29 September 2008


I'm writing three posts for today, I know that excites you. I'll be recounting our weekend excursion to the City herein, then making space for a special Broadway Review, and finally, a patented rant cum lament slash tin-foil hat post, well, you'll see.
When I last wrote I was exhausted from several hours of Greyhound travel and one brief if crazy cab ride from agrarian Frederick, MD to industrio-organic New York, NY. After sleeping off the trip we woke up about noon (how decadent) and made our way to a bagel shop on 8th Ave for some brunch. I got chicken salad on 7-grain bagel and a cappuccino (I did not once set foot into a Starbucks on this trip). The chicken salad was freakin' delicious, and the bagel was soft and perfect. You really can't get a good bagel outside of the City, I now know everyone who has ever told me that is right.
After eating we wandered back to the apartment on 9th where we left the Mrs. and Dathan while Parker and I strolled around Manhattan, him telling me what everything was, me hungrily consuming everything with my eyes, pupils drinking in the photons as though parched from a trip through a long, dark desert ('sup Jersey). We strolled, and talked, and not long after setting out into the misty afternoon where low-slung clouds hid the mighty peaks of Manhattan from our mortal eyes, we came upon some interesting architecture, and an asian man in short-order cook's garb seated on a stoop enjoying a smoke. The light was good, the time felt right, I reached into my bag for my camera and began my pre-shoot Settings Ritual. The camera wouldn't power on. It was broken. More on this in my rant.
We wandered on and took in Columbus Circle, the Time Warner building (what's up with the 15 foot statue of tha naked dude -hello proportionally small wang, just hangin' out there- who looks like a chocolate Osca stature what ate another chocolate Oscar statue? Seemed like some homage to Consumerism, given the fact that we were in a shopping center where everything was really expensive), made our way over to the Hudson.
There's an apartment in a bottle sculpture in a small park by the river. Again, interesting on many levels. We saw the Intrepid's dock, but the carrier is off undergoing maintenance, I was told. We saw some cruise ships - wow, they really are huge, and even saw a Free Tibet protest outside the chine Embassy, which itself is an interesting mix of deco, Maoist and traditional Chinese architectural forms. I wanted to tell them I'd take 2, since they were free, but poking hippies with a stick didn't quite seem fitting with the mood of the day.
We strolled home, and then entered into the lottery for discount (front row!) tickets to see Wicked, which out of the 4 of us Dathan's name was pulled and he got 2 tickets, which he gave to the Mrs. and I.
After we dined at Arriba Arriba (good Mexican), we went to the show, which I review in my next of three posts. After the show we became true New Yorkers - we had 15 minutes to get from 51st to 44th, and there were a bunch of freakin' tourists sauntering about the sidewalks, so we had to bob, weave, and sometimes push to get past the fly-over cattle. I wanted to yell "MOOO-0oove It!", but only my middle name is 'Craig'.
Why 44th? Birdland, of course. We sat at the bar and listened to Betty Buckley (I'd never heard of her, either, apparently she was in Cats when the Mrs. was in the womb) sing standards with her tight 4-piece band. After that we stood outside and chatted for a bit before beginning the walk home, at 130 in the morning. Of course we stopped for a slice on the way; did you honestly think we were in NYC for an entire weekend and didn't even enjoy a slice? I could have eaten a whole pie, but I settled for a slice.
Sunday we brunched at The Nook on their block, said our goodbyes, and made for the Port Authority, the New York sky crying as we hiked down to 41st to hop our South Bound Greyhound.
In 7 hours, 3 stops, and 1 transfer, we were back in Frederick and my tailbone was sore.
I definitely want to live in the City at some point in my life. It feels like the right thing to do. That said, save for the apartment I don't know that I sat in a single place that I would call comfortable for any length of time all weekend (on second thought, the back seat of a cab is very comfortable for my butt, if not my stress level). I think maybe you need to spend more money in Manhattan for the comfortable seats.


An observation that I'm sure has already been made. Looking at Manhattan, the buildings, the sidewalks, the fire-hose taps and hydrants (a hydrant was being drained as we walked home from Birdland, and some tall skinny chick in a too short dress and expensive-looking heels turned to her short friend and commented on "all that water being wasted". aha. And then, as they navigated around the rushing water as it was swallowed by the storm drain, she wondered where was a man's jacket when they needed it? Well, I was wearing a jacket, and admittedly it was a Goodwill purchase, but come on, chica, that water was a good 6 inches deep and my jacket would have been false hope, oh wait) the streets and the stoplights and what trees there are, my mind began to work. The city is as organic as any living being. Seemingly disused items are left in place as their replacements are installed. Even in the old buildings from the 1800s the remnants of over 100 years often linger in the ceilings and under coats of paint. New buildings seem to grow to replace the old people shift around from room to room, circulating, breathing life into the bones of this old city. There's a siren song to be heard if you listen. More than the belting on Broadway or the lapping of the Hudson, but every bit the staccato 'woop woop' of a NYPD cruiser at 3am and an old man picking trash off the streets singing "Singin' In the Rain" as you walk to brunch. It's all of this. It calls to you and if you hear it you find it hard to resist. You find yourself thinking that maybe you could make a home in a large wine bottle by the river where onlookers could watch you at home like you watch them when you aren't.


I was talking with Parker about this as we walked around Manhattan Saturday!
Post a Comment

Popular Posts