A Travellerspoint blog

Blowing the Budget

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View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

We've spent the last four months living on a shoestring. Seeking out every cheap deal, looking to spend as little as we could while still seeing all the sights we wanted to see. Now, on our last full day before flying back to the UK, we decided it was time to put that aside, to loosen the purse strings and hit the credit cards where it hurts.

After spending the morning shopping for souvenirs, we headed to a matinee performance of Broadway's longest-running show ever - the Phantom of the Opera. Even half price from the tkts booth the tickets were not cheap. We were sat next to three women of a certain age with proper New Yoik accents. They cackled throughout the performance and ripped it to shreds in the interval. We enjoyed it, anyway.

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We had dinner at Becco, an Italian restaurant founded in 1993 by Lidia Bastianich, whose books were on display as we waited for our table. A proper restaurant meal after so many Subways and McDonalds was very welcome. We followed pretty much everyone else in going for the all-you-can eat pasta - served at the table.

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We passed through Times Square on our way to the subway. Impressive by day, it was spectacular by night.

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Posted by shoestring 05:29 Archived in USA Tagged new york opera usa italian meal musical broadway phantom Comments (2)

On Liberty

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View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

Our day started early yesterday - we'd booked ourselves onto a 10am ferry to see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal.

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From the Liberty Island there are great views looking back to Manhattan.

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The ferry returned to New York via Ellis Island where, between 1892 and 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered the US. The Great Hall, now restored to how it would have appeared at the time, is where immigrants waited for interviews.

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Back in Manhattan, we took a stroll down Wall Street.

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There were particularly large numbers of people on the streets - many of the office blocks had been evacuated due to aftershocks from an earthquake in Virginia. We got to rub shoulders with some of the Masters of the Universe.

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Not far away is the World Trade Center. There was feverish activity all around the site as new buildings rise up from the ground and the memorial is readied for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 next month.

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One World Trade Center - originally known as the Freedom Tower - is currently at over half its eventual height. When complete it will be the tallest building in the US and the third tallest in the world.

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Posted by shoestring 06:12 Archived in USA Tagged street statue new york world usa center wall freedom liberty ground zero trade Comments (1)

So Good They Named It Twice

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View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

On our first full day in New York we wanted to get a good overview of the city. Where better than the Empire State Building?

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Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building is an art deco masterpiece, and the lobby reflects the era's style.

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As for the view - we'll let the photos do the talking.

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Posted by shoestring 11:12 Archived in USA Tagged new york building usa skyline state skyscrapers empire Comments (2)

Where's Wally? Part 6


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Wally has made it to his final destination, New York. See if you can find him in Times Square.

Posted by shoestring 17:04 Archived in USA Tagged square new york usa times wally Comments (6)

Hostel World

We're now on the home stretch and have made it to New York, with a few days to see the sights before our flight out of JFK on Thursday. The night before last was our final stay in a hostel.

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The Chamounix Mansion in Philadelphia was in a beautiful wooded location and was reasonably priced - just $20 per bed. Unfortunately those beds were among the most uncomfortable we've slept on. To mark our final hostel stay we've looked back at the last four months and picked out five of our favourites.

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HI Whalers on the Point Guesthouse, Tofino, Canada
A wonderful waterfront location was just one of this hostel's many positive features. Homey and welcoming with a well-equipped kitchen.

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Rock and Wood Hostel, Shanghai, China
Great bar/common area downstairs with a patio garden - plus the rooms weren't bad either. The free laundry was very welcome.

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HI Banff Alpine Centre Hostel, Canada
Another great Canadian hostel. Beautiful views, comfortable communal areas and spacious dorms.

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HI Bern, Switzerland
Clean, modern and oh-so-Swiss - plus the best buffet breakfast by a long way. A firm favourite.

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Khaosan Kyoto, Japan
Good common areas and a great location. A mix of the modern and traditional made for a relaxing and confortable stay.

Posted by shoestring 06:39 Tagged hostels america europe asia worldwide favourites Comments (0)

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