But more of that later.
The flight to JFK was about as exciting as you might expect for cattle class. Behind us sat three small children who required occasional reminders not to kick the seats in front of them; their mother, sat across the aisle, seemed to be good at getting stressed and not at controlling her brood. Basic turned out to be a film with almost as many plot twists as Final Analysis, though I didn't care for the ending, which seemed something of a cop-out (carefully vague to avoid spoiling it for anyone else).
The queue for US immigration was much as normal; not quite up to the lows of Newark (where it has taken us over an hour to get through before now). I don't expect the passport officer who processed us to stay in the job - she had a sense of humour :)
Our Boston-based friend J showed up around five and we planned out the next couple of days. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or her that it revolved largely around bookshops. I'd printed off some lists of independent bookshops in NYC and, armed with those and a guidebook, we headed forth onto the mean streets of Manhattan.
Things didn't start well when what sounded like a promising bookstore only a couple of blocks from our hotel had turned into a shoe store instead. Ah well. We phoned round a few more places to check opening times and continued existence, and headed downtown.
I think Village Comix was our first bookshop stop, which sadly didn't have much in the book line, though obviously plenty of comics and figures and such. (No, wait, it wasn't the first stop. There was a bookstall outside a small theatre right next to our hotel. A sign, I tell you, it was a sign!) We also found a shop selling lots of great sparkly costume jewellery, some of which caffeine_fairy is sporting even as I type.
Thai food revitalised us and we then sallied forth once again to the St Marks bookstore, which was rather more successful in terms of books. And then there was Barnes and Noble, which may be horribly corporate but was (a) close by, at that point, and (b) likely to have the O'Reilly books which rotwang wanted. I confess that I was starting to flag by now. It was about 10pm, or 3am by my internal body clock, and I was going cross-eyed trying to find the books I was after. Cabbed back to the hotel, piled the books by the bed, and slept the sleep of those in a timezone not their own.