Flip Flop Flying

Upgraded and on the 31st floor

with 10 comments

You gotta love that. As I’m in the taxi on the way to the airport, I’m scarily tense. My neck and shoulders are slowly solidifying into one solid hunk of tough stuff.

After picking up my ticket, I go to check in my bags. I get through all the questions with the right answers. Yes, I packed my bag; no, no-one’s asked me to carry anything for them. And then the best moment of my day: well, sir, it seems I can upgrade you. Thank you, God, thank you. Oh how I loved that moment, How I loved not having to sit in a non-aisle non-window middle seat.

How I loved the idea of sitting in 2F, an aisle seat. An aisle seat, a seat with movement possible in every part. An aisle seat with it’s own little TV screen with 6 different film channels (I watched the new version of Fever Pitch, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Miss Congeniality 2).

Would you like champagne, sir? Yes, please.
Mixed nuts, glass of wine? Hot towel? Salad or chowder as a starter? Delicious pasta with feta cheese, aubergine and chicken? Ice cream? Refill of your coffee, sir?
Yes yes yes yes yes!

Eight hours of pampering later, I’m gagging for a cig. And it’s so close, just gotta get through immigration and customs. All my fears of being bum searched for unfounded. I had a sarcastically friendly dude asking me the questions, who even, when he found out that I was a bit arty, asked about where I’d done exhibitions and wished me good luck.

Finally, I’m sat outside on a trolley cart next to a cab driver, chatting about smoking, the heat in New York and who not to get cabs from.

The journey to Manhattan was Seinfeld. The names of roads for their airport trips. And it was hot. Hot hot hot. Hot like a hairdryer. And there it was, New York. That’s Manhattan, the skyscrapers. Through a tunnel and Lexington, Park Avenue, 35th St, up to Times Square.

Check in. Go to my room. Will it be a good view, or a view of a brick wall. Well…. look at this:

That’s the view out of my window. Fucking brilliant.

Shower, out to meet the agency folk, a few beers watching a Red Sox v White Sox game in a sports bar, and now I’m back at the hotel. Happy as Larry. It’s 11.44 here, but my body’s saying it’s 5.44 tomorrow morning.

Sleep… but maybe a bit of telly first. You gotta love that.

Written by Craig

July 21st, 2005 at 11:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses to 'Upgraded and on the 31st floor'

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  1. What a view. What an exciting start to your trip. I can’t imagine anything I’d rather do right now than spend two weeks in NYC. Anyhow, since it’s my joint favourite city in the world (San Francisco the other) and as I once went there eight times in one year alone, I’m offering the following suggestions:
    CDS:
    For my money the best places to buy CDs in New York (apart from the major chain places) are at Other Music and Kim’s. Other Music is on East 4th Street at Broadway, just around the corner from the big Tower Records. They personally rate and recommend new releases and have a really wide and eclectic stock, and the staff really know what they’re talking about. From there it’s a short walk to St. Mark’s Place, which is where you’ll find Kim’s. They sell everything – American stuff like Will Oldham to reissues, ‘standard’ rock stuff and free jazz. I once spent $230 in there in one shop, but I had had several beers beforehand.
    EATING:
    I’ve no doubt your agency people will take you to some lovely restaurants and recommend others. But I do love Bar Jamon, which is on East 17th at Irving Place. It’s a tiny tapas bar but the food is great and the atmosphere really alive, and you can easily go in there on your own and have a few glasses of wine and ham, tortilla, cheese etc. For an very enjoyable diner experience, Empire Diner is hard to beat, on 10th Avenue at 22nd St. It’s good to combine this with a trek round the gallery circuit, as all the major private galleries are located between 10th and 11th from around 20th to about 24th. But if you do this on a Saturday the Empire gets packed and you might end up in the extension room next door. So maybe something for a Weds or Thurs. Finally, great Italian food can be had at Supper, which my memory tells me is on East 2nd street. You can’t book, you might have to sit at a shared table, but the food is unbeatable.
    DRINKING:
    You have my favourite bar in NY on your doorstep practically. Leave the W, walk down 46th St and at the end of the street, as it meets 8th Avenue, is McHale’s. I’ve been going here for about 15 years now and it never changes. It looks a bit crap from outside, but it has a top atmosphere inside. Always lots of people watching sport on the TV and excellent burgers and grilled chicken sandwich. This was where I went on September 11th for a bit of solace and comfort and I’ll never forget that night, and how friendly everyone was. (It was my favourite bar before that, but I suppose that just sealed it.) I’m not a big one for trendy designer bars so can’t really help you there, but I suspect you’re not one for those either. If you find yourself in Soho then you should check out Fanelli’s, reputedly the oldest bar in NY. It’s a bit touristy but I like it, and the barmen are pure no bullshit former boxers so it’s kinda Scorcese lite.
    OTHER STUFF
    Two other things I’d suggest are a walk around all the little shops in the East Village. You start on 2nd Avenue at about East 5th or 6th and basically walk towards First Ave, crisscrossing back and forth up to say 12th or 13th. Don’t Miss Howdy Do, where you can get any old collectible from a Six Million Dollar Man lunch box to Simpson’s things, Peanuts, old music related things.
    And finally, though there’s hardly any of it left, Coney island funfair and the boardwalk are great. You get the Subway straight out there, and walk up. Good to go early evening as people just hang out on the boardwalk and the beach, and you can grab some hot dog’s at Nathan’s for tea.
    Let me know how you get on and have a really successful trip.

    Ian Mac

    22 Jul 05 at 11:19 am

  2. I would totally agree with Ian Mac about McHales. Incredibly welcoming, just like your local pub, the local mailmen all hang out there and have their own mail drop behind the bar, and the food is great yet in that American way, far too much to eat.

    I had a great meal at Supper but unless it has changed in the last year, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t accept credit cards, so cash only.

    Also, if you get a chance, a good way to get back in Billy’s good books after abandoning him again is to pop into any pet store and stock up on dog treats. Our dog, Marfa, went wild for “Sausage in a Blanket” and “Pisa Pizza” treats – they smell dire and looking at the ingredients they seem to be serious doggy junk food.

    hitch

    22 Jul 05 at 12:10 pm

  3. Actually, can you bring me back some Sausage In A Blanket?? Please?

    Marfa

    22 Jul 05 at 1:17 pm

  4. Upgrades and a killer view, you lucky bastard.

    Oh yeah, definitely go check out Other Music.

    Thoroughly Amused

    22 Jul 05 at 6:12 pm

  5. Wow, you’re like the coolest guy I know right now.

    Hope the rest of your trip is as swell as it had started.

    Lisa

    23 Jul 05 at 2:15 am

  6. Yeeeeeeeeehhhhhoooooo!

    Derick

    Anonymous

    23 Jul 05 at 10:03 am

  7. You didn’t fancy a window seat?

    There’s a new version of Fever Pitch?

    pauldwaite

    23 Jul 05 at 5:32 pm

  8. Hm, Nancy Grace looks like someone ripped out her eyes.

    Marc

    23 Jul 05 at 7:59 pm

  9. Marc – that freaks me everytime I see it out of the window.
    Lisa – gee schucks. Thank you! I can assure you that I’m probably nowhere near the coolest person you know.
    Ian, Hitch, everyone else – Thank you thank you thank you. I’ve just realised I’m running late, gotta go and meet my mate and go to PS1. And I’ve just seen a Starbucks ad that uses Gary Glitter’s music: there’s something you don’t get in the UK these days!

    Craig

    23 Jul 05 at 9:09 pm

  10. Hey FFF,

    I can’t help but sympathize with you because you’re a tourist and all, but you must realize that New York is HELL ON EARTH. What a shithole! I can see how it would be a fun place for a tourist, but to live there you’d slowly go insane. Imagine Disneyland magnified 20 times, then add dirt, a bunch of assholes, and a lot of stress. That’s New York. Enjoy your trip, but don’t make any long term plans.

    Anonymous

    29 Jul 05 at 10:17 am

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