Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Manhattan June 2009 (video and pictures below)

What an incredible flight. Margarite’s uncle was vacationing in South Africa. As I had mentioned before Margarite’s family is very involved in Dutch politics. Her uncle has something to do with the Dutch representative to the United Nations. The Obama administration needed some votes at the United Nations for sanctions against both North Korea and Iran so he sent a United States Jet to pick up allies and get them to the United Nations to cast their votes. Margarite’s Uncle was one of these folks. Since the jet would be flying right over Botswana Margarite’s Uncle Jim asked if we wanted to join him.

We got to hitch a ride one of the jet. See video

Once in New York we checked into our hotel the Hudson on 58th and 11th Avenue, just a block away from Central Park / Columbus Circle.

The hotel is a boutique hotel same owners as the Deleon in South Beach Miami. Once checked in we borrowed some bikes. Manhattan has a bike path that goes around the entire borough. We headed south toward Battery Park. For a Wednesday afternoon the path was fairly crowded. But I guess a city of over 8 million people there will always be someone out on a bike. We went past Chelsea Piers, the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, Ground Zero I had not been to ground zero in a few years but it still brings memories back to 9/11. We found a nice park with a marina had a drink and then headed back north to our hotel. What a deal $10.00 for 2 cokes.

We had show tickets for Kooza a Cirque du Soleil show it is under the Grand Chapiteau on Randall's Island Park, which is between Harlem and Queens on the Harlem River. We took the Number 5 subway to 125th and Lexington which is the heart of Harlem. The show was at 8pm since it was just 6:30 we found a great local Cuban restaurant and had dinner, two full meals for 18 bucks. Who says New York is expensive not in Harlem.

We then took the X80 bus to Randall's Island Park. The show was great. Our return trip was opposite of the outbound. What a long day midnight in New York.

Thursday was one rainy day so we decided to do the museum mile. This is a section of New York bordering the east side of Central Park. Our first stop was the Guggenheim Museum.  There was and exhibit we wanted to see Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward. It happens that Frank Lloyd Wright was the architect of the museum. Unfortunately for us the museum is closed on Thursdays. Next was the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum  there we got to see a cool exhibit on felt. Next the Jewish Museum which had an exhibit called Mayer July. Mayer was a polish Jew that had left Poland for Canada prior to World War II. At age 75 Mayer wrote and painted pictures of what life was like in Poland for a Jewish boy prior to the war.

Lunch was at Jackson Hole, famous for their burgers, on 91st and Madison. Then we walked the few miles back to the hotel. The rain would go from a drizzle to a huge down pours.

Margarite’s family had some connection to Tavern on the Green.  So that was where dinner was. For a tourist spot the service and food was just great.

Friday was clear skies so we borrowed some bikes and headed north along the Hudson River. The ride was interesting as we headed toward the George Washington Bridge the entire area was a park and you had a hard time believing you were in Manhattan. Once we hit Harlem the trail ended and we had to bike through Harlem it was a cool ride one we did not expect, this was the real New York.

We biked from about 190th to 130th street then picked the trail back up along the Harlem River heading south. At 63rd street we crossed the city back to our hotel. We had to meet the jet at that Teterboro Airport to take us back to Africa.

Boy I love the United States, they fly a freeloading poker player from Botswana to New York and back on a high end corporate jet. But if a banker or auto executive uses there own jet they get crucified.

As far as poker this week, I only played a few hours and won $31.00 so I am having a nice month. Hope you enjoy the pictures and video.



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