New York Friday Night Ramblings

Being searched before going on the plane was uncomfortable and should have prepared me for a long journey. I did get the warning signs when the captain announced that he was having to go the long way to new York as the plane only has short wave radio. The long wave was broken. Our journey was a long one, the plane was small and cramped. I got up and walked as often as possible. I was on the aisle. Although Leg room was non existent.

IANA White was on our flight. Wow Celebrity spotting on the plane!

The hostesses were nice and polite. She said all the right things and smiled all the time. Nice.

Unlike America’s welcome.
Circling to land for 30 minutes was a bit annoying, landing was fine, the terminal was pleasant enough although what is with the Defibrilators all over the walls every 50 meters or so? Perhaps they ran out of fire extinguishers.

Anyway a long walk to immigration. The one building with roughly 1000 people queuing in it didn’t have any air conditioning. Even the girl from the plane in the summery shirt and light top and denim jacket looked warm. I measured the length of the queuing row, 14 large steps. There were 10 rows to get through. By the time I was at the front every row was full.

I got to immigration the man asked me some questions. I was conscious that all the police were carrying Guns. I got through immigration after giving my finger prints and mug shot to the american authorities.

The bus journey to town was terrible, who teaches these people to drive. I was jerked here and there all over the place. I took the bus after the woman at the tourist information made me feel stupid and ignorant for daring to ask about other transport methods. I think she was getting a cut of the bus woman’s commission.

new York is massive. Manhattan is reasonable size, but it is big and busy. Someone spotted me as a tourist and sent me from the correct street I was standing on to a different street. Thanks Mate, welcome to the big city huh.

I wondered about until I found the Hotel. I walked up Broadway, saw Samuel L Jackson in the street. I double took and realized he was outside Madame toussards new York. Hmmm. Not as easy as it seems this tourist malarky.

My hotel was right next to Times square. First impression it isn’t square. But it is tall and noisy. The taxi’s are crazy. I find somewhere to eat near the hotel. I picked seafood as my wife hates fish and I didn’t want to experience much before she hit town later that night.

I checked in Had a shower and checked out from the tourist guides where the CD shops were. I didn’t want to drag helen all over town to get some CD’s. I also check out the time out listings of what was on to see what I wanted to see with my time in NY.
Josh Rouse is playing in town tonight but I don’t want to go on my own, the Knicks and the Yankees are also in town tonight but I don’t to be there without the wife.

I go shopping I walk down 8th avenue, 9th avenue, passed B&H electronics, (What a store), waltz into the gay village without realizing, I am conscious of the amount of same sex couples suddenly dotted around the streets and bars and restaurants. See on DVD store which offers toys which If my imagination is correct, put me off playing for life!

I walk through Chelsea and find a stamp store in Greenwich village, then an antique watch store. I almost buy a 1930’s wind up american watch, but decide to bring helen back later on for a second opinion. Suddenly I am on Hudson Street. What happened to 9th avenue? I missed 4th street where the CD shops are. I try and re adjust my course. Pas a massive hole in the road due to a water leak, trust me it was 3-4 meters square.
(We drove by there on Saturday, you would never have known their was a whole in the road. Unbelievable. I Glasgow we can’t even put a raised kerb into a bus top in a full days work. (today at the bust stop across the road,. They’re coming back tomorrow. I think they’re just taking the proverbial).

walk near a park around NYU lost of students, Greenwich village feels like the west end of Glasgow. NYU fells big and impressive. The browny stone buildings are tall and imposing. My contact lense moves. I now can’t see out my right eye. oops.
I give up my CD search for a mirror search. I enter the first Drug store I find, For the first time in my life I make a bee line for the make up department. I pop the lense back in. I decide to get some food and head back to the hotel.

I look left to try and work out where I am. I see on the Corner the two CD shops I was originally looking for Tower Records On 4th Street and Broadway (I think may have been 6th avenue)and the smaller indie shop over the street from it.
I went to tower first. It is massive Has everything except the artists I judge CD shops by. Over the Rhine and Pedro the Lion. Tower did have Pedro but no sign of Over The Rhine.

Tower Records is big but feels souless, badly designed and frankly old trying to be new.
The independent shop feels, busy, quietly confident and edgy. It feels like it has too much stock for its premises it would have good comparisons with fopp or avalanche.
I bought 3 CD’s

Pedro The Lion – Achilles Heel
Iron And Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days
Damon and Naomi – The Earth is Blue
for Just under $50 paid cash to the lady.

I walked up the street, decided to stop wherever I first saw for food. I stopped at Burger and Soup. mmmmm what a combination. I had the burger. Homemade burger which was a bout an inch thick beef. Excellent service and fresh cold water. Just very good. Even the signed posters of Chris Rock & Jackie Chan were a nice touch of kitsch.

I got the underground back to times square. I felt scared in the underground. It was deep undergoing and you felt it. It was a large carriage, not many seats, and it was uncomfortable plastic seats. Not nice.

I got out an times square, wondered bout seeing a movie but didn’t like what was on. The city seems bigger at night. During the day the depth of the city is evident. At night the height really comes out to play.

In times square they are making a movie, well one scene, no one I recognize so I move on. Went to Virgin megastore times square. They have an Virgin UK section with Cliff and Marty Pellow. Nice. Go to the bottom of the shop. Down three elevators. They have a 6 screen cinema working out the store. Like WTF!

The have a San Andreas stall selling the game and merchanise. I particularly like the Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Jackets. And the San Andreas branded Domino set. Just what every hustler, gang member Hanging in the hood needs, dominos!!

I can’t find a shop that sells Oakley sunglasses. This country is bright. I go to the easy Internet place to blog all this. My left contact falls out completely. I have been up for 24 hours and my eyes can’t take much more of this. I find my contact on the rough mud mat at the entrance door. Give up attempting to blog as a bad joke and head back to the hotel.

stop at the electronics shop on times square. The place looks like it’s a rip off, no prices in the windows, etc signs saying many bargains etc. The camera’s cost $3000 I reckon I can get them new from the maker at $2500 tops. I leave go to the hotel.

I get there. Go to my room, rest my eyes a while. Try to stay awake. Head to the bar for noise a stimulation. The picture above shows how bright it is. The Plasma TV shows Basketball.

I write.

I write this to stay awake
to remember
to share with my wife, then the wider world
to be me

I have spent $105.30 including tips without even doing much. Tomorrow will be different.