Thursday, June 23, 2011

New York - Part Two

So. My phone is lost. I completely turned my hotel upside down to see if it was in the room somewhere. But no win. I'm VERY annoyed at myself. Nothing that a drink won't fix though :)  

A short stiff drink to keep the hangover at bay and I soon head out for lunch with Parg & Co but with no phone I wasn't able to locate them when i got to the restaurant. I walked up and down several times. So I sat down and had a drink at the bar while going through my (now vital) printed out maps and planned the rest of my holiday hoping Parg & Co turned up soon. 

The barman is from Leeds so he helped pass the time. Nearly an hour goes by and i decide to give up. I pay the bill and out of nowhere Parg pops up behind me saying they'd been at the back of the restaurant all along WTF. Don't know how i missed them. 

After a lovely cheese toasted sandwich and a cocktail I headed off to try and find the World Naked Bike Ride event being held in major cities around the world simultaneously. I had been to the London one a few years earlier and it was a great laugh (see blog post from 2009). Unfortunately i never found this event and blindly walked around for ages stopping off for drinks occasionally. I later found out when I was back in London that it was cancelled due to rain being forecast.

I took the subway down to Wall St to have a browse around there. Their subway system is not too different to ours. But the trains are bigger and air conditioned. Less frequent though, and not as comfortable inside with hard plastic seats. Only a few stations have a board up with the train arrival times which was frustrating, but they were reasonably frequent, no more than 10 mins waiting. I’d been on the subway on Friday rush hour too, and it was nowhere near as packed as it gets in London. Instead of names for their lines, they are labelled a number or letter. A very simple subway system to understand.

Interestingly, their turnstiles (ticket barriers) go both ways at all times. You can imagine that would be a problem during rush hour with two people both going at the same turnstile.

Saturday night i met up with Parg & Co again in a little bar called The Magician where we noticed Mike Myers! Aka Austin Powers. Im a huge fan so i stared  at him and his table a bit. We left soon after and i waved at him as we went past, getting a wave back.


By now i was feeling absolutely fucked. Three nights of heavy ish drinking, along with light day time drinking to ward off each daily hangover had now caught up. Hands shaking. Dodgy stomach. I was actually limping too cos of all the walking (probably about 5 miles of walking per day). I couldn’t even eat cos of the nausea. I was quite the state!  But the show had to go on and me and Parg headed up to the Bronx for the zoo there. I was so tempted to have more drink to sort me out but i had to stop at some point or i might have spontaneously combusted.

The zoo wasn’t as good as i expected. You had to really wait around for the good animals as they were quite in the distance or hidden in their caves or something. 



After the zoo we headed to Times Square which is pretty much Picadilly Circus + Leicester Square multiplied by 10. Not suitable for epileptics.

Got back to the hotel early evening and just lay in bed, falling in and out of sleep all night with the TV on letting the body recover from 4 days of physical and mental punishment.


Fresh and rehabilitated, I was resurrected like Christ himself for the final day. Started off with the Guggenheim Musuem which was thoroughly disappointing as nearly all of it was shut. No idea why. Stunning building though. 

One room was cool though, the wallpaper was made up of wads of 1 dollar bills. Each wad must have been about 20 dollars. I couldn’t even guess how much money the whole room contained. (Cameras weren’t allowed so i got this image from Google).

A quick google search tells me $100’000 !!! Holy moly!!  It says some dude one an art prize for something, along with that $100k. He decided to create his next piece using that money. Im not that arty myself but it was quite amazing to see that room. Wouldn't you love to set that room on fire?

I then headed off to Central Park along the huge lake. Full of joggers! Not a fatty in sight. It’s a beautiful park. Absolutely amazing amongst such a busy city. Its wonderful how they’ve preserved this huge park in such a busy city. I was very impressed with the amount of open and green spaces within Manhattan, whether its just small (yet beautiful) parks, dog parks, or kids parks with swings etc. London is embarrassing in comparison. London is the true concrete jungle. And not in a good way.

The Speedboat tour was next. I was really looking forward to this and it completely excelled my expectations. Absolutely thrilling! It went up to 45mph at times, throwing you left and right and up and down giving you that butterflies in your stomach feeling. Water occasionally splashed from the sides on to everyone.

One of my favourite photos from the speedboat:

I had 2 more hours left before i had to be at the hotel to be picked up by a shared taxi to head back to London. I walked around closer to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, which is pretty much just a giant aircraft carrier with a Concorde as one of its exhibits. Didn’t go in though cos of queues.

Saw this lovely fountain there, quite similar to the one outside the O2 in Greenwich. It danced around inviting kids to jump in and run after it. It gave me a chance to play around with the camera settings before deciding to stop as there were too many semi-clad kids in the fountain and i probably started looking like a paedo. 
Back to the hotel i went. I love this thing under the bed:


The taxi driver was a cunt. Moody. Easily irritated. Drove like a maniac too. He'd cut people up and then smile. He'd barely respond if you asked him something and tut at times. Big black fella though so you certainly didn't wanna mess with him. At the end, he got our luggage out of the back for us, and he's like "Where's my tip??" to all of us. HAHA. I'd heard about people like this how they demand a tip. I gave him $3 to the bastard, which was about 12% (15-20% is usually the accepted rate), to avoid getting my suitcase thrown on to the main road. Not sure what the other's gave.

I was aching all over by the time i got to the airport. And there was 3 hours left til take off. Nowhere to even sit!! Had a bit of food to kill some time, then noticed a Spa place and got myself the most orgasmic 30 min foot and leg massage. They lay you down on this amazing massage chair which does your whole back and neck area, whilst some chinese woman did my legs/feet.  My feet sooooooo needed that. I came out completely revitalised.

When i got home, i remember i had all these google location services activated during my trip so i checked out my history and was amazed how much it had logged my location:

From that i was able to deduce i had left my phone in the taxi when it dropped me off to the karaoke bar on Friday evening as the trail showed me getting to the area where the bar was, then going back down south.

I got the shock of my life on the last day at the hotel. The bill. Which had the cost of the phone calls i had made to my mobile (where it went to voicemail). $15 per call WTF. That's around £9. I had made around 10 calls in total over 3 days hoping someone would turn it on and i could contact them.

Ah well. NYC done.

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