Friday, June 20, 2008

things I learned in Gotham--day one

  • The New Jersey Metro line into New York is...well, I was expecting a bullet train. I got a lightly tossed pebble train instead.
  • Bathrooms in New York are problematic. The ones in Penn Station smelled like concentrated human sweat. The ones in the Coney Island subway stop were so horrific, I still can't fit it in with my version of reality...the men's room had some guy washing his clothes in the sink. Most others had more water (?) on the floor than in the toilet. There was very little hand soap to be seen anywhere. The bathrooms in Grand Central Station, however, rocked, high velocity air dryers and all.
  • Coney Island had the shabby working class thing going for it. I kinda dug it, but I can understand why developers feel it's ripe for redevelopment...or at least the next generation of Bruce Springsteen
  • For some reason, there were a number of hot Russian teen girls working the Nathan's stand...either (to invoke some stereotypes) waiting to get into the mob, or they just haven't been invited into the world of adult films yet.
  • Many roller coasters shock, frighten, or play with you. The Coney Island Cyclone basically beats you to a pulp. My neck still hurts. I'm glad I did it for the historical thing, but thank whatever deity you have that they don't make them like this anymore.
  • The Brooklyn Bridge is a cool walk. Somewhere, I read it's one of the few places where you can fly over someone walking over someone driving over someone in a boat. Great sights, though.
  • Grand Central Station is certainly grand. They have a food market, where the spousal unit and I got an organic baguette and some parma salami for a great snack.
  • Central Park is confusing. We got trapped walking on some jogging/horse track, and while doing that, we somehow got turned around and were halfway to Harlem, on the other side of the park from where we started. I suspect it's a hole in the space/time continuum...and we hit one later, when our subway train skipped ahead four stops. Apparently, in New York, the fabric of reality is already unwinding.
  • New Yorkers are friendly. We got out of a subway stop, and we had some nice lady ask us (unbidden, mind you) if we needed directions to the Met or the Guggenheim. Maybe we just looked too oblivious for her liking.
  • The Guggenheim was undergoing some renovation, so it was all scaffolded up. It's a shame, because I wanted some know, "I saw that on Men in Black! That's where Will Smith chased an alien off the roof!"
  • If the street performers in Central Park are anything to go by, it seems that synchronized break dancing is making a comeback. This is cause to start drinking, if you ask me.
  • The sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli were both size and taste. You have to physically unhinge your jaw to bite into one. They actually have one waiter on staff named Francis who specializes in helping along your dislocation.
  • The last ultra-tourist thing we did was hit Times Square. The spousal unit regressed into her sugar rush 4 year old state and demanded that I take photos of signs for Broadway shows she wishes she could see. For me, it was like a bunch of Rolling Stone ads threw up. It was lightweight Tokyo without the potential for Ninjas.

Tomorrow, less touristy stuff.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

It's crazy that I did some of these things a few months ago. I loved Central Park but I agree, it was kinda confusing to get across. I had a bit of trouble finding the Central Park zoo (we entered the Park near the Strawberry fields section).

Saw the Brooklyn bridge from the Manhattan side. We stayed a short walk away from it.