August 28, 2003 - Thursday
We arrived in NYC in late afternoon and immediately ended up on the wrong street, which dead ended at a parking garage. After making a U-turn, we proceeded into downtown. We passed Macy's and Carnegie Hall and discovered the important knowledge that if you want to make a left turn in NYC, you should make 3 rights instead (NO turn signals anywhere and traffic really is that crazy).
We finally made it to our hotel - the Deauville - which is in a sort of residential area on 29th street near Park Avenue. The hotel is a small "turn-of-the-century brownstone" and lacks many modern amenities (ice machine, for one, and the elevator is an adventure), but the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. Our 4th floor room has a lovely view of a brick wall about a foot away, although the bathroom window *does* have a slightly better view of sky and buildings.
We surrendered Vanna to the catacombs of New York (otherwise known as a 24-hour parking garage). Dad called around and found a place that was $15/day. It's a bit of a hike from the hotel, but we figured that was as cheap as we would be able to find. We also purchased 7-day metrocards; for the rest of our stay, we'll get places either by subway or on foot.
On the way back from parking Vanna, we walked around Broadway and Times Square for a while and saw the Ed Sullivan theater where Letterman is taped.
August 29, 2003 - Friday
We slept in a bit this morning, then took the 7 train out to Flushing and got to the US Open around 11 am. We stood in line for a short while before being told that the grounds passes were sold out for the day. So instead of watching tennis, we decided to go up to the Bronx zoo. We had some delicious New York pizza for supper and watched Andy Roddick win his night match, thanks to USA network.
August 30, 2003 - Saturday
Dad and I got up earlier this morning, then were foiled by the uptown #6 train not running, so we walked up to Grand Central to catch the 7 train out to Flushing. We made it almost all the way to the front of the ticket line, then had to stand for 45 minutes while TPTB (The Powers That Be) counted heads inside the park to see if they could let any more in. Finally, they decided another 125 could have tickets (we were 22 & 23).
We chose Bjorkman/Kucera on Court 11 as our first match of the day. They were just starting the second set when we arrived. 4 1/2 hours later, Bjorkman was serving for match point when it began to drizzle. He slipped twice returning volleys and the chair called a delay due to unsafe court conditions. An hour later, it stopped raining, but they had only just gotten the court dried out (the players hadn't even come out yet) when it started to rain *again*. After another hour long delay, they dried the court a second time, and the players came out and warmed up. Bjorkman hit his first serve into the net. Second serve went back and forth a few times, then Kucera hit it long and that was the end of that. Final score: 4/6 6/4 6/4 3/6 6/3
After the marathon match, we watched the #1 men's doubles team (Max Myrni and Mahesh Bhupathi) beat Dupuis/Lee - 6/7(7) 7/6(4) 6/3, after which we caught the tail end of the women's doubles Hantuchova/Rubin match against Matteck/Perry.
August 31, 2003 - Sunday
This morning Dad and I got up at 7, headed out to the Open, and got in with no problems. I bought a giant tennis ball for autographs, and we watched about an hour of Moya/Massu in the Louie Armstrong stadium. Then we wandered around the grounds for a while, and found Justine Henin-Hardine over at the practice courts, so we took some photos of her. Later, we saw Roddick practicing with his coach, Brad Gilbert, on one of the outer courts. Unfortunately, when he'd finished, he was hustled off to get ready for his match and didn't sign autographs for anyone. However, Mark Philippoussis was practicing in the next court over and when he'd finished, he *did* sign autographs, including mine. As I commented to dad, it was my first unintelligible scribble of the day. Ha.
We wandered around a bit more, watched a few games of some of the juniors matches, and then the mixed doubles of Black-Black vs Daniilidou-Haggard on Court 7. After the Blacks won their match, Jonas Bjorkman and his doubles partner Todd Woodbridge were on that same court against Lapentti-Lopez. Bjorkman-Woodbridge won and I got *both* their signatures on my ball.
Later that afternoon, we watched the second half of Philippoussis vs Nalbandian in a VERY full Louie Armstrong stadium. There were a group of Australian fans watching the match who were very exuberant in their cheering for Philippoussis. They even stood up and sang "Waltzing Matilda" during one changeover, while waving about a giant blow-up kangaroo. When that match ended (Nalbandian won), we walked across the divider between stadiums into the Grandstand stadium and watched the second half of the women's doubles that was in progress: Hantuchova-Rubin vs Husarova-Martinez. We could have stuck around and watched Malisse's match against Dmitri Tursunov, but decided to go ahead and leave so we could get a good night's sleep. Also, we could watch the Ashe stadium night match of James Blake vs Roger Federer on TV when we got back to the hotel...
September 1, 2003 - Monday
Rainy, rainy, rainy today. Drizzle, sprinkle, drizzle, downpour. Since tennis was pretty much a flop, we went to the Museum of Natural History (dead animal dioramas from the late 1800's/early 1900's) instead. Central Park is right across the street, so after traipsing about in the museum, we took a stroll through the park. It was still VERY overcast and drizzly at times, but not too bad. We found the Hello Deli of Letterman fame on the way back - it is around the corner from the front entrance to the theater. When we got back to the hotel, we watched the only two tennis matches of the day - Jennifer Capriati's match and Justine Henin-Hardine's match, both of which weren't able to start until that evening due to continuous rain delays. So we chose wisely in not going to the Open today.
September 2, 2003 - Tuesday
More rain again today. We considered touring the Intrepid, but didn't. We *did* ride the Staten Ferry and took photos of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty (which you can no longer go up into since 9/11). We went over to Battery Park and down Wall Street (the Stock Exchange is another place tourists can no longer get into since 9/11). In the evening, we enjoyed a Broadway musical: "Thoroughly Modern Millie". Weather forecast for tomorrow is "drizzle all day with occasional heavier showers and possibly a downpour", so we plan to start the drive back a day early, since once again tennis is pretty much NOT going to happen.
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