Day 14 – Central Park, a castle, and the most expensive crappy steak I ever ate

• With the sun shining and the temperature low (52°F! Sorry, not sure what that is in Celcius anymore I am too American) we opted to spend our last full day in Manhattan at Central Park. It was within walking distance of our hotel so off we walked!

• You can always tell when you’re getting close to a landmark because suddenly there’s people selling definitely real %100 genuine tickets to wherever you’re headed, there’s people with their hand out holding signs telling stories of increasing patheticness (I think by the time we made the park the lady was a single mum with 6 kids, 5 of which had cancer, and the other has red hair RIP), and there’s animals being mistreated in the interests of human fun. This time it was horses, carting tourists in wagons around the park. We opted not to participate in the pony rides.

• Speaking of animals… someone’s gone and stuck a zoo fair in the middle of the city, so we ducked in to check that out. For the most part it’s a pretty great venue, especially given the space they have to work with. I definitely feel sorry for the animals in the exhibits though cause there were so many kids carrying on and what not. Americans are LOUD too, so every time they’d enter a new exhibit they’d be like “OH MAH GAWD LOOK AT THAT! Nathaniel! Look! LOOK AT THE MONKEYS NATHANIEL!” then over comes Nathaniel (presumably) and starts smacking the glass. Still, it’s probably a preferable existence for the animals rather than being poached or killed by, like, a lion or whatever. And who knows, maybe Nathaniel will grow up to be an environmentalist who will save hundreds of whatever he was annoying.

• We left Nathaniel banging on glass, and headed off in to Central Park. Like so many things we’ve found in the US, it’s really big. Surprising that they left that much greenspace without developing it. Must not have had a yank edition Tom Tate for a mayor in the past. The best bit are all the dog parks – they’re everywhere! I reckon we walked past at least 4 or 5 just in the parts we got to, which was MAYBE a third of the site. We even saw TWO beagles, which is not a sufficient amount but better than zero.

• Being a public place with lots of foot traffic, that means buskers. You couldn’t go more than a few hundred feet without some bloke tooting a trumpet or scratching away on a violin. They were pretty much all objectively bad at their instruments, but they had Veteran hats so that meant tips aplenty.

• Randomly, there was also a castle there. I didn’t think the US was an old enough country to have castles, but maybe some English bloke left it there. We went up narrow stairs, looked at stuff from above, and went back down again. Good times.

• After doing a ridiculous amount of walking, we made it back to the hotel and decided to go up the Empire State building. Tried to book tickets and found it was going to be $300AUD for the pair of us to essentially just go up a lift. There was some debate back and forward, but eventually we just googled a few images of what it looks like from up there and decided to go to a fancy restaurant instead.

• In hindsight, probably should have done Empire State, cause we spent $300AUD at the fancy restaurant and it wasn’t particularly nice. Dry aged steak is usually a winner, but it was only “ok” (definitely no Black Hide) and a pretty greasy old bit if meat. I had the swordfish which was also “ok”, and we had like two classes of Coke, some “ok” potato and sauteed onion thing, and some… actually quite nice onion rings. We ate a little over half of what was delivered, then left. The place reviewed well, and the waiters wore suits and little jackets, and it took like 4 of them to put a plate on the table (one with the plate, one with a knife, one a fork, one with a napkin). But in the end it was only “ok” food, and contained way too much pomp for us simple folk. Should have gone looked at the pretty lights and grabbed Maccas instead.

• Tomorrow is car day! Shxtting bricks to be honest.


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