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Today I managed the bagel and coffee in the park. It’s odd though that despite seeing that happen all the time in TV shows, it’s not something I’ve seen others doing.

So today was going to be an easier day. A museum day. I was silly. This is America. The museums are big as well. In just under five hours I was only able to give a cursory walk through to most sections. I took a bit more time in a few sections that held a bit more interest, but I could easily have spent far more time in there.

After that mammoth trip to the museum (no pun but I should point out that it was the Natural History Museum) I decided it was time for a walk to the Guggenheim museum. A bit of a walk from the other museum, but the place is iconic and I wanted a photo. So about thirty minutes later I get there…and it is covered in scaffolding for exterior refurbishment. Great. Was this going to be how my day worked out?

I strolled back down through Central Park, alongside the reservoir and then the Great Lawn. A quick look at the map told me I had a couple of photo opportunities on the way back down. En route in the south east corner was Central Park Zoo. Now this is a place I had seen in the films and I wanted to see how it matched up. Ok so the film was Madagascar but I figure that still counts. I knew the place was going to be small. I’d already been in that corner of the park and not noticed it. I would need to follow the map carefully. Well I found it ok, but was slightly disappointed to not have any lions, giraffes or zebras. In fact the only animals at the zoo that were in the film were the penguins. It wasn’t until now that I realised that what I had thought was a cartoon was in fact a documentary and that the penguins had either been caught or replaced.

So it was onto the apple shop to ‘borrow’ their wi-fi connection. I didn’t have to be subtle about this as I thought I might. I was fully expecting to have to be sneaky and hide the pda while connecting. Nothing needed to be further from the truth. People were walking in with their Macbooks and simply logging on. There was almost what you could describe as an official area you could do this. Somewhat different to UK airports where the wi-fi connections there are a competitive industry that seems to have agreed a price.

E-mail checked and other internet stuff done it was time to check out the Christmas tree at the Rockerfeller Centre Plaza. After a small diversion to pick up some camera equipment I found the place. Unfortunately coming out some of the area was roped off for a private function. What a time and place to organise that. Didn’t they know there were tourists (well me) getting hopelessly confused about getting where I needed to go? Typically I came out the wrong exit and had to walk at least halfway round the block to get to it. To be fair it is done very well, the whole plaza that is, including the ice skating rink.

This, I say like any writer claiming they have everything planned out, leads me onto one of my must do events. Ice skating in Central Park. I was slightly caught out when they didn’t take my shoes off of me when I got my skates and had to go back and get a locker. The rink itself is small but where I live the rink is the size of a puddle. In reality it’s easily big enough to skate round without having to take sharp corners. By the end of the two hours I was surprisingly not dizzy, and possibly more surprisingly given I hadn’t skated for too many years to remember, I hadn’t taken a tumble.

This didn’t mean that I had escaped unscathed. My feet and back were letting me know they weren’t happy. In fact it still felt as if I was wearing skates. Therefore it was a slow walk for dinner at Planet Hollywood in Times Square via the subway. I’ve never been to the franchise before but with the exchange rate it was more than affordable and there were plenty of opportunities to take photos of film memorabilia. Next some photos of the neon signs. It’s telling that the shutter speed on the camera was still quite high despite it being gone midnight. Rather wearily I made my way home. Tomorrow was going to be more sober with a visit to Ground Zero.

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