Luxury got left behind in Palm Beach. To get to our hotel in… Brooklyn, we had to use primitive ways of transport such as bus and tube. Agh. And then the damn tube didn’t cooperate as expected due to repair and idiocy, so we had to go all the way to Coney Island to turn back. What a rude awakening. That never happened to Lou Reed. To push and pull on your suitcases for three hours in the NY subway system does not rank highly on my enjoy-o-meter.
Ah, they say Brooklyn is hipper than Manhattan. Bullshit. Only hippies could say that. It smells and is dirty and comes equipped with suspicious-looking people leaning against derelict walls (keep in mind we have just returned from Palm Beach where every straw of grass is watered with Acqua Di Parma).
However, when we finally had found our little hotell next to some oily car repair shop and a religious center for god knows what kind of sect, we crammed our suitcases into the little floorspace there was, jumped into the shower, escaped into town, grabbed a burger, and walked down Broadway, the city suddenly opened up.
First time in NY? Well, you go ooh and aah and holy shit, look at that and that and that. How to put it? Well, it is so unbelievable you can not believe it. There is not a more (magnificently) overdeveloped plot of land anywhere else on this planet. Skyscraper after skyscraper, raping the sky…
There is probably too much of everything in NY – particularly far too many people. And I used to live in London (maybe I was more tolerant back then). But then you gaze over that skyline from a great vantage point and too much of everything turns into just right. Here is testament to man’s strange drive to build. And build. And build.
They have certainly moved along – at least physically – since angry narrow-minded men in jumbo jets managed to topple over the twin towers. Hard hats are working around the clock here, Ground Zero is filling up fast.
Nice colors, busy bees. And for effect, just after being here soaking up all the We Will Never Forget, Bin Laden was gunned down in righteous glory. Justice moves in mysterious ways.
Speaking of NY-related justice, Strauss-Kahn, you must be the dumbest dick around. Rape a maid when running for president? Wow.
Ever heard the one about the guy who sold his soul on Wall Street, and turned into a bronze statue? Of course, the price of bronze would drop dramatically, considering how many that have and would, and certainly in the past decade, where greed passed all meters of acceptable. Don’t call me a commie – money is my guide to happiness, just as it is yours. Having said so, is it not painfully obvious that speculation is the root of all evil?
Luxury condominiums, downtown Manhattan. Ah. A dreamy dream. But I want more out of life than so. A little more breathing space, a green garden with berry bushes and apple trees, empty winding roads for a Ducati, a safe school for a daughter. They have a pretty nice view from out of there, mind.
The East River, the bridges, the cars, everything is brown.
We took a stroll out onto Brooklyn Bridge, the neo-Gothic landmark of New York. Excellent first-time tourist activity, another box ticked.
You know, outside City Hall, they still have the old gas lights. You can see the flame flickering, you can smell the gas. Now, where did I park my horse?
We did not settle for the outside of things. We walked right into Waldorf Astoria – great lobby, by the by, heavy on history – and we just had to see what the Trump Tower looked like. Safe to say, Donald has more money than taste. Everything is goldplated, and there is an indoor waterfall…
Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton. We loved the ostrich.
We gambled until last minute before leaving for New York, confident to find a Manhattan four-star for bargain dollar. Well, the reason we ended up in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, was that the Tribeca Film Festival was about to kick off, leaving no cheap rooms to be found on good locations. We blame you, De Niro. We didn’t even see you, even tho we went looking everywhere in Tribeca. Had such an itch to “You talkin’ to me?” He probably doesn’t get that a lot…
Times Square. Here, everything, every slogan, every color, is screaming for your attention. We chilled by going cinemabound for the remake of Arthur. Hilarious, altho we ate too much popcorn and ruined our dinner plans.
For contrast, a bit of art and a few words about MoMa. As everywhere in NY, the queues are far too many blocks long and my ankles detest people. At the Museum of Modern Art, we did not take it anymore. In fact, we just walked past this unfathomably incomprehensibly long several kilometer line of flesh, asked for a wheelchair, and then spent the day in MoMa actually not suffering for art, but enjoying it. Madli was pushing, I was cruising, and we had the best of times pouring over Jackson Pollock’s finest.
Everybody goes up to Empire State. We went to the Top Of The Rock, Rockefeller Center. Crane your neck.
The view was so utterly mindblowing that a tiny picture like this one is embarrassing. I must have something better in my folder? But anyway, you got to walk around the Rockefeller Center 360 degrees, getting the bird’s eye of everything that counts. Breathtaking, glorious, fantastic and everything else. Ah, Central Park below, in full spring, magically beautiful, the pink azaleas, the white blooms of horse chestnut trees, the ridiculous mime artists, the Nuts for Nuts stands, kids yelling, horses crapping, oh I love parks and Central Park more than even Pumpviken in Karis…
Parking, NY style.
Somebody got lucky with a bold color scheme.
Chinatown. Like everything Chinese, growing by the hour, eating up Little Italy, then the whole of Manhattan, finally the world will be one big Chinatown. Full of personable junk and lethal-looking foods and people who have lived here for fifty years yet can not utter a word in English.
I have always wondered – and will continue to do so – about exactly what kind of a customer that goes into one of these so-called Chinatown jewelry shops and actually buys something? They are smockfull of cheap trinkets, but nothing is worth anything and nothing is nice. Even so, someone must buy their stuff all the time, because these shops are absolutely everywhere, full of little silver dragon ear rings and purple stones and horrible clutter. Highly perplexing, completely senseless. I guess that, when things do not add up in your mind, the culprit is usually this incredibly vast concept called culture.
Little Italy, streets of the Godfather. I’m not afraid to admit to this tourist pleasure – we had pizza here. Wasn’t bad at all, and a couple of Nastro Azzurros later the streets seemed a bit slower and more gentle.
NY in a nutshell. Lots of steel and limestone and concrete, but with some very delectable bits in between. We returned with full stock of Calvin Kleins from Century 21, and those stupid millions of boxes in your mind a little more ticked.