Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Bronx is up and the Battery's down...

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! And hey - so is Washington DC, where I'm currently getting FREE internet access at the delightful Holiday Inn Capitol. God Bless America. But I believe a recap is in order, so let's pick up where I left off, shall we?

By the way, I have updated my first post with photos from NYC, if you're interested in a goosey gander.

Our second day in the Big Apple (Sunday) saw us head to Central Park to check out the NYC marathon, in which about 37,000 athletes converge on the city to run some ridiculous circuit through the five boroughs. The streets around the park were closed off for the event, and there were thousands of people everywhere wearing silly hats and waving banners and cheering friends and family members on as they crashed through the finish line in Manhattan (and collapsed shortly thereafter).

So...really fucking fast, then?

Speaking of collapsing - if you DO have to keel over from heart failure at some point, America is the place to do it. There are defribulators (those electric pads TV doctors slam onto your chest to give you an electric jolt) mounted on the wall in almost every public place - train stations, hotel lobbies, restaurants. Clearly Americans are dropping dead in such significant numbers that the government felt it necessary to install expensive E.R equipment in all public places likely to provoke a heart attack (ie: anywhere with stairs.)

Actually, the apparent heart attack rate is not all that surprising, given some of the bizarre foods on offer here. How about Ben & Jerry's "Chubby Hubby" ice cream - if the name doesn't turn you off, the ingredients list might: peanut butter, fudge and PRETZELS. Yes, pretzels. Or any of the extensive range of cereals including marshmallow pieces. Breakfast of champions, that.

Who said the American diet was unhealthy?

Although any of THIS is absolutely acceptable. Dean and De Luca patisserie section, Broadway, Noho.

There are also posters in every restaurant and cafe detailing how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre - something I have never actually seen anyone do. I can only assume this is because enough Americans have choked to death while eating their Chubby Hubby with fried dough that someone decided something needed to be done. I say - if people can't survive walking up stairs or eating, maybe they should be left alone to stop polluting the gene pool, but that's just my opinion.

Tuesday I checked out Macy's on Broadway, "The largest store in the world".

"The largest store in the world"

This is not a lie. It is freaking HUGE. In fact it's SO large that most of the staff don't even know where anything is. I was directed by confused staff to three different floors before I found women's sneakers, and by then even I'd forgotten what I was looking for.

On my way uptown I passed "Fashion Ave", which as cable TV enthusiasts after my own heart might know is home to the Parsons School of Fashion and Design, otherwise known as the home of the delicious Tim Gunn and PROJECT RUNWAY!

You're either in, or you're out...

I hung around outside hoping to see Tim so I could get him to sign my T shirt a la "Carry on - Tim Gunn" or "What happened to Andre? - Tim Gunn" but alas, he never showed.

I continued up Broadway to Times Sq, "The crossroads of the world" (does EVERYTHING in New York have a tagline? Yes. Yes it does) to get a little taste of the neon I am looking forward to in Vegas next week. The place is CRAZY. Billboards and video screens EVERYWHERE - standing in the middle is like being locked inside a television set with the colour and brightness settings turned up to 11.


...and wet. Times Sq is so versatile.

An anti-Bush protest singer in Times Sq. I believe the wound is fake. If it's not, he's doing a bloody good job singing through the pain.

Walked down 49th St to the Rockerfeller Centre and saw the famous ice skating rink, which is every bit as romantic as it is in the movies, past the NBC studios and back down 5th Ave past Saks and the Empire State Building.

It's all fun and games until someone collapses from heart failure.

As with Lady Liberty - couldn't be bothered actually going UP the Empire State, as there was a constant two hour wait and it all seemed so trite and cliche New York. Kind of like eating a hotdog from a stand while saying "Fuhgeddaboutit!" Which I admit, I actually did do later. Mum and I decided to go up the Rockerfeller Centre to the "Top of the Rock" instead, which gave us fantastic views for the same price as the E.S.B admission (an extortionate $16 US) but from there we could actually SEE the Empire State, instead of being stuck up it.

Shine on, you crazy diamond

Also checked out FAO Schwartz, the famous toy shop featured in the movie Big, where Tom Hanks danced on a giant floor piano and became a high powered business executive despite being only 12 years old. And yes - the piano is actually there, and yes, you can dance on it. No, I did not partake of this embarrassing and potentially heart failure inducing activity. This Russian couple, however:

"See Natasha? I tell you when we marry, we make beautiful music together."
"Victor, you are very unattractive man."

FAO Schwartz is a kids' paradise, and therefore - a parent's torturous, fiery hell. You can buy any toy your brat desires - from customisable dolls (choose their hair style, skin colour and facial expression, or pick one out of the "nursery" attended by pretend nurses in costumes) to mini electric Bentleys. Or, apparently, a 1970s go-go afro slut doll:

Blaxploitation Barbie

Speaking of celebrities (was I?) we've managed to not see ANY, despite reading reports in the papers of how Courtney Love had a book signing at Barnes and Noble, and Sarah Michelle Gellar was sipping Cosmos at some bar or another, and Anthony Bourdain and James Gandolfini hosted a celebrity chef evening at some such hotel. Actually I lie - we have seen ONE celebrity. The fat guy from Lost, chowing down on some fried clams at The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Given that we didn't know how to address him other than "Hey, are you that fat guy from Lost?", we didn't approach him. But we will surely cherish that brush with fame forever. Speaking of brushes with fame, I believe it's time for me to tell you all about my O.O.B experience with Mr Dylan and Mr White. Check my next post.


  1. Oh, I'm so jealous! That patisserie shop is making me drool and that weird busker with the wound is kind of creepy. Good photos though!

  2. I'm confused. How does fried dough differ from doghnuts?

  3. Petstarr, I am officially over you!! TOO jealous; had own OOB experience reading about Raconteur set; frankly I would have left the building after that set and died happy.
    Nu Yawk Nu Yawk!

  4. this is me, insanely jealous of YOU being in NYC.. duuuuude.. I so wish I wuz there.. grrrr.. dammit (but look.. photo's.. oh so shiny! :) )

    the good news is however, luck prevailing, I should be LIVING there in the next 4 months.. oh yes NEW YORK CITY I'm coming for you baby!! don't you dare get (a) nuked, (b) hit by comets, (c) asteroids, (d) freak tsunami, (e) frozen solid, (f) destroyed by aliens, (g) converted into an island prison, (h) eaten by godzilla.. or y'know.. (i) obliterated by any kinda nasty terrorist incident that ISN'T fictional (eeeesh!) coz I'm COMING TO LIVE IN YOUR CRAZY CITY (or very likely, somewhere just over the river in NEW JERSEY so I'm not living in a cardboard box in CENTRAL PARK)

    yes.. very much enjoying the overseas blogs.. keep 'em rolling :)

  5. First you come out with the world-class Idol recaps, and now with the East Coast of America.

    Way to live my dream, lady.