Thursday, August 8, 2013

The OREM east coast tour in 5 major cities...

The Berkshires is so green and pretty
This experience was amazing. I never imagined that the east coast to be so green, like an infinite forest, like a permanent spring, lakes everywhere, the air is so clean, and the sky so blue. It makes me think of the blue sky in the highlands of Peru. What surprised me the most was the friendly people.  I am used to being ignored by the people in Los Angeles. People in the east coast simply say, "hello" to strangers everywhere.

Our first stop was Chicago Illinois. We landed in what was supposed to be a 27 minute stop, but it turned out to be a six and half hour stop. I would not mind the wait if American Airlines would have been honest from the beginning and let us know that we would be waiting for over six  hours for our next flight. They landed 20 minutes after our connection to Connecticut already left. This is the last time I  will use  American Airlines.

This stop in Chicago was great because we had the chance to see our dear friend Lira Luis in her home town. You probably remember her from our prior videos on social media, green building, sustainability, etc. and I couldn’t resist  to shoot a brief video at the airport having Lira sharing some thoughts on Social Media and global work.

Me in the Berkshires so green
 think I was the only Latino in this part of the country hundred miles away too.

I was visiting friends in the Berkshires Massachusetts, which was a pretty nice experience.

I was eager to see the Boston Tea Party museum because as an IRS Enrolled Agent I believe that here is where the foundation on the IRS spirit was born. Early Americans decided to stop paying taxes to the British crown and to build their own country, with self taxing.

Boston is full of pretty nice old buildings everywhere. To my surprise the building styles are so different from the ones I grew up in Peru, where Spanish colonial is the norm. I try to picture the early individuals living in this city, their works, their lives, and buildings can tell a lot, from the multifamily buildings to the rich doctors and lawyer's mansions

I was in shock to be able to see one of the original wooden tea party boxes that were thrown out of the ship back in time.

Boston central station
There are two things that I want to do in my next trip to Boston, see and touch the USS Constitution the very first war ship made in America, and taste an authentic Boston Lobster.

I was amazed by some crazy drivers in Boston, they can be ruthless! Don't get me wrong we have those in Los Angeles too. However, I never got honk to making a left turn in the indicated area before
Everything is still so green around this area.

Philadelphia was the next stop on our east coast tour, another pretty early American city, full of historic and old buildings, the first congress was here, the liberty bell that cracked before it could go on use, what a bummer!

Walking up stairs of the Philadelphian Art Museum like Rocky Balboa did was a thrill.

I found the general Philadelphian environment so mellow and easy going.

Original tea party wooden box
And this is the moment of the truth, when I was to taste an authentic Philly Cheese Steak ! WOW it was delicious like never I have taste before.

I was very surprised by the names Pennsylvanians named their freeways too. The Turnpike freeway ? it was a bit confusing at first, I’m used to 405 freeway, 101 freeway, the 10 freeway, but nothing prepared me for a Turnpike !

But what I found most confusing was the way east coasters charged their tolls. When you get in the freeway they give you a ticket to which you are supposed to give away in the next toll and they tell you how much to pay. My guess is that they charge you by the distance. I have to admit some times this was free of charge, and they only take cash.

In Los Angeles, in California in general all freeways are free, except those bridges in the Bay area near San Francisco, but when you use a toll in California you can pay with credit cards too, or you can buy a fob that can do it automatically for you without even stopping in the toll. I know someone would say spoiled Californians!
Boston old church

We’re heading to the next and last major city in our east coast tour New York. Traffic was a bit hectic when we passed it by in our way to Philadelphia. So I was a bit apprehensive about not being able to make it on time. I also found the freeways to be a bit narrow unlike the ones in Los Angeles that can have eight lines each way. 

Weird, but sometimes I swear people drove too fast, and sometimes I found exactly the opposite.
WOW I can feel the excitement going through my body by just seeing the skyscrapers in the distance, going under the Atlantic ocean in that tunnel in my way to Manhattan was a thrill. Finally, at the other side of the city. My GPS went crazy a few times because it couldn't get the satellite signal. Then, we were so close to 7th st where my only $24 per day parking was waiting for me.

But then OMFG 7th st is closed! Repairs on Sunday morning! This is pretty difficult because streets in Mahattan are only one way most of the time, so overcrowded with cars and people that DON'T RESPECT THE SIGNALS! In one instance I have people crossing the street while I waited for them to go when a taxi driver kept on honking on me, once I crossed he made a total illegal turn and passed me.
Boston Art Museum
OH well, this is the New York experience. Finally, we found an alternative parking structure and BOY it was expensive! $ 57 for a day! And all because major Bloomberg decided to do improvements on 7th Street that day.

Once in Times Square, I was just bombarded with all the New York Experience, solicitors trying to make me buy a bus tour, hundreds of people walking in every direction, I felt like people didn't even care if they touch you when you are walking in the other direction.

And the city smell like pee.

It was a hot day and we were just waiting for our private tour guide arrival. Later the same day we learned it was the hottest day in New York in years. I felt like baking both sides from the sun and from the concrete reflection from above.
Philadelphia first Congress room

This was a unique walking, subway private tour that I recommend to everybody, very authentic tour. Rockefeller center caught my attention, built in the 1930s still have its unique personality. Good morning America is broadcasted from there every day. SNL is recorded from there too. The view from the top of the Rock is just breath taking

I cannot believe I was there at Fox news Corporation headquarters, the GOP seem happy in there.
The NY subway was neat, always on time. I recommend it for the ones that can follow maps and are  good with directions.

Next stop was Central Park, and the building where John Lennon used to live, and where he was shot in 1981. I heard a history that Madonna try to buy a condo in that building and she was turned down. I heard the same thing about the make up pioneer lady Helena Rubinstein, who try to buy a condo in the center of Manhattan and she was also turned down, but this savvy lady purchased the whole building and end up living there anyway

Philadelphia liberty bell
The John Lennon memorial is there in Central Park, this experience is amazing, the carriages with the horses, the people, the joggers, the street sellers, and the heat. 

Then to our way to the Staten Island Ferry, thanks god for the air conditioned stations!

WOW, the ferry experience is awesome, the Brooklyn bridge is right there.

While we get farther away from the island I can see the new World Trade Center, which is the tallest building in America, it does show from the ocean.

And there she is, Miss Liberty, I can just imagine the experience to the millions of immigrants back in the 1800s, new lives, new jobs.

Old Philadelphia at night
I was able to see the Jersey shore from there too, this is a definitely to do in my next trip to New York. I would live to see Snooky and her whereabouts too.

Back in land we walked towards Wall Street, on the way we saw the original Standard Oil Company headquarters. Can you imagine this was the biggest oil company in the world before it was forced to divide in to smaller companies.

It is hard to believe that people had been building sky crappers since the 1800s, and I was able to see some of those early buildings, Cathedrals everywhere in Manhattan, subway stations and people walking up and down the streets everywhere.

The New York Stock Exchange was impressive, it was displaying a company logo on its front, it is said that the NYSE does it when a new company is going to start trading stocks here. Some day OREM will display its logo here too.

Rocky Balboa at the Phi. Art museum
The 911 Memorial was just blocks away, and the new World Trade Center, which is the tallest building in America is here too. The 911 Memorial was built in a way that shows water falls that resembled infinite tears for this tragedy. Among this memorial there is a tree, the only living individual that survived 911. You can see the burnt skin on it and the new branched that grew from it.

Just steps away we could see the hurricane Sandy water markings, it is surreal to think that this whole area was under water during hurricane Sandy.

Our last stop in Manhattan was Grand Central Station that just celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Here is where I met my friend and clients Luis who happens to be a film editor that nowadays is working in a new project in New York.

On our way back to the car we met with another of my good friends Chriss who happens to work in Manhattan.

Times Square
Then we went to our last New York Experience, a dinner in Little Italy, I want to try the authentic New York Pizza, I heard so many good thing about how different and good it tastes. Yes, New York Pizza is a total different thing than what I’m used to in Los Angeles.

What surprised me a lot this time is the fact that all the Italians are gone from little Italy in New York, I’ve seen a lot of Turks, Moroccans, Bulgarians, but not Italians.

This tour was amazing and I met a lot of new friendly people that can help our OREM group to grow in this area, we still have to go to some more details before making the announcement. Of course I would love to have OREM east coast up and running, we’ll get more good news soon.

In the interim of writing this East Coast Blog I got confirmation news that I will be going to Dallas Texas and
On top of Rockefeller Center
who know a Texas tour, more to come soon.

Central Park

Miss Liberty

Hurricane Sandy water marks

Some day OREM at the NYSE too
With my New York friends

Grand Central Station - 100 years
911 Memorial
The new World trade center