It’s been a fun week in the Newest of Yorks. The more I come back, the more I just bumble around, doing this and that, doing the odd touristy thing, but in the main, just hanging out with friends. I’ve eaten lovely garlic bagels – burp! – from a place up the road, and drank lovely coffee at the local coffee shop, Cocoa Bar on 7th Avenue, Brooklyn (where, I’ve been told, a former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant works. I’ve seen her in there – she’s quite pretty).
I had a nice chat with a guy with a glass eye from Charlotte, North Carolina when I was on the Staten Island ferry. As we headed back to Manhattan, he asked me what the name of that bridge on the right is. I told him it was the Brooklyn Bridge. He then pointed to the land to our left and asked if that was Brooklyn. Err, no, that’s New Jersey.
I’ve watched people ice skating at Rockefeller Center and in Central Park, and wished I had the balls to give it a go myself. But what’s the point in making a tit of yourself when there’s nobody you know watching you do it.
I spent an afternoon at Coney Island, having it mostly to myself, save for the odd fisherman, jogger, and a handful of dodgy-looking Russian fellas just stood around on the boardwalk.
On the subway, I stood next a cool-looking black guy with a bushy ponytail and a White Sox cap, with a fly girlfriend (looking totally like an eighties hip hop girl). They were quite the groovy couple. He was wearing the exact same Nike trainers as me. He was probably more disappointed by this than I was.
I went to Madison Square Gardens to try and see a Knicks game, but the tickets were waaaaaay too expensive – one hundred and fifteen chuffing dollars – for a game that I’m not a fan off; a game that as far as I can see is three quarters of squeak-squeak-swish, then one quarter where the points matter. (And, there’s a part of me that thinks basketball should be in the Paralympics, cos it’s only for people who are abnormally tall.)
I saw a Muslim fellow with his wife, who was in full-on, slit-for-the-eyes garb. He, though, was a white guy. And looked so much like John C. Reilly in a comedy Muslim costume, I found myself having a quick glance around to see if there were cameras anywhere.
And, after having my interest piqued by this NPR story that they talked about on TBTL, I had to try me some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Man, thems good Cheetos. I’m a fan of hot food, and I’m often disappointed by snacks or fast food that claims to be hot, but these buggers are damn good. And they stain your fingers red.
Today was my last day here. After a few fairly cold days, today was warmer, but still coat-worthy. It was that annoying sort of weather, where you get hot and sticky inside your coat, but fear pneumonia if you take it off outdoors afterwards to cool down a bit. It makes for fairly sweaty-smelling subway carriages. Then the rains came, and the umbrellas came out. But I’m gonna save that rant for another day…
…Or maybe I won’t. This is my umbrella rant. They are evil. Well, aside from in supernatural horror films, inanimate objects aren’t often evil; umbrella users are evil. If you’re a person with an umbrella and think this doesn’t apply to you: you’re wrong. Oooh, my hair’s getting wet! Deal with it! We live on a planet where rain quite often falls from the sky. If you paid 50 dollars/pounds/euros for a haircut, then you deserve to get it wet. Really, is your haircut worth so much that you have to take up almost twice the width of your body with one of these damn things? But my shoulders will get really wet, too! Oh, just like the lower part of your coat, you mean? Sorry, didn’t realise your coat’s shoulders were made lovingly from God’s beard hairs. So, you know, go ahead and stab me in the head with your umbrella. Wouldn’t want to do anything that’d make your shoulders wet. And you motherfuckers with golf umbrellas (mostly men and, oddly, tiny tiny women, in my experience): you need to start paying some rent for the amount of space you’re taking up. And the way you sidestep any puddle; yes, I understand, I don’t want to get my shoes wet either, but pay attention to what your umbrella is doing at the same time. Learn to use one of the damned things. And when you’re going into a shop, don’t just stand there carefully wrapping it up, blocking the entrance for us people who have got wet hair. And, finally, if you think it’s adorable that your toddler has his or her own umbwella, then come round to my house, and I’ll happy poke you in the thigh with a sharp piece of wire to make you reassess your views. Deep breaths, Craig, deep breaths. I feel better now. So, yes: umbrellas. Discuss.
Tomorrow’s a travel day. Off to another time zone where there’s the chance of more rain, so, maybe I should buy an umbrella…