New York: Day Nine

Our last day in New York started with breakfast at Café Henri, the posh diner down the road. After poached eggs on muffins and an amazing Grand Marnier hot chocolate for Ben, we popped into the pet shop around the corner to pick up a treat for Alfie, who had been missing us.
We popped over to Dick Blick in Manhattan to pick up some art supplies, before stopping by the Flatiron Building, then heading over to the UN gift shop. We’d hoped to visit the UN during the week so our translator friend could give us a tour of the building, but sadly the trip was rained off, literally.
The UN have a lot of signs up. The security procedures feel positively airportesque. However, no liquids. Not even a mini bottle of shampoo is allowed to pass into the building. Thank God we weren’t staying there for a week!
There was actually not one but two gift shops in the basement of the UN, as well as a Post Office. On the ground floor, there is a place where you can have stamps printed with your own face. All of these places are staffed by crazy people. We managed to pick up a selection of tacky souvenirs for people, with the most exciting being a postcard of Kofi Annan for my mum (posted with a special UN stamp).
Obviously I wasn’t going to be happy leaving that place until I’d got a stamp with my face on it. I’d assumed it would be quite a professional arrangement, but instead it was an eccentric lady shouting and taking photos with a point and shoot digital camera. The whole process was punctuated by various members of a Chinese tour group just wandering in and trying to go behind the mysterious curtain where she kept the printer. She told them there was a monster back there, but I don’t think they understood.
As we stood admiring our stamps (the quality of the above picture does them justice perfectly), a Chinese man came over and had a close look with us. Presumably he wanted to see the monster.

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