Do I have no conscience?

The Gates, taken today at Central Park

View over the great lawn, notice the frozen lake?

Well the answer to that is, no.
Landed at JFK International Airport this morning at 1030am local time, after the usual kerfuffle at the airport getting through passport control (can you believe that you now have to have your photograph and fingerprints taken to gain access to the United States, even from friendly nations?) we proceeded to find a taxi to take us to our hotel on the upper east side of Manhattan.

When we go there, about 1 in the afternoon, the rooms weren’t ready until 3pm. Fabulous, so after a 3 hour car journey, 7 1/2 hour flight and 45 minute (including traffic on the expressway) cab journey we were forced to roam the streets of New York.

We decided to make the first port of call to be Central Park, I read on the weekend that a parkwide art exhibition had been unveiled on Saturday called “The Gates”. The reports I found on Gothamist and the NY Times made me quite excited to be able to go there as it really is very monumental and is only going to be there for two weeks after the unveiling.

Basically, artists (and married couple) Christo and Jean-Claudde have erected around 7,500 “Gates” lining all 23 miles of pathway that Central Park has. The gates are approx 8 foot orange plastic frames with orange curtain looking fabric hanging down from the middle.
It’s rather odd, very modern and could easily be underappreciated, but I think it gives the park a really great look, even if it is only temporary as Central Park is very beautiful in its own right.

But anyways, after we walked the 17 blocks back to the hotel (for some unknown reason we decided to walk as far as we possibly could through as many gates as we could before tiring) down Madison Avenue, I setup the laptop in the hotel room, only to find that the wifi access that is available here is actually chargeable, $35 for a weeks access to be precise (approx £27 or so). Sod that.

After doing a short, easy search I discovered that (or at least I assume) somebody in the apartment block across the road has setup wireless internet with a router (like I have at my house) but has left the connection unsecured. So with the greatest of ease anybody can just piggyback onto the highspeed connection free of charge and almost totally untraceable back to me too (as long as I only browse the web they shouldn’t even notice any speed degredation), so anyways, I now get to update my site frequently throughout the 7 days that I’m going to be here with pictures etc. Excellent, better than making one simple abridged post when I get back.

Dinner will be eaten tonight at the “Penthouse” on the 21st floor here at the hotel, I haven’t been up there yet but from what I’ve been told the view from the balconies up there is absolutely phenomenal and can see across the whole city and Queens too (the hotel I’m staying that is right on the Queenborough bridge and East River).


  1. Not meaning to sound un-cultured, but why is Central Park covered in orange flag things?

    Get some Pulitzer winning night shots from tall restaurant windows (incl. some of the cool restaurant interior) while you’re there… and steal sick bags from the plane!! (those things are INCREDIBLY useful)

    Anyhoo, it’s 1am here and I’m guessing about 5pm there and I’m off to Brecon in the morning, so have a fun time!

    ~ Dan

  2. Hey Nate, I wrote you an email asking you when you were going, hah, oh well, you’re there. I’m glad you got to see the gates, by the time I get there next month they’ll be gone. Anyway, I have some stuff to recommend for you to see/do up there. Call me? ttyl.

Leave a Comment.