Took our first subway (which I insist on calling the tube) downtown. Manhattan is much bigger than it looks on the map; it takes half an hour to get from halfway up to the start of the "real" downtown. The first thing that strikes you is, of course, the skyscrapers. And these aren't even the hardcore ones that you get in the financial district. The other thing is the traffic and people: not excessive but on average certainly more than London once you get out of Picadilly Circus.

We gawped at the buildings for a bit while walking through the streets until we came to the high line, an elevated linear walkway which used to be a train line. You can still see the tracks. Even though it is packed it is quite relaxing on account of the greenery and lack of cars. While there we managed to do a bit of street painting.

Walked through Greenwich Village in search of lunch. It is full of European-style cafes and bistros, rich-looking gay couples and immaculate tree-lined streets. With our budget lunch was obviously on the other side, near Washington Square. By the time we had finished it was getting dark, so after splashing around in the fountain for a bit, we were amazed to see fireflies in the square's green areas.

While waiting for the tube back a beatboxer set up shop, which the three little ones found most amusing. They danced away to the beats until our train arrived, to rapturous applause from the watching public. It all reminded me a bit of the fire show in Pai in Thailand, where the kids had danced onstage with Tommy and Layla. They stole the show there as well.

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