Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Xmas 2005: New York City

Thursday night... 6 more days to go until we leave Brookhaven. Maybe with a new discovery, maybe without. The situation is not very good: the place is dead in the night, the apartment is boring, and although me and Patrick can discuss well, it's the 7th time we have come together here (of an average of 6 days at a time) so we have said quite a few things to eachother. I watch my tv shows, I make my HD switch plans, and I blog! It's a good time to start blogging about my Xmas trip to Greece now that we got the wireless router and I can blog from my bed:-)

The story goes like that. I would go to Greece flying with Delta, and the connection was at JFK. I on purpose chose for the time between the flights to be about 10 hours, so that I have enough time to visit Manhattan. It was a first class opportunity to test my new camera Canon S2. Here we go then.

The first thing to do was to buy gloves, as the temperatures were around -7C. Unfortunately I reached Manhattan shortly after 7am, and the stores didn't open until 10! So I had to experience the world famous NY μπηλοζήρια (below zero) first hand. On the other hand the best light to take pictures is the morning light, and Central Park was covered in snow waiting to be photographed.

This is a view from the tower at the center of the park:

This is a similar few just 3 months ago, in September:

Another great thing for the winter visit was the frozen lakes:

Here are the same tower from another point of view, in the summer:

It is clear that NY is hugely different in each season, and central park is the best place to realize that. Also, although my blood was starting to clot from the frozen winds, I managed after terrible pain to get the following panoramic pictures:

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I have to find a way to print these pictures properly at some point.

After spending a couple of hours there, I headed for a beautiful new mall at Columbus Square. I spend sometime in the bookstore there, and then finally the market was open. Here is a picture of 5th Avenue, the main shopping street in New York. Every shop that wants to be respectable has to have a store somewhere on this street.

Later on, I discovered with pleasure that Top of the Rock was finally open. They opened at the top of the Rockefeller Center at the heart of Midtown an observatory, similar to the one at Empire State Building only a lot better since 1) There are no waiting lines 2) It's only $15 versus the $25 that the Empire State asks for 3) It has no fencing, so you can finally take unobstructed photos of the magnificent backgrounds 4) The views are a lot better, seeing both the Empire State and the Central Park. From nowhere else can you take this picture:

Or this picture:

(I had a haircut 2 days later).

Here are some great panoramic pictures of North and South Manhattan:

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Finally, the Xmas tree at the Rockefeller Plaza, where the first Ice Skating Arena is. A classic New York picture.

The camera proved to work very well, and the pictures (but mostly the videos!) were awesome. I will continue soon with the actual Xmas in Greece pictures.