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October 2006

On Saturday we went to the movie theater. It’s huge! There are about ten rooms. We watched «School for Scoundrels» and «The Gridiron Gang». Both are very good movies, I think.

Today I went to the Laundromat for the first time. Thank God a nice women helped me and gave me some advice. I think that I dried my stuff too warm though. Because my underpants for example kinda look smaller. I’m gonna figure that out soon.
Now this has nothing to do with the laundry but today I also received free Mentos on the street. No, not like in Switzerland maybe two or three, a whole roll! Or an other story: have you ever bought 8 postcards for $1 Dollar?

There is a coffee machine in school but, believe me, you can’t drink that «coffee». No way! Maybe the Hot Chocolate or the Swiss Hot Chocolate (nobody knows what the difference is). I haven’t tasted those yet.
The problem is, we only have 10 minute breaks. So what do we do? In a hurry we try to reach the next elevator and go downstairs. We hope that we can cross the street immediately because on the other side there’s a Starbucks. Then, most of the time there’s a long line in front of the security check. If you’re lucky you only have to take your wallet, your keys and your cellphone out of your pockets. If not you even have to take your belt off. Sometimes we make it, sometimes we don’t. But the teacher never makes a scene.
By the way, if you have a laptop on you, you always have to turn it on. That’s really awkward.

Today I visited the Chrysler Building and the Roof Garden of the Rockefeller Center. I saw the Radio City Music Hall (MTV VMAs), a huge UBS-Building, a Lindt Store, the St. Patricks Cathedral and a Columbus Day Parade. But when I was at Grand Central Station I saw a car on a bridge which was almost falling down (picture). Then I heard incredible noise from weapons and suddenly someone screaming: «It’s just a movie!»
Update: It turned out they were shooting «I am Legend» with Will Smith in it.

Seriously, I’ve wanted to write a lot more. I’ve taken so many notes for Blog entries. Until now (11/5) I’ve just been too busy. But now I’m trying to write every idea I’ve had down.

This morning I saw a squirrel in my neighborhood. It wasn’t really afraid of me. I didn’t expect to see that kind of animals in New York but in the Central Park you see a lot of birds and rare animals too.
Riding the subway you sometimes see painters. Using just a pencil they’re painting either people in the subway or other people out of their minds. It’s amazing to watch them doing it because they are so fast. Today one artist has painted about 8 pictures in 30 minutes.

Today I’ve been to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I should have been earlier at the pier. I had to wait over an hour to get on the ferry. Before you can enter the ferry, you have to go through a security check (why wasn’t I surprised?), which is even more annoying than at the airport.
Otherwise the day has been amazing. The weather has been beautiful. In the museum at Ellis Island I’ve visited the exhibit about famous Americans with Swiss Roots, which was very interesting. Check out the Photo page (the Photocast!) for pictures.

In Switzerland I probably would haven been uncomfortable but here it was actually kind of cool. For lunch I went to KFC. I sat on a table with two chairs. I looked around and saw a man on the next table who acted quite weird. He had something like a diary, which looked somehow familiar to me. I couldn’t figure it out. Then a police officer who obviously took a break sat to me. When the other man left, I saw his badge for a short moment and I knew that it was an undercover policeman.

I’ve visited a few museums so far, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum and the Tribute WTC Museum. Some things are interesting. In the MoMA I saw the iMac G4, which is still in use at home. Or the figures from Alberto Giacometti which are on the 100 Fr. bills.
In the Met I was interested in the ancient Greek art. I’ve seen a lot of vases!
Sometimes there were a lot of people around a picture. Most of the times I thought they looked awful. It turned out that they had been drawn by Picasso, Monet or another famous artist;-)

If you think you know what nightlife means, you have to go to Times Square at night! It’s awesome. There are so many lights, people and cars. You see every kind of fancy car! You can buy the newspapers of the following day etc.
Anyway, I went to the movies there. I saw Flags of our Fathers which I can recommend. Clint Eastwood did a great job as a director. I bought a large drink. I guess it was probably 1 liter (or more). Then I found out that you will receive a refill if you buy a large drink (only with the purchase of a large drink), so in the end I had a lot of soda and I had to use the bathroom many times.

Too bad! Today at the security check in the Empire State Building I missed a onetime opportunity. As usual I had to turn on my laptop at the check. There was quite a long waiting line. During the starting process of my PowerBook I turned the display toward the security guy, so that he could see that it’s working. Meanwhile I was checking out a beautiful woman who was about to step through the metal detector. The guy saw that my computer was working, so I turned the display around. He couldn’t see it anymore. So he asked that woman what was on the display. She said: “Some Mac stuff.” Unfortunately I didn’t have a quick response and didn’t really get why he asked her that. After she was gone he said to me something like: “Dude, I wanted to set you up with her!”
Later I realized that this wouldn’t happen so soon again, being set up with a girl using my Mac!

We went to the preseason game against the 76ers (Philadelphia) tonight. It was cool. I thought the Madison Square Garden would even be bigger. During a break I ate a footlong Hot Dog (35 cm!). I was surprised to find a baby changing station in the men’s restroom.
Anyway the Knicks won 113 -102.

During the last couple of weeks I haven’t experienced much of the American Dream. At least that’s what I thought. Now I realize that I have. When I told somebody in Switzerland about my college plans and that I maybe wanted to work in the Silicon Valley later, they didn’t say anything about it or they even asked if there are still enough jobs available as a computer scientist. It’s different here. Everybody I’ve spoken to told me that I should do that and that if you’re good, you can work wherever you want.

So much has been going on this weekend. Saturday was Nathaniel’s sixth birthday. We had a huge, very sweet birthday cake with every kind of color.
On Sunday we went on a trip to Sixflags, NJ. It was just awesome, a little bit cold though. Unfortunately the roller-coaster you can see above was closed due to the windy weather and we went there very late. But we had a great time. I really liked the Superman ride. We want to go again next spring, but this time very early.
Indeed, the roller-coasters in Europa are crap if you compare them to Sixflags!