Wednesday, 24 June 2009

New York Part 1

Da da ddah dee da, da da ddah dee da, New York New York!

Yes, my return to New York has thus far been much more successful than my previous crazy-man-on-bus incident. After being soaked and drugged up in DC, I got the bus back to the island city and paced for 24 hours before Anthony arrived. And that he did on Saturday afternoon to my great delight. Despite travelling for a ridiculous amount of hours from which I would feel exhausted and insist on a sit down, we powered out to have tea and did do at this fabulous little tee-total Soul food restuarant called Amy Ruth's. It was like eating your Granny's home cooking. After that he did crash, but I was very impressed with his fortitude and it let me indulge in not one, but two episodes of Law and Order.

I should take a minute to tell you about the place we are staying. Obviously, I'm on a budget so the choice was fun things or nice hotel and we chose fun things. I really struggled to find an affordable private room in a hostel in Manhatten. When I finally did I was much relieved. However on arrival I must say despite my hardened traveller slumming-it ethos that I now possess I was a bit shocked. It's a bascially a big house that had been hastily made in to a hostel. Our twin room turned out to be a box room with a killer set of bunk beds in it that are impossible to climb without launching yourself across them. It got a little strange when I realised we were in room 101 and steadily growing more freaky when I realised the total of the room came to $666. I felt that neither of these things were good omens.

Despite our room in the Devil's hostel, we have had a super time the last couple of days. On the Sunday the weather was being uncooperative so we decided to be cultural and went to not one, but two museums! The Guggenheim (art and arcitecture) and the Metropolitean Art Museum. By the end of the day we felt saturated with paint and culture. It was fortunate we did such academia as earlier that day we had a true stupid tourist moment whilst trying to use the sibway for the first time. After much faffing we finally manged to buy a ticket from the automated machine, only to go through the wee gate thing and were then confronted with a locked 6 foot iron gate. We finally managed to escape out of this situation and then had to buy more tickets as we had invalidated the first ones. We felt like very stupid tourists.

That evening whilst searching for a resturant we got absolutely soaked in the pouring rain (this now becoming a theme for me) and ended up ina Greek place. Whilst we were there a waiter approached me and asked (in French) if I was French. I said no and that I was from Scotland and his look of astonishment that I was actually a native English speaker was evident. So my accent and speach pattern has obviously not changed much since I left.

The weather began to improve slightly which was fortunate as on Monday we met a a lady called Diane (I felt she should have been called Nancy) from a thing called Big Apple Greeter- bascially a New Yorker shows you round a apart of NYC for free. She took us around Colombia Uni where Obama went amongst other things and it was most interesting. Nancy/Diane herself was a hilarous and slightly odd lady, like the best people are. She incidently was a big Law And Order fan too so I approved heartily.

And now to my birthday. Thank-you to all who sent me kind wishes and regards. To those of you that forgot- eternal curses on you all!! Anthony had very thoughtfully arranged for mum to send me a birthday card via him so I had one card to open on the day itself (unfortunately, no large cheque). We had decided to go to Greenwich Village that morning for a wee guided walking tour and found the most fabulous street in al the world. It was called West 10th Street and it was a street of lovely old fashioned town houses that all had window boxes and good paint jobs. One was for sale so we looked it ip- 7 seven floors, a roof top garden- a cool 18 million dollars, so affordable then?! After our nice walk we went to Kat's diner- the diner made famous by the "when Harry met Sally' orgasm moment. I wasn't too impressed, just a greesy spoon like we have back home, except larger portions (it is America). On the walk back I was delighted to discover a Christie street, and then the adjacent street was Forsyth street! I took a picture pointing at the signs, amused at this odd coincidence (for those of you who don't know, Forsyth is my mother's maiden name).

That evening was the big night- our Broadway musical. Anthony had bought the tickets for my birthday and we were due to see 9 to 5, the muscial based on the amazing 70's musical of the same name with Dolly Parton. After a scare (we got on the wrong subway train) we made ourselves beautiful and headed on down to the show. Of note, CJ from the West Wing aka Alison Janney was in the muscial playing the Lily Tomlin role from the film. Well, it was terrific! We were in the 2nd to front row, right in the middle so had a great view. Afterwards, we were too excited to eat (we had skipped dinner) and ended up in a revolving rooftop bar drinking Manhatten cocktails (Manhattens in Manhatten- do you get it, we are sooo original and funny). What we didn't realise was that those cocktails are all alcohol and no mixer. With that on top of no food, we ended up quite drunk and if the bar hadn't have been revolving already then our heads definitely would have been spinning!

Right that's part one over, get ready for part two later in the week!

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