Woke up 5 am and started to observe where am I. My hotel, West Side YMCA, was actually very nice. Far from luxury, but still. Shared shower was something I was bit worried about. But there was plenty of them, no lines at all.
Because Central Park is just over the street, first thing in the morning I set up my jogging clothes and hit the road! It was completely dark and bit scary to sneak thru the park. But the main road was well lighted, and there was already quite a rush of people, so no worries. The City looked very nice from this view. I ran a few kilometres and headed back to the hotel.
There were swimming pools at the hotel and I had to test them right away. I had a swimming suit with me, but didn’t know there was also a need for a swimming cap. I found one at the reception, and 10 dollars poorer I went to pool. The cold pool was quite warm, and the warm one was more like hot for me. One thing I saw the first time in my life was a swimming suit dryer. Small tumbler where you just throw your swimming pants in, wait a few seconds, and all water is gone. Very handy, definitely something that every swimming hall should have.
After a long travel I started to feel relived, and it was a time to start exploring the City. Columbus Circle subway station was only a few minutes walk away. There friendly policeman helped me to buy 7-days unlimited MetroCard. With a bit over 30 dollards you can travel seven days as much as you want. Good deal!
Last year when I visit NYC the first time, I travelled with my friend Rami, who is a vegan. That limited fooding places quite well, but on the other hand, we found very special and excellent places. One of those was The Chloe on Rockefeller Plaza. So I decided to start my City exploring from the most familiar place I knew.
After few minutes and two subway stops, I was at Rockefeller Plaza station, and started to find the place. I had an intention to locate places without a map, as far as it was possible. I remembered that The Chloe was very close the Nintendo NYC. After a while I hadn´t found either one of them and I had to invoke Google Maps (sigh!). The Chloe was there, and as excellent as it was before. Great service, great own juices and great food. After eating my breakfast it was time to check my emails. I found it was kinda relief not to have internet everywhere. Roaming data costs were so high, that you simply cannot use mobile data. So the only places to access social medias, email and other, was at a hotel or a cafe with Wi-fi connection.
While packing stuff at home, I didn’t remember that in NY there is a different kind of electric plug on chargers. I had to find an adapter before all batteries would dried up. After a 20 minutes walk around Upper West Side I found an Apple Store. They could help me out and soon I had an Apple World Travel Adapter Kit in my happy (World Citizen) hands. I Also bought USB-C to USB adapter to charge Apple Watch, which still needed USB. Then back to the hotel to charge myself and all electric equipments!
So, trip of the day: Coney Island. Why? On certain parties, early 80’s movie The Warriors has become a cult movie. And few of my friends are really hardcore fans. On the movie, New York underground gang called The Warriors is traveling from The Bronx to their hoods on Coney Island, suffering all kind of troubles with other gangs like Turnbull ACs and Lizzies.
From my hotel it was easy to take the subway D, which took me directly to Coney Island - Stillwell Av Station. Strange mini-occasion: On the elevator at the hotel there was two guys. Next time I noticed them on the subway station. And once again on the same train car. The trip took almost an hour and the guys were still sitting on same car. “Does they heading to Coney too?”. Well yes! We even were on the same line on Nathan's, no matter how I tried to make a long walk around Boardwalk and Surf Ave before going there, just to avoid collision. I´m Finnish after all :).
Coney Island felt like a massive, but sleeping, amusement park. Obviously I was here at the wrong time. I bet it would have been a different world on a warm summer evening. The local food place Nathan’s was a must try. Although the area was relatively quiet, there was still at least ten cashiers on duty. Overall I counted over forty cash registers, so there will be quite a rush on other times! After a great burger meal, and one The Warriors t-shirt spotted, I felt ready to leave. But I will be back someday with my family!
I took the same subway route back. After wandering a short while around Upper West Side (which was so clean, it felt somehow clinical) and I headed back to hotel. The Clock was 4pm.
Rest of the day I spent at the hotel room. One of the beauties of traveling alone is that you can do everything just like you want, no need to explain why. But in my head I had to fight to run: Go, or not to go to The Bunker to see Aleksi’s gig. After hours of lingering, I decided to skip it. First reasons was that I should be at the WordCamp 8am in the morning. And secondly it just felt too scary to travel alone to somewhere in Brooklyn in middle of the night.
WordCamp NYC 2019 will be the main story of next chapter of this blog series. See you there soon!