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Sunday 9 May 2004
New York, USA

Second day!

Yesterday I went to "Ground Zero" - where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre used to stand. The actual location is surrounded by a wire fence, making it quite difficult to get a good view/photo of the overall layout. Really there isnt much to see here, except for the bones, brains and blood.. ok no its NOT quite like the location I saw in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (where bones were still strewn liberally across the area where thousands of people were killed), but there is certainly a sombre atmosphere in the air, as well as feeling of absence. It is also quite amazing that the surrounding buildings remained relatively untouched. Plenty of dust still in the corners of the buildings though, were the cleaners probably missed.

That was really the main thing I saw yesterday... I spent the rest of the day trying to find more bargains in clothes, but it aint quite as easy as I was told. You really have to search long and hard: I did manage to get a pair of Ralph Lauren Polo shoes at Century21 for only 25 dollars though! Still this place is quite expensive (though its supposed to be discount-central)

As part of this search-for-cheap-coolio-clothes, I took in Greenwich village, which is supposed to be a cultural centre full of hippies. It was full of something, but certainly it wasnt hippies. I got uncomfortable when I started to notice every second guy was "checking me out"... then I saw the girls holding hands, as well as their male counterparts. Above me were signs "AIDS day: Walk with Pride". Yep Id arrived in gays-ville. Its pretty much the gay-est place Ive ever been to.. not that its a problem.. but I can now understand how women feel when they get guys gawking at them the whole time... yeah it was THAT bad! I made a quick escape, but didnt see any good clothes shops on that excursion.

Going to the Statue of Liberty today... peace .. pete out!

...later...

OK so, yet again, I got DISTRACTED and didnt get around to doing ANYTHING touristy today once again!!! Instead I wistfully wasted away an entire day wandering from store-to-store in New Yorks "Fashion Avenue", 5th Ave, in shops like Macys and Old Navy desperately trying to find a cool pair of jeans.. like the ones I bought in Thailand (the irony, being that the shop in Thailand only had this ONE STYLE there... and it turned out to be the perfect fit for me). I must have tried on about 30 pairs of jeans today... as well as having walked about 10 miles!!

I just cant find a good pair of jeans or trousers here that are neither excessively baggy or far too tight... also since its Spring all the jeans have a thinner material which I dont like! Sheesh.. its saying something when I cant find a pair jeans in "the centre of the world" like New York, but I could find them in a backwater like Bangkok.

John Canavan has just recommended a place called Yellow Rat Bastard to me.. Ill check it out tommorrow, but its seriously the LAST place Ill go to. Maybe I just need to wait and go to a shop in Dublin where EVERYTHING fits perfectly!

Trousers in Dublin are cooler than those in New York: you heard it here first!

While Im here I might as well tell ya about a few interesting things Americana...

Diet-conscious Americans have a new fad: LOW-CARB FOOD!

Basically they view energy-giving carbohydrates as a BAD thing in their diet... I suppose its because carbohydrates are mostly sugars that will get used up by a normally active person... but if youre NOT active (like I guess most Americans are) then it puts on weight. So healthy things like a fibre-rich diet (which is high in carbs) are a no-no stateside. Insane... Ill still eat my All-Bran for brekkie thanyouverymuch (I can also get high-fibre cereal at low-low prices cuz nobodys buying them!!)

Another thing thats quite annoying about shopping in the US is that they DONT INCLUDE THE TAX IN THE QUOTED PRICE!!!

This is particularly annoying when you pick up a garment which is priced at $24.99. Whereas in Europe you can approach the cashier with the exact change ready (and only receive one cent back when you hand over $30), here you have to get the tax calculated and ADDED onto the price, so that you end up paying something like $27.64 or something. This means that you will get back 36 cents in change if you hand them 28 dollar notes!! Gah... never has a day passed when I would return back to my hostel after a day of shopping and NOT have a bagful of loose change!!!

Right.. Im leaving NY in 3 days... only 2 of those being days I can do stuff... so tommorrow Im DEFO gonna check out all the sights... actually I might pop off to Central Park now (its next to my hostel, but I STILL havent seen it yet...).. actually maybe not: its 7.12 pm now (when all the crazies come out of the sewer)

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