Thursday, 4 September 2008

New York first impressions

Well, not really first impressions as I have been here before in 1999 and 2003. It is now Thursday morning 715am and I just woke up in the Big Apple. The flight over on Delta Airlines was smooth - I decided to cash come SkyTeam miles as you never know if they will keep their value, and we were in business class. In the old days Asian airlines were the best, followed by European airlines and then in the far distance came the Americans. Asian and European airlines have slowly deteriorated and it seems that the Americans (at least Delta) have improved. Great service, good food and very comfortable seats.
JFK Airport is still a dump: one hour wait for immigration in a hot holding area with people shouting at poor travellers many of whom didn't speak English. Another 45minutes before the van we hired was out of the parking area. And the ride to Manhattan took 70 minutes and was more like a rollercoaster ride due to the poor quality of the roads. America definitely needs some investments in public facilities.
We are right at the center of Manhattan at 5th Ave and 40th Street. Walked around last night and had some drinks in a nice bar. Also went to Macy's to look at the clothes and prices. Even at current exchange rates, New York is still extremely expensive. Easily twice as expensive as Amsterdam!! Well, I'll forget about money for this trip and am going to enjoy this city.

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