If We Can Make It Here...

Times Square

I’m typing this from the 15th floor of the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue in New York City. Sadly, we have no pictures because the batteries of our camera died, and we can’t pick up any new ones until tomorrow. The picture above is entitled New York - Times Square at Sunset and is by Araceli Arroyo. It is used in accordance to her Creative Commons license.

We arrived earlier this evening by train at Penn Station. Erin’s in town to attend BookExpo, where she’ll be a guest on the YA Buzz panel tomorrow, and something else put together by Scholastic on Thursday to promote the upcoming launch of her novel, Plain Kate. More on her itinerary can be found at her blog.

The trip down was uneventful. We left yesterday afternoon and stayed overnight near Buffalo Airport after a very easy crossing at Lewiston. This morning, we caught the Lake Shore Limited Amtrak train which gave us a very scenic ride down the Hudson River through the Catskills. Between this and a chance to eat lunch and dinner on the train, this was well worth the (very reasonable) fare.

I have to say that New York surprised me. I thought I knew what a big city was like having been through Chicago several times, but New York feels very different. It’s like Chicago on double speed. There’s more cars, there’s more people, there’s more bustle, at all hours of the day. There also appears to be far less greenery (being all concentrated at Central Park). We can see Times Square for miles (heck, we could probably see it from outer space). There is an incredible energy here that I do not feel in Chicago or Toronto, that puts New York into a class all its own.

It’s also extremely expensive. Wanting to avoid our hotel’s high prices for food, I went across the street to pick up a sandwich or two for the girls from this place called Lindy’s, and found that a pastrami on rye cost around $19. They serve breakfast as well, with three eggs any style, bacon and toast running you to $16.79. I ended up buying just one pastrami on rye, with french fries, no drinks. With tip, the whole thing came to $24. To be fair, though: it did fairly feed both the kids and Erin and myself, and it was good pastrami. Though, tomorrow, I think we might have much better luck with the far less flashy “810 Deli and CafĂ©” located across the street.

We have a busy itinerary planned. Erin will be occupied at BookExpo for the next two days, and my mother-in-law Rosemarie will be going with her to proudly watch her daughter get talked up by some of the most respected editors in the business. The kids (well, Vivian) wants to see “the Statue of Liverty”, and I may try that. I’ve also looked up the locations of the childrens’ museums in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as the New York Hall of Science. And, of course, there’s Central Park.

Hey, this is New York, right? You think I’m going to have any difficulty finding them things to do?

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