This time last week I was in a New York ER having a panic about one of our students who had taken a really nasty tumble on the ice in Central Park..... 22 overseas trips all over the world and it is New York that sees me accompanying a student to hospital with a serious injury! I have to say though, if you are going to break your leg in 4 places, do it in New York - but make sure that you have great insurance - it makes one hell of a difference! The moment I saw this little crumpled figure on the ice I knew he was one of ours (45 students and only one broken one - not so bad!) - I wasn't really prepared though for the fact that he could be so badly broken and in so much pain - maybe the fact that I am now a Mum amplified my reactions, but it was so incredibly painful to witness. Alex, the chap in question was a complete star about it all however, aside from some impressively blue language and ear splitting screaming, he dealt with the situation with incredible composure and good humour. I really hope that Noah is able to conduct himself so well if he were ever to be in such a situation.Of course, I really hope he isn't though! I think I probably did Alex's head in on occasion - but you can't help but fuss can you? The guys on the ice rink were awesome, I think if they hadn't been so on it Alex may well have had to have surgery, but fortunately, following a number of painful x-rays it was decided that a splinting cast would suffice enough to deliver him home and let his own doctors decide his legs fate! I have to say that I was very glad to deliver the news to his Mum that he would be avoiding surgery in the US - the thought of her sitting at home waiting for that to happen was a bit too much! I am pleased to report that despite a days delay for our flight, we did get him back to Mum safely!
New York was amazing though and thankfully Alex had already had a good few days to explore - which was something of a comfort! He took the whole hospital experience in his stride and I think he quite liked to be fussed around a bit - the staff right from the get go were amazing - funny, professional and reassuring. I also have to admit that on a very selfish level the drama of the ambulance and the ER was pretty exciting! I almost passed out when the nurse said that Doctor Greene, the attending, would be in shortly - Ivan said it was embarrassing!!! You all know how addicted I was to ER yeah?! Sadly though, despite being terribly charming, he was no Anthony Edwards!!! The hospital we were in was awesome, huge, state of the art and very right on - The nurses on Alex's ward were a real set of dames and I enjoyed sitting in their station with them having my voice cooed over and discussing Downton Abbey!! What is also very evident is that America really understands "customer service" I am not sure we would have had such a smooth ride in a British A&E sadly....... Our hotel was also extremely accommodating - ensuring that Alex had free wifi etc on his return prior to his flight the next night!
Here is what else we got up to....
First - the hotel - OMG, never have we stayed in a place in New York that didn't resemble a prison - the Milford Plaza was a sight for sore eyes, I can tell you! Newly refurbished I cannot recommend it highly enough! Instead of tears of despair we got whoops of joy!!
Err yeah, freebies in the bathrooms! I know you think I am mad, and that this is all very normal, but when you are a lecturer travelling with students who are of course on a budget, this NEVER happens!!
On the first day we checked out Times Square and all the tacky gift shops before heading up the Empire State Building - The views were brilliant, especially as we had touched down earlier that day in the rain!
More M&Ms than you can shake a stick at!
The view from our bedroom window!
The New Yorkers spell it out for you - these signs could often be seen outside their schools - good point....
Moma - just to prove that we did see some art!!
We do love a Rauschenberg!!
Almost as much as I love a Jasper Johns!
Or a Cornell
Err, or a Pollock!!!!
Paul checking things out - see - he went too!
HUGE bubbles in Central park
Good music too
Oh yeah - then there was the standing around in the cold like a plank watching some fool climb a few rocks - do I look impressed????
Even this squirrel was bored......
Everything in New York is huge including these dolls at Bottega Veneta - the photo of me with them was horrible - but you can see how big they were by the reflections of us in the glass - HUGE!
The best thing ever - a diner where the staff serve and sing at the same time - I really thought I had died and gone to heaven!! All the patrons tips go towards their singing lessons etc - last year apparently 15 waiters and waitresses made their Broadway debut - our waitress below was sooooo good!
I can't say though that I enjoyed Wicked quite so much - the performers were brilliant but most of the songs and the storyline left me cold - the students mostly went mental over it though - and I suppose that's what counts!!!
I do love Grand Central Station - although you wouldn't tell from the photo below where I am doing a very believable "unimpressed chip monk" impression!
Despite missing any new snow there was plenty still in evidence - there must have been tons given that this was a good 5 days after the last big dump! Day three was spent at the Met - My favourite of all the New York galleries - it has everything! I could spend hours in the Egyptian section - but this time it was the William Kentridge installation in the 20th Century galleries which really blew me away.....Seeing the live art class was also really interesting although I would never have chosen to reproduce the canvases they had - Oh God I hate Renoir!
This cat was so cool - and clearly tone deaf as it hadn't done the runner and it's partner in crime really wasn't a natural on the keyboards - maybe the cat was the mastermind behind the operation and the show was purely for the feline population! Aww - look at the cute human that is trying so hard to make music!!!
And then the drama started - but not before we had this snap taken!
So here we go! Not bad in terms of a paramedic huh????
With Alex all tucked up at the hospital we had to carry on with the rest of the group - I am only including one shot of the Guggenheim as I was so angered by the Futurist exhibition that was on I don't believe it deserves any blog space!
The hard Rock cafe was also a major disappointment - especially as Ashliegh's Mum had organised a surprise cake for her and the place couldn't get itself together enough to actually get it out before most of the group had departed - it turned out too that it was frosted with ICE CREAM - I cannot describe the mess that was their hotel room post meltdown!!!!
The best thing about this particular night though happened to Amy, who quite by accident had a rather magical encounter with Zack Braff of scrubs fame who is currently on Broadway in Bullets over Broadway - I really don't think she could have been any more excited by anything!!!! He insisted on the selfie btw!
There might have been a cocktail or two at the Vinyl bar - a place very well selected by Georgie - we fell in love with these mini popstar shrines on the walls and in the loos!
It had to be done - back to Stardust for breakfast! They sing allllllll day!
We saw this on the way to the hospital - just like Alton College huh??!!!!
A trip to city hall for Ivan (Mr Bicknell) supplies presented us with an impromptu show! I could have looked at those bodies all day, sadly Ivan (Mr Bicknell) needed a new pair of shoes though!
This is Patagonia (the one on the left) - the feline who runs the show at tent and trails - Ivan's (Mr Bicknell's) favourite retail outlet in NYC - if you are at all outdoorsy then this is the place for you! Apparently he was too entranced to even focus on the camera......
Back to Times Square and upon leaving Alex safely tucked-up at the hotel following his release from hospital with a pizza, wifi, a moblie and a huge amount of M&Ms we ventured out half a block away to a bit of an indulgent evening - Birdland - awesome Jazz and far too much food!
At last! clearance from BA to fly the invalid home - the rest of the group had already departed - so a quick run back to Grand Central to indulge in the food market (the students go mad for clothes - I get over excited by food!) and to pick up some new Converse - I live in these babies!
Crazy music man in soho!
So - a stretch limo to the airport anyone? Alex looking very relaxed and in his element, me looking. well, err, just looking really!
The club class lounge - oh yeah baby, we all flew home in style! Another Glass of champagne? Well, I don't mind if I do..... Ivan (Mr Bicknell) didn't get upgraded by the insurance company, but the cabin crew took pity!!! Thank God.........
The best bit about the trip? Coming home to a very over excited little boy who was just so pleased to see us! Thanks to my amazing Mum and Dad for taking such good care of him - he loves you two just as much as us you know! XXX