Vacances – I

Ja’ la’ vao uns meses, mas voltei ao continente Americano no final de Maio. Desta vez de ferias, e com um sol fabuloso.

 

Em Mississauga (Canada) experienciamos os suburbios tipicos da America do Norte. Daqueles que se veem nos filmes e series, em que nao se passa nada e toda a gente anda de carro. O problema e’ que se esqueceram de nos avisar e nao levamos carta de conducao. Resultado, uma batelada em taxis, pois ainda por cima era fim de semana e so’ havia autocarros de hora a hora para qualquer lado.

 

Ainda assim conseguimos chegar a Niagara. Pela atraccao que e’, esperar-se-ia uma quantidade e fequencia de transportes suficiente para pelo menos 1/10 dos 14 milhoes de visitantes por ano. Pois, nao. De Niagara povoacao para Niagara cataratas ha’ um autocarro por hora, para um trajecto que demora 15 minutos, e taxis ou alternativas nem ve-los. Mas fomos. E vimos os EUA do outro lado com os seus guardas armados e com cara de poucos amigos, e o aglomerado de casinos e hoteis que sufoca as cataratas do lado canadiano. E andamos no "Maid of the Mist" e ai e’ que uma pessoa se apercebe realmente do que e’ a catarata do Niagara, quando se sente a forca do motor do barco a puxar e este se mantem imovel com a forca da corrente.

 

Seguimos para Boston, onde ficamos no centro historico. Um bairro italiano ‘a la "Sopranos", com os fatos-de-treino-com-rolex e tudo. Corremos a cidade de uma ponta a’ outra, fomos ao MIT e a Harvard, seguimos a linha vermelha, comemos lagosta e Boston Chowder e, ate’ agora, e’ a minha cidade favorita da America do Norte. Como disse o T, em Boston tens as coisas boas das cidades grandes e as coisas boas das aldeias. Concordo completamente.

 

De Boston apanhamos um autocarro chines (concorrencia a’ Greyhound) para Nova Iorque. Chegamos ao meio de Chinatown em NY e, felizmente, tinham-nos dado dicas para o metro, senao ainda hoje andariamos por la’ perdidos. E’ que ao contrario do que conheco de outras cidades com metro, a cor da linha nao quer dizer nada. Ha’ que olhar tambem para o numero ou letra… Imaginem que as cores sao as linhas, mas os numeros e letras correspondem tipo a suburbanos, regionais, intercidades e alfa. Pois e’, nao fomos parar a Queens por sorte.

 

NY nao me seduziu particularmente. Manhattan, onde ficamos e de onde nao saimos, e’ bastante poluida e tudo vem em tamanho XL. Tudo excepto Times Square, que e’ bem mais pequeno do que se ve nos filmes e nem nos apercebemos que la’ tinhamos chegado quando procuravamos jantar. Gostei de subir ao Rockefeller e ver, apenas ligeiramente abaixo, os telhados dos predios com espreguicadeiras, hortas e heliportos e, mesmo la’ em baixo, as ruas com pessoas e carros mais pequenos que formigas. Gostei tambem de estar com o N. e a A. que vieram de Washigton para um bruch num cafe’ com uns bolos lindos e do passeio que fizemos essa tarde pelo sul da ilha. (Mas ainda estamos ‘a espera do gelado!)

 

Claro que arquitectonicamente falando vale a pena a visita, mas nao sei, falta-lhe qualquer coisa (ou ha’ qualquer coisa a mais).

Decididamente a comida transcende-me. As doses sao gigantes e nos menus ate’ diz que se for para dividir a dose sao mais x dolares!

 


 

It’s been a few months, but I’ve gone back to America in the end of May for a holiday. This time the weather was amazing.

 

First stop, Mississauga (Canada). Mississauga is a typical North America suburb, where everybody lives but nothing happens and you should have a car. The problem is that nobody warned us about the car and we didn’t take our driving licences. In the end we’ve spent a lot in cabs, especially because it was a weekend and the buses were running only once or twice per hour.

 

Still, we managed to go to Niagara. Once would expect to have loads of public transports from the town to the falls. But no, there’s only one bus per hour to drive you on a 15 minute journey to the fall…No comments.

So, having reached the falls we weren’t that impressed. There is an American and a Canadian side; border patrol on the American side, casinos and hotels on the Canadian side, and the falls of course, which were lower that expected. We’ve taken the “Maid of the Mist” and that was when the fall became something amazing. The boat engine was clearly trying to get us forward but the strength of the stream was just pushing us away. And there’s so much mist you can’t really see a thing.  

 

After Canada we went to Boston, USA. We stayed in the old town, which is now an Italian neighborhood, “Sopranos” style.  We’ve walked the entire city, went to MIT and Harvard, followed the red line, had lobster and Boston Chowder and, up to now, Boston became my favourite North American city. As T. said, it has the good things of the big cities and the good things of the villages. Agreed!

 

From Boston we took a Chinese bus to New York (Greyhound was double price). We’ve reached Chinatown NY by noon and, luckily, A. Gave us tips for the tube / metro / underground otherwise we’d still be there now. Unlike any other tube system I know, the colour of the line is not important. In NY you need to know the letter or number that you are following. It’s like the colour shows the circuit, but then you have suburban trains (stop everywhere) and fast trains. Those are the numbers and letters…

 

NY was not such a big thing. We’ve stayed in Manhattan which is quite polluted and everything is XL size. Everything except for Times Square, which seems much bigger in the movies. We’ve just realized that was it when we were there looking for dinner and seen a sign board! 

However, I’ve enjoyed the trip. Going up the Rockefeller and seeing the other skyscraper’s roofs so close you can see which plants they have and the pattern of the deckchairs. Also, I’ve had a great day with N. and A., who drove all the way from Washington for a brunch and an afternoon walk.

 

Architecture wise, NY is worth a visit. However, there’s something missing, or something too much that didn’t appeal to me.

 

Well, the food for sure is something I don’t like. The portions are huge but the menus have a note saying that if you’re sharing the price increases by a certain amount of dollars!

 

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