JFK, on the way home

I'm sat here waiting for the plane to board in about 40 minutes. The traffic getting out of Manhattan was crazy, the shuttle bus took almost 2 hours (although it did have to do a couple of hotel stops along the way). I thought the concierge was being overly cautious when I booked yesterday but obviously that's about the normal at this time of day.

Apparently the plane is half empty again so I get two seats to myself, it will allow me to spread out and maybe get some sleep on the flight. In theory I land at Stansted at 07:00 so should be home before 09:00 but given the time of day I would guess I'll hit some traffic, and I'm not in any hurry. So I'll see you tomorrow.

New York (Day 3)

I decided to try and get into the Apple Store for the sit down with JJ Abrams, so it seemed did about 300 other people, luckily I got there with plenty of time and so managed to get a seat. It was a really good hour of discussion about Mission Impossible 3 (which he directed), Lost and Alias. I'd not been to anything similar in the past but he was so enthusiastic about film making and Apple technology (it was in the Apple store after all) that it reminded me of some of the Lotus geeks presenting at Lotusphere. Just that infectiousness of enjoying your job. An excellent decision to go in the end.

After that session I headed back up towards Central Park and just wandered around again, the weather has just been superb over the last couple of weeks (I haven't seen any rain since Salt Lake City), so I've been trying to make the most of it for my last full day in the US. My plane is tomorrow evening so I have to head off to JFK at about 2pm. A nice and leisurely morning is called for, get some breakfast, maybe go back to Central Park and then get on the road until Thursday morning.

New York (Day 2)

I always forget how much I enjoy being in New York, there's always something to do even if it's just sit and watch everyone rushing about their business while you have a cup of tea. I headed up the Empire State Building this morning as I haven't done it for years and years. Always a cracking view, especially today with the beautiful weather and great visibility.

From there it was a slow amble down towards Prince Street (in SoHo) and the Apple store to pick up a few things for people back home. It's far and away the best nerdy store I've ever been in, they have a small theatre area upstairs where they do presentations about how to use Apple software, over an hour spent just looking around. In fact tomorrow as part of the Tribeca Film Festival JJ Abrams is doing a session so I may well head down there again. I managed to hold myself back from buying anything. Now that the 17" Macbook Pro has been released I know what I want next :o)

Talking of theatres I tried to get a ticket to Spamalot (what can I say I'm a Python geek as well as a Lotus geek). There are loads of tickets free but the brokers won't break up pairs of them so the cheapest I could find was over $150 which is just stupid money for a two hour show. I'll see it in London instead.

New York (again)

No posts for a few days, it was just a lot of driving, a few nice bars / restaurants in the evenings but not much besides.

Today I drove from Harrisburg, PA back to JFK. I decided that I might as well drive through Manhattan on the way which was certainly an experience. I have a greatly increased respect for the New York cabbies, trying to keep an eye on everything even on a "quiet" Sunday afternoon is difficult, it must be a nightmare during the week.

I dropped the car off at the airport and then caught a shuttle bus back into the city to my hotel for the last three nights of my trip, I'm in the Holiday Inn on 57th Street. Normally I'd stay closer to Times Square but thought I'd try out a new location. The hotel is basic but comparatively good value at just $120 a night and like nearly all the hotels I've stayed in over the last few weeks has free wireless internet. The UK really needs to catch up with the US on this and stop milking the £10 per night internet like most hotels currently do.

So I have a couple of days to chill out and enjoy New York in the spring time. Should be good fun, no doubt I'll post some photos later in the week.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention a slightly odd thing I noticed coming back in to Manhattan on the Van Wyck Expressway, a proper cricket match going on. There was a crease marked out and the teams were in proper whites with the batsmen wearing pads and everything. I didn't know people had heard of cricket over here, let alone managed to get hold of the kit and a pitch. Very impressive.

Detroit, Michigan

There was a first for me on the drive from Chicago to Detroit this morning. The GPS got lost, I think given the challenges though it's fair enough. My hotel in Chicago was Club Quarters on East Wacker, for those of you who don't know the area, Wacker is a big loop of a road which, to make things more complicated seems to have 2 or even 3 levels, so there's a Lower East Wacker and an Upper East Wacker. Of course the Lower road is under cover so the GPS couldn't see the sky to get a fix, every so often it would leap into life and tell me to turn left when all there was was a big concrete wall. In the end I just took a punt and ended up on Lake Shore Drive which I guessed was probably a good starting point, no tall buildings anyway. After that there were no problems. Still I'm glad I won't actually have to drive into Manhattan and find my way around there with all of the tall buildings to confuse the old GPS.

Yesterday the weather in Chicago was great, not hot but very sunny (in fact I got burnt for the first time this year while down at Navy Pier). The better weather made going up Sears Tower a great experience, the view was incredible. (That photo was very quickly stitched together from 3 images using Double Take, not bad for about 2 minutes playing, I'm sure it could be made a lot better with time but I'm busy, busy).

The rest of the drive today was very easy, I'm only in Detroit overnight and unfortunately have a little work to do so not sure if I'll actually get to see anything, but we'll see how things go. Now to try and re-engage the old brain.... kerchunk. No it's going to take a little time.