Thursday, May 28, 2009

New York City - First Impressions: Arrival

I'm back. With an overload of impressions. Lots of things I want to show and share with you and talk about, but I'd like to do this nicely. I'm not a writer, but I'll try hard to make this readable.



"Were you guys not happy with my service or anything?"...

the very friendly, small, thin, eldery waitress inquires (she has a face that reminds me of a certain little cute animal, but I cannot remember which one) . We must have got something wrong with the tip!

Earlier today, after a more than 8 hour flight from Francford/Germany to NYC we wait in a queue for an hour and a half at the overheated Newark airport. Then they take our picture and fingerprints and we are free to go. We take a shuttle to our hotel, I'm too tired and hot to take pictures during the trip, but very excited when the NYC skyline comes into view.

Half an hour later the driver leaves us at the back entrance of the Edison Hotel on 48th Street. We check in, get our key and head off to the 16th floor. Surprise surprise!....this is not what I/we had expected. What have I expected? I don't know, something newer, more modern, something brighter, whiter? But I do like this room. And the faux Renoir above the headboard. This has some kind of "last century" charm to it. Art deco. American Art Deco I suppose, mixed with 1940 Elegance. The mattress is excellent, the faucets are a bit difficult to handle, the shower has a funny way of spraying water in a wide bow upon you and everything else in the bathroom if you don't pull the curtain carefully enough, and it makes spitting and hissing noises.

We conquer the room, put clothes on hangers, take showers to wash off the fatigue. We dress in fresh clothes and out we are. On our way through the lobby I think: this is impressive, the ceiling so high, everything looks so huge, the desk, the sitting area with enormous armchairs and lamps, or did we shrink during the flight??

The revolving frontdoor spits us out onto 47th Street, just a few steps from Broadway and Times Square. WOW !!! I have an overwhelming light-color-crowd experience. We walk down Broadway, together with lots and lots and lots of other people, many families. Now I remember, today is Mother's day. It's early evening, around 6 or so, but in our heads and bodies it's already Midnight. We are thrilled, excited to be here.

After a while, it's time to find a quiet place where we can have a nice dinner. Places there are many, they are all but quiet. Somewhere between 45th and 42nd Street we turn and find a nostalgic looking Deli, it looks crowded with families, but we are motioned to a free table immediately. We order drinks and Hamburger and potatoe pancakes with apple puree, hmmm, reminds my my moms potatoe pancakes = childhood.

The waitress asks us where we are from and when she hears that we're from Paris she says that we must be very tired because of the time difference. She knows cause she lived in Mykonos, Greece, for 10 years, she tells us. Went there with her husband. I don't ask why she came back.

I love my pancakes, my husband loves the coleslaw which came with the meat, finding the meat too dry. Then we ask "our" waitress for the bill, she brings it and we think that the amount added between the subtotal and the total (which is indeed the tax!) must be the tip. That it is included somehow. We pay, she comes and takes the money away and is back two minutes later, asking us if her service wasn't good enough! We sheepishly confess that we don't understand what she has written on the bill.

She is very patient with us tourists and says:"Just double the tax, that's what I always tell my son, just double the tax" (Did she leave her son in Mykonos, then?) We give her a good tip, she's happy, I feel a bit silly for not having figured out this tip thing before.

Next thing we're back on Broadway, Times Square, 47th street, in the lobby and in our room. We try to stay awake cause we don't want to be up at 4 tomorrow morning. But at around 8 I doze off.....










22 comments:

Lynn said...

Oh yes, you ARE a writer Andrea.
I was very much drawn into your story. Loved reading every word.
"...or did we shrink during the flight??" Not only would you feel this from the big chairs in the hotel lobby, I imagine, but also with looking UP at the tall buildings outside! At least that was my experience with New York when I first went there at age 19.
My neck was stiff from craning it upwards! Thank you for sharing this. I hope it goes on all week and next! ;~)

sukipoet said...

love this andrea. gosh, is new york city so colorful?? I am too used to green and brown I guess. I think yr room looks sweet. And the waitress story is so funny. Thanks for this tale.

Clevelandgirlie said...

A delicious story, indeed....."the revolving front door SPITS us out onto 47th street.....

I have never had a desire to visit NYC. I am a country girl - but for Sabrina's birthday which is next week, we are taking her to NYC for two days as it is her heart's desire.

I'm certain this is only installment number one of the NYC trip series and am looking forward to much more. Glad you're home safe and sound.

Artist Unplugged said...

What you talking about girl? You ARE a writer....I was deeply entrenched in the story and enjoyed every syllable of it!!!!!! I think the room is nice...love all the photos....can't wait for the next chapter!!!!!!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Well I think you did a great job of telling the NYC story so far. I cant wait for the next installment and when you met up with Kim. Looks like a lovely room there.
You would have a hard time with tipping here since we have no sales tax to double in Oregon. :)

Peter J. Crowley said...

A real bite of the Big Apple looking forward to reading more of your travelogue. enjoy pjc

klaproos said...

it's a huge sandwich this blog,
but now i know i want be hungry for other blogs tonight,

i'm happy that you are happy :-)
welcome home

Kim said...

Oh what a lovely tale you weave, my friend! I love this so much... the seeing the city from your eyes! NYC is such an unusual place compared to the rest of the country and in some places a waitress would never ask about a tip (especially if she knew you were European), but in NY it would be a normal thing.

It is a a city full of wonder, even for Americans!

I, too, am eager for the next installment!

Hugs!

marianne said...

Glad you had such a good time there!
Thanks for sharing those pictures!
Did you meet up with Kim? I thought you should do that.....
So recognisable!!!! NY is a wonderful place isn't it!

Cestandrea said...

Lynn, thank you! It takes me a lot of time to write, so am very happy that you and the others liked my story.
And yes, there is so much to seen in NYC just by looking up!

Cestandrea said...

Suki, oh yes, this is what "hit" me, all those colours. I used to squint my eyes sometimes, to just catch blotches of colour!

Cestandrea said...

Cathie:) You'll see, it's wonderful, nervous, agitated, hot, fascinating, loud, very loud, and can be cool too:)

Cestandrea said...

Artist unplugged, thanks so much for your compliment, this keeps me going:) I'm afraid I will run out of funny things for my stories, but then, we don't have to be funny all the time (I'm not very good at being funny intentionally:)

OK I'm working on the next chapter!

Cestandrea said...

Chris, oh, yes I understand that taxes there are different from state to state! I wish I had the occasion to figure it out in every state:)
I'm saving up for our next visit in the US (not so soon but sure!)

Cestandrea said...

Peter, hi, thanks so much for your comment, as you can see I went and came back in no time and wish I could have taken time to visit your city. Perhaps next time, whenever that may be...

Cestandrea said...

KLaproos, thanks for eating this huge sandwich:) LOL a nice description of a big fat blogpost.
Which I probably would be afraid of reading, were it me.

Cestandrea said...

Kim, thank you so much for your comment. I hear you, NYC is special. In comparison I only have been to San Franciso and San Diego, both special too. Now I long to see some "countryside", I'd love to rent a car and do a bit of road there...
but for now, I'm working on the next blogpost...
love

Cestandrea said...

Marianne, YESSSS, I met with Kim and her daughter, and will definitely talk about that later on. I'm struggling with writing but feel that it's good to write down one's memories of a journey for others, that makes the memories so vivid and clarifies them, too.
So, hang on in there, soon I'll meet with Kim :)

Martine said...

So happy you'r back Andrea and you had such a good time. Take it slow.
XXXm

Mim said...

this is a great story to follow. It's so nice to see you in my actual home town, I wish we could have met in person!

katie jane said...

Yep, this looks and sounds like New York! Hope you had a good stay.

~Babs said...

New York at it's finest!
Excellent photos,,,and I think you are a born writer!
That's the city for you,,,so much to see and always so little time. I once spent a month in NY,,,all in one week. Exhausting, but so worth it!