Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear, I like my toast done on one side. And you can hear it in my accent when I talk, I’m an Englishman in New York…

So what does one do on their first night in New York?  Well Joey and I just relaxed.  After spending too much time on our feet today and on the previous days of our trip we just had a quiet night.  Firstly we went to a bar that we had been luckily given a coupon for 2 free drinks for.  It took us a while to negotiate the use of sprite vs lemonade and exactly what drinks were included in the “free drinks” list, but for free anything is good value.  As we chatted it was interesting to just sit back and watch the assortment of various people that would walk past.  New York is not a cookie cutter city
and the people are the same.  As you sit back and watch people stroll past you can see old men in their tuxes off to the thearte, young people running past and those who are coming home and think their suit ensemble looks cool when it doesn’t…and many more.  We then moved on in search of another venue and eventually stumbled in to the Rum Hotel which was a cocktail bar without a cocktail menu.  That is strange but when stumped for what drink to order I just looked to my surroundings and asked for a Manhattan.  A Manhattan in Manhattan, very fitting don’t you think?

This morning after a donut breakfast (yes, it is so bad but so good!) we went to catch a boat.  The boat was the Circle Line Water Tour because one cannot go to New York without seeing the Statue of Liberty so we might as well do it on our first full day in the city.  There was a bit of a wait until the 11am boat and the wait was made more confusing by the mass influx of New York School Students on an excursion which caused a bit of chaos.  If they had a system of organising people getting on, it wasn’t a good system! Anyone we got on and set off towards Lady Liberty.

Liberty

It was so cool to see the Statue of Liberty from just a matter of a few hundred meters away.  The statue is dwarfed by comparisons to the buildings of New York, but in any other place it would be a giant.  Our boat trip was complete with well rehearsed, interesting and occasionally funny narration by a true New Yorker (you can tell the accent from a mile away).  As well as the Statue, in our 75 minute tour we got to see some great panoramic shots of Manhattan from a variety of angles.  It is a unique place and the true size of it appears to be really hard to translate in to TV and pictures…it is just BIG and I have only noticed it properly since we arrived.  Once we got off the bus we grabbed a slice of Pizza (from a pizza place that identified with more countries than the UN by the amount of flags and posters on the wall), because we couldn’t resist and headed off on our next adventure.  I should say though I have realised why EVERYONE buys one of those “I❤ New York” T shirts and that is because they are everywhere for sale and cost only a couple of dollars. I have, and will, resist them though.  I would never wear it because it would be hard to wear it without looking like a twat.

Using our navigation method of allowing the street lights to define our path we zigged and zagged our way through the streets of New York.  Our plan was to head towards Greenwich Village for an insight in to some of the other parts of New York but we did manage to stop off at Macy’s and a few other places along the way.  This might sound weird, but Greenwich village is just really green.  It is still very New York but it loses the industrial taint of some of the other places and for that reason I really enjoyed it. There is a raft of different stores and places to check out and little eateries. It would be where you would find Simon if he moved to New York.  Once we fell in to SoHo we had even more opportunities to explore.  We were shortly interrupted by a Human Rights activist with a clipboard on the street and in the light of my feelings about Australia’s need to lift its ‘moral game’ in recent times we stopped to chat to them.  The issues were close to our hearts and although we didn’t sign up for the continual donation scheme she was offering we did both contribute a few dollars.  Every little bit helps they say right.

In proof of Karma though after we gave our donation, the Human Rights activist was able to guide us to a store called evolution.  I said yesterday that the Apple Store was the coolest store ever.  Well it is, in a sleek way, but Evolution is a definite challenger for coolest store in the weird and slightly creepy way.  It is a store that offers all the weird and wonderful things you could want.  A variety of skeletons (both animal and human, replica and real), insects in amber, taxidermy as well as a few edible insects and lollipops with scorpions in them.  As an eater of all things imaginable, I had to buy a strawberry and scorpion lollipop and although it was a really strange eating experience, it was quite yum!    Evolution is the store you must visit if you go to New York.

Scorpion

After Soho we went to Little Italy and stopped to rest our tired legs.  We ate some gorgeous sorbet/ice cream and although we were served by the worst waiter ever it was great.  The waiter wasn’t poor in serving us…he just kept going missing and as a result you could see the rest of the staff getting agitated.  It worked in our favour though as it was raining outside and we were able to stay for ages and wait out the rain. Oh and for the record, it claimed to be the “first espresso bar in NYC”, although it was tradmarked so those claims may be a little dubious. It was then time to head down to the Financial district, through Chinatown which appears to be approaching on Little Italy (A little war is brewing if you ask me!).  Before we hit the financial district we were able to see New York City Hall and the Law Courts which were great buildings and the courts were even better as they have been made famous by Jack McCoy and Law and Order.  In the financial district we just strolled around, passed all the stressed smoking suited men and looked around.  We saw the somber sight of Ground Zero which is now a full on construction site although the building of the freedom tower has been plagued with issues as well as Wall St.  What was interesting was that all the street signs in this area have been replaced with black signs with pictures of the World Trade Center.  A rather fitting subtle adjustment to the tone of the area.

Wall St

With that and my first ride on the New York Subway (It is okay I didn’t manage to end up accidentally kidnapping a baby ala Fran Fine) our main part of our day was done.  We are now relaxing before heading out to some original New York Comedy tonight.

June 4, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Hey Simon,

    I’ve been doing a bit of research in to New York and your blog is definately very enlightening. (Do you know the words to the Star Spangled Banner yet? I have started to memorise them for when we go to the Yankees Baseball game). (haha) Have jotted down the “must sees” you mentioned such as the M & M shop and Toy’s R US. They were not on my initial itinerary. I have a work mate who will be in NYC in August and I have given him the info from you Blog and he is most appreciative.
    I’ve managed to secure a “condo” in the Time Werner Building in Columbus Circle near Central Park for my 7+ days there thanks to Taylor. I am so lucky…. Will tell you all about it when you get home. Am so looking forward to more info on NYC and Washington…

    Comment by Gracy | June 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Haha surpisingly I already new the lyrics to the Anthem as well as the pledge of allegiance. Don’t ask me how but if you need any help just ask! lol

      Your “condo” sounds amazing. I’ll tell you what Central Park is like after today…it is one of our main plans for the day🙂

      Comment by casaboy69 | June 5, 2009 | Reply


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