New York for ABGT 100 – Day 1

We awoke at 3:50am this morning for our 6:01am JetBlue flight to JFK.  We attempted to grab a car2go near JT’s office, but we never found one that seemed to be parked on the greenbelt and another one listed was actually having technical problems when we attempted to claim it.  We decided to just drive to the airport and park in the $7/day parking.

JT had never been on JetBlue before! He was impressed with the legroom, although we both slept most of the flight.  Our plane was an Airbus A320 (N794JB).

Listening to Above & Beyond on the plane once we woke up

Once at JFK we looked at some large planes and then caught the AirTrain ($6/person) to the Jamaica station where we took the subway to a stop near the Vanderbilt YMCA.  We opted to buy the $31/person 7-day metro pass, mainly for convenience.  Once at the YMCA they allowed us to check in around 11:30am despite check-in not officially starting until 3pm.  Our room at the YMCA was small and simple, as expected.  But it was clean enough and is in a great location (and is about $150 cheaper than our second-best option).

 Lots of big planes at JFK currently

We headed out quickly to catch the 12:30pm Grand Central Partnership tour starting at the southwest corner of East 42nd Street and Park Avenue near Grand Station. The 2-hour free tour of the area around Grand Central ended up being very informational and interesting.  After the tour we opted to eat some Indian food in the Grand Central food court.  It was pretty spicy and good.

Our tour group and guide

Grand Central Station

Katie reading Lonely Planet NYC at lunch

Then we took the Roosevelt Island cable car, and wandered Roosevelt Island for a bit.  We were surprised by how calm and residential the island was – very different than down-town Manhattan which was less than a mile away.  We sat near a park near the river, and this provided great views including birds, planes, families, boats, and cityscape.

Roosevelt Island cable way

 View from the cable way

Views from the island

Looking back at the island from the cable way

A downtown street from the cable way

Then we headed back to the YMCA to relax some and make kandi for tonight.  After about an hour, we headed to Times Square to watch the Above and Beyond music video premier for We Are All We Need.  It was a bit strange to watch a music video for the first time without sound!  Then we headed to The Hummus and Pita Co, where we each had falafel pitas and split some fries.  It was really delicious, not too expensive ($17 for 2), and perfect for the time.  It was a good fast food place with plenty of seating and food prepared to order.

Putting away our kandi supplies

The crowd at Time’s Square, waiting for the video

Above & Beyond’s music video on the Sony screen

After dinner we ventured to the official unofficial pre-party for ABGT 100 at Lucky Jack’s, organized by a group we’d joined on Facebook and whose members were pretty active in the weekly ABGT chat room. Drinks at the party were expensive, but it was cool to meet so many people who are so passionate about ABGT and Above & Beyond!

The group’s private basement room, with the ribbons that we all signed

We stayed at the party until pretty late, and then we took a bus back to the YMCA and called it a night.

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