Day 236 – Friday 25th April Boston

Went off to Harvard today, the highest seat of learning in the world. I can’t say I was terribly impressed, uninspiring architecture but the atmosphere was quite pleasant. I spent the day just wandering aimlessly. I leisurely explored Harvard Yard (where I did some journalling on the steps of the Central Library) and then had a lovely burger and then went to a pub for a couple of beers.

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After I went to a Vietnamese food truck and got a banh mi, the bread wasn’t as good as the bread in Vietnam but was still nice. Whilst eating I witnesses a flashmob aiming to cure malaria, I wasn’t sure if malaria was cured after they had all finished dancing and high fiving each other….

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I walked back along the Charles River which was a nice stroll. A lot of people were out running and cycling along the river and also lots of people out rowing. Ended up in the Back Bay area and had an explore. Full of shops and the wide roads full of bars and restaurants.

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Had dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant, lots of hummus and baba ganoush. I’ve had a dicky tum for the last few days so at least my body doesn’t have to do much to change the consistency of my dinner tonight…

Got back to the hostel at about 2130 and spent the night chatting to Pacino (Chinese guy I met last night) and a couple of girls (Chinese and Ukrainian). They had a bottle of wine but unfortunately we couldn’t find anything to open it with…

 

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Day 235 – Thursday 24th April New York/Boston

Travelling day today, had to catch the bus to Boston at 1200. Got a burger for lunch (5 Guys) and then went to the bus. There was no rush as it was late by 45 minutes but at least it was sunny. On the bus I was interrogated by my bus mate Amanda. She had just come back from 8 months travelling in Europe.

Got into Boston at 1830 and I walked to the hostel. The hostel is extremely modern, spacious and, more importantly, full of people! There was a stand up comedy show (not great but free!) in the lobby and then after there was an organised bar hop so I joined in that (obviously!). Met some fun guys (and it was mostly guys, bit of a sausagefest actually) and then stayed out quite late just drinking and chatting.

 

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Day 234 – Wednesday 23rd April New York

Woke up today and I was all alone in the room, Mr Radiator Korean man and the sleeping guy had left really early! I think sleeping guy was from South America as there was pooey toilet paper in the bathroom bin… Today I went up to Harlem first and got some chicken and waffles for lunch. The chicken was really good but I don’t see the need for the waffle, just give me more chicken!!

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After I had a nice walk in Central Park and found a couple of Geocaches.

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Eventually I found myself at the Met Museum. I went in but there was sooooo much to see I had a bit of sensory overload there. I wanted to have a beer on the rooftop terrace but it wouldn’t be open until next week…

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Got a nice but expensive (that seems to be the main theme in NY!) milkshake and then got the subway to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Had a wander and it was nice but I think I’ve had enough of cities, it’s being in nature that I’ve most enjoyed whilst on my trip. So it doesn’t really make sense that I’m going to Boston next I suppose…

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Went to a few bars and then had dinner at another fried chicken place (I just love fried chicken!). The subway back was a bit of an ordeal as I kept falling asleep and then getting on the wrong train, I also really needed to use to toilet… It took me ages to get back.

Back at the hostel I had a new roommate, a Japanese or Korean lady. She wasn’t happy as I wasn’t a female (sorry lady, nothing I can do about that!) so she went downstairs to complain and move rooms. I’m guessing that last bit as I fell straight asleep and she wasn’t about when I woke up.

 

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Day 233 – Tuesday 22nd April New York

Productive morning today, decided to go to Boston for a few days so booked accommodation and transport. Wanted to go by train but found out there was a Megabus which was much, much cheaper! Also booked a hostel which hopefully will be more social, this current hostel is way too quiet and my current roommate sleeps with the radiator on so it is unbearably hot. I have to wait until he is asleep and then unplug it!

Took the subway down to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked across, much less busier than yesterday. Had an explore of Dumbo and got a few things to eat! A couple of whoopie pies (one was donated by the a nice family next to me), a little lobster roll and a gorgeous pizza!

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After I walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge and went to the 9/11 memorial. It was very moving and I spent quite a while here just reflecting.

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Also I got my cardi wet so laid it out to dry out. After I walked down to Battery Park and to the Staten Island ferry. It was so busy though so I decided to give it a miss, maybe tomorrow.

I did a quick Geocache, got a ticket for a show tonight and then had a beer. It was a nice pub that served 32oz beers in styrofoam cups. The barman was an old guy called Timmy and he was pretty cool and friendly. He talked loads and told me about when Hurricane Sandy hit 18 months ago. He also gave me loads of free beer so I gave him a good tip when I left.

I headed to Times Square to see If/Then starring Idina Menzel, a Broadway LEGEND! It was a mediocre show (like a musical version of the movie Sliding Doors) but she was amazing! It did make me reflect on my own life a bit though… On the way home I walked past a show where Daniel Radcliffe is playing. Wonder if he met up with Emma Watson when she was in town…?

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Day 232 – Monday 21st April New York

Had to move out today, the apartment was nice but just too expensive. So packed up my stuff and left it there to pick up later. I walked through Soho and towards the Lower East side. Stopped off at a Mexican food truck and got a couple of tacos to snack on.

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On the Lower East side I went to Katz’s Deli (the one in When Harry Met Sally) for a lovely and huge corned beef sandwich.

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Then stopped at a park to watch some guys play basketball and then went to a cheesecake place.

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Walked to Brooklyn Bridge but it was so busy I decided to try another day. Went through Chinatown and Little Italy to go to the Financial District. Saw where the Twin Towers had been the last time I was was in NY in January 2001 with my friend Iain.

Got a bit lost as there was a lot of building works going on. I managed to get a ticket for the 9/11 memorial for 1600 so had 1.5 hours to kill. Had a walk around near Wall Street but as I stopped for a coffee I got a message from Ann who needed me to pick up my bag, I’ll have to try and go to the memorial tomorrow.

Got to my new hostel up in El Barrio in Harlem. The area is a lot more ‘interesting’ than Greenwich Village but it is also a lot cheaper! The room is massive though, like a modern apartment but with two bunkbeds. There was a guy in the room already but he had the radiator on for some reason (it was about 18 celsius outside) so the room was extremely hot… I said a quick hello to him (didn’t want to engage with a person with such questionable temperature preferences) and then fucked off out.

Went back to Grand Central, took ages as there were delays on the subway due to ‘customer injury’ on the line, they probably ‘injured’ themselves by jumping in front of a train… I walked down to 27th Street and reserved a place at a jazz club for 2130 to see the Mingus Big Band.

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Went off and found a pub which had $3 pints, bargainous! Had quite a few but it was quite a lonely night. By the time I finished I couldn’t be bothered to watch a gig just went home and went to bed…

 

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Day 231 – Sunday 20th April New York

Still had a dicky tum so didn’t leave the house until after 1100. Went to explore Tribeca and Soho first, went to the Apple store there to get a laptop charger and got another(!) pair of headphones there as it was much cheaper than in the UK.

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Went to drop off my purchases (and the contents of my bowels…) at home and then headed to Chelsea and then Midtown. Had lunch at a couple of places including Chelsea Market and a place where they make their own cheese (in the middle of Manhattan!).

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The Tribeca Film Festival is on at the moment but I felt quite ill today so was back at home by 1800 and spent the night in bed watching TV. I saw on Twitter that Emma Watson is in town (and she never told me!). Got a message from Natalie and she said she will be London when I get back so will have to arrange to meet up then.

 

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Day 230 – Saturday 19th April New York

Arrived into JFK at 0830 and getting through border control this time was even worse than before!! They decided to have a rummage through my bag and the guy doing it was especially rude and officious. He kept asking me questions about where I had been, why I was in New York (I wanted to say that I wish I wasn’t now!), how I funded myself, what were my plans when I get home, how I was going to fund that(!) etc… He asked more questions than my mum!! He also asked me if I knew any people in New York and when he found my notebook he I must do as there were addresses in it. Had he actually read it he would have found they were addresses from all over the world, it called planning…!!

Anyway, after 30 minutes of interrogation I was finally let through and got a bus into town. Got dropped off at Grand Central, I wanted to grab lunch at the Oyster Bar there but had to get to my apartment for 1200. Succeeded in getting the tube there even though the tube system and map is extremely confusing! That’s something the tube in London has got right.

Got to the apartment at 1230 and it was in a brilliant location in Greenwich Village, just off the extremely foodie friendly Bleecker Street. My room is in a little townhouse but very, very nice. I went out and got a huge sandwich for lunch and ate it in Washington Square in the sunshine and listening to the buskers.

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I then did a lot of walking, from Greenwich Village up to Central Park and everything in between. I ended up on the Highline in Chelsea at sunset and it was absolutely beautiful, the sky turning a deep pink as the sun went down.

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Unfortunately from the afternoon my tummy decided it wanted to go a bit mental so had to stop at quite a few toilets… For dinner I had a lovely pizza at a famous place around the corner from the apartment. Got a large but it was so big I ate less than half and got the rest to take home, love cold pizza!

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