The City That Doesn’t Sleep … Part 1

Filed under: Articles,Business,Entertainment,Just For Fun,Leisure,Vacation Tips |

It’s nice to get out and about and visit places but it’s sure nice to come home again isn’t it?  That’s how I feel today after a busy three days in New York and it’s sometimes just nice to get back to some calm and some peace and quiet after a crazy few days.

I flew into New York on Thursday and I quickly made my way to the hotel (Grand Hyatt at Grand Central …yeah I know…I do hate hotels but this one was actually OK and the best I could do as there are no vacation homes in Manhattan that I know of…yet!). I didn’t hang around long as I wanted to get out and about as I had heard the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship was at the docks in Brooklyn and I hadn’t seen it before even though we have had some of our guests sail on it. (

Now, it’s important to say at this point that sometimes in life you hear people say certain things and you imagine they can’t be as bad as portrayed. Well, all I can say is that next time a friend of yours tells you that cab drivers in New York are crazy…just believe them. My cab driver was a certified nutcase…and he was obviously proud of that fact by the way he displayed  his New York cab driver license in his window but it may just as well have said “You take your life in my hands…thanks for trusting me”.

We hadn’t gone more than a couple of hundred yards and he was on his horn, trumpeting at anyone who got even remotely in his line of fire. And line of fire is exactly what I mean…he just saw a gap in the traffic and he tore into it like a bullet out of a trained G.I.’s machine gun.

We eventually got to Brooklyn and I was more than happy to pay the $5.50 to go through the Brooklyn tunnel as the lunatic couldn’t change lanes in there! Got to say though, the guy knew where he was going and it really wasn’t long before I was standing right alongside the QM2.

Now this puzzled me…everywhere I have gone in the USA to board a cruise ship, security has been extra tight. Not here. Not even a security guard point to go through until you reached check in! Amazing.  Anyway, I was glad of that fact as it allowed me to get up close and personal with the ship.

After a 15 minute stop it was time to head back to the hotel via a store I had heard of called B&H Photo & Video.  At a time where electronic stores like Circuit City are shutting up shop, this place was apparently still tearing up the record books according to an article in Inc. magazine and I just wanted to see how it operated. I was looking forward to spending a few minutes there and picking up an extra memory stick for my camera but I was to be disappointed. Speedy Gonzalez got me there in no time, even despite some heavy traffic and him being annoyed by other drivers enough that he opened his door to yell at them(!), but the store was closed as we made our approach via the runway otherwise known as 9th Avenue.

I was disappointed but not entirely surprised. After all, this is the place that closes down completely on Saturday’s as the store’s Jewish owners follow their faith. What’s even more remarkable is that customers cannot even make an order via the internet on a Saturday because they also close their web site such is there belief. I have to say, you just have to admire that level of commitment to anything and I respect it…even though I was actually there on a Thursday!

It was my fault entirely though. I hadn’t done my homework. If I had clicked on the link “Holiday Schedule” on their web site, I would have seen they were closed for Tisha B’Av. So that was that, and I knew full well that my hectic schedule would not allow me to make a return trip there over the weekend. Oh well…I’ll have to save it for another day.

So after that it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the “Pre Book Launch” party and to meet up with some old friends again. The party was fun and the location was great. We had a great view of 42nd and people watching was a lot of fun!

So that was Thursday…more about the trip next blog.

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