Monday, November 05, 2007
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Back from what must be the most fun city in the world, and a quick scribble before I'm off again to Brussels this weekend for a week, signing papers, attending business meetings and above all a trip I hope to Paschendaele for the 11th November rememberence ceremony.
We flew out on American Airlines from Brussels - not one of the most memorable trips in the world - the food was lousey, the seats in cattle class were minute even for skinny me and the staff were obviously just wanting to get back home. But nothing unusual in that! Arrived in New York at lunchtime in the sun and took a shuttle to the appartment we had rented in TriBeCa. We were met by the charming owner who was desperately trying to explain all the details of the flat to me but eventually gave up seeing me sagging at every passing moment! In the end she said 'If you have any problems, ring me or send me an email'.
The appartment was lovely and enormous and although not cheap, it was no more expensive than a good hotel in NY with the added advantage of living in 300m2 and having a kitchen which meant we didn't have to pay for indifferent hotel breakfasts or go out to eat every meal, which can be hard in the evening when you have walked for miles all day, and all you want to do is flop, take a bath and have a boiled egg!
G and I took Pierre with us and a girl the same age as Pierre who is more or less his 'adopted' sister and who lost her father to cancer this summer. This worked out a treat - it meant that we didn't have to trail round shops playing loud rock music, selling a 1000 different styles of jeans and trainers - dollars were thrust at them and they went off on their own. I worried slightly, but in fact they were far better than us at using the subway - one day after visiting the Frick collection we had a subway 'race' home - needless to say they were home a good 15 minutes before us using their route!
We 'did' the sites of course, particularly as A had never been to NY before but I think my favourites on this trip were just strolling through Central Park, the visit to the Frick Collection which is fabulous and our last couple of hours in NY when we took the Staten Island ferry. Food wise, G and I went for dinner at the River Café in Brooklyn one evening, which must have one of the best views in New York - it is just under the Brooklyn Bridge and overlooks southern Manhatten. The food is good, very expensive but is worth it just for the view. We took the children to Buddha's Bar one night which is a totally crazy place - it is lit only by candles so you can't see the menu too well and there is a DJ mixing music at max volume all evening so you can't talk either! Good food though and the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven! We then went on to a very good jazz bar where the volume was turned down slightly! Great lunch also on the dining concourse of Grand Central Station - the boys had chili, A had chinese and I ate kosher - and for under $10 per person for an enormous meal!
Go back? In a flash! We all loved our trip and the icing on the cake was G working his usual charm on the Purser and getting us a free upgrade into Business Class (the children were dumped uncerimoniously in cattle class!). Great food, good wine and champagne and a seat that converted into a bed - bliss! We both arrived in Brussels in fine form, the children were frazzled to say the least!
A couple of photos later on - blogger doesn't want to know at the moment!