Claire's new smell and other happenings

Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 24, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yesterday in a nut shell: 
Claire is bitten to pieces by the rabid American mosquitoes they have here. We count 50 bites in total from one night's sleep so head straight to a pharmacy and by what they have resulting in Claire smelling like a lemon (that not referring to the derogatory term, but an actual lemon) that is starting to go off a bit. She is a brave solider for the remainder of the day.
Burritos from Brooklyn (which Claire declares her first real  'food success' in New York), it rains all day which cools the temperature, we do our first trip to Trader Joe's supermarket for food shopping (they have run out of quite a lot of stuff and some of our stables are no where to be seen), disagreements with American appliances (i.e. the washing machine and oven - a 'broil' setting!!???eh?). 

In the morning we have our first proper meeting with Frida when she comes into our room, having been locked out of the studio and realizing that we are her only chance of human contact in the short term future, and her only protection from the cats (who do seem to circle her in a slightly menacing fashion). We get pictures. Amazing.


An advert on the subway for a self storage company: 'If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married' 

A guy crossing the road (who was definitely not Chuck Norris): "I don't wait for lights, lights wait for me"


Now to today. 
We head to Adorned Tattoos in Manhattan in the morning and Jo has something small done... nobody panic, its tiny and not on her face. Honestly TINY and completely cover-upperable! 

Anyway, in the afternoon we meet Robert and Joey in Tompkin Square park in East Village for some people watching. There is an kind of pseudo-Anarchist band (they do after all have a permit to be there) performing on a make shift stage when we arrive. All their music sounds the same but still our favourite song is 'Die Yuppie Scum'. 
We mostly watch Joey chase women (sometimes literally) and listen to him and Robert shout 'hello' (in faux English accents) at everyone. Robert seems to know so many people in this community its great to see so many say hello as they pass. These include Leo (who we met last week at his studio), wearing the most brilliant outfit (high cut red tee-shirt, smart shoes, socks pulled up and shorts, followed by a local beatboxer called Kid Lucky (look him up on facebook) who performs a little on his portable amp and mic, whilst Joey sings Sam Cooke songs to it.  
Rob shows us some more local sights including his friend Ray's which is full of piano's and other musical instruments. He plays a little bit for us (brilliantly, despite not really "being in the mood") and we go on our way, stopping at a nearby flea market full of exciting junk including a dried elephants foot...

Leaving Rob and Joey we head off further into the Lower East Side to a show that Lois has told us about. Its free and in one of the areas many beautiful community gardens (designed to compensate for the lack of garden's attached to properties) called Le Petite Versailles. 
The setting is fantastic, with musical performances set in amongst some foliage, fireflies darting about and crawling plants on the chain fence masking the busy street just outside. 
Heather Acs, the show's creator and lone performer is quite stunning and, disregarding the cloud of mosquitos around our feet (we put the new bug spray to the ultimate test), its a great performance that touches upon the things we have in life, Heather's experiences of coming to New York, etc, etc. Very Good. 

After the show we decide to try and find a pub back in Brooklyn that quite a few people have mentioned is nice. It's called Iona's and is an Irish pub about 5 blocks from our apartment. Continuing the 'all things un-American' theme we find ourselves late in the evening stuck in conversation with 3 guys who think London and England is "awesome". The conversation begins when Jo tells the guy wearing the 'Mind The Gap' underground t-shirt that she likes it, and ends with us leaving briskly before any of them can ask (for the second time) if we have a sofa they can sleep on.


A man with a t-shirt that reads: 'Obama got Osama'

On the subway here they have turnstiles for entering and exiting, as well as doors on either side of the banks of turnstiles that read 'Emergency Exit' on big red plaques. When opened they make a high pitched squealing noise which we are only now starting to get used to, having heard it at least twice a day since we got here. This is not because we have witnessed a high number of emergency situations, but because people use them like its their own front door and people with luggage/lots of fat struggle with the turnstiles. We wonder how they will know when its a real Emergency and what the subway staff would do; we imagine that the faces like slapped arses wouldn't alter that much.       


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