25th April 2005. Letter to Aunt in Ontario, Canada. Writing from Hotel Room in Armonk.
Hey! I’m just back from a wholly unplanned trip to downtown Manhattan! It was SO much fun! First, I rode a train from Armonk to New York’s Grand Central Station. This place is like nothing you’ve seen before! Then I went right to where the Staten Island Ferry leaves for the Status of Liberty tour, so I actually got to see the Status of Liberty from, well, a distance. Not too close, unfortunately, but then I didn’t have a lot of time for the Ferry. Next time, then (if there *is* a next time!). Then down to the financial district, down Broadway Street (or is it Avenue?), up Wall street – and right up to the Bank of New York, the New York Stock Exchange, and a whole lot of other stuff my fevered mind can’t even remember!
However, one thing stood out. This city is more like Mumbai than I can ever imagine! I mean, right down from the way commuters travel – by train and bus, to how busy every one is, to the entire atmosphere of the city – everything keeps moving all the time, – I LOVE this place! This is just like going to Churchgate or something, only cleaner! ;-) And people are generally very helpful. A couple of ladies whom I struck up a conversation with en route to Grand Central, offered me an entire $10 map booklet for NYC – just like that! People everywhere I asked directions, helped me by going out of their way! Finally, an IBMer from Financial Services dropped me to the Learning Center, where I’m staying, even though it was the opposite way for him. Great fun! I have about 40 photos for the day – I don’t know how I’m going to share them all with you, but I so badly want to!
Anyways, thanks for all the advice in your emails – makes me miss Mom a bit less!! Oh, and don’t worry about food – my uncanny sense of bargains led me to this obscure pizzeria on Wall Street where I got a huge, 10′ pizza for $4.45! I almost couldn’t finish it! How’s that for a good deal for a good meal!