11.09.2013 (and the days before that)
“Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing- singing, laughing, learning.”
Like Sylvia, I have spent the days since my last post running madly around, working, living, dancing (very well), dreaming, talking, kissing (oh no she didn’t), singing (poorly), laughing (loudly), learning and re-discovering. Unlike Sylvia, my journey across both London and New York will not end in me sticking my head in an oven, much to the relief of all my 5 readers (you can all breathe a deep sigh of relief, or perhaps annoyance, your reaction is up to you).
Where was I? Oh yeah, days since last post. It’s been a while and for that I apologise. I’ve been very conscious that I need to be consistent in keeping my blog as unlike previous travels I have committed to being regular (for want of a better term) as my short term memory often fails me and by also keeping a blog I am killing the proverbial two birds with one stone keeping both family and friends updated with my glorious global galavanting; how’s that for alliteration?! GLORIOUS, GILDED and GREAT some would even say, actually no, no they wouldn’t. I digress, onto the next point Wilson!
My apologies for that little, and by little I mean big and confusing, tangent I went off on. It’s been approximately 6 days since my last post and in those six days lots of things were seen and done; I will condense what has transpired into dot points and visuals for your reading ease and pleasure.
Friday the 6th of September
- SoHo & Canal Street – Super busy and fun, every man and his mate trying to sell you a Rolex, Breitling or Chanel Bag – all fake of course.
I kept being accosted by street mongers getting all up in my grille asking if I wanted “real designer handbags”.
Let me think about it for a lil minute.
- MOMA – We didn’t go inside as the line was huge, but we walked past it and read a sign, good enough I say (sorry NYC I will go next time, just perhaps next time don’t have a queue).
- F.A.O Schwarz – fun as always! Dan’s pupils and eyes dilated and glazed over as he drank in the enormity of the lego displays, quite amusing to see a grown man transfixed and transmute into his 6 year old self. The big piano (as featured in Big starring Tom Hanks, was one of my personal favourites).
- The Frick Museum – This was one of the most beautiful collections I have ever seen in my life with the story behind it’s inception and creation even more fascinating, humbling and beautiful than the museum itself. A 1900’s mansion built on an entire corner block on Fifth Avenue, this mansion is home to a plethora of old masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, Gainsborough, Corot and plenty more. The Frick collection also houses antique furniture, accoutrements, clocks, statues and pocket watches as well as a lovely marble adorned glass-roofed garden courtyard/atrium that was once, in fact, a thoroughfare for carriages and cars. This dude over the course of his lifetime managed to acquire pieces that had belonged to royal households as well as many other famous scholars, artists and entrepreneurs alike. The beauty of some of these pieces is lost in these pictures and justice robbed, but I hope that you can see where I am coming from. If you get a spare moment to read up on Henry Clay Frick I highly suggest you do so.
Click on the picture to read more about this stunning mechanical table by Martin Carlin.
Click on the picture to read more about this stunning table by Chalgrin.
- Cafe Wha? Yes, you heard me correctly. Home of the undiscovered (and now famous) musicians of artists past (and present) Cafe Wha? was host to both our dinner and entertainment for the night. This famous music and comedy, saloon style bar on Bleecker Street is fitted with booths and a walk-the-plank style path that doubles as a dance floor in this subterranean dive. We arrived early, but before we knew it this place was packed with tourists, locals and frequent visitors all having a drink and dance to the house band -which were fantastic by the way. This historical venue is the original stomping ground for Bob Dylan (played his first gig here), Jimi Hendrix, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Joan Rivers and Bruce Springsteen plus more.
I got my palm read by a psychic who told me that the letter R was special to me and that I recently had an abortion (totally didn’t by the way, that’s just what she said)
She also happened to have only one tooth and for the most part she was all gums. This is how she looked (minus the pirate tooth) Yes that’s the grandma from Mulan.
Saturday the 7th of September, A dot point timeline.
- Woke up at 11:30 am
- 12:00pm – walked to 3rd Avenue Laundromat, upon which we discovered that the street was shut down for a market day. AN ENTIRE NEW YORK STREET ON LOCKDOWN! INCONCEIVABLE! There were bisque, broth, lemonade and chowder stalls everywhere, how American!
- 2:00 pm – went to Macy’s at Herald Square, so many people EVERYWHERE so we booted pretty quickly.
- 2:30 pm – walked down 34th Street and Broadway all the way through times square, and up to 76th street, for those of you not familiar with the magnitude of this journey, I will quantify this pilgrimage for you. The journey itself is quite straight forward and linear, only being about 4 kms, however the journey we took was not linear. Going into shops, braving the hoards of map cladded tourists, going down side streets and walking around the park we probably walked about 15 kilometres; I am surprised that I am alive to tell the tale.
- By now I’ve lost track of time, but when we reached Barney’s on 75th and Broadway, I bought a bag and a wallet. NOT JUST ANY BAG OR WALLET, a matching set of Alexander Wang pieces of art – as pictured below. view.it.and.weep.and.be.jealous.and.all.that.
- We caught a yellow cab back to the hotel, showered and went to 230 Fifth, a rooftop terrace level with and in primary viewing of the Empire State Building – it was a good way to close and end the New York chapter of our journey thus far.
Sunday the 8th of September
We caught a 9am flight from JFK to London, Heathrow. Good Flight, had a nap and ate some nuts and even some pretzels from first class, how fancy. BYE NEW YORK, I’m excited to leave you because it means HELLO London!
We arrived at Heathrow at about 7:30pm local time and after making it through customs and immigration in one piece we decided to be all British and catch the tube. Their public transport system is AMAZING, Metro should take notes. The train lines are all colour coded and aided by integrated auditory/visual updates which makes for a super intuitive and tourist friendly mode of transportation. Even their Oyster Card works, fancy that, public transport that you can actually use. I KNOW, mind blowing right? Correct.
We had dinner at burger king at around 10ish after we arrived at the hostel got settled and checked a few emails.
Monday the 9th of September
Dan needed to go and pick up a whole bunch of stuff from an agency, so I made like Columbus and discovered the crap out of my immediate surroundings. I discovered a nice little Cafe called Fork where I ate a chocolate croissant and sipped on a warm drink and phoned home and pretended not to cry, but I totally did.
As the morning matured into day, I found myself feeling more akin and familiar with the streets of London which was something that I was missing in NYC. New York is such a gigantic, overwhelming city with expansive mile wide streets that seem to envelop you leaving you oddly and ironically claustrophobic when considering how big a city it really is. The cobbled stone pathways, black cabs, small parks, pubs and cafes that line the streets and neighbourhoods feel like home and I feel comfortable, native even.
Eventually I found Dan who went AWOL for a while there and we caught one of London’s famous double decker buses down to Westminster where I saw the Queen!!!!!! Only joking, no Queen, but we did see Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, The Big Ben, Palace of Westminster (Parliament house), Westminster Bridge, The River Thames AND the London Eye. (I also saw a statue for Oliver Cromwell which I got super excited about, Dan rolled his eyes as I went off on another historical spiel, but for those of you familiar with him you’ll be just as excited as me! If you click on the picture you can read up on him if it so interests you.)
Which brings us to Yesterday…
Tuesday the 10th of September
Buckle up guys, it’s going to get exciting.
Today, I woke up at 10am and then went to SoHo for an interview with a recruiter, nothing to report on there other than I hope I get a job.
After the interview, which went rather well I thought, I met a friend (Hi Miranda!) at Oxford Circus Station and we went for a late breakfast at my now favourite place, The Breakfast Club after which we moseyed on down through SoHo, past Carnaby Street down to Oxford Street where we had a little gander in the shops.
Which pretty much brings us up to date.
It’s now Wednesday the 11th of September and after having quite a large sleep in I have wandered down to Mediacom to meet up with Elly for a gossip and a feed. As for the rest of the day, we will see what happens.
London, I luv ya, always have.