I’m here. The flight was a rather warm hour late taking off, but once we were in the air, the air-conditioning kicked in and it got a little bit nicer. The immigration process was surprisingly uneventful, as was the taxi ride to the city. One thing I like about that particular journey is that as you approach Manhattan from the west, the road goes round a curve and suddenly this huge skyline appears in the haze and stretches most of the way across your field of view. I’ve seen it before, many times, but the New York skyline never fails to be breathtaking when seen from that point of view. Once you actually get through the midtown tunnel, it becomes more mundane and familiar.
I arrived at my apartment on west 48th street and was pleased to see it’s a good size, in a good location, with a good view (14th floor) and with most things included (cable, kitchen, sofas etc). The balcony was a particularly nice find. My first quest was to find a way, at 6pm on a Saturday night, to a) get a drink and b) get some sort of wireless working so I could set up my email and pick up my Skype voicemails. I decided that (a) was too easy and that I was much too tired for that sort of thing. (b) was a whole adventure in itself however. First I had to find a shop selling something of that sort, so I stumbled across a BestBuy on 5th avenue. I needed a webcam as well, so it suited my needs. Anyway, it was in there that I overheard a guy, lets call him Mr. D(umbass), asking the cashier, after he had paid, whether his brand new iPod would work outside of the US. The cashier looked a little puzzled and said that it would, as he just needed to plug it into his laptop. However, Mr. D wasn’t having any of this. He wanted to know if it would play his music when he was in a different country. Thus ensued a frantic summoning of a “sales assistant” to explain to him that he was being a little bit silly. Now, it could be that coincidentally, within 2 hours of arriving in the country I had discovered the most stupid person in the state. Or, it could be that this sort of thing is really common. I don’t know yet. I’m hoping Mr. D is unique. Anyways, I got everything I needed (although I now need to return half of it - different story).
That was yesterday. Today was my first full day and annoyingly, I was up at 7am. This was probably because I thought it was midday and therefore should be tucking into lunch. In any case, I checked the opening times of B&H and then headed out to wander round town. At about 10, I headed down to B&H and managed to buy a new lens for the camera which I’m rather pleased with. It’s a Canon 10-22mm and ‘wide’ doesn’t quite cover what this lens can do. I’ve yet to fully find a good way to take pictures, but it’s fun experimenting, especially when I’m surrounded by huge buildings that I could never previously get fully into one shot. I meant to go up to the park in the afternoon to have a look around there, but the temperature hit about 40 degrees and stayed there, so I gave up.
So, I’m still on UK time, but I’ve found the supermarket. I’d never thought about that part of living here really, as the last 3 times i was here, the company paid for most things. But I’ve cooked now, so I feel like I’m properly living here.