A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: THB

Philly Cheese Steak

Weekend in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

semi-overcast -1 °C
View USA 2006/2007 & USA 2007 on THB's travel map.

I walked home in the snow last night after a weekend well spent. It was well below -4 degrees, and well, for my South African self, that was a bit cold, to say but the least. I had just spent the last few ours of my Sunday evening with good friends, planning our travels post JIT. As I walked along the tracks of the light rail, I sighed a sigh of relief and walked with my face turned upwards so the icey flakes landed on my face. I thought of the weekend I had just had, and smiled.

At the crack of dawn on Saturday, me Charne and Alethia caught a bus to Philly. A short 1.5hrs later we arrived. After settling into Fullalove's apartment, we hit the city - it had no idea what NYC had unleashed unto it.

After a massive lunch at the big red Chilli, we decided to get the touristy things out of the way. We visited the Liberty Bell and learned that it's crack is actually legendary and that it nolonger rings - so no, you can't "Ring My Bell" :)

Whilst learning about The Liberty Bell, we learnt alot about American history - which was really unexpected, I really just thought we were just going to see this bell, take a few pics and be outa there. But it was a great experience. We also saw a picture of our very own Madiba - of course he features in the whole exhibition.

We then visited good old Benjamin Franklin's burial site, threw a few pennies for good luck, others threw dimes - for extra good-luck i suppose and continued a leisurely stoll through the rest of the Independence National History Park... A brief stoll thru China town ws next then some pics at the Love Statue.

After we had covered all the cultural things we were willing to explore, it was time to have eats and go party... We had din-dins at a nice little place called Blue Martini - enuff said then found a bumping R&B club near by and danced the night away. Drinks were $4 a pop - need I say more?? One sentense, before dinner, we had planned to at least catch the subway back home - but alas, we walked, in the freezing cold.

The next day we did not wake up as bright eyed and bushy-tailed... I wonder why... We visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art, not for whatever they have inside, but for the statue in honour of Rocky Balboa outside it :) Of course we then climbed the legendary stairs and did a victory dance of our own in honour of the movie. After all that activity, it was only fitting that we reward ourselves with some Philly Cheese Steaks :D

At 15h30, we had done just about all you can do in Philly, and it was time to leave a slighty snowy Philadelphia behind.

Damage
Bus: $25 round trip
accomo: $0
Hanging with your friends and throwing away your name in Philly - priceless

Posted by THB 17:24 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

December 2006

sunny 10 °C
View USA 2006/2007 & USA 2007 on THB's travel map.

Hi Guys,

Posted by THB 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

I have not been swallowed by the Big Apple

sunny 7 °C
View USA 2006/2007 & USA 2007 on THB's travel map.

Hi Everyone,

I know, I have been very quiet - no excuses really.

New York city has been treating me well. Still loving being here, the apartment and even my flatmate. We have just had Thankgiving weekend. Matt Mutch and I decided to use this weekend to be tourists (at long last, I know). We visited some of the famous attractions, American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, The Empire State Building, and took a 3hr cruise around Manhattan Island. I have attached some pictures with myself in some of them as evidence of my escapades. Although I had my heart set on going to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, I was not prepared to brave the sleet and gale force winds to get a peak look at Snoopy and other Balloons. Many people went irrespective of the rain - no thanks, i watched on TV, snuggly with some "coffee" in hand.

I can't say I have been exposed to typical NYC fall weather, the weather has been good to us. Besides this past Thurs & Fri when temeratures were around 0 °C when we'd normally min temperatures would be around 0 - 2 °C with a max of 13 - 17 °C. Weather is back to the 13 °C max range - and i am extremely greatful.

No funny stories to tell this time around - i guess I am becoming more of a 'local' in a way and not getting lost as much.

The pics from my touristy experience are all in the album: New York City Pass.

Chum arrives on Sat, that should be fun, then Zweli 2 weeks after that and Bridget the week after. So Christmas is going to be great and New Years explosive. Will keep you posted on that.

Love always

Posted by THB 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

South Africans learn a lesson

semi-overcast 15 °C
View USA 2006/2007 & USA 2007 on THB's travel map.

Hi All,

Had a rather eventful weekend…

Kloppie arrived, everyone say hi Kloppie…

It was Perkel's birthday last week, so Kloppie hit the ground running as we went to Soho for some celebratory drinks at a South African watering-hole called Shebeen that night. Good martini's - don't know about it being a Shebeen though…

There was a lot of drinking on Sat, tried out a local pub for lunch and another in Manhattan before hitting the Shebeen. The pics are a bit lame, so left them out, to think as I took them I thought they looked great… Getting back home involved more trains being caught in the wrong direction - awesome at 3am in the dirty subways!

On Sunday, we woke up to a fire alarm in our building… being South African we were very un-fased by it and actually mistook it for a malfunction. We peered in the corridor and saw a few people asking what the problem was, then decided to go back inside and ignore it and made coffee - we were out til late the night before, understand? For some strange reason, I then decided to look outside again, and realised that people were actually evacuating the building - so we decided it must be a fire drill - you know, Americans and their drills - like in the movies… So we refilled our coffee mugs, put on sweaters - not taking it very seriously… and out we went… Shortly after we got outside, about 4 or 5 fire trucks arrived a few minutes apart - and hey, we realised that it might actually not be a drill… more and more people vacated the building carrying bags, well dressed in coats and scarves, pets safely in their little pet carrier things and there was me and Kloppie with coffee mugs… Clearly, these people were prepared and had an evacuation strategy… At least Kloppie had his wallet. Both our passports were in the apartment and well, I had my smokes and phone - so I was fine right? I think the coffee mugs gave it away that we didn't think it was for real… but there was actually an apartment on fire… Our quiet street was all of a sudden buzzing with activity as passers-by stopped to marvel at the commotion - there was even a bit of yellow tape to keep people from the entrance to our building…

The pics below are of the first fire truck to arrive when we started realising that the fire alarm could be making a #%* noise for a good reason… decided it would not be good form to take pics after that...

The New Jersey firefighters did a splendid job and saved the building else me and Kloppie would have been in a tight… We could even smell the smoke when we re-entered the building… Lesson learned: things don’t just malfunction here - a fire alarm means there is a fire, and yes, we now have an evacuation plan… and it does not include coffee and smokes…

What a joke… :)

Posted by THB 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

The Eagle has landed

sunny 13 °C
View USA 2006/2007 & USA 2007 on THB's travel map.

Hi Guys,

Yes, I have hit the Big Apple. I've been here for 4 days and what an experience it has been. Got here on Sat morning (lunchtime for y'all), had some drama with getting my keys - not ideal after a 18hrs flight - but it all got resolved…

Moved into, what others would call a pimp-pad, others lifestyle - I call it home… I live in Dudley Str Jersey City which is awesome. I am literally 1 subway stop from Manhattan J. The first thing I noticed in Jersey City - everyone has a dog and it’s the coolest most in-thing to walk it. So cool that I was considering getting one just so I fit in until I realised that you have to clean-up after chi-chi has done a doo-doo, so no thanks, chi-chi can stay in SA thank you very much!

On Sun, I decided it would be a good idea to go find the office - had to report there at 8h30 Monday morning - never mind that Monday was a public holiday - you know how it is at the green dot? Anyways, with maps safely in my bag (coz you can't go wandering around looking lost/like a tourist) I confidently braved the quiet streets of Jersey City to find the Path Station (subway between JC and Manhattan). It wasn't too difficult, but I was extremely proud of myself, paid the $1.50 and went in. Now, I knew that the World Trade Centre (my stop) was just one stop away - but being so overwhelmed with pride, I caught the first train to stop - needless to say it was traveling in the opposite direction :)

I flew in with Brent - which was great, have met with Selaelo and will be meeting Danita and Andrea soon, which is awesome (for those who don't know, they were Deloitte 3rd yrs last yr and are now working in NYC). I can't really say I have seen much - obviously it’s only been like 4 days but so far so good. Everything is bigger though - dunno about better, I'll let you know as I get to know the place better.

Internet shopping is the in thing - like who walks into shops hello - competition is huge, so even when shopping they encourage you to compare prices,
internet wireless connection is everywhere - the cafeteria at 2WFC (where Deloitte offices are) makes the canteen at Nedbank look like child's play;
you don't just walk into Deloitte and find a an empty spot with a free internet cable then sit there, you pre-book a cubicle in advance. Then you log yourself in and your personal extension gets directed to where you are sitting - that's why everyone here has a direct line… larney...

Oh, the WFC where Deloitte offices are is right across the road from Ground Zero. Actually, my subway stop WTC is right there then I cross the road to get to our offices…

Oh, my clients: I am working in the Investment Management group within FSI (FIST), so I have Private Equity clients which is BRILL! My main client is on Manhattan Island (I believe near Central Park) I have interim audit now and final from Jan. I'll be working on a brand new fund on my own - dunno if that's good or bad, and my other client (planned in Nov & Dec) is around the corner from my (oops OUR) apartment which is great. That one has a huge team though with 3 snrs including me, so I am hoping to pull an AFBANK 2006 stunt and stay under the radar : work like a 2nd yr… wish me luck…

The pics included are a bit random - I was feeling skaam of being all touristy, but I am over it now and will take proper ones over the weekend and send you the link to my e-album.

Cool oakies, keep hope alive. The grass does seem greener on the other side… but again, I have only been here 4 days...

I know some of you guys will be going on leave soon - if I don't get to say all the good stuff before you leave - I'll be thinking of you…

Posted by THB 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 5) Page [1]