The dream end...
Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
70Trip End Ongoing
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Several days in John Jovini's Gun Shop left me completely unprepared for the bitter NY snow. More of a blizzard really - a blizzard that transformed NY into a glowing, mystical, fucking freezing, sloshing reality in the space of a day. Us Australians are not particularly familiar with snow, but it's a strange creature. At its worst - disgusting brown with dirt, sloppy wet like fish - it's revolting. But at its finest - a freshly pressed, unspoint, pristine white - snow dominates - a photgenic Midas - turning everything it touches into an aesthetic marvel. Especially central park. Snow was meant to fall in central park. In fact, I'm sure that I read somewhere that central park was created specifically just so snow could fall in it. The absolute beauty of it - the gentle undulations, frozen over lakes, the portions of trees - all carved out of a scene of otherwise pure white. Squirrels fidget; swans grooms; ducks float beneath the lower central park skyline all to a winter wonderland atmosphere. And above they continue to float down, float down, float down. Fuck it's cold...
How much? $750 bucks? What the fuck. American? Incredible. I think back to Leeming and my near mint, barely used Nike Air Jordan 7s sitting in the bottom of my closet somwhere. That's what I could get for them? I rue the fact that they're not here in Soho at this store exclusively selling classic, retro sneakers. I rue the fact that I couldn't cash them in for US$750 in Perth. But I guess I am in New York. The shopping in NY is silly. Fuck off silly. And, indeed, tragic for my credit card balance. Wandering through downtown manhattan, through the east and west village, Soho, where the 'cool' oozes through the buildings; where beauty seems almost pase yet a prerequisite, I was overcome by an immense 'fuck it' attitude. 'Shop it up'. Do it. I attribute it partly on 'pre-yet-imminent-return depression, partly on the fact that I've never been able to resist adidas gazelles, and partly on the fact that shopping is cheaper here than in perth. Unbelievable but true. No shit. And so I now sit and ponder, mentally labelling all of my belongings as either 'essential' or 'non-essential' - discardable - determining what can be ditched to make way for the silly shopping extravaganze of the devil of the death. now let's see... well travelled underwear?
It's aura? Brilliant. The shopping? Brilliant. And then there's the music. Oh - the music. Fuck me - the music. The music scene is an absolute highlight of NY. And the delights are limited only by your hip pocket and your own taste. But it's all here. The finest sets of Jazz; one of the world's most brilliant orchestras; one of the world's coolest and lively indie rock scenes; the centre, bar none, for musical theatre. Fuck me - the music. Many nights have been wasted here - spent rather - hunting down the coolest jazz clubs in the west cillage; the most happening and hip bars in the east village and lower east side
The appropriateness of it. The poetry of the resolution. That NY should conclude the Trip of the Devil of the Death from Hell on Ice. That my world in this preceding year - all of the places that I have visited - seem to coexist in this indescribably remarkable city. That, despite all of the incredible cities of the world fresh in my mind, no other city grabs hold of me and tells me that I have to live there like NY. It demands it. But what is it about New York? What am I - why are so many people - entirely taken and inspired by this city It's not just it's stately aura of grandeur; of majesty. Nor merely the emphatic, endless energy that pulses through every block of every borough. It's so much more - a whole complex combination of things. As you take in NY, you get a feeling of its arrogance - almost conceit - its consideration of its own importance; that it is the centre of the world. A feeling floats in the breeze here, like this place change the world - theat great things happen here; that greatness is on your block . And not back in the day, "can't really relate to it" kind of greatness
So, to the Top 5. Some cities have 1 or 2 recognisable landmarks. 3 if they're lucky. Images that you immediately associate with a place. But NY is icon city. Icons everywhere you look. Literally. In the buildings, methods of transport, roads, parks, nicknames. Now, icons are cool. But the best thing about icons, in my opinion, is that they give rise to a plethora of tacky souvenirs. Love it. Tacky souvenir it up I say
(go to the photo section to view)
5. Mini NY vehicles
Taxis. NYPD cars. Fire engines. TackMasterTack. Buy an entire emergency service for your mantelpiece. Awesome...
4. Statue of Liberty
As a symbol - an icon - it's quite impressive. As a statue, I guess it's ok. But as a mini-replica, it's fucking ugly. But people keep buying them, taken them home as tokens of NY - or giving them to people as gifts who, inevitably, open it and sigh a 'thanks' unconvincingly but with as much sincerity as they can muster. Statue of Liberty replica - Decent tackiness...
3. The Empire State Building and King Kong
What's better than the Empire State Building? Ok - yes - the Chrysler Building. But that's not what I was thinking. That's right. The Empire State Building and King Kong. On tacky souvenir. So good
A general rule regarding tacky souvenirs - snowgloabes are about as tacky as they get. An almost sure-fire winner. What more could you want? Bright colours; all of the great icons inside a single dome. And - wait for it - when you shake it? Snow. It fucking snows. And I've already talked about how good snow it. Snowglobes? Living the dream...
1. Anything "I Love NY"
The iconic tacky souvenir of New York. It embodies the tacky souvenir itself. So good it has transcended its humble beginnings as Tacky Souvenir and has elevated itself to icon status. It's the MSG of souvenirs - add it to anything and it immediately becomes better. Anything. Imagine this: An "I Love NY" snowglobe. We can always dream...
It is over. Lived the dream. Reality awaits...