Day 4 – NYC and DC

Quotes of the day –

“There is all sorts of stuff which shouldn’t be there – it’s really gross” (Dr Manny, health expert on Fox 5 news, discussing bacterial colonisation of toothbrushes)

“Not everyone is convinced that pets should wear perfume” (Exclusive News Report, Fox 5 news)

“We’re all in this together. Literally.” (Amtrak Advertisement Poster)

“Great news folks, we’re 10 minutes early!” (Martin the train guard as we pull out of Baltimore…. with an empty train)

So the time has come to begin the train journey west. But first the NY Museum of Natural History 3 blocks up from our apartment.

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(This skeleton turns out to be a T Rex…I had misidentified it as the remains of Dick Cheney)

Before leaving from Penn Station, a quick look at the High Line – a botanical garden project using an abandoned subway line in mid town Manhattan.

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Contrary to popular belief back home, Americans do travel by rail – and they travel in style. The regional service from NY to DC takes three and a half hours. The equivalent journey in the UK would cost at least twice as much, with a significantly lower standard of service – mainly as a result of piecemeal privatisation in the mid 1990s. Many thanks to Martin, the conductor and the train crew…the journey to DC was superb.

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DC has a very different feel to Manhattan – first impressions are of laid back friendliness. After negotiating the accessible bus network, time to follow in the footsteps of Barak Obama – and purchase a chili half smoke, from Ben’s chili bowl opposite U street metro station – awesome!

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Love to all,

Mike x

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