Land of Contradictions

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, April 6, 2008

He says:

Well we have now been in Manhattan for 5 days and apart from having the unenviable task of dragging Gaynor out of bed sometime before midday each morning (this from the person who claims she doesn't suffer from jetlag) the place just keeps getting better. There are so many cool things to see and do that you could spend a month here and feel that it has been underdone. It, also really, is the land of extremes.. One day we are getting frowned upon for living in sin and the next we are visiting the "museum of sex" on 5th avenue, a huge, modern and stylish museum devoted to, well, sex...

We are also getting more and more comfortable getting around the place and have fallen in love with the subway in all its crazy glory.  I have also walked further then I have in years and am somehow still not in a wheelchair.

It is also a magical time to be here as the season is turning before our eyes. When we arrived there was not a single leaf on any plant (other then pines of course), yet every day more and more blossoms and leaves are sprouting, yesterday was also the first slightly warmish day we have had since our arrival and so every New Yorker was out in the streets and parks sitting and lying in any sunny spot they could find.

It has been a couple of days since our last entry and in that time we have been keeping ourselves pretty busy. We have been to the observation deck of the Rockerfeller Centre, which was incredible. We were lucky enough to be there on a clear day so could see the whole of Manhattan island and beyond.  We spent an afternoon in the Natural History Museum.  The place is enormous...  Even after devoting an entire afternoon there we probably only got through about half of the exhibits.  The place is great, full of amazing diaramas and very angry looking stuffed animals (Even the small herbivores looked like they wanted to rip you to shreds...  I don't think they were very happy about being violated in such a way). 

The next day, due to Gaynor not being the best morning person, we didn't get going until after  midday and as it was wet and cold so we decided that indoor activities were in order.  So we travelled down to Battery point (southern most tip of Manhattan) and went to the Jewish history museum and then went to the aformentioned 'Museum of Sex'.  The Jewish Museum was well worth a visit very modern, moving and interesting if a little properganderish in the 1945-now exhibit.  The Museum of sex on the other hand was outrageously good and weird.  They had an exhibit detailing the history of sex on film from the first kiss to todays porn stars and it was a little odd standing around this darkened room with numerous strangers appreciating the porn on display.  Anyway after any number of "eww's" and "what the's?" we decided we had seen enough and headed home.

After dinner we met up with Simone around 8:00pm for an introduction to NY bar scene.  We started at a very cool cocktail bar down in SOHO and ended in a very cool pub in Brooklyn that had the most amazing beer list I have ever seen.  I can finally say that I have tasted some good American beer and as a reult we stole numerous glasses for souveners.  One glass had Arrogant Bastard Ale printed on it, which Gaynor seemed to find highly amusing for some bizarre reason...  We met one of Simones Masters students there, who is travelling to Australia soon with Simone, so we did what any self respecting Aussie would do and proceeded to freak her out with stories of drop bears and snakes (I wonder if she can cancel her ticket).  Anyway we finally got back to our apartment around 3:30am and being very tired and very drunk and collapsed into bed.

Yesterday morning we had, perhaps foolishly, organised to meet Simone at Parsons New School ( the university where Simone and Tim work) at 10am to watch Tim panel a public lecture.  So we dragged ourselves out of bed and travelled up to Parsons in time for the lecture.  It was great seeing Tim in his element looking all the part of a Dean of a US University.  However, the discussion was a fair way over our heads and upon discovering that the syposium went for 4 hours and we were falling asleep in the auditorium after 30 minutes we decided to go and do something more suited to our brain power.  So we went up 5th Ave to check out the shopping...  I'll leave it up to Gaynor to describe the shopping but I did get to go to the 5th Ave Apple store, which was, like, the coolest thing eva!  It consisted of a huge glass cube in the middle of the sidewalk that then decended into the pavement and opened out into a huge underground cavern of the best computer stuff in existence...

After going back to see th panel discussion the rest of the day was devoted to shopping, sitting in union square people watching and and having tea in a tea house.  All I can say about yesterday is thank christ I am the one holding the credit card andso we came out relatively unscathed from the experience (Gaynor has spent the majority of her shopping budget though). After walking what felt like the length of Manhattan and seeing one to many $10,000 dresses, last night we went and had the best peking duck ever down in China Town (even Gaynor liked it!).

It is now 11:30am and time to face the wrath of Gaynor by nudging her awake...

Till next time...

She says:

I'm up, I'm up!!!!  I'll agree that I do get up later than Tom but I have many valid reasons for this.....1.  I am on holiday....2.  We don't all have the privelege of living nextdoor to where we work and therefore usually get up at 6:30 not 8:30...3.  Places in this town don't even open until eleven...4.  I have no alarm clock...5.  My body is young and therefore does not have an automatic alarm at the crack of dawn..... :)

Ok so that's my rant out of the way....  The last few days have been great with all the things that Tom mentioned.  The shopping however is awesome... We started off our shopping experience at the Apple store (to sedate Tom for the rest of the trip).  The Apple store was amazing just in case any of you think that Tom might be a tad biased.  The next shop however had to be my favourite....Tiffany & Co. on 5th Ave - 4 floors of jewelery...I tried on a diamond necklace that cost over $1200 (US) and although people were spending small fortunes around me I settled on a necklace that did not mean that we were sleeping on the street for the remainder of our trip.  After this we visited the toy store where the movie "Big" and watched people dance on the piano, solve rubiks cubes in less than a minute, try to stand up on two wheeled skateboards and ice-skate across the carpet (inventions that Tom and I are still considering buying - mainly to be used at work, OH &S won't mind).  This place was fantastic, it made me wish I was 8 years old again.  There were even life-size Lego statues of the entire Harry Potter characters, Darth Vader and Chewbaca.

Later in the day we visited the Diesel store where I tried on $200 pairs of jeans,  Filene's Basement (so many designer clothes) where I bought a pair of True Religion jeans, Dean & Deluca - where we got some cheese and chocolates (the essentials) and Prada where we looked at amazing shoes and clothes that were so far from our price range.  The Prada store was amazing though and even Tom was impressed but unfortunately you couldn't take photos.  I am still getting over the image of kept women walking through with their little dogs. 

Hope everyone is well.  It's been great to read the comments from you all...keep them coming....

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angelasusan on

Thanks heaps
Well, at long last! I have been dying to see a pic of Tim on crutches (not sure why but there you go... ) and now I have! So thanks, chaps!
Sounds and looks like you're both having a fantastic time and that NY, NY is treating you well but how on earth are you going to carry beer glasses around with you for the next three months? I had an email from Simone last night so I had heard about the bar crawl and Peking duck (Beijing duck doesn't quite cut it really) and how much they are enjoying going out to play with you both.
Stay well and keep the news and pics coming (BTW the camera has continued to function perfectly!).
All love

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