So, Laurel has reminded me that I still have yet to update about my New
York trip. So I shall put off my uncompletable paper (the school e-mail
is down and the questions are in there!) and make an entry instead.
Beware this is probably going to be a long one.
I awoke promptly at a quarter til five on Saturday morning. Yes, I was
supposed to drag myself out of bed at 5:45, but alas, some time in the
night, my cat walked on my clock and set it an hour ahead. I, however,
did not become aware of this until after I had filled my huge AZD
thermos with strong black coffee (I was feeling unusually tired for
-some- reason.) and loaded the Nissan with my bags. So then, I went
back to bed until it was time to leave at 7.
We got on the road at 7 AM Saturday morning. It was a long haul to
Pittsburgh, and my father was convinced that I was lost for about half
of the trip, which I was not. It's just a very long and boring drive.
As was the train-ride. Jill and I boarded the Amtrak in Pittsburgh at
around 10 and we didn't get to New York until half past six...this was
about an hour ahead of schedule too. I got a lot of knitting done on
the train though, so all is good.
After our arrival in the big apple, we where quickly swept up by Jill's
friend, Jill, who for the purpose of this narrative will be called
NYJill as not to be too confusing. She showed us the "way of New
Yorker," an art that would be continually developed over the course of
the week. Metro cards were purchased. A single rat (the only one I
actually saw, and keep in mind I stayed in a "hostile" here.) was seen
running across the subway tracks. Various lines of varying colours were
taken. The South Street Seaport was arrived at. Sure, it smells a lot
like fish, but the Seaport is one of the most beautiful things I've
seen (the sea food at that Irish place wasn't too bad either...), and I
managed to see a lot of beautiful things in my day. I especially adore
the view were you can see almost all of the bridges. Unfortunately the
flash on my digital camera is one to err on the side of suckage, so the
picture doesn't look so great.
It was back to the hostel after that. The Whitehouse Hotel is surely
the closest I will ever come to knowing what it was like to have to
live in a tenement. (As it turns out The Whitehouse Hotel was at one
time a tenement, so...yeah...my assumptions were correct.) The rooms
were absolutely tiny. The walls didn't go all the way to the ceiling.
Few other people in the building spoke the same language as me. It
rocked. Okay, so it really have been extremely crappy to have to live
that way, but for a few nights, it was an experience. A real experience
that I would have never recieve if I had chosen a four star in Midtown
as opposed to a hostel in the East Village. (Ah...what glory the East
Village is...slums and all. It's just ripe for a creative soul such as
Then came Sunday, aka Broadway day. Jill and I caught the subway uptown
to Times Square and wandered about for a while, looking at the various
theatres, suffering under our first scam (damn greedy homeless...), and
eating at the rather scary post-modernist McDonald's (It's a happy
place no more, it's now a 1984 style world.). All this was before RENT,
of course. RENT is one of the most amazing shows in the world to see
live. Some things you just can't fully grasp from just listening to the
OCR. For example, Light My Candle is about 300 times funnier with the
movements and facial expressions, and the extremely blatant way that
Mimi blows out the candle (here I though she left the room, but oh
no...) and I'll Cover You is much more touching. I won't even get into
the severe emotional issues I was having. The women in front of me most
have thought I was some kind of bi-polar freak. I just have this
extreme emotional connection to that show and it's message, so it meant
more than anyone can possibly imagine for me to be able to see that
story finally played out before my eyes on a stage where I could
emotional connect with those voices I've been connecting with since I
first accidently downloaded "Santa Fe" long ago.
And as promised to Laurel, Ashes, and various others...the greatest picture...EVER! (Yay for lead actings taking photos for charity...)
After a quick dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp...with a great view from our
table, indeed, overlooking Times Square, it was off to Avenue Q. The
mood of this one was much lighter, of course. That's why it was chosen
to see second. The message is still there though. Everything in life is
only for now... It's really a good musical...though it is an awful lot
like Seasame Street on strong narcotics.
After heading back to the village was our first moment of intrigue and
"Only in New York" moment. Walking down Bowery, talking on his cell
phone was...Ben Stiller! Yep. There's not much more to say about
Monday morning was...er...interesting We got up before 5...this time on
purpose, to get ready to head to Rockefeller Centre. Why? Let's just
say something really silly, fan-girly, and well...inexplicable
were on TV. My mother has it on tape.)
Before this, however, we had a subway...experience. Two homeless men,
one with a wood slat, screaming at each other. I was scared out of my
mind, but the people on the other platform thought it was extremely
funny. Oh well, schadenfeude, I guess.
After standing in the Centre for about 3 hours we walked...and
walked...and walked some more. We traveled the entire length of the
island from 49th street to Battery Park, hitting in between: St.
Patrick's Cathedral (I'm still planning on getting married at St.
Joesph's Cathedral, but this was on of the most beautiful Catholic
Churches I've ever seen. Think about the reaction I had to this place,
Jill, and imagine how crazy it's gonna be when I see The Vatican next
spring.), The Empire State Building (biggest tourist trap known to
mankind, but I did get some amazing pictures from the top. It's all
about the angles.), The Brooklyn Bridge (we walked out to the first
observation deck...again...great pictures. altphoto
is going to hate me for flooding them with Cityscapes and Urban decay,
but I do so love photgraphy.), and The financial district at lunch time
(not an incredibly intelligent move on our part. Oh no, but we did
continue to develop our New Yorker skills...What is this wait for the
cars of which you speak? Cars wait for Pedestrians...)
After all that we had to stand in line for the ferry out on the
freezing bay to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Jill managed to set off the
metal detectors with her boots, which was a ratehr interesting
experience indeed, but we did eventually get the okay to go. Again, I
got some more great cityscapes, but there was one picture I didn't get.
Try as I might, I could not find Rosa Tornabene anywhere on that
damnedable thing. I know all the information: what ship she came on,
everything, but I couldn't find her name. I did, however, find this:
It'll have to do for now. And besides, the search for my roots wasn't
too tempered, because...not long after returning to Manhattan Island, a
Contini/Tornabene went home.
Aw...home...Mulberry...Again, if my
reaction was like that to the best tortellini I've had since Grandmum
Rose past away and the fabulous cannoli place, I'm gonna be
psychotically weird less than a year from now.
After our trek through Italia Piccola, NYJill, who met us for dinner,
decided to take us for a walk. Jill and I decided that since we'd
already walked incredible amounts that day we might as well keep a
walking. She took us through the East Village, where we were staying.
Through the West Village (and to think that I saw it on Christopher
Street....*shakes head* crazy amazing that West Village...'nough said)
She showed us the speak-easy where F. Scott Fitzgerald penned The Great
Gatsby, which amazes a literature buff like me beyond all reason. Then
we continued on to the Hudson river. "I know when people say New Jersey
you don't automatically think beautiful," says NYJill, "but..." it was.
I was quite sad to leave on Tuesday. Quite. It took me 19 years to get
to that city. I didn't want to go after only 3 days. One day though...
There's no keeping me away now. Oh no.