Evacuated from the UN‏

Oh my God I just got caught in another thunder storm. It was the craziest one yet. The lightening was so loud. I thought the earth was going to crack open.

I think the best way to describe the weather is that it’s like Darwin in the wet season.

I had just finished a 3 hour cruise around the island. At the start it was hot and sunny and we were putting sunscreen on, but it started to cloud over towards the end, and we could see lightening in the distance. The storm hit just as we pulled into the pier.

The cruise itself was really good. You got to see another side of New York.

I also tried to do a tour of the UN today. I got through all the security and was second in the line to purchase a tour ticket when the fire alarms went off and everyone was evacuated from the building. It was chaos. Stood around for a while to see if they would let us back in, but there was lots of security around.  So I gave up on that and went and saw Grand Central station and bought an ice-cream instead.

Yesterday I just wandered around Chelsea.  I went down to Chelsea Piers where they have a driving range. You basically hit the balls towards the water, but there’s all this netting around to stop them going into the water. The range is four levels high. It’s amazing how people adapt to no space.

I caught up with Jenelle (a librarian from Australia who is Nadine’s best friend) and her husband Bill for dinner yesterday. It was great seeing them both. Last time I caught up with them was at their engagement party last year.

Some more comments about New York:

– Did you know that they have no unemployment benefits like our dole? Instead they have temp. unemployment insurance. In New York this lasts for 86 weeks (it has just increased), after that you get nothing. Which would be okay if you didn’t have the long term unemployment issue that’s here in the US.

– And good news New York does have a recycling program. Paper goes in clear garbage bags, plastic in blue garbage bags and rubbish in black garbage bags. There’s not a lot of recycling bags.

– Amazed at how well people treat those begging. There’s not a lot of it,to be honest I would see more in Melbourne. But in Australia everyone ducks their head and says “sorry mate”. Here everyone gives money. Big money too. Not just $1 bills.

– Also amazed at how polite people are on public transport. They are much more likely to give their seats up.

– Dad have you heard about air rights in New York? They don’t only sell land they also sell air rights.

– And Leanne did you find all the wooden water tanks on top of the building amusing?

That’s it from me.  I think it will be fine tomorrow so I’m going to check out Central Park.

Lots of love
Alison

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