New York, New York
There are about a million songs that I could quote from for this post, and all of them would probably fall short of describing my first day here. The day is not even over and I have certainly had my fair share of what one might loosely call, excitement.
After spending big in Vegas, I am now back to what is my usual holiday budget, where I sleep in hostels and fashion meals out of whatever is cheaply bought locally. Surprisingly, so far, my meal choices here have been healthier than those afforded me with a bigger budget in all of Las Vegas.
I slept uneasily in my bunk bed, with three other ladies in my room, all of whom were probably sorry to be sharing with me. I snore. Bite me. Earplugs are a back-packers best friend. After a late start, I spoke to Thackeray - those daily calls will surely cease soon - and tried to begin to find my way around this city. I am as yet still to catch the Subway, so instead walked to the Empire State Building.
The view was magnificent, if a little chilly, and with my audio tour guide I was happily ensconced in a rather parochial telling of the twin tower's drama when my quiet revelry was disturbed. Just behind me, not more than 5 feet from me, a man had managed to scale the fence and had half his body over the enclosure. Immediately, one fellow tourist leapt to him and began trying to drag him from certain death. A death, he kept screaming that, he wanted. Security quickly followed up and pulled him down - all the while he continued screaming, "Why are you trying to save me?". I did wonder why myself.
And what did I do? Nothing. I shrank back in horror. All of a sudden the edge of the building seemed so much closer, and the barrier so much less protective. Quite soon after he was wrestled to the ground, the area was cordoned off, and then we were all evacuated until police and emergency rescue were on hand.
The gentleman who had acted so promptly to save this man, melded quietly into the crowd.
My own joie de vie was somewhat tempered as well.