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January 1, 2011 / Neurotypical Me.

Blooming at Bloomingdale’s.

We started the day at an early session of True Grit at Loews Theatre on Broadway. It is the Coen brothers’ new film which is based on a John Wayne movie which is based on a book. It was fabulous. We could really ‘feel’ the snow in the film. They lived out in it day and night…I know – it’s a movie, but still…it would have been cold. Jeff Bridges has always been a cool dude. He continues to work on that image, with style. Actually, he’s quite hot! I digress.

Will went back to Barnes and Nobel for more cds because they are cheap and he has no self control, and ‘they are really rare Charles Mingus and Miles Davis’… apparently.We had lunch and then the boys wandered off to ‘do stuff’ and we got the trusty M66 all the way to 60th and 3rd Avenue to Bloomingdale’s.

I really did do a tourist shot 🙂

They were having a sale and because we were city pass visitors we got the discount plus another 15%. The Americans know how to make shoes. I get a lot of sale stuff when I travel for work but I can never get shoes. I bought two very cool pairs of shoes for 25% of the price.

It terms of fashions, there are way too many of those wacky hems on dresses and jackets. Pearls and beading continue to adorn even the classiest labels. I am pleased to say paisley, and I am not just talking green, is popping up a bit more!  I love paisley. The cashmere was beautiful and cheap. I had fun smuggling Will into the changing rooms. He kept saying, ‘it’s okay we are married’, and the sales assistants would look so amused that they would let him come in with me.

Will also made friends with Dora at the Visitors’ Center so we got huge free frozen yoghurts.

Free Frozen Yoghurt tastes better.

When we got home the boys were playing Lou Reed and working on their visual diaries. Will is trying to talk them into another Harlem visit tomorrow at a church with an even bigger choir. Good luck with that Will.

December 31, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

Einem Schonstem Tag

A beautiful day! We started at the Guggenheim. It is a lovely building to look at. It looks like an egg peeled like an orange. We got the elevator to the top and then walked around and around, added a few annexes, and kept going around until we got to the end! A bit like the Sydney zoo.  You are better off going down hill. The Kandinskys  were gorgeous colours and doodles. It is like he tried to paint sound vibrations.

Inside Guggenheim.

Outside Guggenheim.

Then we went down the street to the Neue Gallerie for a German lunch, complete with gluhwein! And no sweet bread in sight 🙂 The building itself is beautiful and you can see out the window to Central Park where all the kids are tobogganing down the slopes. The gallerie houses Klimt and Schiele sketches. The Schiele works are particularly strong with lovely lines. Marcel bought a book on him. I loved his saggy sunflowers, Scheile’s that is, not Marcel’s. There were also Character Heads by Messerschmidt – google them, they are worth looking at. He has captured extreme expressions that make you scrunch your own face when you look at them. At least, that was my experience.

We had some excitement on the way home buying our champagne and movie tickets (for tomorrow).  Every traveller’s worst nightmare. Our card was declined. When I rang the CBA a lovely man with an Aussie accent was impressed because I didn’t yell at him as the previous 5 callers had done. He informed me that this was a ‘communication’ issue between the US and Australia. I informed him that it was 4.48pm on NYE and probably explained the previous irate callers. He reassured me that it would up online ‘any hour now’. Will is trying to book tickets for the Village Vanguard and looks a bit sweaty 😦 as he waits.

You guys have been in 2011 for almost ten hours now. How is it looking? I have heard that the weather is good. We hope you had a lovely NYE and we wish you all the best for the other ….lots of others hours of 2011 to come.

Happy New Year 16 hours later.

December 30, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

I need a mint.

I need a mint, for those of you who have seen Ace Ventura, because I was very wrong about the snow situation. The snow goat continued to find the mounds and I continued to nearly slip over (three times) and step in large puddles (twice). The puddle stepping is because you have no choice, if you want to cross certain roads like Amsterdam or 42nd. For some reason they were harder hit by snow.

Snow Goat on West End Avenue.

We waited on 66th and West End Avenue until we accepted that the M57 bus was not going to turn up. So we decided to walk, much to the amusement of the other people at the bus stop, down to 42nd Street and then right to Pier 83. This was where the bulk of my slipping and sloshing occured – but we got there on time and got the cruise. We have the daggy ‘snap’ which comes with a fridge magnet to prove it. The sky was blue, the promise was 50F…so we sat on the deck. One hour in and I realised blue sky doth not make a warm breeze on the Hudson River. The Statue of Liberty was beautiful. The cruise captain claimed that the sculptor used the face of his mother and the body of his mistress to create the smaller-than-I thought-she’d-be Statue of Liberty. She does have a strong lonely presence out there.

Statue of Liberty

The temperature remained around 38F and we went inside the cabin. It was great going under the stunning BMW bridges: Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg. We heard all about the various areas and so on and so forth…then the captain showed us the new WTC tower going up and we were suddenly interested in visiting Ground Zero. We had discussed it and we thought it would be too sad and gruesome to visit but with the hope of the new tower and the plans on display for the area – we decided to go there. First, I found the Europa Bar in Times Square for lunch and guess what? Still had weird ‘cakey’ bread but had real coffee….at last.

We got the train Downtown to Park Place in the financial district and walked all the way around the block. There are two huge waterfalls being built in the footprints of the original Twin Towers to signify the loss of life on the two original sites. They are square and sunken like old Roman baths. One can’t help but focus on the foundations of the new tower. It is super reinforced with forked corners and a kind of swollen belly look – like it is solid and grounded. It will be 1776 feet high deliberately:  1776 is the Year of the Declaration of Independence. I had very mixed feelings about the whole thing because the 9/11 memorial site still has the horrific images we all know and remember, but the new tower being built is being watched by so many people – just standing and watching it, infusing it with hope.

Tower 1 1776 feet high.

It is such a big scar on the landscape that it kind of joins in again as it rises. At the moment it literally rises out of the snow so it looks pretty amazing.

We walked around the financial district and admired all the buildings. New York really is huge. It has a kind of 1950’s feel about it.

We also found out from our witty know-it-all cruise captain that even though Times Square on NYE is a ‘must do’ and ‘once in a lifetime’ experience, it won’t be in my lifetime. One has to arrive and be inside the barriers of  Times Square, between 49th and 42nd Streets, before 4.30pm. Then you get to wait with about 2 million people (the population of Melbourne) for almost 8 hours to watch the big sparkly ball drop at 12am. Gosh, gee…it’s a toughie…but we may find something else to do 🙂

Marcel wants to do nothing but sit around ......

On the bus going home we read the signs: NO smoking, spitting, littering or radio playing. Lucky Marz found something else to do.

December 29, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

Reloading.

We have woken to the realisation that our days are now numbered. We have to visit the things we really want to see and revisit the things we loved before our days are up. I won’t bore you with the things we have done before….like the MET which I think one could do 50 times and still not see it all, or Grand Central which is really worth visiting from the front entrance, or the Chrysler Building that you really need to walk into…..wait, sorry I am going over old ground again.

Setting up for NYE in Times Square

I will try and sprinkle these next 7 days with new stuff only.

We started in Times Square again. ‘They’ kept releasing ticker tape from a window above the tourist centre. It will continue to happen until the big ball drops on NYE. It was packed with so many people and so many different languages, I felt like I was in Bladerunner but someone had turned the lights on! The jury is still out for us. No news on what we’ll do NYE yet.

We went up to the Rockefeller Centre and saw the ice-skating rink but the line was sooooo long that we just watched for a while and then went on. The Christmas tree there was HUGE. A lot of the buildings in the area are beautiful.

We discovered the NBC building and the lads found that pretty interesting. Each of them got a T-shirt from the Big Lebowski or Saturday Night Live…there was a lot of guffawing let me tell you.

Grand Central from the front.

The foyer of the Chrysler Building

I will  confess to a quick stop off at Mac cosmetics before we had lunch in a really nice Jewish cafe. I will also report, to RJ’s dismay, that the aforementioned cannot walk down a snow lined street. It somehow is physically impossible. He has to leap and bound from one large mound of snow…to another. Even in 5th Avenue, this is possible. Even in crowds such as we have experienced, he finds it possible. He also manages to miss the huge puddles, which I am not as adept at doing….bastard!

Taking a break from jumping to look at the architecture.

December 28, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

Apollo 63

Although we are all a bit jaded, Will’s enthusiasm to go back to Harlem and visit the Apollo carried us back on the MTA Uptown to 125th. It was a very cold and wet Harlem that greeted us.

Apollo-I-wish-it-was-1963-Will

One very cool dude, Lord Harrison…who was linked to…..Reverend Harrison at the Baptist Church…and Wu-tang Clan…and Russell Crowe (?) sold us his cd on the street…for $10, no $4…no $10 bucks. We are too scared to put it on when we got back but he reassured us that it was kind to women 🙂

Lord Harrison.

We wandered around and picked up the ‘vibe’ until we decided to eat. Everyone knows how much I hate Mac Dondald’s, but it was cold and we were hungry..so we went to the golden arches in Harlem. There were signs everywhere stating that you had 30 minutes to eat and then you had to leave. Other signs said NO SOLICITING. A big man in a black suit with a walkie talkie wandered around the tables. Eventually he said he had called the cops and quite a few tables kind of emptied out. ‘I can’t be responsible for what the cops find on you when they come’, he said about twenty times. I played ‘peek-a-boo’ with a beautiful little 2 year old boy who was bored holding a table for his mum. When she eventually came back she had a small thing of chips and nuggets for him. I was kind of sad by then. Was it the universal image of mother looking after child, while going without herself? Was it the sad people who really just wanted to sit in Macca’s because it was warm? We ate up and left. Outside the sidewalk was full of all the people pretending to talk on their phones so that could come back in again after the lunchtime rush.

Same Macca's, whole different world.

December 28, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

Thanks Guys

New York from our snowed over balcony.

Thank you so much for all your comments of care and concern. We can enjoy the full experience of the ‘blizzard’ as irresponsible tourists as we have: no car, no house, no job to get to it, no dogs to walk or even a plant to care for. All we have to do is stay vertical as often as possible, when outside.

I should also add that yes, there were way more than 155 flights cancelled. No, we have no TV. Yes, the snow has stopped and that amazing white crisp newness (I am avoiding the word ‘virginal’) has gone and things are looking a bit muddy today on the street.

Thank you again lovely people. You all take care and enjoy some long awaited sun down in Orstralia.

Look! We made it home.

December 28, 2010 / Neurotypical Me.

A little context please.

We have not been to New York before so we were not sure how ‘normal’ this weather was. All day we were very ‘cool’ about the insane conditions. The snow was DEEP. It was still powdery so the boys kept trying to do ‘elf footprints’ and dance across the top of the 2 feet of snow, without falling through, with varying degrees of success.

Empire State Fugitive and friend

We left the boys in bed at first and went and did a few boring things like….Will went back to the Empire State to see if his Givenchy belt was still in security from last week. The only thing he found was that regardless of the security at every turn, he got to the top without a ticket and without a security check. This spun a lot of people out. He did not find his belt though 😦 I went back to Macy’s and found a lot of queues and new season stuff…and we both went home. The snow was so much fun that we got the kids up and went to the American Museum of Natural HIstory. We went via the subway and some rude person pushed past us on the way down the stairs, on her bum! She was so pissed off it was kind of awkward – but let me tell you, when the sun comes out on so much snow it is slippery. RJ actually fell over seconds after announcing that he was the King of Snow negotiating! I do have to add that I then hit him in the head with the camera on my wrist as I lost my balance temporarily.

The Museum was very cool and the real dinosaur bones of freak’n huge beasts did spin us out. There were also really 50’s displays of animals in their habitats which made us seriously feel like we were in a chapter with Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye!

Real bones boys and girls.

Holden's buddies.

By the time we slipped and giggled and slid home, we decided to go via Barnes and Noble, who are having a sale – they sell dvds cheaper than renting them – get a BIG pizza and some budweiser – and go home. In the pizza shop the TV was full of news on the Holiday Hazzard due to the snow. We sat watching cars slide across streets, we heard 155 flights had been cancelled, we listened to interviews with shocked New Yorkers and we realised that this snow was not indeed normal! Lucky us 🙂

Escape down to the warmth of the subway, but go slowly!

66th Street Lincoln Centre Station, just before the big rat appeared!