5, 4, 3, 2...

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

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, August 20, 2011

20th, Saturday:

We head into Manhattan to get some last shopping done (good tips Miss Sophie Allan!) and then swing by Lori's place to say hi. Sitting in the Community garden attached to Lori's apartment is unusually tranquille for NYC, and we chat about TV, celebrities covering up their homosexuality and scientology amongst other big topics. Lori tells us about working with Rosie O'Donnell and in the eve we youtube her to hell and realise she is a bit bloody brilliant, having been vilified by the Republican centred media and having a lot of her charity work go un reported. Here's the argument on the right-wing produced chat show, The View, which forced her to resign (the split screen editing during the argument with Elizabeth Hasselbeck proves they had planned to incite Rosie into a controversial situation): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xht0HcPryWA  boo to the view

We leave Lori with plans to meet at least once more before we leave, and go back to Brooklyn to meet Victoria at a nearby bar. Like inner city hicks we drinks lots of beer and play an arcade game where you have to shoot innocent animals in a range of different wilderness settings. Claire proves herself to be pretty viscous for a vegetarian and shoots those moose like they were vermin. Jo is not very good at all; a true pacifist (whether intentional or not). 

21st, Sunday:

A lazy day with pretty crumby weather and a poorly Claire (the lady pains have hit her hard) so we don't do a lot except eat, wander Williamsburg, and think about thinking about packing.    

22nd, Monday:

To Queens! 
Jo heads over to meet Victoria at Moma's second gallery space in Queens called PS1, while Claire is still recovering in bed. The gallery is in an old public school (hence name), and they are changing over a lot of the exhibits but what there is nice and toward the end we meet Victoria's second flatmate, Kathleen. We chat in the gallery's garden while waiting for Claire, who is now up on her feet and looking for the correct subway stop back in Brooklyn in order to come meet us. Oh we chat and we chat. And we have time to chat a bit more. Few more chats. 
Claire is practically at JFK airport before she realises she has walked miles beyond her stop and begins the lonesome retreading of her steps. Meanwhile, in the garden, we chat. 
Claire  arrives, as do 2 more lovely friends of Victoria's and we board the subway again to get to a neighbourhood of Queens called Sunnyside, where Victoria lives with Kathleen and Elizabeth (check out her upcoming show if you are reading this in NY, are not Victoria who is already going, and like art: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=142499315839935). 
Its a really nice area and apparently also the most diverse in New York. We go to a Korean restaurant to get food and as you would expect there is a fire in the middle of the table. We order a large amount of pink cheap Korean booze which comes in a water melon and is then served in plastic cups with soft serrated edges that make it almost impossible not to throw it down your front. After the waiter asks to see our ID's he returns to the table and says the following to Jo and Claire (in a thick Korean accent):
"Um, excuse me. You are from United Kingdom right? [Claire and Jo nod] Sorry to trouble you but can you say... water" 
Claire and Jo say "Water". He giggles and leaves the table. 
Soon after he returns with all of our food; a mix of egg and beef and cabbage and rice and a nice spicy sauce and a not so nice spicy sauce and a seafood omelet with tentacles and a tofu soup and its lovely. A bizarre meal in some respects but very enjoyable all the same. 
Afterwards we go to Victoria's place to see how lovely it is - noted - and Claire braves getting onto the roof and getting down via the original version of steps (a ladder) which terrifies her. 
We head for a drink to calm her nerves afterwards and then head back to Brooklyn to meet Bronwyn  and Toby for another - some horrible drunk guy mauls Toby for a while. See photo.

23rd, Tuesday:

To apease Claire's womb we go for brunch. Apparently just before we arrive at the place there is an Earthquake. As we feel nothing AT ALL, we think the world's press has got it wrong, after all no such thing occurs ever in Britain so when we experience an earthquake it needs to be like the one in that terrible Dennis Quiad film in order for it to register. The 'earthquake' does however seem to throw out all mobile signal in New york so Claire is not able to contact Victoria about Oyster Happy Hour that night - some other 'Victoria' Call, Claire has perfected, does however still work (mother nature or fragging can't interfere with this power), so when Jo returns from checking there is a free table in the restaurant for a matter of seconds she finds Victoria has appeared out of nowhere and is chatting with Claire. Wierd. Anyway the plan is set for Oysters at the swanky looking place on Bedford Ave that evening with Victoria and Narm (a fellow Big Bucker on Monday night). The place is really nice but oysters are basically horrible after one or two; Lois describes them the following day as bottom feeders... glad we got her opinion after digestion. The swanky cocktail is the best part, especially as for an hour afterwards Claire says she thinks she could burp up a whole oyster at any moment. The night ends at Narm's apartment, full of his brilliant portraits and cool things, and an impromptu hat party; Jo teaches a class on the well know British dance craze 'big fish, little fish, cardboard box' and Vitoria and Narm extend this to a domestic setting with 'slapping the wife, slapping the kids and kicking the dog'.

24, Wednesday: Our last full day...

We pack, avoid packing, unpack and then head to Lori's garden to meet her and Lois in order to say goodbye. We chat the afternoon away over sparkly drinks and beer and we can't believe its time to go. 
Afterwards we get one last cheap sushi dinner (half price all the time!) with Bronwyn before meeting Mr Galinsky and Toby in B-side. A small bar hop around the places in Alphabet city that have been best to us follows before heading back home on the L train for the last time this trip

25, Thursday:

We do what Claire has loved most about New York and the greatest thing she will remember when we reminisce in years to come about this summer. Brunch. 
Toby, Bronwyn and Victoria (with a Frida in a bag under the table) are all in attendance and it is very nice, despite the rain that has started to thunder down outside.   
This city has been bloody brilliant to us and a massive part of that has been to do with the people we've met and those we already knew and all of their support - Cheers to all of you! (Bronwyn I know, Blurgh).

We finish packing once home and then leave home, giving Dan a little hug and thanks (but only cause he had his shirt on this time), and depart the big apple just before Hurricane Irene (later to be a mere tropical storm) can arrive. 


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