Tuesday, February 20, 2007

NYC and Me: Boots stuff, Grand Central Termini and the Columbian woman, Yellow Cabs and the Empire State Building

My second day in the Big Apple was misty and a much chillier day than yesterday but I already made the decision to walk around Manhattan starting from the Times Square all the way down to the Financial District. I brought two boots with me in this trip, high-heel black boots for business (work related trip earlier in Boston) and for the real travel, my road warrior flat knee-cut high black boots.

Just like in the South of Europe, the guys in NYC are fresh and extremely forthcoming. They were hitting on me really fast, especially the black and coloured men. You know, just for comparison’s sake, this display of testosterone pride is not done in the Netherlands. Anyway, it must have been my ‘smokin’ hot boots, as one of the black guys who followed me was saying—‘Ooooh girl, those are smokin’ hot boots you got there!’. I am beginning to think that American black men have a high-cut boot fetish?

First stop was the New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. It’s a very beautiful terminal that can rival the terminals in Europe. The train station was opened in 1871 and was rebuilt in 1913 and recently between 1994 and 2000.

Outside the Grand Central Terminal while staring at the beauty of the building, I noticed a middle-aged woman across the street who kept staring at me as well. She finally came up to me and asked if I am from Colombia, in Spanish which I understood somehow. I told her I speak ‘poquito Espanol’ and that I am not from Colombia.

She then asked where I am from and I told her I am from the Philippines (I normally say I am from the Netherlands but originally from the Philippines—I always say this because they get perplexed when I say Netherlands when I am not blonde with blue eyes). The woman exclaimed, ‘Aha, Filipinas!’ Well, she was somewhat weird, she distantly eyed me up and down like I am a specimen for laboratory inspection but at the same time she was having this feeling of excitement to see me. I do not know why? She said I look like someone she knew back in Colombia. Anyway, if I didn’t say my goodbyes, she would go on forever talking and asking me questions. This was definitely one of those very strange encounters. Hmm.

Then I passed by NYC Library and the famous 5th Avenue. Did not shop, not yet, that would be later =)

I really enjoyed seeing the yellow cabs. They are massive. They remind me of the cars in the 1970’s and brings back a flood of memories during childhood in my elementary years where we had a shared pick-up service for school.

Back then in the mornings, my dad would send us to school and sometimes it’s the driver at my mom’s work. In the afternoon’s if my dad is not picking us up due to him working late, it’s my uncle and he usually arrives in his mammoth Toyota Crown car, exactly the same as the NYC yellow cabs, except that he had a white one.

Next stop was the Empire State Building. I arrived quite early at 11 in the morning so I was able to avoid the queues. Up in the tower the weather was still the same—a bit misty but we can see Manhattan area, just not that far enough to see Miss Liberty. At least it was less crowded so I was able to enjoy my time up there without having to wade myself through a crowd.

Tip: Arrive early at the Empire State Building. The queues start at 12 noon and the massive crowd in the tower can be daunting.

Next, Sights in SOHO, Little Italy and Chinatown

Travel Period: February 2007

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