24 Hours in New York

Unforgettable. Bright lights, big city! So I touch down at 8 p.m. in NY, NY. Wee delay with the airline. Yes, I have experienced quite a few aspects of air travel in the US in a short time there. Getting bumped off a flight. Taking a detour to Denver, Colorado (is that the Grand Canyon!!! Check out those snow-capped mountains!!! How come the fields turn to green when they’re adjacent to one another?!). Getting to Baltimore 6 hours later than planned. Getting rushed through a checkpoint, only to find my flight delayed by two hours. Fitting myself into a propeller plane! Good times, good times.

OK, so that’s just the flight pattern. I touch down at 8 p.m. in NY, NY. Good ol’ student army pal’s there to meet and greet! Off to my first bus in NY, then my first subway train. NY subway makes me appreciate every other subway I’ve ever taken anywhere. Even the Metro in Paris, and that’s saying summat … Anyway, the atmosphere in NY is charged, there’s always something going on, there’s always someone pressing forward with something new, something old, something borrowed, something … just something. Quite a whirlwind! Be careful not to get sucked in! What a city.

View from a particularly airy subway station

After a windy walk to said pal’s little apartment in the East Village, it’s off to her fave Nipponese restaurant — c’est tres delicieux, mon ami. You know how food that honestly tastes good makes you slow down and savour it, as opposed to passable edible bits that you shovel down the gullet in order to feel satisfied? It’s like that. Familiar items on the menu that taste frankly good.

It’s 10 p.m. or so. We shove off to a delightful mess of a record and video shop. I was not in the best condition then, but managed to enjoy what I could of the kind of shop where you could spend hours just discovering stuff. Where they take their goods so seriously that the films are catalogued by director first, title second. Walk away with Heavenly Creatures and Lost in La Mancha. Tried not to get too many, cos Amazon, unfortunately or not, lingered in the back of my price-comparing mind.

We shuffle off to find a cinema that was screening Melinda and Melinda. We end up at the only place that was till open, a cineplex screening Guess Who. It was awright, at least it triggered off the previous post, eh. And that Ashton Kutcher has strong marrow in his bones, whatever that means. I feel much better after the show. We shuffle back to pally’s place for a short rest. On the way, we investigate a whole foods mart. We should really have this sort of place back home!

Badly merged panorama of Incredible-looking Ice Cream Tubs — Ciao, Bella!

It’s 3 a.m. or thereabouts. Gorge on Belgian pomme frites, clean up, short blog, and we’re off again at 6 something in the morn. Wooooo, it’s cold! With a touch of rain. Into a cafe for a hot choc. Back to the apartment to pick up a book for pal’s pal. And thank God, gloves and scarf. Then it’s a wet waddle to the subway to get us some Spamalot tickets! May I say again how depressing the subway is. We make a wet detour through Bryant Park behind the NY Public Library, oh thing of beauty.

Now this is what I’m talking about!

We arrive, things of dampness, at the theatre. There’s a queue already, at 7.30 a.m.! Do a moist sprint to the end of the line. Now I find out what an utter and complete wimp I am. The cold and the wet get to me. Real bad. I’m talking danger of pneumonia bad, teeth chattering, toes icing-up bad. So while the pally waits dutifully, I have to squish off to, variously, a warm bagel place, a warm pharmacy, a warm hotel restroom. Then I chatter the last bit of wait off, and finally, the tickets at 10 a.m.! Nice warm chatty people in line keep the brain engaged while the body slowly entropies.

Quick visit to the NY Public Library, oh thing of beauty. The award for the deepest impression ever made on me by a library still goes to the British Museum’s Reading Room, woof. Finally get to see the Reading Lamp, though. Drag feet to warm Virgin Megastore, Hersheys, and Sephora in Times Square. Cool cloud on tall building effect.

Told you it was cool

2 p.m. and it’s Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam! Henceforth I will hug myself in tremulous joy whenever I think upon Spamalot. Sleep-deprived state forces knees to buckle and me to blink out a few times, but otherwise the spam is bored in the brain. Only off bit was that the whole audience didn’t sing along to “Always look on the bright side of life, “, teehee. David Hyde Pierce is so cool.

And I got the coconuts

Sloshy mad rush to vicinity of Madison Square Garden, where mind boggles, and after a serious of unfortunate events, we’re off to the airport. It’s 8 p.m. and I’m off across the Atlantic for the very first time. Cheers, NY, NY.


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