Good morning! Okay ... for you it is not morning, but already lunch time. Here it's 6 am in the morning and thankfully the internet in the hotel is working much better now and I am positive to get this post out to you.
We are back to TRAVEL WRITING - YAY!
Like I did last year I will try to update the blog daily or at least every second day and tell you about my latest US adventures. This time I'm traveling with my friend Gabrijela - an architect and photographer - and she will be responsible for most of the visuals in the blog posts. Although she of course has some her equipment with her, we decided for the blog for quick and entertaining iPhone pictures with some twist - just scroll down and look.
The trip itself started yesterday pretty smoothly. Nobody slept in accidentally (and we had to get up at 4 am), no traffic jam was blocking our way. We had even time for breakfast at the airport and met a colleague and a friend also on the way to London.
Changing flights later in London wasn't an issue as well. We did have enough time and had no trouble at the security with our equipment (one of our biggest fears) or any other problems.
The messy part started during the flight. I used to like British Airways mostly because the staff is really, really nice usually, but they urgently need to do something with the on flight entertainment systems. Last year on my way to San Francisco mine was totally broken and yesterday was not much better. The look into the flight magazine was very promising: "The Ides of March", "The Descendants" and "My Week with Marilyn" - great movies I wanted to watch anyway. BUT ... the movies were flickering, the screen was more broken than anything else AND there was no menu to navigate and start the movie on your own, but you need to CATCH it if you could from the ongoing program. Result ... I have seen - kind of - now the last scene of "The Ides of March" and "The Descendants" and it looks like they are as good as I thought, but I can't do more than guess.
The rest of the flight was boredom, cold feet and bad food.
Only entertainment factor: We shared the recent "SPIEGEL" magazine and I found a mind blowing article about the man with the biggest record collection on the planet. Paul Mawhinney is 72 years old and collects for 51 years. He owns 1 MILLION (!) vinyl long players, 1.5 MILLION vinyl singles, 350 000 CD and 50 000 records for gramophones. 83% of his collections is not available on CD - lots of the music would be lost without him. Swing, Country, Beat, Skiffle, Jazz, Folk - it's really, really amazing.
Since he is old and sick now he sold his collection to a collector who can keep up with is heritage. He kept just his favorites - a solid 250 000 pieces set of music. Paul Mahinney lives in Pittsburgh - and no ... I did not make that up.
But back to us: In New York we had to wait forever to make it through the border control because it was incredibly crowded and then .... no luggage. SHIT! Long story told short: Gabrijela's suitcase was picked up by some stupid stranger while we were waiting at the border. He realized later that it wasn't his and brought it back to the airport. It was delivered last night to our hotel. Mine on the other hand was tracked wrongly and got stuck in London. It is supposed to arrive today - wish me luck. Lots of luck.
The luggage story was a huge bummer, but we tried not to get frustrated. The room in the hotel is nice and the sun was shining and Manhattan had put on a beautiful spring dress. So we went on a long first walk to Times Square, up 6th Avenue and down the 5th including some shopping for clean panties, a night dress, a fresh t-shirt for the next day and bathroom thingies.
It is amazing how pretty it all is when it has +15 C and the sun is shining compared to the -15 C and ice cold wind last year. Four weeks make a HUGE difference, I can tell you.
Side note: Due to the lost suitcase I walked Manhattan in my comfy Steelers hoodie I had on during the flight and I can tell you: The Steelers are very, very popular in New York. Still strange to HI5 total strangers on 6th Avenue. I'm more used to to people not knowing what my shirt prints mean at all.
And the shopping assistant in NHL shop on 6th laughed hard, when I explained some hockey basics to Gabrijela like showing her a Flyers jersey with the words "Look, that's the evil one - flying crap." There is hockey everywhere anyway - you can tell New York is ready for the playoffs, too.
All right ... time to get a shower and start day 2 - hopefully I have my stuff back by tonight. My Kris Letang jersey is in that suitcase for heaven's sake!
All picture are made by and belong to Gabrijela Obert:
Sloping to New York .... (the dirty airplane had dirty windows - so sorry for the spots on the picture)
A Rothko in blue aka The Sky
New York? New York!
A German girl with a Pittsburgh Steelers hoodie, a Croatian (!) bottle of water (Jana) at Times Square, New York