Days 11 & 12: Delays and the Big Smoke

Well, it’s time to grab my last Tim Horton’s for a little bit and head back to the land of Freedom, Liberty and something else… excess?

Canada has been a great, relaxing week for me and a good way to take a moment to breathe and take stock of what’s good. On my final day in Guelph, I had a massive sleep-in before packing my bags up, walking across town for my lift and heading off to the airport.

I was of course taken through Tim Horton’s one more time and told “If you haven’t had a Boston Creme from here yet, you’re getting one”. Good call.

After a drive through some average Toronto-bound traffic, we managed to get to Pearson Airport in relatively good time, only for me to learn that there were severe delays heading to NYC.

After the first gate change, we were then told that the flight wouldn’t leave until at least 9pm. So this guy went and grabbed a burger and scotch and relaxed for a bit.

Eventually, we were told that our flight had moved back all the way across the airport to the gate adjacent to the original departure area and the whole crowd rushed together to get back to where we needed to be.

Eventually, we boarded up and spent another 30 minutes on the tarmac while everything got sorted and then we were New York bound.

Arriving in NYC, I was taken aback, though I don’t think I had any right to be, by just how busy it was. Let me put this in perspective for you…. It was 1:30am on a Monday night and there was a solid 30 minute commute from one end of the airport arrivals gate to the other if you were in a car.

A few rides later, I end up at my stay for the next few nights in Hoboken and crash hard.

The morning of my next day, I really didn’t have a plan. I wish I could say I came to New York with an idea of what I wanted to do, but the reality was, I was winging it and it could have ended so much worse, but more on that later…

I woke up, took the short walk down to the PATH station and caught a train to the middle of Manhattan. Here, I took a suggestion from my absent host (another ex-Bite intern, lots of them on this trip) to walk along the High Line park in the west end. The High Line is an old subway line that has been turned into a massive elevated walkway surrounded by lush greenery and spectacular views of the New York skyline.

I followed this down to the Chelsea Markets and got myself some delicious tacos, again at the recommendation of my former colleague, turned around and headed North on the High Line.

This took me out to the very western edge of Manhattan and I figured I should decide where the hell I’m going next and not just end up lost.

After making my way back to 7th Avenue, I headed up to Times Square. You don’t really need to do this, folks. It’s a busy intersection with some electronic billboards. Nothing special and I mean that in the nicest way.

While I was heading in that direction, I kept on walking and ended up at Central Park. This was more something to see. It kept going and going and going and going and I walked right to the top of it before turning around and figuring out what to do next.

This was all well and good until my phone died on the way back down 7th Ave…

So now we have an Aussie stranded alone in the biggest city in the world with no phone and no geographical aids needing to get from the midtown Manhattan back across the river to Hoboken, New Jersey. Fuck. This is going to be fun…

Luckily I knew that I had roughly started the day on 7th Ave and I needed to get to 33rd St station, so using that information, off I went up 7th towards 33rd St. When I got there was the next problem… I had arrived at Madison Square Gardens and couldn’t find where the 33rd St station was. After walking around aimlessly for a New York minute, I found a sign that pointed me east, so I followed that until I found my train.

Once off the train in Hoboken, I remembered roughly where to head to get to my apartment and my now-invaluable phone charger, plugged myself in and started looking for dinner.

My stomach settled on a sub called the Tony Soprano from a little deli called Luca Brasi in Hoboken. Absolutely phenomenal.

I got back to the apartment, watched the MLB All-star game, got some recommendations on what to do tomorrow and called it a night.

I’ve got some good ones in store tomorrow, so check back then as I do more of the Big Apple!

Matty Abroad.

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