Monday, December 24, 2012

Strawberry fields forever.

The Central Park we see on the movies is inevitably the scene of a grisly murder or a kidnapping. I didn't see any dead bodies this morning, just acres of beautiful parkland set against the towering background of Manhattan. While Geoff ran 10 miles around the perimeter and Sophie ran a few of the internal tracks, I admired the scenery and Taine played mountain climber on the rocky outcrops near the skating rink. It would take days to explore the park properly, I just felt privileged to have experienced the tip of it.

Whilst doing some last minute Christmas shopping on the way back to the Dumont, we experienced some Julia Robert's style 'Pretty Woman' shop attendance. Sophie has had her heart set on a Michael Kors watch and we've been looking at different styles over the last few days. We went to Bloomingdales because it was close to the subway but the attendants weren't at all interested in us. Despite standing expectantly at their counter for several minutes, they continued with their personal conversation and completely ignored us. Clearly our sporting attire and un-made up faces flagged us as unlikely buyers! We've actually experienced this phenomenon a few times in New York. Luckily we've also experienced the opposite and so to buy the watch we traveled all the way to Union Square to a shop where the assistant had been very helpful earlier in the week.

We made a lunch time pit stop to Skype to Kasey and Erica in NZ and Jaime & Xavier at home in Aus on their Christmas Day morning. It's the first time I've been away from any of my kids at Christmas so that feels a bit strange & I'm certainly missing our own special seasonal rituals, however this is a Christmas that none of us will forget! The time difference is such an odd thing but at least I understand now how Santa manages to get all around the world. It's a very long time between midnight in NZ & Aus and the time he finally gets to New York!

This afternoon we went downtown and across town on the subway to get to Brooklyn. It was too early for pizza so we just walked our way back to Manhattan. The views from the bridge are to die for. There was lots of cloud today so everything was shrouded in grey but nevertheless the harbour and the skyline were amazing. Tourists on the bridge do have to be careful to remember that one lane is for bicycles. I nearly got collected a couple of times when I wandered over to take a photo.

We called back through Union Square to get the aforementioned watch and to pick up some supplies from Wholefoods. What a crush! Just like in Australia it seems everyone is buying enough to survive a holocaust when in fact most of the shops are only closed for a day and in NYC a lot of them will still be open tomorrow. In the end we grabbed some salad and then topped up with Christmas beer and pretzels at the Duane Reade drug store across from the hotel.

As I type, we're watching snowflakes drift past our window on the 36th floor. I don't think it will be a white Christmas but it's enough snowy stuff to get us excited! I was hoping to get to a midnight church service tonight but I don't think Taine's going to make it. The stress of wondering whether Santa does hotel visits has completely worn him out.

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