Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The City that never sleeps.

Fri 10th Feb

                  Lady Watson had decreed that since she was about to enter into the 21st+ year of her reign that we should go somewhere nice.Great I thought somewhere warm and sunny to get rid of the winter blues.Well I was 50% correct.It was sunny albeit the temperatures were in the minus numbers typical for a New York winter.The only good thing was that after previous experiences we decided to fly to Heathrow from Edinburgh to cut down on travelling time.
                                   The difference in travelling with BA short haul and long haul are immense especially from a catering point of view as they now charge for the sale of teas and coffees aboard the short haul whereas they throw gin and tonics at you in long haul.
Didn't want to show its face
The 747 was duly boarded at Heathrow and after we were informed that the plane was quiet so  we headed into the centre of the plane and enjoyed having the whole row of seats to ourselves.Films were watched and meals consumed and after seven hours we landed at JFK.Due to Trump's executive decisions it took ages for us to get past customs.Mind you when we told the security guys we were there for leisure they gave us a suspicious look as in who comes to New York in -7 temperatures for leisure.Since they realised we had not come for political asylum they let us in so we headed out for our yellow cab trip to downtown New York during rush hour.
Yellow cabs in abundance
 The trip was an eye opener and took forever ending up with a traffic jam due to an illegally parked car and the sound  of the horns was right out of a movie.We eventually arrived at our hotel which again was right out of a movie albeit a 50's movie.
Broadway-a very small part
                   We found our room,duly left our luggage in our room and headed for Central Park as the sun was setting.The snow had been coming down during our cabride in so the snow lying in the park was nice and virginal.
Central Park in the snow
            When we arrived at Central Park it had just finished snowing and I must admit it did look romantic but that thought only lasted until I nearly got run over by a jogger the first of nearly a hundred joggers which passed us through our visit.Photographs were duly taken and sights visited including the Jackie Onassis reservoir which I thought of what an unusual way to remember her by-only in America.
One of Lady Watson's sought after bridges

The Manhattan skyline over the Jackie O reservoir.

The new Trade Centre 

Aw nice!

Two chances-some and none
                       We finished our trip round a very small part of the park,the remainder would be perused when we returned a few days later,and headed back towards Broadway looking for somewhere to eat which was found in the shape of a Spanish Chinese restaurant.What more could one ask for, Chow Mein followed by churras-only in America.The entertainment was provided by listening to Chinese speaking Spanish.Very funny but not as funny as listening to them speak German.
                            After a pretty sleepless night due to antiquated plumbing we headed to the nearest diner to indulge in the usual enormous breakfast before heading for the USS Intrepid which is an aircraft carrier converted into a museum which meant that I was going to be like a bairn in a sweetie shop

Anchors Aweigh
       I wasn't disappointed and straight from the off walked around with my tongue dragging across the ground.The USS Growler,a cold war submarine ,is docked alongside but since we had visited it a few years before Lady Watson declined the chance of another visit due to her being a wee bit claustrophobic therefore I had peace and quiet to wander about at my own pace whilst she headed in to the wider climes of an aircraft carrier.
USS Growler
                 The USS Growler had the distinction of being the first submarine capable of firing nuclear missiles albeit fired just like a cruise missile.These types of submarines weren't too successful and were soon replaced by the nuclear ballistic systems we have around today.The sights on the submarine are complemented by ex sailors who are there to give you an insight into life beneath the waves which was not for the fainthearted.
Avec missile

How do you fancy sleeping with torpedos as a room mate

This is the Cheif petty officers quarters more commonly called The Goat locker
             On leaving the sub you are greeted by the sight of Concorde which has been displaced as number one exhibit since the arrival of the space shuttle.
Crying on its own away at the back
                     As the interior of the Concorde was out of bounds I headed up the gangway into the interior decks of the Intrepid humming Anchors Aweigh of course.
    On arrival you are taken into the Intrepid's history through its involvement in the Second World War,its time involved on America's post war struggles through to it's involvement in the recovery of space capsules.
Grumman Avenger-Torpedo bomber

American ejector seat created by some great British engineering

Fury-Forerunner of the F86 Sabre

Mercury capsule-I had one of these for my Action Man

Skyhawk-small but lethal

These jimjams belonged to Lt Wilson"Denny" Denver who spent some time as an inhabitant of the "Hanoi Hilton"courtesy of the NVA

NVA anti aircraft gun

Shows you how small these early capsules were

Straight out of M.A.S.H.

Purple Heart
After a good look around the interior decks I headed out to the maindeck and the gorgeous array of gigantic Airfix kits that were all sitting mean and moody along the length of the maindeck.
Crewed by marines

Four barrels are better than one

A very moody F16

"Gonna kick the tyres and light the fires"

The plane that was used when a precise job was needed

Super secret spyplane

Grumman Tracker-sees the bad guys coming.

The ubiquitous Huey

Straight out of Thunderball

Gorgeous beast-my 2nd fav after the Hunter

Bad guy-Mig 21

Another bad guy-Mig 17

All roads lead to the bridge

Chewing over some war stories.
Short,stubby but with some lethal firepower.

Can I have one please?
   I eventually met up again with Lady Watson and we headed towards the bridge where once again ex crew members were on hand to give us an insight into life on a carrier.One lad was stationed at the Holy Loch for years and couldn't believe it when I told him that there was nothing there anymore.
The last time she steered a boat I lost my favourite cap.
                  After we left the bridge we headed for Lady Watson's mustsee,the space shuttle.She wasn't amused when I told her that this one,the USS Enterprise,had never been to space and was used for landing trials and usually took off from the back of a 747.One was not amused.The things I'll say to go back to Washington to see a real one.
                Even so she was a sight to behold and it was a very good exhibition albeit only external.

Live long and prosper
                          The crew of NCC 1701 were all pictured in attendance when this shuttle was revealed to the waiting public with a few words of wisdom from Spock.

The gang's all here.
Dinner Time
            We headed back into Times Square for dinner and ended up in Planet Hollywood only because there was a private function on at Hard Rock Cafe.Food on offer was the usual burgers and boil in the bag food expected from these establishments but some of the decor was very good with costumes from various films,film props and to cap it all "Little Nellie" from "You only live twice"

Wasn't allowed to take it home with me.
After dinner we headed along Times Square which I assure you never goes to sleep.
Funny muggers in Times Squar
I think somebody was trying to get rid of me
                  We finished of our day with a trip to the World Trade Centre which was our destination for the following day and I must admit in the darkness it was very peaceful.I'll tell you all about it later.
                            See you when I see you.

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