Wed 8 May - New York City, NY

After 1 week in New York City, we wake up to rain and later thunder and lighting too. The Weather Channel had forecasted it so we were not surprised. BTW, today also marks exactly 4 months since we arrived in the US.

Lazy morning, finally. We both needed it. New York City is truly full on. Here is Hans updating yesterday's blog from the comfort of the bed, with a cuppa.

After breakfast, we do some admin tasks including bookings of accommodation for later, and also research ice hockey tickets to Stanley Cup, ice hockey's play off for NHL. There is a website called StubHub, a sort of modern scalping site, that we had seen advertised. Some quick research and we found out that StubHub is owned by eBay, so we decided to give it a shot.
Not cheap, with a major markup, but we now have tickets for tonight's game between New York Rangers and Washington Capitols in Madison Square Garden. This is bucket list stuff for Hans... :-)
We had to print off the tickets and we don't have a printer, so we do a quick run to a New York Public Library around the corner on East Broadway and we have printed tickets.
Directly across the street from the library is a very popular Yum Cha restaurant (or Dim Sum as it is called in the US) called Golden Unicorn (Chinese restaurant names seem to almost always include the word Golden...).
The restaurant space is massive and occupies 4 floors as you can see below although some floors were not open today and they seemed to still clean up after functions from last night.

We arrive early before 11am as we had been advised that there will be long queues by midday even on weekdays. They were right. A few foodies there when we arrive, many many more when we left, and only three or four other Caucasians.

Di is happy...the food quality is a lot like home, with sticky rice in lotus leaf and some good steamed shrimp dumplings that we know and love, but call Prawn Gow Gee.

Hans is enjoying himself too...especially with the "special" chilli sauce.

Every Chinese restaurant seem to have a "boss lady". Most often she works in the restaurant, but not always. This lady in black to the left of the picture was apparently organising Dim Sum for enough punters to fill 4 tables, and she was going on and yapping and yelling... Like a fishwife as Di puts it.

"Lady in Black" thought nothing of yelling at staff at the other side of the restaurant and when we were choosing something from a cart she came to drag the cart away. Our server just rolled her eyes...

Yep, we felt right at home and laughed a lot.

After lunch, we went by a different grocery store to pick up a few items and the rain starts again (it had held up for about 2 hours). It was coming down good, Sydney good, and the narrow old streets of Chinatown got flooded in no time. Yep, we got a bit wet.

After a lazy hour or so at home, we take our dirty laundry across Henry Street to "O'Henry's" Laundromat, where washing is in full swing. Lots and lots of clothes in baskets and the usual chaos you would expect from these Chinese establishments. Fun, fun, fun... But we can't sit and watch a chaos as there is no space for chairs. Home again for tea while we wait. At 3pm, we pick up our washing, all washed and dried. All good.

After an early dinner at home around 5pm, we are on our way. To holy ground. Madison Square Garden for Stanley Cup NHL playoff between New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

Well, it looked like a lot of other icehockey fans were also on their way to MSG as it is shortened, including on open buses. To say that there was a party atmosphere outside the arena before the game would be an understatement.

After going through the mandatory controls, first bag check and absolutely no drinks or food can be brought into the arena, then full body metal scanning, we were in. We checked out what was on offer, but everything including fan merchandise was extraordinarily expensive. Fun to check it out though.

Same to you, lady...

A glass of beer inside Madison Square Garden is... $10.25. That is twice as much as any Manhattan bar. What do you do? Of course you have to have a beer at hockey...

And a hot dog, but here we shared one between us. For the beer, we did not...

This is the queue to the Men's facilities...

Now into the Madison Square Garden arena itself. Large, yes. We had excellent seats and we were a lot closer to the action than in Nashville.

Here are some various shots from the inside...

New York Rangers goalie is almost royalty here. His name is Henrik Lundquist and he is enormously popular judging by the number of fans wearing ice hockey jerseys with his name on it and the spectators reaction when he does a save. He is also known as "the king". And... He is Swedish too :-)
More photos from the action...

Two happy vegemites among the audience.

Well, the game finishes New York Rangers 4 and Washington Capitals 3. Lots of action, much faster and with more skillful players in Nashville against Calgary. Fun, fun, fun. For the second day in a row, our voices are coarse.

Easy to get home as our F-train stops at 34th Street / Herald Square which is one block away from Madison Square Garden. Quiet and uneventful trip home, no baddies in our Chinatown neighbourhood either and we are home after 11pm. Good night.


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