Arrived @ JFK, took a cab to the apartment in the Meatpacking District (Chelsea) we rented through Roomorama.com. The WiFi password is not what the owner had told us, and we can’t figure out how to get hot water out of the shower (the other faucets are fine). Write to the owner and go to sleep.
1st day (sunny)
Breakfast @ Starbucks (free WiFi), Apple Store on 14th Street (no iPad2’s), taxi to Battery Park. The taxi driver was Pakistani, a big fan of alternative medicine, which (his words, not mine) was invented by the ancient Greeks. Ferry to Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island. The statue is big, but smaller than we expected. The police was kind of rude at some point for no apparent reason. The immigration museum on Ellis Island was by far inferior to Melbourne’s. Lunch @ McDonalds (free WiFi), then Ground 0 (not much to see) and Wall Street. 5th Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then taxi back home (early evening) and gone to sleep due to jetlag. The handyman came by at 22:00 and woke us to show us how the shower’s single knob works.
2nd day (rainy)
Breakfast @ Starbucks, then subway to the Met (closed on Mondays), so we went to the nearby Guggenheim museum (the artworks not particularly to our taste, but the building itself is interesting architecturally). Lunch at the museum’s restaurant, great risotto with truffled honey!!! Chatted with Swiss couple on next table, who lived in Athens for 8 years in the 7o’s. The «Cube» Apple Store (very friendly staff, no iPad2’s). Walk along the 5th Avenue’s shops, then into the Grand Central Station and subway back home. Dinner at «The Green Table» (sustainable eating) in the Chelsea Market (not particularly tasty, but interesting idea).
3rd day (sunny)
Breakfast @ Starbucks, subway to the Empire State Building. Visibility 25miles, so great views of Manhattan and beyond. Very windy. Then on to the Flatiron Building and the Times Square. Pizza for lunch (not too bad). Went into a ToysRus store 🙂 Took a subway and went to the northern end of the Central Park and had a walk, stopped to rest at the Harlem Meer. Home to relax a bit, then Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn-side) for the compulsory photos of the bridge and the city skyline by night. Japanese for dinner.
4th day (light snow in the morning)
Breakfast @ Starbucks, then Museum of Natural History, which was incredibly interesting: how the brain works, butterflies, marine dinosaurs (IMAX), and the amazing lifecycle of stars in the planitarium. Dinner in Little Italy («Grotta Azzura», very tasty) and Chinatown (derelict, noisy, dirty). Going back home, we had to face some hale!!!
5th day (sunny)
Relaxing at home.
6th day (sunny)
AmTrak train from NY Penn Station to Boston South Station. Duration: 4h30′, cost: $116/person return. Left bags at hotel (room not available yet), then subway to the MIT Museum (well worth a visit). Back to the hotel, relax a bit, then dinner at Lobby Bar & Kitchen (the fries were fried in truffled oil!)
7th day (sunny)
(part of) The Freedom Trail (the Boston massacre was the English shooting 5 Americans), then Harvard Historical Tour. [Funny story from the tour: George Washington’s men were staying at one of the Harvard dormitories at some point; they ran out of bullets, so Washington asked the university if they could make some for him. They said «sure, we’ll help our country». Then, after they won the war of independence, Washington forgot to pay them for the bullets, so they sued him in federal court. So patriotic!] Subway to Prudential, lunch with Anna at the Cheesecake Factory (very good food, one of the best we had during the trip, but the waitress asked us like 7-8 times if everything was ok). Then walk past the Public Library and Trinity Church (Αγία Τριάδα). Then on to the Quincy Market (very crowded). Relax with some hot chocolate at Starbucks, then on to the harbor, acquarium and the Italian district on Hanover Street (huge queues outside most restaurants, despite the extreme cold).
8th day (sunny)
Train back to NY, lunch, then subway to JFK airport (terrible service at Bonfire, Terminal 7). Flight back home.