Thursday, March 18, 2010

New York City (Part 2)

Into the City

ITS ACTUALLY DONE! Sorry it's pretty much entirely text. I couldn't really find any good photos to use and I haven't found a good way to post video without putting it up on Youtube for the whole world.

My new promise to you readers is that I'm not going to promise anything. I'll update when I can. I do apologize for the long wait though. I've been focusing on other stuff. I do have some neat stuff planned for future posts and I hope to follow through on a couple of things I've mentioned before. Anyway, here is the second part of my trip into New York City.

We arrived in New Jersey tired from our trip but glad we had made it. We had finished a little over half of our audio book and were ready for a few hours rest before we went to Tribeca Cinemas for the premiere. We were staying at Jay's house. Jay is working with Allen as a business partner for his next film if I recall correctly. Anyway, his house was incredible. Just tucked away in a suburb, but the interior had some really neat stuff. He had a glove signed by Muhammed Ali, a player piano (it plays itself) and quite literally the most comfortable couch and living room set I have ever had the pleasure to indent with my rear.

We sat for a while and watched Eight Below on his big wall-mounted television. Apparently I have no soul because I laughed when Grace and Lindsey got all emotional over the poor puppy-dogs and also when the sea lion attack jumped them both. After that we ate sandwiches that Jay brought from a nearby deli. HOLY CRAP DELICIOUS! I wasn't aware that bread, provolone and ham could be that damn tasty. The sandwiches were huge too.

Our next order of business was to prepare for the premiere. We all dressed up fancy-like. Grace claimed she felt like an Egyptian goddess in her sparkly dress. I felt like my father in that everything (literally) except my socks and boxers I stole from his closet. Why? Because I don't really own much in the vein of fancy. I prefer what is comfortable.

Into the city! So the main thing that I appreciate more now after having been to New York City is the proximity to nature that I have here in Winthrop. I can walk to places where you can't tell humans have been around the area, where streams run and trees are thick. I always assumed there was some sort of exaggeration when I heard about the concrete jungle and how devoid of nature it was. It isn't exaggeration. Pictures don't tell the story. Even movies I've seen don't capture the essence of the city. Though I will say that after walking down a few streets I could think of nothing but the cities of Blade Runner (Which I am ashamed to admit I have never watched all the way through).

Keep in mind however that I was nowhere near any touristy part of the city. There were no recognizable landmarks to a country bumpkin like me. I could see the Empire State Building from Tribeca Cinemas but it was quite a ways away. The streets we went down were lined with shops crammed together selling all sorts of stuff. There was a store that claimed to sell nothing but rubber. (I don't know if the connotation is implied there or not). Large, gawdy signs with bright colors and neon lights adorning old, weathered building dominated the area.

When we were coming into the city/New Jersey we crossed several bridges. One bridge afforded us a view of both a ridgeline with high cliffs bording a river and in the other direction the city skyline. Looking at both I decided that I was more impressed with the ridgeline. I think it was then I realized that cities really aren't my forté.

Forget Texas (granted I have never been there), New York is freaking huge. I would never want to live there. Lindsey seems to think it would be awesome. I contend that there are simply TOO MANY PEOPLE. I have never seen so many people in my life. The sheer density of population is mind-boggling. From what I saw it is conceivable that one might live for months, even years, without having to leave the space of two or three blocks. All their needs would be provided for. A two-block world. CRAZY.

To actually get onto Manhatten we had to drive through the longest tunnel I've ever seen. It went down for a solid five minutes of driving before coming back up from under the water. Grace was fascinated by the idea that we were cruising under millions of gallons of water. We all told her to take a swim.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned in New York is that despite all the nay-sayers. Stereotypes are true! At least to some extent. For example, I met my first real life crazy mumbling hobo! He was wandering around near us talking about people in general and swearing a lot. We also met a guy who ran a parking station. First let me say that driving into the city with a car is really expensive. There are small parking lots scattered about the city that you can drive up and pay to park in. Space is so limited they have elevated parking spaces so one car can park on top of another. Anyway, we needed a spot and the first lot was full but the guy running it (out of an "office" that was a couple pieces of plywood) said to us he could move someone else's vehicle because "Money talks, money talks, ya know?" Picture that being said by a solidly built asian fellow with a heavy New Yorker accent and a wad of bills in his hand he was riffling through.

Eventually we found an open spot which Jay paid nearly $60 for. SIXTY DOLLARS to park for a few hours. For comparison Grace left her car in Portland overnight and paid a total of about seven dollars. Thank you Jay.

We found the cinema and I got to see my posters on display both outside in the "Now Showing" poster boxes and inside on easels where the red carpet pictures were taken. Really cool. Though the corner we were given to stage our video equipment in smelled like vomit, which wasn't cool. I assembled my homebuilt steadycam and filmed a lot happening on the red carpet. When Thea Gill (the lead female actress) showed up, she commented on my posters and then gave me a kiss on the lips. Yes, you read that correctly, I was kissed by a movie star. Albeit a thirty-nine year old one. It was rather unexpected to say the least. But that's just how Thea is. Bubbly and inhibitionless.

I would link to Grace's New York pictures here, or Lindsey's, if I knew where to link to online. Perhaps one of you could let me know?

Watching the movie again wasn't anything special, the screen was actually smaller than the one in Winthrop. After the film we headed on down to Club Libation for some festivities. While the food was pretty tasty the place was packed so tight it was difficult to move around. I wasn't exactly a big fan of the music, which tells you that Lindsey enjoyed it throughly. I got free drinks at the bar though. COLA. Geez, you didn't think I meant booze did you? Anyway, there were bouncers the size of mountains, one of whom Shaw claimed she could take on. We stayed in the club for a while. It wasn't that great if you ask me, if only because you had to be within six inches of someone else to hold even a simple conversation.

Rereading this post I notice that I sound like I didn't enjoy a lot of my time in the city, which isn't true, it's just that there were certain elements I didn't like. My overall impression was; Awesome place to visit, awful place to live.

After Libation we went back to Jay's and crashed till late morning when we got up, had delicious pancakes, and started the seven hour trip back to Winthrop. On the way back we listened to some more of I, Alex Cross on audiobook till we finished it. I learned that I am an excellent power-napper with the ability to both sleep and be entirely awake at the same time. (A talent I used recently at the dentist).

When I finally arrived home from my longest single trip ever I was quite satisfied with it.

Er.... the end.

THERE. I finished the post. Feels like I finally broke through a wall and can post about other things again. HUZZAH!