on the Intrepid's deck - a pity it was not open as I would like to have seen the inside. In the main hanger deck there were plenty of helicopters and plains. There was a super Kamikaze Experience right in the centre - chilling to realise that if I was standing there during one of the attacks I would have been killed along with several others. There are lots of other planes on the top of the ship, but the highlight has to be the Space Shuttle Enterprise - I was taken aback by its size, and I would surely like to have seen the inside. Intrepid - go see it!

We finished the evening at the Japanese Benihana Restaurant on West 56th Street. Our teppanyaki chef was Pedro (definitely not Japanese!) who prepared our food in front of us. It was a fantastic experience - great to see and smell all the cooking. And of course the food was delicious - seafood for me. The restaurant was full and incredibly noisy - a feature of most places we went to in New York. I found it very difficult to hear anything, making for difficult round table conversation. Otherwise - recommended.

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