This was my 3rd trip to NY, but the 1st one for the friend I was with.
Let me state first that it doesn't really matter where I'm heading for holiday's, I DO NOT SLEEP WELL THE NIGHT BEFORE. No exception this time... So, tired but excited I woke up to pick up my friend. My wife and kids brought us to our local trainstation to head for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. This was going to be my first experience with KLM, so was really curious about this airline. My first 2 trips to the USA I went with Swiss Air and United Airlines. I reserved 2 seats in the very back of the plane, so we could turn our chair back without bothering anyone. We had a flawless flight and I have to admit, the service KLM provided was beyond expectations, (relatively) good food, free wine & beers as much as you like (which we did :) and very attentive staff, they even remembered to get sweeteners for my friends coffee after 5 hours.
Arrived as scheduled at JFK around 4.30pm, the line at customs was huge! I think it took more than one and a half hour! Cannot really remember how long it took the first time I went through JFK, but definitely not this long! My second trip I had to change flights in Washington Dulles, so customs in EWR wasn't necessary anymore. Anyway, after customs and taking the airtrain to Jamaica Station, we took the J train to our first hotel: Holiday Inn Lower East Side. One of the reasons I keep coming back to town is the first WOWBOOM I get as soon as I 1. exit the subwaystation (when coming in by train from JFK) 2. drive out of the Lincoln Tunnel (when taking a cab from EWR to Midtown) 188.8.131.52.7 & 8 etc....still to experience in the future, but can imagine lots of WOWBOOMS to come. So when we exited the Essex Street station, I knew instantly this were going to be 2 memorable weeks.
Check in went smooth. Despite being tired, after a quick shower I went directly to the 711 around the corner to get some drinks & snacks back to the room. After some (more) beers we went out to get some dinner. After some wandering through the neighbourhood we ate some very good tacos & enchadillas in a small (take out) place I cannot remember the name of. (remember it was near Hell's Angels Place Lower East Side). After this we walked back to the hotel to get some sleep...
My first impression of the neighbourhood was good. Vibrant, great restaurant- and bar scene with lots of things to see and explore. The only thing was I couldn't find my way back to the hotel blindly! (explicable...)
(GEE, I cannot promise that I can complete this report for the full 14 days, but I will do my best to do so in the next days!)