Tanger Mall proved to be a big hit with several stores benefiting from our collective largess. I won’t go into detail as some of the purchases are gifts. In total we were there best part of four hours, and while Kay was scouting the shops, I researched other options for visiting in the area. Turns out there’s a Barnes and Noble at Plainview, not too far to the south. My comments from the other day notwithstanding, it was enjoyable to browse and we bought a few bits here – as well as just one more coffee!
It’s about an hour back to the hotel according to Apple maps and although a slightly more direct route is available back along the LIE (I495), we chose the Southern State Parkway. This is an odd road, in that it is three lanes in each direction, but most of the over-bridges are incredibly low – usually about 10′ but at least one which was seven feet something! Therefore no commercial traffic whatsoever uses it. That was perhaps as well, as given it was the evening rush, there was plenty of car traffic using it. Even so, other than a slight delay around Hempstead, and again as we turned north on the Cross Island Parkway, it moved well enough.
Apple maps served us well and guided us straight to the Fairfield inn at Flushing. Turns out it isn’t the hotel I thought it was (i.e. one I stopped at with Nick some time ago). Nevertheless, it is fine for what it is – five minutes from LaGuardia and 15 minutes from JFK. It’s an industrial area and of course it was dark when we arrived. Our room is comfortable enough, though not surprisingly much smaller than we’ve been used to these last six nights. Free WiFi in the room is a bonus though.
We debated our options for an evening meal, even contemplating using the microwave in the room for the frozen dinners sold in reception, or ordering from the take out menu helpfully left in the room. In the end we decided to take advantage of having a car and drove south along College Point Blvd into Flushing itself, in search of something. We turned into the Sky View Mall’s garage (free parking for three hours – always a bonus). They had several options for dining, including several Japanese places as there is a strong oriental influence in this neighbourhood. However, the one which suited us best was Applebees – again.
There were several differences from our Monday evening experience. Chief among them was the fact that we had an appetiser, entree and drink for less than $30 all in! The other difference was the lack of haste to get us in an out that was evident in Times Square – though in some ways this worked against us as the service was painfully slow at times. Both the New York Nicks and The Brooklyn Nets are in action tonight (basketball!) and the screens were showing both games. The tv I could see best, however, was showing the MLB channel with Kevin Millar (ex of the Red Sox) fronting a baseball ‘blooper’ show. Even without sound, some of the clips were pretty funny. As well as being much better value, the food was pretty good quality too, and we each enjoyed our steak (me) and Bourbon glazed chicken & shrimp (Kay, but you guessed that!?).
On the way back, ostensibly to save time in the morning, I brimmed the tank on the car. This turned out to be far more of a saga than it needed to be due to the cashier’s insistence that I prepay and the pump not recognising a UK credit card (it needed a zip code to pre-authoirise and the usual 00000 didn’t work). I ended up putting $16.40’s worth in, having driven about 100 miles today. back at the hotel, we’d lost our spot in the car park, so the car is out on the street. Hopefully it’ll still be there in the morning.
It’s a 08:40 flight, but there are several variables – notably getting the car back and how long the Hertz shuttle will take to get us to International Departures. We’ve checked-in on line, but bag drop and getting through security are also unknown quantities. Oh, and the television is talking about a dusting of snow in the morning.