If this was 1909, I would be sailing somewhere in the Pacific Ocean right now on my nine month voyage to New York from Australia. Living in this age and with such incredible technology and convenience, my trip from Brisbane to New York was really very easy and comfortable. We flew out at 11.05am on 27th October. I was fortunate enough for Marie Rose to acquire Exit Row seats for the Brisbane to LA and LA to New York legs of the journey. As with everything in life there is a positive and a negative. Upon settling into my 58B seat in Brisbane I realized that being in the Exit Row meant there was nowhere for me to stow my “stuff” with me for 13 hours. Then a very large tall loud gruff man with a beard and long grey hair squeezed into the window seat beside me and began to cough all over me. Ugh – this will be one long flight.
Then the balance – seated next to the kitchen galley and the open space, many people stretched and exercised near the seats and there was many interesting chats and stories to be had. The staff were exceptional and the 58A coughing man turned out be to a Maths Professor at UQ – qualify – Pure Maths. We had the most amazing conversations as he travels the world researching indigenous peoples – the hunter gatherers – in order to discover how they relate to the “number”. Fascinating – I was educated to believe that indigenous peoples were uncivilized due to their so called lack of society structure. The professor reminded me that these peoples are so intrinsically connected to nature and its comprehensive structure that as we westerners seek to build a whole structure from the smallest of detail – and call that civilization – indigenous peoples already have a whole structure – called nature – that they know intimately – and they seek to break down this whole structure into the smallest of details. They don’t need to build anything as it is already there is their perspective.
Sleeping easily in between meals and stories from strangers, LA appeared in the window before I knew it and so began the race hour. One hour to gather on board luggage, get through customs, find the luggage, transfer from Terminal 4 to Tom Bradley Terminal, re check in luggage and board the next plane bound for New York. Made it with time to spare!
Sitting in another Exit Row seat, I slept most of the way to New York, disembarking at JFK in amongst clouds of fog, finding the shuttle bus, listening to stories from more Aussie tourists and inching our way along the Queens tunnel until we reached 34 Street on the island of Manhattan. Feeling awake and happy to finally be here with such little fuss, check in was smooth, quick unpacking and before I knew it I was back on Eighth Avenue walking down towards Madison Square Garden – just across from the hotel, to a lovely steak dinner at Tir Na Nog – an Irish Bar and restaurant.
The New Yorker Hotel is situated in a convenient central location making it easy for me to plan my assault on this city.
Back in the hotel room, lights from the city streaming through my window, the sounds of taxis beeping, sirens raging and a light rain outside, the channel surfing through the American TV shows capped off a first day that was only complete with a Skype call with Manny and Sam. Having free Wi Fi broadband access in the room makes it easy for me to work for a couple of hours each day and gives me access to all the information I will need for this month in New York.
Sleep at midnight, waking only once and rising at 8.30am – I feel quite safe and comfortable.