So here we are in New York! My computer clock tells me that it’s 1.19pm in London, but over here it’s only just past 8am, so we’re only just up! I’m not feeling particularly well. Yesterday, I couldn’t stop sneezing; huge surreal, debilitating sneezes, which seemed to come from nowhere and certainly weren't the most thrilling thing to have to endure on a flight; particularly one that seems to last an eternity!
We arrived in Newark and were immediately hit by the unbelievable levels of humidity in the air. I suspect this must be how it feels like to live somewhere like Hong Kong but having never been anywhere like that, I was utterly horrified! As we journeyed towards New York, the situation got worse and worse. At Penn Station, uniformed staff were just dripping with sweat. One poor woman was standing by some ticket barriers complaining bitterly that the noise they were making would end up giving her tinnitus, whilst the makeup skated off her face like ice cream on the outside of an oven. She’d obviously gone into melt down and I sympathised enormously with her. There was a moment when I just wanted to give up and sit on the ground whilst the rush hour New Yorkers swam past me. I think I would have simply melted into the sidewalk.
When we arrived at Christopher’s on the Upper West Side, Frank told us he’d never known anything like it and that the weather certainly wasn’t typical for this time of year, or any time of year in New York, and that no one had any idea why it had suddenly got so humid. We went for supper at Tom’s Diner, our favourite cafe in this part of town. Tom’s enormous Neon sign, or the word “Restaurant” therefrom is featured in Seinfeld as a cutaway to establish the coffee shop in that show. By the time we’d got back out, a scorching wind was tumbling down Broadway, rattling windows and causing the marquees outside shops to billow spectacularly.
We’ve woken up this morning to the most ridiculous amount of rain. New York is no fun at all in the rain, so we might have to find a little cafe to station ourselves in whilst we watch the world passing by. Perhaps I should try and find myself a massage. My back aches from all of yesterday’s sneezing. That said, this will need to be the lowest budget of all lowest budget holidays.
Monday October 1st 1600, and Pepys started the day doing work for Montagu. He had his dinner back at home and was joined by his father. They went upstairs to look at the bedrooms, and talked about what might work in terms of hangings. The plastering had been finished and the painters were poised to move in, so the time had nearly come for the soft furnishings. In the afternoon there was much drinking at the Mitre. Pepys returned to his house to watch over the workmen and went to bed slightly worried; “My laying out upon my house in furniture are so great that I fear I shall not be able to go through them without