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New York City - 2016 December 20 - 29

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Background
2015-12-26 16:05:53 Fr:15C405 Sq:2005
For more than thirty years we spent Christmas in Blackpool staying with Lesley's mother, Margaret. Now sadly Margaret is lying in a care home with severe dementia.
George is doing his own thing so in 2015 we decided to spend a few days in Weymouth over Christmas. This was fine except that on Christmas Day we could not find anywhere for lunch.
So for 2016, I decided that we would stick to the seaside theme but go to a seaside place where we would be sure of finding food on Christmas Day. New York City sprang to mind.
2016-12-31 18:42:31 Fr:norwegian787 Sq:2010
A Norwegian Air Shuttle Dreamliner took us from Gatwick to JFK. I had not realised that food on cheap air flights is now an optional, chargeable extra so we had to starve for eight hours.
On our USA trip in 2012 we had to queue for 90 minutes to get through US immigration. This time it was only about 75 minutes but despite that we got to our hotel before midnight local time.

Playlist
Songs mentioning New York and mainly concerned with transportation.

First impressions
2016-12-28 11:49:08 Fr:16C342 Sq:210902
My first and ongoing reaction to New York City is: I have seen all this in the movies. I already knew that the "Bronx is up and the Battery’s down" - important because it is the reverse of British usage where you go "up" to London.
This is the view if you climb out on to the fire escape of our hotel.
2016-12-21 10:17:38 Fr:16C029 Sq:210904
maps
In fact there are a lot of dogs in New York and most of their owners seem responsible
2016-12-21 10:20:11 Fr:16C030 Sq:210906
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These fire escapes look like they were afterthoughts but they were probably part of the original design
2016-12-21 10:20:40 Fr:16C031 Sq:210907
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Possibly a sewer vent
2016-12-22 09:57:35 Fr:16C055 Sq:210909
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Outside Schatzie Prime Meats on Broadway just up from 101st Street
2016-12-22 09:58:54 Fr:16C056 Sq:210910
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Looking up Broadway from the corner of 102nd Street. Our hotel is at the centre of this photo
2016-12-22 09:58:54 Fr:16C056cr Sq:2109105
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Cropped out of the previous image. The Marrakech Hotel at 2588 Broadway on the corner of 103rd street. I assume the hotel occupies all four of the upper floors of this building and there is no elevator! Fortunately we were on what the Americans call the second floor.

Cathedral Church of St John the Divine
2016-12-21 10:33:16 Fr:16C032 Sq:21103316
2016-12-21 10:34:54 Fr:16C033 Sq:21103454
Just south of the cathedral: the Peace_Fountain by Greg Wyatt in the West 111th Street People's Garden
2016-12-21 10:54:17 Fr:16C034 Sq:21105417
New York delights in superlatives. This claims to be the biggest Anglican cathedral in the world.
2016-12-21 11:18:10 Fr:16C035 Sq:21111810
2016-12-21 11:55:01 Fr:16C038 Sq:21115501
The choir parapet of notable figures from each century since the birth of Christ here we see, from right to left: 14xx Christopher Columbus, 15xx Galileo, 16xx Shakespeare, 17xx George Washington and 18xx Abraham Lincoln. The parapet was installed in 1922 and they left the last niche empty until the century had ended.
2016-12-21 11:54:22 Fr:16C037 Sq:21115530
When that happened, they could not agree on a single person so they gave us this interesting quartet: Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony (American social reformer and women's rights activist born into a Quaker family) and Mohandas Gandhi.
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Beer Authority
2016-12-21 15:04:21 Fr:16C049 Sq:21150421
2016-12-21 15:15:12 Fr:16C052 Sq:21151512
The building that New Yorkers call the Port Authority is in fact a bus terminal. Nearby it and parodying the name Lesley spotted the Beer Authority. Which is a hopeful sign that the USA is not a total lager desert. The place has sixty taps serving this wide range of beers.
2016-12-21 15:03:58 Fr:16C048 Sq:211520
maps
The Beer Authority is entered from West 40th Street. this is the view from its window on to 8th Avenue
2016-12-21 16:34:46 Fr:16C053 Sq:21163446
2016-12-21 16:36:33 Fr:16C054 Sq:21163633

American Museum of Natural History
2016-12-22 11:09:29 Fr:16C057 Sq:22110929
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Central Park
2016-12-22 14:40:44 Fr:16C060 Sq:22144044
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Subway
Harry Beck designed a diagrammatic map of the London Underground back in 1931. But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority sticks doggedly to this approximately geographical format. Points to note: it has been rotated about 30° anti-clockwise from north-up so Manhattan is straight up and down and Central Park looks unnaturally wide because of stretching needed to show the detail in Midtown.
I also found this even more complicated map dated 2010 June in their archive.
2016-12-23 11:30:04 Fr:16C075 Sq:23113004
2016-12-23 11:31:28 Fr:16C076 Sq:23113128
2016-12-23 11:33:00 Fr:16C077 Sq:23113300
Getting about NYC is generally quite easy with their boring grid system of streets and avenues. But one trap to catch the unwary is that you can have separate subway stations with the same name. There are three stations called 103rd Street in Manhattan at least a kilometre apart from each other and another in Queens. This is 103rd Street served by the 1 train.
Those parts of the subway which are actually underground were mainly built by cut-and-cover. Here we are looking up at the sky. Up top these are just metal grilles in the cetral reservation of Broadway.
2016-12-26 11:05:32 Fr:16C236 Sq:231134
The guard rides in a tiny cubicle midway down the train. These monitors, I think at 103rd Street for the 1 train, enable them to check the state of the closing doors
2016-12-25 09:47:17 Fr:16C184 Sq:231140
Monster vacuum cleaner! Do we have these on the London Underground?
2016-12-25 10:10:14 Fr:16C185 Sq:231142
Automated display on the 7 train. Lights on to show where it has yet to stop - important because the <7> train does not stop at certain stations.
2016-12-24 11:04:59 Fr:16C120 Sq:231143 2016-12-24 11:04:59 Fr:16C120 Sq:231143 2016-12-24 11:04:59 Fr:16C120 Sq:231143
South Ferry
2016-12-23 12:10:14 Fr:16C078 Sq:23121014
2016-12-27 11:39:49 Fr:16C304 Sq:23121016
2016-12-27 11:40:26 Fr:16C305 Sq:23121017
South Ferry station is the downtown terminus of the 1 train. It is built on a very tight curve - you can only get out from the first few cars and they have these extending platforms to cover the gap. These three imaages show the platform extended - note two yellow strips and …
2016-12-27 11:37:46 Fr:16C303 Sq:23121018
here is the platform retracted.
181st Street
2016-12-25 19:37:48 Fr:16C234 Sq:231240
An hallmark of the New York subway is the lines of pillars close to the platform edge arising from they way they do cut-and-cover. This is Fulton Street station on the J and Z lines.
2016-12-28 12:21:22 Fr:16C345 Sq:231244
An exception to the cut-and-cover construction had to be used at Washington Heights which include the highest natural point in Manhattan at 81 metres (265 feet) above sea level. So the platforms here at 181st Street station on the 1 tunnelling construction was used. The line is reached by "three massive elevators" and and we have a wide space free of pillars.
2016-12-28 12:19:51 Fr:16C343 Sq:23124502
2016-12-28 12:20:30 Fr:16C344 Sq:23124506
Clearly the subway builders were not familiar with deep tube building techniques. There was a fatal accident during construction in 1903 and in 2009 an eight metre long section of the brick lining collapsed.
2016-12-28 12:22:48 Fr:16C346 Sq:23124514
And even here, if we look in the opposite direction along the platform, they have reverted to their beloved pillars.
2016-12-28 12:28:45 Fr:16C347 Sq:23124518
But by the time we get to Dyckman Street the subway has become overground.

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