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22 – 26 April and 1 - 4 May 2013

I arrived at Howard's place just in time before he left for the opera. German couchsurfer Michael was also staying there so we had a long conversation in the evening.

It's only a couple of years ago since I last visited New York for 5-6 days – back then I did everything I wanted to do including many museums, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, so this time I wasn't too busy doing a lot of sightseeing. When it was cold and overcast the next day, I spent it updating my homepage and in the evening I had dinner and a long conversation with Howard. Wednesday the weather was cold but clear and sunny so I spent the day bicycling around southern Manhattan amongst other admiring numerous:

  • Famous buildings e.g. The UN, Chrysler, Empire State, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, City Hall and Grand Central Station

  • many old churches as well as New and Old St Patrick's Cathedrals

  • Parks (e.g. Bryant, Battery, Washington, Guilbert and Bowling Green) and squares (e.g. Madison, Union and Times)

  • Wall Street including Federal Hall, NY Stock Exchange and the bronze bull

  • Districts like Meatpacking, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, TriBeCa, SoHo, Financial, Greenwich, Chinatown and Little Italy

I also bicycled across the ever beautiful Brooklyn Bridge (often resembling a bicycle mountain stage as I had to fight my way through pedestrian hoards) and rode around Brooklyn that has one of the best views of downtown Manhattan. At the end of the day I wanted to visit the 9/11 Memorial Ground but the long security line made me skip it – allegedly it's not too interesting anyway.... When I visited in Spring 2011 they had hardly started building on Ground Zero but this time the new building was finally close to being finished.

The next day I bicyled around central/northern Manhattan and spent most of the time in Central Park which is gorgeous on a beautiful Spring day where the trees and flowers bloom. Mid afternoon I drove around the area north of the park amongst other visiting the Cathedral of St John the Devine, the grand Riverside Church, Columbia University and the Grant Monument (biggest in the country). It was a good day where I got to talk to numerous different people both in the streets and at the university campus – most interesting was an American/Maroccan street fruit vendor with whom I spoke for an hour.

After returning from Bermuda I stayed another couple of days at Howard's place. I spent the time updating the homepage and doing practical things before the next leg of the trip around New England to Chicago. The first days I stayed with Howard there was only a German couchsurfer one evening – when I returned from Bermuda it was quite different with up to 10 people one night... omewhat chaotic but nice people.

All in all it was nice revisiting Howord and many of the sights in NYC; particularly interesting was bicyling around the city – not for the faint hearted. The experience was enhanced by the fantastic weather all days but the first....

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