I went to the US Open 2014!

Going to the US Open has become a tradition, my tennis friends and I go to the US Open in New York for Labor Day weekend. We have had a blast every time. This year, we stayed at a nobby hotel in a nice area within walking distance of Grand Central Station. It was perfect as we had to take the number 7 subway to Willets Point-Mets station in Flushing.

Hi, girls!
Hi, girls! Michelle is inside the shop.

The USTA National Tennis Center is a shrt walk from the subway platform. Doors open at 9.30 and matches begin at 11.00. On Saturday, we left the hotel a little later than we would have liked. The lines at the East Gate were impossibly long. We walked to the South Gate, where the line was long but moved fast.

This is what the walk from the subway looked like.
This is what the walk from the subway looked like.

And there were more people inside:

Entering the premises from the South Gate.
Entering the premises from the South Gate.

There were so many people that if you had to leave the Armstrong stadium, or the grandstand, or any court, chances were you lost your seat. So when I found a good seat, i.e. in the shade, I stayed there for about three hours until hunger, thirst or mother nature made me leave.

Every stadium and court was full to capacity.
Every stadium and court was full to capacity.

We went hungry and dehydrated on Saturday,  which is a silly thing to do on a sunny summer’s day, all because we didn’t want to give up our seats. So on Sunday, we had a delicious breakfast of grilled cheese sandwiches from this truck and made sure we had plenty of water.

I had the brie, truffle butter and caramelized shallots grilled sandwich.
I had the brie, truffle butter and caramelized shallots grilled sandwich.

I had the chance to watch top players, such as…

Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. I was sad when the lost to Murray
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. I was sad when the lost to Murray
The Bryan brothers
The Bryan brothers

There was rain the forecast for Sunday. It hekd off until about 5, when all hell broke loose. The matches were cancelled because of thunder activity. By the time we reached the subway platform, we were completely soaked by torrential rain and crosswind, in spite of my rainproof jacket and umbrella.

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CROSSING THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

The city of New York has landmarks that are easily recognized. Even if you’ve never been to the city, you’ve seen them on TV and the cinema: the Empire State, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and many, many more.

Brooklyn Bridge7

One of those landmarks is the Brooklyn Bridge with its distinct design. Although I had been to New York before, I’d never crossed it until early February this year. My sister and nieces came to visit us in Dallas and the girls wanted to go to New York too. After all, NYC is closer to Dallas than to Buenos Aires!

Brooklyn Bridge5

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883 to connect the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It has two levels, one for vehicular traffic and a promenade for pedestrians and cyclists.

It is very easy to reach. We took the M line (subway lines 4, 5 or 6) to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station and walked a few yards to the beginning of the bridge.

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It was a sunny day but oh so cold! There was snow along the sides of the path so it was narrower than usual. We had to keep and eye out for cyclists. I’m sure they were annoyed at those tourists who were busy taking photos and not paying attention to what was happening on the road.

The views of Manhattan from the bridge are spectacular. We picked out a few of NYC landmarks, like the Empire State or Lady Liberty. The going was fine, the sun kept us relatively warm and there was very little wind.

Brooklyn Bridge10

However, things changed when we got to the other side. The buildings blocked the sunlight, the wind seemed to have picked up and it was bitterly cold. We cancelled our plans to see Brooklyn, had a hot drink and found the nearest subway station back to Manhattan. We went to Wall St, where it felt even colder, but that’s a story for another day.