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How to select and prepare a cruise

Lisboa, Portugal

This is the first post, and I am preparing some information related with the cruise.

permalink written by  karoli_algar on May 30, 2006 from Lisboa, Portugal
from the travel blog: Cruise in Baltic and Denmark
tagged MyFavoriteLocationsLisboa, Paris, London and NewYork

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A city that never sleeps

New York, United States

There seems like so much to do in New York, and there really is! Cliched, sure, but true all the same. We arrived in to the bus station sometime in the afternoon and were aghast at how stupidly and insanely large this joint was. About 87 gates for buses. Buses EVERYWHERE. As we've already discussed the general clientele of Greyhound USA, I think you can probably appreciate why I superglued my wallet to the inside of my underpants. Strangely, for being so large, NYC is actually rather easy to navigate. The subway isn't quite as handy as the tube, but it's pretty impressive and it does run 24 hours! Broadway is every bit as movie like as you can imagine. I did look in Central Park for the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, but I couldn't find her. I can never remember if it's Streets or Avenues that go North South?

Our hostel/hotel was rather pleasant and on Broadway, which by the way is a VERY long road. So we got in, settled and went exploring. I can understand why they made Central Park so massive. They have so many people that don't have gardens or anything, all jammed into this city, so they need somewhere for them to play baseball, and somewhere to take their dogs. So it is rather community friendly and the ambience quite unique. The hot dog venders were a bit of a disappointment to me though, I was expecting thick NY accents and barrels of attitude. Sadly there wasn't any NY accent (more central asian) and they were extremely helpful and friendly! I'm not complaining, but I am surprised! We walked all the way from our hostel to times square on the first night and ended up in Toys'R'Us. I wouldn't ordinarily mention this, however, there was an INDOOR ferris wheel. That's crazy I hear you say, well wait there's more. They also have a full size(ish) Barbie fun house. I was kinda impressed and disturbed at the same time that there is Oktoberfest Barbie. By the looks of her, she'd have trouble carrying a dozen steins of pilsner in a beer tent, but she would be popular with the lads. Sarah said that people would look at me funny if I kept wearing the Optimus Prime helmet in the store, so I took it off. I didn't buy it either. But I did keep pressing the button that made the helmet say "Megatron must be stopped!". Sweet. I hope Santa reads this.

Unfortunantely it feels like we really didn't get to do much stuff while we were in NY, there is just so much to do. We did manage to get to the Met Museum of art though. I don't know anything about art, but I'm reasonably sure that if you take a piece of canvas, stretch it over a funny shaped timber frame, paint it deep blue and call it "Blue Canvas" you're not an artist, you're a knob. That said, there were some absolutely stunning pieces of art.

With so much history as well. My favourite part was the arms and armour section, they had suits of armour that were hundreds of years old, with the most ornate and intricate metal work I have ever seen. They did look difficult to get off if you needed to evacuate your bladder mid-battle. Much to my dismay they had taken the handles off some very old and beautiful Japanese swords. I meant to ask why they did that, but I forgot and/or was to lazy. After about four and a half hours of walking around we'd seen nearly a fifth of the entire place, but our legs were getting a bit tired, so we called it a day. We did leave feeling more cultured than when we walked in, that's for sure. I think I'm going to make strange shaped canvases, paint them one colour and sell them for a million dollars each, anyone interested in purchasing one, please feel free to email me through this site.

Other fun things that we did included: going to Staten Island to go past the Statue of Liberty, Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot (more fun than it sounds), and uhmm.... eating lots of bacon cheeseburgers from the fast food joint around the corner from the hostel, and going to Wall Street. Got the American Psycho feeling from the place though... Wasn't nice. But a very pretty building.

Next week join us for London!

permalink written by  haveyouseenmypassport on July 5, 2007 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: To infinity!.. and... beyond... uh.....
tagged NewYork

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of subways & the urban jungle

New York, United States

and this is just (official) Day 1...

Rose and Jerico fetched us from JFK in the evening of Sunday (04 Nov). Just as well... we wouldnt have found our way by ourselves. NY subway is definitely unlike anything we've ever seen. realizing how big and scary New York City really is, we felt like scared little puppies. Please understand, we're coming from Auckland City, which is like a block in comparison. sob, sob! the weather is a bit nippy but the Licups' apartment has central heating. Hoorah! we had 'Bistek' for dinner. More hoorahs! Joia was terribly jetlagged, up till 4 am. Kanootz on the other hand knocked off as early as 10pm which made Joia very jealous. more sobs!

Rose woke us up with the smell of scrambled eggs on toast... sniff! Hmmm... so good after a week of microwave food. Rose kindly took the day off to show us around. After breakie, we were off to the subway station... ah, the smell of REAL New York! Out of the station and into Times Square... it was everything we imagined it to be! Busy, large, noisy... we ate pizza for lunch (they were American-sized!) before walking to the Staten Island Ferry. From there we took the... ferry, of course for FREE (yes sir, we like FREE, haha!) Following photos were taken from the ferry and Staten Island: . When we got to Staten Island, although we hadnt planned to, we felt keen to see what was outside the terminal. We were pleasently surprised to find this 9-11 Memorial by an artist named Masayuki Sono which is supposed to resemble postcards, perhaps sent to lost loved ones. From afar, the identical structures appear to be outstretched wings or a flower about to blossom... We had to run to catch the ferry back to Manhattan but we were glad we made the stop and enjoyed our very short visit to the Island.

When we got back to Manhattan, we walked from the ferry terminal to Battery Park. Here, we took a photo of a street busker dressed up as Lady Liberty. Joia had to take it from about 15 meters far, and really really quickly so as not to be caught and charged some buck for taking a snap. There was also this Statue of an eagle dedicated to war veterans. Kenneth was stoked when he found his last name as well as Ian's listed on one of the memorial walls... And to the right is a shot from the nearby Clinton Castle...

From here, we walked to Ground Zero. By this time, Joia's feet were already scorched. cheap shoes are BAD NEWS! So our next mission was to find Joia a decent pair for less. We found Century 21 - a big mess of designer branded clothes, shoes, etc. @ basement prices. Went up and down the mall... no luck there. We left Ground Zero for (New York's) Union Square this time. Further along, still around Union Square is DSW - tada! shoes and handbags at discount prices. Finally, a decent pair which were actually friendly with Joia's fussy feet. This meant that the rest of the evening can be more pleasant for everyone, without Joia's whinging!

From Union Square, we walked some more so we could meet up with Jerico... but it was okay because Joia's feet were okay. haha! By this time, we were getting too hungry. Just as well, the Licups had chosen this really amazing sushi place called 'Todai' where as Rose put it 'food is To-dai for'... wink! Salmon, tuna, seaweed salad, roe, salmon, and more salmon! Yum. Our waitress was a very friendly Filipino lady. Suffice to say that we got out of the restaurant stuffed! We were so stuffed we knew that going straight home wasn't going to be more sensible than a good relaxing stroll along the city streets. We stopped at Bryant Park and enjoyed the sights from there, an iceskating rink, a water fountain, 'buildings with lights' as Kanootz describes them...

Soon, we found ourselves back in Times Square where we took one too many shots of the busiest point probably in the whole wide earth. It was even more beautiful and blinding at night time, with its neon lights! M&M's world was open. We had fun in there... well, we're guessing the boys did more than the girls. From there, we crossed the road to Hershey's world, which is a lot smaller but still worth the visit.

Feeling much better about our tummies, we walked back to the station for Subway train 7 which took us back to Queens on 82nd Street. Home sweet home at 10pm... Rose, Jerico, and Kenneth raced each other to sleep... while Joia stayed up and fought jet-lag-night #2. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed our very very busy first whole day in New York City. God bless, everyone!

permalink written by  garcia on November 5, 2007 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged NewYork

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Flushed away

New York, United States

Our 3rd day in New York, first time to wander on our own… we’ve been given instructions and directions by Jerico on how to get from Jackson Heights to Times Square in Manhattan. Rose had even given us her mobile phone for the day so we could contact Jerico (it seems he knows New York by heart) if need be. How difficult could it be? It only takes one train ride and no transfers, right? Don’t worry; we’ll be fine, we say.

We walked out to 82nd street and up the subway terminal… waited for Train 7. When we boarded, the train was unusually bare. Sigh! At least no large suffocating crowd and we got to enjoy the views. Look, the Daily Planet! Kanootz excitedly pointed to a giant rounded metallic structure resembling the Earth. That’s funny, I thought as I don’t remember passing through that landmark yesterday when we went to Manhattan with Rose. I didn’t even see the Graffiti-covered building which Jerico had told us about (people are legally allowed to create graffiti so long as it is on that building. neat idea, huh?)

This is the last stop!” announces the operator. Wait a minute, this isn’t Manhattan. This is Flushing! We took the opposite train. I ran out the train hoping to catch the one on the other side. I tried to get in it but Kanootz hasn’t quite left the other train yet. He screamed… out of fear I might board the train without him. Haha! He says I scared him. Finally, we sat back in the same train we took before learning that it was scheduled to eventually go back to Manhattan.

We didn’t have a plan for the day. Well, at least as far as I was concerned. Kanootz on the other hand has apparently made plans with Jerico’s help… to find NBA store – the world’s only. We walked along 5th ave from 42nd to 52nd street. 10 blocks seemed so short a walk having never seen the place before. There were many interesting sculptures and artworks along the building walls as well as some great spots for window shopping.

Further up along 5th Ave is Central Park. We got there at 3pm, which we figured gave us plenty of time to get out of there before dusk. It was also very chilly that afternoon so we couldn’t really be outdoors for too long. We ended up going back to the NBA store. Come to think of it, we spent most of the day in there anyway much to Kanootz’ delight. We were there till 6pm, and then we remembered that Jerico was baking salmon for dinner so we ran to the nearest subway station – 10 blocks away, and made sure to take the correct train back to 82nd street.

We got home in time for dinner – scrumptious! Oh, sorry, hello Rose… yeah, how was work? Not too tiring, we hope? Haha! Jerico’s baked salmon almost made us forget our sociability. It has been such a long day, but not too long to keep us from some conversation with the One that keeps us together; protects us from danger; and walks with us moment by moment through this exciting journey.

permalink written by  garcia on November 7, 2007 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged NewYork

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Is there a doctor in the house?

New York, United States

Well, yesterday is pretty easy to retell. At noon, we headed out to Manhattan again. There we came across NBC studio, took photos, climbed up to the paid-tour booth on the 2nd floor – we just wanted to see what was up there… although we had not intentions at all to pay for any tickets for anything that day. It was fun looking through all the merchandise in the NBC studio… and thinking that it’s pretty easy for tourists to get sucked in to buying stuff… but not us, ‘cause there simply isn’t much for us to spend. Haha!

We walked a few minutes further and finally found Moma. We looked forward to this – our first real museum visit for the trip. I gave the ticket which Rose had so thoughtfully tucked away for us to the man at the reception. ‘This is the Moma, miss; your ticket is for the Mets’. Oh, dear! Thank God, Kanootz was quick to save my face from certain shame with a ‘Two tickets to get in, please’. $20 each. Huh? $20 each. Oh well. As always, one must approach each circumstance with much optimism. So we headed in. Some of the exhibits were pretty amazing. Some makes one question why they’re there – which is probably the point. A pink fluorescent light bulb on a corner is – apparently art. Okay. ‘Look, a Pollock!’ Kanootz calls out. Now we’re talking. Great to see something we finally know about. Slowly, the feeling of being ripped off is melting away. Monet made us stand sill by the sheer size of his work. Picasso makes one smile and want to touch. Oh, and let us also mention that there’s this helicopter hanging in the middle of the building – apparently the first commercial chopper ever. The Museum of Modern Art, after all is what it’s called. At least now that we’ve been exposed to modern art, we realize we have yet to develop appreciation for it.

Finally, a text from Nurse Rose who had just finished work for the day calls us to take to the subway and meet her at union square. There, we managed to catch the remaining flea market stalls surrounding the park. Interesting and refreshing. Flea markets are always a gem and an amazing touch of country culture that spring out of the metals and concretes of the urban jungle.

After sunset, we followed Rose’s lead to her favourite Bagel Shop. Essa. We bought a dozen, and 6 cups of crème cheese – 2 plain ones, 2 garden salad, and 2 cups of a pleasant discovery – the ‘raisin and walnut’! It was a lengthy walk but all worth it! Funny thing – realizing that we were Filipinos, the shop person was telling Rose ‘mahal-mahal kita’ haha! And this was Wednesday – the 4th day.

Thursday, Yahoo! Phantom tonight! The whole day, we were home with Jerico, and naturally – we ate nothing else but bagels, all day! Not complaining, nu-uh! I took the chance to get some photos downloaded, organized and finally do some blogging. Very very behind now. Sorry, peepz! Suddenly, sunset. Rose was home already. We got dressed up a little – Rose lent Joia this pretty little black velvet top with frilly bits, and Joia finally got to wear her red shoes, THE red shoes, in the US of A – fun!

We got there an hour early, so we grabbed some sandwich from a place called Junior’s. Kanootz and Joia shared a Corned Beef Sandwich. The size of the thing! Just as well they were sharing. Oh, and I wouldn’t dare miss to write about the free cheesecake tasters. Between Kanootz and Jerico, the whole tray was – well, piece of cake! And we like FREE. Remember? Come to think of it, the greatest thing in life is really FREE, and not in a cliché kind of way. For us, we’ve been given the greatest gift for free; we just had to accept it. Word for the day… Amen.

Alas, time for some classical entertainment. The cue to get in was very long, amazing when you think people’s tickets have designated seats anyway. ??? Oh, and the tickets were $60USD each. Good score, Miss Rose! Without her radars, we would’ve had to pay double considering how great our seats turned out to be! We could feel Jerico’s excitement when the lights went out. The play opens with an auction. There were several merchandises including a chandelier which became the centerpiece of the story. In the middle of first scene, the Matron calls out ‘I have a note’ in a very very English accent, ‘Is there a doctor in the house?’ Huh? We look at Rose and Jerico searching for any indication as to whether that was part of the play or not. They look just as confused as us. Suddenly, the commotion upstairs which had started a while ago becomes louder and louder. ‘Is there a doctor in the house?’ The actors ask the audience, in their characters’ accents and tones. Come off of it, and you may actually be more credible, we thought. The curtain closed with some proper announcements for what really is happening. The show resumed as soon as the paramedics rushed away with the person involved. All in all, it’s been a very very interesting evening. It was special for Joia, as who would’ve thought she would be going to some opera, in New York not the least, with her college friend 5 years later who is also now married.

permalink written by  garcia on November 9, 2007 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged NewYork

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Still New York

New York, United States

Well, I would really love to write about this amazing city... I've spent eight days here, and it has been amazing... so many things to do, good food and weird people!!! I'm really enjoying it, and we did pretty much everything we wanted to, so we'll be living tomorrow :(
After a visit to Chinatown, of course...

I'll come back for more.

permalink written by  me on January 18, 2008 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: USA here I go!
tagged NewYork and USA

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New York, New York

New York, United States

Our trip to New York was classical travel comedy gold, as everything that could go wrong did. Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half, we were told our baggage was at terminal D, then terminal E (which is outside through the construction area at jfk) , and then back at terminal D. We finally got our bags and boarded the subway, and then exited at the wrong spot twice. All we could do was laugh.

When we got to our hotel, the Hotel Chelsea which has an awesome history of fostering artistic expression, we we’re told our standard room had been upgraded to a suite…SCORE. Up to the tenth floor we went with the assistance of the doorman Pete(?) who was just awesome. But not as awesome as the views of New York City from our room…sorry Pete. We quick dumped our packs, changed, and headed out so we could make the full moon ceremony at COSM. It rained on our way there…and then to make amends Mr Universe treated us with a gorgeous rainbow.

The ceremony wavered from very intense and spiritually engaging to annoying, depending on the speaker. Alex was awesome, the folks from the Biosphere who talked were awesome, and the musicians superb. Mrs. Grey unfortunately fell into the annoying category, something about rattling on asking for charity for the chapel they plan to build during what’s supposed to be a spiritual ceremony that just didn’t sit well with James and I. After the ceremony was over there was a drum and dance event, but we didn’t stay very long for that. I was feeling outa sorts, unconnected, wishing our friends were there with us to make it special so we headed back to the hotel to relax and catch some z’s.

The next day, Thursday, we took our time getting up and then caught the subway down to Ground Zero. When we got there we were greeted with a high fence surrounding the hole, and armed soldiers just hanging out. Someone please clue me in to why we need armed guards protecting a hole that’s already been bombed. We walked around the perimeter and found a few good spots that I could get some photos off from. Visiting Ground Zero was a pretty heavy event, when your that close you can just feel the weight of what happened there settling over you…the lives lost...the lies told. And let me tell you, visiting it in person only increased the desire to grab a big microphone find the nearest government official and start yelling BULLSHIT, but then there are those armed guards standing around the corner…hmm 2+2= ‘ You’re government is in control America, go back to sleep’.

We found a cool art exhibit though while wandering around that lifted my sprits. All these garments were made using renewable resources from the Brazilian Amazon, or recycled materials from Brazil. After this we grabbed some good ole’ NY street grubbed and wandered a bit more around the WTC before heading back to the Hotel and onto JFK to fly out to Ireland.

Pics to come shortly..working out this need for massive storage space and no laptop.

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 20, 2008 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Slade's Elucidation
tagged NewYork, WorldTradeCenter and HotelChelsea

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Street Hassle

New York, United States

I don't have much time as I leave soon for JFK airport to fly to Dublin. Can't figure out how to get pictures off my camera, so this entry and perhaps all future ones will be photoless, unfortunately.

Walking home late at night with drink coursing through the system, one can often trick oneself into thinking they're poetic and profound, when really they're just feeling a little sad, well, just such a thing occured to me and I stopped on the roof before turning in for bed at my sister's and wrote this:
'I stand upon a rooftop of Brooklyn and all I see is an ocean. An ocean of city. An ocean to get lost in and to lose yourself in. A labyrinth of people, routes, grids, ignition.
All sewing something up. Wishing to just soak up the minerals. Here the silence breathes deeper than anywhere else, but the silence only exists when the sharks are tearing you apart.
The moths can't decide if they're underwater or not.'

Yeah, make of that what you will. Feel free to poke fun at my emo bullshit, it's a rarity.

I've been seeing friends and experiencing New York's finest. I saw Radiohead at the All Points West festival in Jersey city last friday, my first time in New Jersey actually. Everybody's right, it does kind of smell.

Another highlight was David Byrne's 'Playing the Building'. An installation in the maritime museum on the southern tip of Manhattan. It is an organ in the middle of a large empty room, with these cords running from it to various parts of the building. You hit the keys on the organ and they activate various functions. There were three types: wind, percussion, and motor. You hit a key and, for instance, it would blow air through a pipe making a note ring out on the other side of the room, or you hit another key and behind you a motor would whir and create this droning note or another key would bang on a metal pylon. Very cool stuff.

There is always something going on here. What else? A DIY show in Williamsburg where I saw Growing from Olympia, I guess they moved here, after which we went to a sort of bike-hipster dance party in Bushwick.

I'll try to add more later when I can figure out photos and I'm not stressing on boarding an international flight in a few hours. It's just kind of a mess of events, a little too jumbled to write about. Future posts will be better, I swear!

I leave you with the lyrics to Street Hassle by Lou Reed which is so goddamn apt to New York City (just like, I suppose, everything that guy sings about):

A) waltzing matilda

Waltzing matilda whipped out her wallet
The sexy boy smiled in dismay
She took out four twenties cause she liked round figures
Everybodys a queen for a day
Oh, babe, Im on fire and you know how I admire your -
- body why dont we slip away
Although Im sure youre certain, its a rarity me flirtin
Sha-la-la-la, this way

Oh, sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la
Hey, baby, come on, lets slip away

Luscious and gorgeous, oh what a hunk of muscle
Call out the national guard
She creamed in her jeans as he picked up her means
From off of the formica topped bar
And cascading slowly, he lifted her wholly
And boldly out of this world
And despite peoples derision
Proved to be more than diversion
Sha-la-la-la, later on

And then sha-la-la-la-la, he entered her slowly
And showed her where he was coming from
And then sha-la-la-la-la, he made love to her gently
It was like shed never ever come
And then sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la
When the sun rose and he made to leave
You know, sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la
Neither one regretted a thing

B) street hassle

Hey, that cunts not breathing
I think shes had too much
Of something or other, hey, man, you know what I mean
I dont mean to scare you
But youre the one who came here
And youre the one whos gotta take her when you leave
Im not being smart
Or trying to be cold on my part
And Im not gonna wear my heart on my sleeve
But you know people get all emotional
And sometimes, man, they just dont act rational
They think theyre just on tv

Sha-la-la-la, man
Why dont you just slip her away

You know, Im glad that we met man
It really was nice talking
And I really wish that there was a little more time to speak
But you know it could be a hassle
Trying to explain myself to a police officer
About how it was that your old lady got herself stiffed
And its not like we could help
But there was nothing no one could do
And if there was, man, you know I would have been the first
But when someone turns that blue
Well, its a universal truth
And then you just know that bitch will never fuck again
By the way, thats really some bad shit
That you came to our place with
But you ought to be more careful around the little girls
Its either the best or its the worst
And since I dont have to choose
I guess I wont and I know this aint no way to treat a guest
But why dont you grab your old lady by the feet
And just lay her out on the darkened street
And by morning, shes just another hit and run
You know, some people got no choice
And they cant never find a voice
To talk with that they can even call their own
So the first thing that they see
That allows them the right to be
Why they follow it, you know, its called bad luck

C) slipaway

Believe me, that its just a lie
Thats what she tells her friends
cause the real song, the real song
Which she wont even admit to herself
Beat narrow heart, the song lots of people know
Its a painful song
Itll only say the truth
It lasts for sad songs
Penny for a wish
A wish wont make you a soldier
A pretty kiss or a pretty face
Cant have its way
The tramps like us who were born to play

Love is gone away
And theres no one here now
And theres nothing left to say
But, oh, how I miss him, baby
Oh, baby, come on and slip away
Come on, baby, why dont you slip away

Love is gone away
Took the rings off my fingers
And theres nothing left to say
But, oh how, oh how I need him, baby
Come on, baby, I need you baby
Oh, please dont slip away
I need your loving so bad, babe
Please dont slip away

permalink written by  Dan Schoo on August 12, 2008 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: A cowboy boot to Europe's ass...
tagged NewYork

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New York City - Manhattan

New York, United States

It´s up to you, New York...

permalink written by  thiagocaro on December 11, 2008 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Por aí...
tagged NewYork

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Second Post!

New York, United States

We made it!

permalink written by  scottbowling on February 9, 2009 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Transpatria!
tagged NewYork and Transpatria

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