Sunday, 14 June 2009

A boring long holiday post #2

New York City was hot. And I mean, hot. It's also incredible - if you've never been there, no words can prepare you for it. We emerged out of the bus station downtown, and straight away we were facing the New York Times building. Which is big.

See? But then I looked around, and the amusing thing is that every building seems to be like that. I felt like a dwarf, and if I stood at the base of a building and looked upto the top, it made me dizzy. We hadn't had any breakfast, so my friend marched me to a downtown Chipotle and we sat down with some burritos. Absolutely gorgeous, but my god, the Tabasco sauce was a mistake. I was hot enough as it is.
I'm not going to bore you with details of everywhere we went. Just keep in mind that the Apple Store is crammed, you won't be allowed to go into Tiffany's, Trump Tower is (in my opinion, not shared by my friend) fantastic and Broadway is rundown, tatty and horrible. You wouldn't believe just how ghastly Broadway is - not a place I wanted to hang around for any length of time.

Apparently Eva Longoria was in Central Park the same day we were, although I regret to inform you that I didn't see her. However, I did get awfully excited when we stumbled upon a bit of the park I recognised from the classic film Annie Hall : (between 7:53 - 8:19)

The thing that amused me the most about NYC was their "Irish bars". To qualify as an Irish bar in NYC, you hang a Guinness sign outside and have a few shamrocks littered about. And that's it. Yes, I know all about the Irish immigration into NYC all those years ago, but in the Irish bars we went to, nobody in the damn places (bar staff, owners, customers) looked like they could tell you whether Ireland was closer to Wales or Ukraine. Still, they were friendly enough, and were good places to watch bits of Euro 2008 (yes, I went to the US, and still ended up watching football).

Sorry, this is turning into another epic, and I've barely scratched the surface, despite the fact we were only in NYC for 2 days. So I'll finish by giving my thoughts about the Big Apple, and then some of my photos. I certainly couldn't live in NYC - when people describe it as the city that never sleeps, they ain't joking. Baz Luhrmann once said:

"Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;"

This is true. With the brash, frenzied nature of the place, you have to be a tough cookie and pretty street wise to live there. It's not a city brimmed with compassion, and it's pretty damn uncompromising. It's also loud, with the blaring trucks rumbling past. And feverish, what with the seemingly never-ending yellow cabs, and the thousands of people buzzing about.
NYC is not my kind of city, if I'm honest, but I will go back there one day when it's not quite so damn hot. I imagine Central Park is fricking awesome on a cool, autumn day. Anyone else been to NYC, and if so, your thoughts?

The pink smear at the bottom of that last photo is my finger. Oh fuck off, I never said I was David Bailey. Coming up next time on boring long holiday post #3 - NEW YORK STATE!

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