Americans understand breakfast. Every day we went to a nearby diner for a mountain of delicious pancakes. Each day we went the staff got chattier and by the end they brought us biscuits and talked with us (Dan) for twenty minutes about the Irish cricket team. It's called the Hudson Diner, on Hudson Street in Greenwich and if you're nearby you should go.
I didn't think much of the New York City Library. It didn't have any books in it. Well, it had a few tiny beautiful rooms of very specialist books (like genealogy and maps, which Dan read all of. He definitely just does this to annoy me) but mostly it was a big empty museum swarming with security guards. A totally wasted space if you ask me. That palatial lobby could easily house a giant Sci-Fi section.
What did not disappoint however was Grand Central Station. Another palatial building, but this time they had crammed as much into it as they possibly could. Trains, shops, cafes, something called the Genius Bar (I don't know what it is, but there were a lot of people on Apple Macs and a very large queue to get in. Whatever. I didn't want to go anyway.), many toilets (extremely important to the wandering tourist). I would have been much happier to give them an 'Optional Donation' than the damn New York City Library.
We looked at those shops you hear of, like Macy's, Bloomingdales and Barneys. Dan described them best. "It's like voluntarily going to the duty free part of the airport". We left shortly after.
But none of this mattered really, because what will always stand out in your mind is when your home flight is delayed by 6 hours in JFK due to bad weather. After about 4 of these hours, the Delta staff started bringing out free food. Not many people had noticed so I wandered up to get a fruit salad.
"Sorry, you'll have to wait until you're called," the lady stacking the fruit salads told me. OK I shrugged and stood back. A few moments later a man, unhappy with his airport delay, teetering on the edge of manic despair stormed up to the counter and snatched a fruit salad.
"Excuse me Sir, you can't have that yet we have to -"
He barked an expletive at the lady that generally implied he was already unhappy enough and would not be returning his fruit salad.
"But Sir, we need to see your boarding pass," she shouted after him. He was gone. But a horrible thought hit me. I didn't have my boarding pass. My boarding pass was with Dan on the other side of the travelator. I ran, faster than the wind, grabbed the boarding pass, veered back around the travalator but it was too late. The food service had opened and there was no less than 50 people now waiting. By the time I reached the top I had transcended anger and was simply a dejected slump of shoulders.
"May I please have a fruit salad?"
"Sorry miss, there are no fruit salads left."
If you've ever seen Office Space you'll understand how closely I related to Milton: