Saturday, 1 August 2009

New York Adventure

So, I spent the past week in the Big Apple. It was probably the second best holiday I've been on (the Cayman Islands has retained first position for many a year). We spent a day wandering round Central Park (that makes it seem like you're nowhere near a giant city) and another exploring shops (Bloomingdale's, Macy's et al - overrated!)

We got the ferry over to see the Statue of Liberty and stopped off at Ellis Island on the way back. Quite a good day, but that was when the weather heated up - there was a lot of ducking and diving into shade! In the queue on Liberty Island, I came across possibly the most idiotic person on the face of the planet.

Two Americans were having a conversation with two other people. The conversation went something like this:

Americans: So, where you from?
Austrians: Austria.
Americans: Wow! So do you ski?
Americans: Live on a mountain?
Austrians: No....
Americans: Oh.........
Austrians: ...................
Americans: you speak French and American then?
Austrians: Well, it's German in Austria, so German.
Americans: And American?
Austrians: English!
Americans: Oh yeah, we butchered the English language!

*Awkward silence*

American Kid: Mommy, who built the Statue of Liberty?
Americans: Ah, well, the British made the English build it when Christopher Columbus first came over.
American Kid: Wow! Thanks! *Writes answer down on their little quiz. Smiles innocently.*

I wonder whether those people actually knew what they were going to see that day! I'm thinking you could have shown them a bloody spaceship and they'd have been none the wiser! Nevertheless, they brightened up our day! Feel a little sorry for the kid though; let's just hope he goes to a bloody good school!

Another day, we made our way to the 82nd floor of the Empire State Building. It was a good day so the view was great. You could see Liberty Island, Brooklyn Bridge and much more.

We also went to Hard Rock cafe one night, which was awesome. They're obsessed with the Beatles over there, so you wouldn't be surprised to find one of George Harrison's acoustic guitars on the wall. It was an enjoyable night with some groovy music (obviously).

One night that wasn't so groovy, was the meal at Lindy's. Service was crap and the food wasn't that great. In the US, you tip practically everything, usually somewhere between 10% and 20%. The bill came at Lindy's and circled in red pen was the following:

Great - 18%
Excellent - 20%

I was rather stunned, mainly because of the fact that the service was shit! Then when they took the card to pay, the guy asked "Which was it?" meaning great or excellent? Shocked a little bit more, we said "Erm.....can we give in cash?" He nodded and sorted out the card. Then, when no-one was looking, we scarpered without leaving a tip. The look I got as we fled was quite funny (and scary). The moral - don't eat at Lindy's!

We were planning on going to a comedy show one night. In Times Square, most people stand around saying "Do you like standup comedy?" You usually brush these people off with "No thanks". It becomes a habit.

Turns out the best way to get you to stop and listen is for a black guy to stand there, look at you and say "Do you like black people?"

You tend to pause at that point. Anyway, after a 10 minute comedy conversation, we bought some tickets to the Comic Strip. We were assured that Mr Chris Rock might spontaneously turn up for drinks, but alas he did not. It was a good night, about 3 hours of 15-min slots. You got quite a variety and if you didn't like anyone, it wasn't too bad. Everyone seemed to leave after one poor bloke who wasn't funny at all. He just said random things like "Isn't it funny when you come out of the restroom and someone's waiting?!" Silence.

You can't go to New York without seeing a Broadway show, so off we went to the ticket office and got seats for Phantom of the Opera. Never seen it before (all I knew was Nightwish's version of the title song). But it was pretty awesome, all apart from the stupid bitch in front of me who felt the need to lean forward every 2 minutes to get a better look, thus blocking my view. As payback, when she turned the camera around to take a picture of herself, we flagged her off. She'll have a nice holiday pic!

We went round a few museums too, including the Natural History Museum, MoMA, Met, Guggenheim et al. Got all cultured with the art houses, but I'm sorry, is this really art? Yeah, didn't think so! Nevertheless, there it was. And all the while, insanely talented people work on the streets drawing portraits. It's a screwed up world we live in!

I laughed quite hard at the sign that had a quote, then "Unknown Latin author". If you're like me, you'll get the annoyance of that! I looked and "WTF??!! Unknown Latin author?!" Got out the vid camera and recorded it. Dad watched it and said "Unknown Latin author?!" Idiots shouldn't be allowed to write signs!

We had some major thunderstorms too. A tornado passed on one side, while a storm passed on the other. As we arrived at the airport (to come home), there was lightning every 30 seconds which wasn't great. We were delayed but made it. wasn't a great flight though - a wee bit bumpy.

That's all I can remember at the moment, but sure there's something I'm missing. I documented the whole thing and am planning on putting together a 'Best Of' vid for the blog. Should get it done next week.

Hope everyone's had a good week :)

PS: Here's one for the film buffs:

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