New York is in the middle of heatwave. This is the same city that we often see with snow and skaters, yet here we are, residents and visitors, sweltering with temperatures in the high 90s. We managed nine hours of walking and sightseeing today, but we certainly feel it tonight.

There is so much about New York that is all it is cracked up to be: our meal last night was a little pricey, but excellent situ a great wine list. We still have no answer to the question of the month: why do we only see the really shit Australian wines on the lists out here? Where is the good stuff? If I see another Wallaby-Arse Ridge Vintage Chardonnay, I may detonate something under Simon Crean or whoever is Trade Minister in our new revolving Labor government.

Today we walked from West 79th Street, past all the sights of a sweltering Broadway – Apple’s flagship, a massive Barnes and Noble, the Lincoln Centre – down to Times Square to collect our City Passes from Planet Hollywood. These are great value and got us up the Empire State and into the interactive presentation for nothing. I’m still a bit bemused by the New York memorializing of the Twin Towers because the Australian reaction to Bali was so much more muted and transitory, but I’m prepared take it at face value. The New Yorkers we have met are feisty and friendly, but take no backward steps.

We enjoyed the tourist necessity of the Empire State and marveled at the organisation necessary to get three and a half million people up down each year without throwing them off at the top. We conquered the subway and made it to the Battery without complete dehydration and only minor retail therapy and none on Wall Street!

What to with a forty-five minute wait – or wilt – in the sun foe the ferry to Ellis Island and Lady Liberty? Given that the view from the crown was already sold out, the Staten Island Ferry beckoned. How’s that for Billy Joel and John Mayer references in one paragraph? It’s bad enough that every moment seems to have some film reference: “Sleepless on Seattle”, “An Affair to Remember”, “When Harry met Sally” and probably “Date Night” tomorrow! I photographed the heliport and Brooklyn Bridge just because of “I am Legend”!

It was a great way to see Downtown from the water. We staggered back for showers and then walked across the road for a nice Mediterranean meal, waited on by a nice girl fresh from County Wicklow who was deep in culture shock. We put in a good word for her and the chef to the very ironic Maitre d’ as the lamb tagine was superb.

Tomorrow is Central Park and Museums, with a show at night, Thursday is the Twin Towers Memorial Walk – but I may miss the Intrepid. And one night I want photos of New York in lights… This fabulous very human and very American creation.