With two days already lost in New York due to the rescheduling of flights and illness, today was supposed to be my last day here. Upon opening an email this morning I experienced a bit of good fortune. Norwegian Airlines informed me that tomorrow’s flight to Oslo had been delayed until Friday morning. As well as being cheap this flight would have given me a whistle-stop tour of northern Europe with layovers providing a day in Oslo, a day in Copenhagen and a day and a half in Amsterdam before finally arriving in Luton on Monday. However the delay to the first flight messed up all of the connections. The daytime layovers in Oslo and Copenhagen would have become overnight stops, so visiting these places was now almost pointless. I looked into alternative options and found an Avios airmiles redemption as a direct flight to London on Friday night. Norwegian Airlines agreed to refund the flight without too much hassle. Although the new flight was a bit more expensive it had the advantages of being direct and with British Airways, rather than the budget Norwegian Airlines. Hence you got stuff like meals, drinks and films. Perhaps the best part of the new arrangement was that I got another day and a half to spend in New York.
After using up most of the morning changing the flights, as well as cancelling and re-booking accommodation, I headed off out for the day. If you turn right from the hostel, within about five minutes of walking, you’re on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. After another mile and a half you’re at the bottom of Central Park. I’ve been to Central Park quite a few times before but it’s still amazing how you can walk 2 minutes away from an incredibly hectic street and find yourself in a quiet and relaxed sanctuary. It’s also a great place for photographing the surrounding building from a nice distance, without a constant flow of pedestrians or traffic getting in the way. Not far from the lower side of the park is a building that seems to be getting a fair bit of publicity at the moment, Trump Tower. For obvious reasons there was a huge security setup in the vicinity with bollards, barricades and police everywhere. I’m sure that the adjoining Tiffany and Gucci shops must be delighted!
After being ill on Monday night, tonight I finally got to a Brooklyn Nets game. While the Nets are another recently moved franchise, they have always been based in the New York area so it’s perhaps that’s forgivable. Also the black kit with Brooklyn written across the front is undoubtedly cool. The tactic of waiting until kick off (or tip-off) to get a ticket came up trumps tonight. $15 secured a seat on the fourth to back row. At least with basketball you can’t really miss much by arriving a few minutes late. The new-ish Barclays Arena is huge. It has a similar capacity to the arena in New Jersey where I was last night but this place seemed much more spacious inside. The top tier isfairly steep, providing a decent view. Playing excessive music during a sporting event is a major personal bug bear and this seemed to go on a fair bit during the play. It was good to see Michael J Fox in crowd, as displayed on the big screen. Despite being about 5’6, he was an excellent basketball player in Teen Wolf! That was a proper old school hoops film, without the need for any of the irritating razzmatazz. Not long ago Miami Heat were NBA champions and the Nets were serious contenders. I would have expected this to have been a big game but when I looked at the current NBA standings it was genuinely surprising to see that they were the two worst teams in basketball. Logic perhaps suggested a low scoring game, although it could also mean that if both teams are poor defensively, so a high scoring game could be in order. The latter happened. For the first three quarters the Nets looked great, at least to the untrained eye. They led 89-71 going into the fourth quarter. Surely they couldn’t blow an 18 point lead? Clearly by the tone of the narrative, Brooklyn got overtaken in the last minute to lose 109-106! It was an enjoyable game though.