Coming to New York

The SuperShuttle whisks us off to Manhattan. We go through three separate tolls booths on the 30 minute journey.

As the New York midtown skyline comes into view before we plunge into the tunnel under the river, the sight is exciting in one way, but slightly disappointing in another. It’s getting dark – not dark enough for the lights to really make an impact – and a bit misty so the view is not very clear. But it’s not as tall as I imagined. Maybe it’s the distance and the poor light.

Ann and I are the second drop-off from the crowded mini-bus. I hear my voice say to the driver, “Corner of Broadway and 54th, please”, and I like saying it very much.

The Ameritania Hotel is right on the corner of Broadway and the cross street, about 5 blocks north of Times Square. The hotel is looking a bit tired, but the staff are cheerful and the rooms are clean.

The Ameritania on Broadway

The Ameritania on Broadway

Inside my suitcase is a polite letter from the Dept of Homeland Security saying that my case was one of those chosen at random to be opened. Not a problem, I fitted it with TSA approved locks so that security people could open it for inspection without having to bust anything.

The “random” aspect makes me smile. On the top layer of my case is all my electronic gear. Each in its dedicated pouch, I pack chargers, leads and accessories for my digital camera, two mobile phones, netbook computer and GPS. It must have looked like an electronics lab on the x-ray.

I put the pouches on top of everything else so that inspectors won’t have to rummage through the whole case to check anything that might interest them. Either it works, or they are darn skilful at their job, because if it wasn’t for the notice, you couldn’t tell that it had been examined.

We are getting hungry, so down in the lobby we ask the guy behind the desk where he recommends for a not-too-expensive dinner. He brightens up that we are asking his advice. He asks what kind of food we like and is even more interested when we suggest Italian.

Angelo’s is the place. We step out of the entrance on 54th Street, go round the corner onto Broadway and Angelo’s is a couple of doors down, next door to the old Ed Sullivan Theatre where the Late Show with David Letterman Show is recorded.

Angelo’s is an old-style, traditional Italian restaurant. We take a table on the ground floor in the window facing onto Broadway. As you do.

So our first evening in New York sees us eating spaghetti and meatballs in an Italian restaurant on Broadway. It’s a gas.

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