American Cultural Activities

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's amazing is the amount of stuff there is to do in NYC and the fact that we only spent any money on going to the Statue of Liberty. On our second day in NYC we walked. We walked up 42nd street to see Theater Row, where we could only find two theaters. We therefore decided it wasn't Broadway. So we walked back toward Broadway and found something a little more like it. Then Travis took us five blocks out of our way to see all of Times Square. In hindsight this was a good thing, because we ended up not going with Abby later that evening. Also, in so scampering Travis caused us to run in to Tom Green doing some crazy something with a video camera. Then we looked at the Debt Clock and said, "You have got to be kidding me. At what point did our national debt DOUBLE?" After this we walked down to 5th Ave. and down to the Empire State building, which doesn't look like much from below but looks much better if you walk down the street a bit. In which case we may as well go see the Flatiron building just because it's such an excellent building. A lesson to architects, I have heard, to work with the space they're given. Then back up Park Ave. to see the Chrysler building (also better from about a block away), but before that we ran into Grand Central, which you actually have to walk under, so you can't get on a level with it. Very frustrating. We forgot for a moment that we were going to see the UN, but then we ran into UN Ave., which took us to a protest, a really big building, a lot of flags, and another protest. We were originally going to get a tour, but we decided that we really didn't have time. We didn't even have time to go look at the Brooklyn Bridge properly, like they do in all the movies, which is unfortunate because there's an art installation attached to it till mid-October. After the UN we walked up the road to do a bit of rubber-necking (pedestrian style) because there was a person lying in the middle of the road reading a book. Finally we got back to 5th Ave. and made our way up to Central Park. Central Park is a giant blob of green in a concrete jungle. Nature is so hard to navigate. I got lost three times. We found the ice rink and the diary house, but not the carousel (which turned out to be less interesting than the one in Washington, DC, since it's in a building). Then I couldn't figure out where the checkers and chess house was, and how did the Bethesda fountain end up over there? And was it the fountain from the Producers and Angels in America? Then of course we were trying to find the John Lennon memorial, which is not really a John Lennon memorial, even though it's called Strawberry Fields and has "Imagine" mosaic tiled into the sidewalk. I think they were trying to be subtle, but the strange people who hang around there are less subtle. And then there were the Hungarian police officers. Poor blokes had to wear their dress uniforms on holiday in the US. Why no explanation? It wasn't until we finally got to Strawberry Fields that we saw a sign describing it saying that it was a special section of the park, but of course I still don't know where John Lennon was shot, not that it would have mattered because my knees really hurt, and we had to get back to Abby's to make dinner anyway.

Finally the day slowed down. I made hamburger soup (my grandfather's speciality) for us all while Abby tried frantically to get her no-bake (or at least pre-bake) pie to set properly. It worked. We were taking it to the debate party. Yes, our friends think it's fun to have politics parties. So we made the trek to Brooklyn and had a lovely time groaning at American politics, after which we tried really hard not to pass out on the train back because it's way too late to be out on a school night.

Overdrive in NYC.

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