Friday pm, 14 Nov 2008. I’ve just arrived from Kuala Lumpur on a Cathay Pacific flight en route to New York.
Boarding call for flight CX840 has just been made and I find my way to spacious Gate 1 at Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok Airport. It’s a flagship Cathay Pacific service - nonstop to New York JFK.
Our transport for the day, Boeing 777-300ER (reg. B-KPC), departs on the dot at 5.35pm HKG time. It’s a 16-hour flight to New York JFK.
The economy class cabin is both well-appointed and pleasing. Very comfy seats with ample leg room too.
A larg-ish LCD is going to be a loyal companion on this long journey.
Pull down the tray, and hey, there’s unlimited juice for all your gadgets!
For food lovers, the Muslim meal version is tasty and filling. Two servings on this long flight are more than enough.
LCD in the dark, note the green light of the power point. The route is not a polar one, but goes south of Japan, then left turn into Alaska before crossing Canada for New York City. How disappointing, I was expecting to be over the North Pole.
My own GPS shows a high speed of 1031km/h, just south of Japan’s Shikoku Island - must be due to good tailwind.
In central Canada, the thick clouds hover over cold Lake Winnipeg.
Looking northeast high above Canada and I see the moon rising. Pretty surreal.
After a tiring 15.5hr flight, I am anxious to get out of Long Island in the GPS-guided rental car, to find lodging in neighbouring New Jersey. Who ain’t?
Saturday, 15 Nov 2008
Interesting Newburgh historical site.
I did not realise there were also Germans here. The US of A could have easily been a territory of the French, Germans, or Dutch.
From Newburgh northwards, the interstate highway becomes a closed toll system, all the way to Buffalo at $15.00, where Niagara Falls are.
The top of the ticket says Woodbury, where there is a huge complex of branded goods’ outlets presented in a village set up, called Woodbury Common Premium Outlets - indeed a famous shopper’s paradise.
Monday, 17 Nov 2008
Tuesday, 18 Nov 2008
Today’s my 3rd day in Albany and a sub-zero morning looks gorgeous as the sun rises.
But come lunch time, more snow …
… which gets heavier.
But smokers still need to puff.
From my room at the Marriott, no more pretty sunrise.
The snowing stops, but it’s still very cold …
… but it’s very cosy in the hotel lobby as I check out.
A drive past Albany airport’s Runway 01, and I guess this is the closest I ever get to spotting planes here.
Soon we are cruising downtown Albany for a Pakistani restaurant for dinner, thanks to the GPS.
Downtown, and Townsend Park is where we stop …
… with its war memorial.
What a wonderful sight for cold, hungry travellers like us.
Cosy, warm interior looking out at the freezing cityscape.
And so our quest ends.
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008
I leave Albany today, and take another look at the Townsend Park memorial. Being a world power has its drawback -its citizens getting killed in faraway lands.
Some of the 36 awesome Corinthian columns of the NY State Education Dept building.
Facing a major T-junction, the Albany City Hall was built 1883, obviously with no fengshui master to advise.
Nearby, the NY State Capitol, completed 1899, obviously inspired by Paris City Hall - Hôtel de Ville.
A patrol car tries to get close.
Past downtown Albany, I head for nearby Troy, site of a famous (engineering) college.
Entering Troy, I discover this is Uncle Sam’s home, but I’m here for the famous RPI.
Yes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824 for the ‘application of science to the common purposes of life’, the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world. A fine American institution, no doubt.
A truly all-American engineering school, with an interesting exam conflict resolution scheme - I think they should have just tossed the coin right at Step 1, rather than as the last resort.
In the crisp freezing dusk air, the RPI Quad looks majestic.
Yes, Rensselaer - One Word Changes Everything.
> TO BE CONTINUED