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Thursday, November 10, 2016

New York, New York

October 2016

There are places in this world where even if I return alone, I will always be accompanied by wonderful memories with friends and good colleagues. New York is definitely one of that places. It's a love relationship since I was there for the first time in 2006 - I mean love at first sight!

This flight to New York/JFK was the perfect way to end a wonderful month flying to: Miami, Boston, Luanda and Caracas. It was also an opportunity for two first times: first time landing at JFK Airport and first time flying on tail number CS-TOT (Yay! I have now all 63 aircraft of our fleet in my logbook).

However, when we landed, we faced awful weather with lots of rain. Things didn't look very promising for this layover...

As I walked out of the airport terminal, I was surprised with the view of the old TWA terminal, decomissioned for a long time. Suddenly my mind was transported back to the golden old days of the Jet Age. I only experienced a little bit of it in the early 80s when that aura was already fading.

JFK Airport - TWA Terminal

The building is officialy a New York's landmark and you can read about its history here. It looks like it will be transformed into a hotel although things inside still looked untouched.

And so we went to our hotel located in the center of Manhattan - Times Square! Is it possible to ask for a better location? I don't think so... Crews flying to Newark Libery Airport stay in Newark and the facility of having a PATH station right in front of the hotel was already appreciated but you just can't beat this! A view from my room:

Times Square

The next day I woke up early and had breakfast with some fellow colleagues at Junior's Restaurant. Although we were not looking for a brunch, the amount of food served made it look like one. Considering the kilometers we did later, I think it ended up to be the right amount of fuel for that day!

And guess what... despite the temperature was not ideal for us, it was a wonderful day with clear blue sky! Although the weather was inviting, I was really surprised that the colleagues that were with me didn't mind to walk all the way down to the World Trade Center site. I love to walk (it's my favorite way to know places) but people usually find more than 2 km, a loooooong and unacceptable distance. I believe the distance we were about to cover was the triple of that! I was also surprised with the fact that my colleagues were a little bit disoriented in New York and completely relied on me as a guide to them. I'm no New York expert but for sure I tried to absorb the maximum I could from the city the few times I visited it before.

And so we were walking down most of the Brodway until it met the 5th Avenue that led us to the Washington Square Park where we contemplated its marble arch.

-o0o-
Lower Manhattan

As we approached Lower Manhattan through West Broadway the impressive sight of 56 Leonard skyscraper caught our attention.

56 Leonard

And then we visited the new Transportation Hub of the World Trade Center, designed by Santiago Calatrava, dubbed the Oculus. There is also a new Apple Store inside this hub - yep, I'm an Apple fan...

Very, very beautiful inside!

Another panorama

The elevated Liberty Park was also recently opened. Although I don't find it particularly interesting it is one more step done in the reconstruction of the WTC site.

World Financial Center

View from the Liberty Park

Because the sunny day was really inviting, we kept walking just until we reach the Battery Park where we enjoyed the sun and saw the Liberty Statue from there.

View of the Liberty Statue

And of course, with such a nice weather, I suggested going to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was my second time doing that!

Brooklyn Bridge

Lower Manhattan

After that, we were really hungry and desperate to have lunch. We proceeded to the East Village (after passing through China Town and Little Italy) where we found the famous indian Milon restaurant, where you can enjoy your meal inside a place with a very curious decoration and atmosphere.

Milon Restaurant

We found Portugal!

Completely exhausted after our long but productive walk, we took a cab on our way back to the hotel. I took a nap and soon it was time to return to our home base, flying again on CS-TOT A330:

Premium Economy

Economy Class

It was a pitty we had to leave that night because everybody was celebrating the Halloween... It would have been fun to fully enjoy it!

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