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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The United Nations

Monday Jane and Anders went back to Connecticut. I took the subway to Manhattan, changed once and then walked over to the United Nations Headquarters at East 46th Street. I met Eliza (she works there), she arranged for me to have a guest pass and brought me to the delegates dining room. It was an honor to be invited to have lunch there. It was a first class restaurant with a buffet. The food was excellent, there were all kinds of fish (gravlax for instance) and meats. The dessert table was also impressive and I tried four different kinds (the chocolate cake was very delicious). Eliza was in a hurry to a meeting, so I went back to the ground floor and joined a guided tour of the building.

Later in the afternoon I went shopping for clothes in some stores that have my sizes. I just got some small items, most of them on sale. In the evening I went to Macy's (very large department store), they are open until 9.30 p.m. It was not that late when I arrived, only around 8. There are mostly designer clothes there, but it wasn't as expensive as I thought. I did actually find a dress on the sales rack, it was only 34 USD (200 SEK). When I returned to Eliza's apartment at 10 p.m. the cat was the only one there (and she made sure I noticed).

Today (Tuesday) I took the tram to Manhattan in the morning. It was a very nice view from above, and it takes almost the same time as the subway. I walked west through Central Park, and passed Strawberry Fields (a mosaic in memory of John Lennon) and the Swedish Cottage(!). The cottage was more like a house from northern Sweden and it had been built in 1875 and shipped to Philadelphia the following year for an exposition. Nowadays they had theater for children there.

When I finally made it out to the west side of the park (after more than an hour), I went to the Museum of Natural History. A building of impressive size. I saw the special exhibit on the Horse. Also the permanent exhibits on African mammals, New York City animals (mostly rodents and birds), dinosaurs (huge collection), and North American Indians (three different rooms). Very educational.

After the exhibit tour I went down to the basement level and took the subway to the Public Library. They have some databases I can't access from home, so I spent (too many) hours there, looking for more details about my American relatives. When that department closed at 7 p.m. I walked over to Times Square. This is where the majority of the tourists are. This is (consequently) also where most of the souvenir shops are. I located the Hard Rock Cafe and went in. I had dinner there, bacon cheeseburger with fried onion rings. Fudge sundae with brownie for dessert. Yes, too much, but so incredibly tasty (and I had only had a small salad for lunch). On my way back to the subway I noticed a very interesting store: M&Ms souvenir shop. Three floors with the chocolate candy in hundreds of variants and memorabilia (T-shirts, mugs, bags, toys and other things). Amazing.

I have noticed that the clocks on my blogs are still on Swedish time. The difference is six hours. If it says 4 p.m., I wrote it at 10 a.m.

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