Empire State Building, New York, 2010
Of the many places you do not want to tackle when you have the tail end of food poisoning and you've spent 24 hours on a plane, New York tops the list.
You need energy for the place. You need some up and go. You need your walking legs to get you places which can be within two and twenty blocks away.
You also benefit from having a lot of money and some time. Unfortunately I've only ever spent a few days in New York. On this last trip, with my stomach gurgling after a noxious bout of jet lag, I got out of the hotel room in the early evening and went up Fifth Avenue. I needed to find some food. In the previous 36 hours I'd only injested the Singapore Airlines supply of dry ginger ale and a bread roll after a few hours of continuous puking as I was about to leave Singapore.
Finding a Pret a Manger outlet for a quick bite, a favorite sandwich store from London, I continued walking, until I came to Rockerfeller Centre, some ten or so blocks up from where I tentatively ate a sandwich and down yet more fizzy water to get on top of the dehydration. On paying the money to let me up to the viewing platform, I went up the fast elevator to the top of the Rockerfeller Centre.
This was the view. They make films about this view. It's hard to tire of the New York lights on a clear night.
It's a sight everybody should see once in their life. There aren't words.
After an hour up with the gods, I descended and walked back to my hotel in the early West Twenties, going by Times Square and the theatre district. I felt safe. I felt alive, and I promised myself that next time I'm in New York I'll have a few more days there to really take the place in. One night is not enough.