Just returned from New York

I touched down in Glasgow this morning at 7am after a very enjoyable 6 days in New York. 9 of my mates booked up last year when I was still in New Zealand so whereas me and my friend George travelled direct from Glasgow, they had to all go via Amsterdam with a 4 hour wait in between. 3 other friends who were staying around times square also joined us but even though there were 14 of us there, I don’t think we were ever in the same room at the same time as someone was always doing something or heading out early or late or whatever.

Most of my friends stayed in the penn hotel (great location, poor hotel) whereas me and my friend George stayed just one street behind on W 32nd street (La Quinta Inn, situated in Korea Street). Our hotel was pretty basic too but after backpacking so much over the last few years and staying in rooms with 10 people in bunk beds I am very easy to please! If I ever went to New York with a girlfriend though I’d maybe splurge on something a little better.

What did I do in New York? Well, nothing. Absolutely nothing constructive. Other than making a knicks game all we did was go out and party in the pubs but I have to say, I loved every minute of it. The place was buzzing because of St Patricks day and we had an absolute blast.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many pics from the trip at the moment. I never remember to take my camera anywhere and I haven’t got the pics from my friends yet but here’s a few pics I did get.

Using my Eee
Checking my hotmail with my eee

Close to our hotel, just before Macys
What happens when you turn around and someone says cheese!

Knicks Game
Watching the Knicks get beat by the Hawks – as you can see, we don’t hide the fact we’re tourists!

New York Baby
Me and some friends at Herald Square on our first full day in NY

This was my 4th time in New York. I’ve been to a few places in the USA now so here are some thoughts from someone living in the UK :)

  • Americans are really friendly. Maybe our view is skewed because we are tourists but everyone we met was really friendly and we met some great people…though no one can tell the difference between a Scottish accent and an Irish one haha
  • I still don’t know how to tip. Here’s the thing, in the UK we only really tip in restaurants. I don’t hate tipping, infact in some situations I think it’s better as service tends to be better. Here’s my problem, I just don’t know when I need to tip. I clearly tip too much in bars and restuarants but I’m not sure when to tip the bellboy etc. Any suggestions?
  • Portions in some restaurants are just too much. I really empathise with people who have weight problems in the USA. I reckon if I stayed there a while and partied a lot I’d put on a lot of weight. For example, we were sitting in Jack Dempseys on 33rd Street. Me and my friend were not really that hungry but ordered some buffalo wings to nibble at. The order came with about 16 large buffalo wings. Value for money but I think this excessiveness is responsible for a lot of people being overweight. A few days later I had a burger in Ruby Tuesdays and even though I was starving I couldn’t finish it, it was huge!!!

Although there are obvious differences between the UK and the USA, culturally we are very similar and it’s very easy to feel at home quickly. This is the same with Australia, Canada and New Zealand ie. a common language and shared history.

With Delta opening more routes in the UK and flights in general to stateside getting cheaper I’m sure I will be back sooner rather than later :)

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