New York has done us the courtesy of allowing us rest.
We were talking with a little store owner near us, asking when his shop shuts last night. He just looks at us like, he thinking, “You’re cute”. He smiles, and then says “This city never sleeps, my friend”.
We are rested. Yesterday has been a full day, and today is stacking up to be much the same.
We all have full intention of head out of our apartment soon, but after everyone was ready and dressed, we turned to see Allison not exactly in the best of ways, throwing up the remnants of the dinner from the night before. We’ve all been in her position before, and its not a great position to be in. We collectively try and do what we can to ease the nausea, but all our suggestions seems to prove futile.
By late morning, Allison urges us to make something of the day, and she will catch up with us once she has come good. Its really not the best option, but she’s so genuine about the fact that she wants us to make sure we get to see as much of NYC as we can, so we collectively agree that we should get a move on.
The four of us arrive at Grand Central Station.
As we push our way through the turn stalls, yet again, we are met with the sounds of a performer vying for the attention of the passengers passing him by. You can hear the click, clack of the metal shoe bases slapping the wooden boards as the Spanish track plays in the back ground. Two tap dancers compete in a friendly manner for the affection of the small crowd before them.
I’m yet to be able to even entertain the idea of using the subway without seeing some sort of performance. Its truly incredible to see all these people with all their talents constantly putting them on show. Its great.
It’s already past mid day, so we don’t really want to linger too much, when there are more monumental sights to see. We make our way out of the subway station, and with the direction of a few locals, edge our way toward the famous icon. We enter, and the whole place is lined with marble and brass. The building is nearly as tall, inside as the structure is wide, and covers an area of 47 acres. If that isn’t a train station, I don’t know what is. It is absolutely massive.
Is kinda funny. In conversations I’d had with people, they had said that because we were going to be doing our trip in the colder season, we would be avoiding some of the tourists. If we are avoiding them, the remaining tourists seem to amalgamate at the spots we are headed too. Everywhere you look, you are met with masses upon masses of people all recording their memories and making new ones with friends.
Oh, this is the craziest thing. We walk up the stairs at one end of the station to get a better vantage point, and we are met with none other than an Apple store. Apple have been blowing me away with the prime real estate that they have. Naturally, they don’t own it, but the fact that they have a store set up in Grand Central Station, out in the open air, is just absurd. Craziness.
We take in the station, and opt that we should get a move on. Michaela is dead keen for a coffee. Now that she has mentioned it, I’m keen for a coffee. We all head off in search for a coffee. We cross a Starbucks. It’s not really a coffee shop, but it will do for now. Being that I know I am not really going to get an amazingly good coffee here, the coffee, in the raw sense of a coffee idea is out the window. I’m just gonna go hard and order a caramel frappucinno with a shot of coffee, and its gonna be massive. Bec follows suit, much to the amazement of Micky, soon to be followed with laughs, and amazement at this little chick, holding such a massively huge cup in her hands.
Coffee in hand, hearts high, we walk in search of more adventure.
Our next stop on the list is the American Museum of Natural History. You know the place that they filmed Night at the Museum? That place. I was already pretty interested, but the fact that the movie was filmed there too. That bumped up the prestige of it to a new level. I mean, there would be dinosaur skeletons that we’d be within meters of. I’m keen for that.
As we are walking out of the coffee shop, we turn to our right to find the Empire State Building looming over us, only one block away. The Empire State Building was one of the things that I am looking forward to seeing most. We grab our photos, and Damo just phantoms for the 5th time this morning. Michaela is used to it by now, but he’s a fricken hard man to keep track of.
The plan is to get to Museum and spend a few hours walking around, enjoying everything that the museum has to offer us. The catch is though, Allison has surprised the guys with a dinner at a very nice restaurant, so it is 1:30 now, and they have to be there by 5:45. We haven’t even reached the museum yet, and have to catch a subway train there also I was under the impression that the goal was to get to the museum and explore that, then head to dinner after than. Not really a complicated day.
We are walking around the city, stopping at everything that catches our eye. It would seem as though I am the only one who shares this idea. We keep stopping to check out other attractions that we weren’t initially intending on. As much as it was starting to itch me a little, we probably wouldn’t get the chance to see them again, at least not casually, so we just go with the flow.
We find ourselves out the front of the New York State Library. Micky is super keen, so we all just mozie on over to have a gander at the sight. There is a queue for everything in NYC. The sheer masses of people in NYC mean that anywhere and everywhere you go, you are met with others who have the same idea as you. After the clear the Library’s customs, we explore. The building is architecturally impressive. Everything is marble. Doesn’t matter where you look, everything is made of Marble. It is seriously awe inspiring.
In a bit of an odd way, I kinda feel as though the library has a little more grandeur than the station. Naturally, the station is a whole different kettle of fish, but the feel of the Library is really something else.
We walk through and I try to hi-five one of the information chicks who helped us out, and she looks at me with bewilderment, as though I have just assaulted her. I mean, bloody hell. It’s a hi-five. Friggin universal statement for “Good work”. She’s got this thick accent, cant quite pick it, but she’s still got a long way to go.
Damo’s short attention span means that he has had a guts full, so he’s waiting out the front of the building now. Micky has made her stand. She is going to take her time to read the parts of the library that she actually wants to read. Good on her.
I get ushered off the steps that I’m sitting on, so I make my way to the seats at the bottom of the stairs (which are also made of marble), to only be told that we’re leaving once I’ve sat. We make our way out and literally just turn the corner to then be met with Bryant Park. Super cool. There is this whole winter village market thing, and the whole atmosphere is amazing. I mean, NYC had got this whole vibe going on, generally, but at the same time, there are particular vibes throughout the city, specific to certain little pockets.
This was one of those pockets.
Its so easy to be able to loose yourself in these places. There is an assortment of stalls and booths offering all sorts of unique items and showcasing a plethora of craftsman ship. Also, the ice rink in Bryant Park is free admission, so thats a big plus, but we will come back to that later.
Its now 3pm, and for some unholy reason, everyone decides that we should actually go to the museum now. I’m just gonna say that I’ve mentioned a few times that we are not going to have enough time to see it, but everyone was also happy to just drop into the things that caught their attention too. We get on the subway, and make friends with some Irish punters, who are headed to the same spot.
We get off at the museum, and there is a queue that would have to be (no kidding), a few hundred people deep. I walk up, and then it hits me. This is the queue “Oh. This is bulls**t”. I’ve been waiting all day, patient as anything, keen as to see a dinosaur skeleton in person and everything, and now we get here and its a queue that runs to the street, and down along the footpath.
We talk with the bloke who is trying to order a crowd of foreign speaking people into some form of order. He would have more luck herding cats. It should only take us about 15 mins to get through. Not too bad at all. We decide to stick it out.
We get inside, and then the line just instantly disperses. People bail left right and centre. But, the thing that is not ideal, is that the actual line for the tickets is a good 50 people or more, and moving at a much much slower rate. I’m just gonna cut to the chase for you. It does not matter who we speak to, it does not matter who we attempt to bribe. It doesn’t matter all the different ways we try and con someone into giving us their tickets, we can’t get in without paying. But, we have only got an hour or so before have to get moving for Micky & Damo’s dinner anyway.
Micky is over it, and Damo is keen to just slip past the guard. If it was the two of us, I would be keen. But the issue is that the girls probably wont play the game with us.
The guys have another museum in London, so they don’t really care about it, and Bec and I have another 10 days after the guys leave to explore a little more for ourselves, so we call it quits and find a bar to tuck into. We place we find is a little sports bar, and it is happy hour. Whatever you want, you get two for the price of 1. We sort out 4 pints. Everyone has one each, and we just tuck in and play cards until Damo & Micky need to get going.
By this point, we have checked in with Allison, but she is still a little seedy, so we’re not sure if she is going to make it for the Broadway show or not.
We part our separate ways, and Bec and I decide to just explore the suburb around us. We have food with us, so we decide to find somewhere to have a drink while we bide our time. We just so happen to stumble across a little place called the Shake Shack. Its a cool little spot, and the queue is wild. I had forgotten that it is school holidays over here, so NYC is particularly busy.
We are about to order, and we get this bloke behind me, who looks like a frenchman with his little painter hat tilted to the side of his head. He asks us about the menu and if we can decipher for him. Post-order, we get chatting with him, and he is actually from Geneva. We begins to show us all sorts of sights that we have to see while we are there. It looks like such a beautiful place.
He tells us that the place is only 300km wide and 250km long, and it holds 8 million people. Pretty bloody decent.
One thing that me makes sure we understand is that you can drink on the street. There isn’t much crime, so street drinking is all good. That is what I want to hear. What I wouldn’t give to be able to just grab a drink and go sit at a park, no worries about it. That would be great. I’m looking forward to it.
Our time wraps up fast.
Allison is meeting us for the show at 8pm.
We are heading to the real life broadway.
THE Broadway. For a Broadway show.
Now, for those who do know me. I’m not really a stage show or musical man. I went and saw Lion King, and that was pretty impressive, so I wasn’t against watching another stage show. We take our seats, and the show begins. I have my camera, but this guy who has taken it upon him to the ensure that nobody ever takes any photos. Ever. Of the show. Ever.
He is running around for most of the first half, like swatting flies. He reminds me of Christopher Mintz-Plasse, but with thicker glasses and less charismatic.
So, I know everybody says, you have to go see a Broadway show. I dont know if all the shows are of the same caliber, but I can tell you that if you get the chance to see Cirque Du Soleil in Theatre, you have to take the opportunity. It is MINDBLOWING. The thing that blew me away the most was the incredible use of space throughout the entire performance. The whole thing was crafted immaculately.
And as much as I love a good movie, the thing that impressed me the most about the show, was that it is one-take. No retakes. Everything was crafted perfectly. The timing was immaculate. I could not fault it in any way. The acrobatics, the humor, the story and the acting. Brilliant. I wish I could have filmed more, but you will have to take my word for it.
Please, for your own sake, make the effort to go and see one of their shows.
We leave the show, and made a mate with the elevator dude, Michael, his name is now Mick. We told him so.
We head out and, find for ourselves right next to Time Square. We walk around and Micky says “Ok. I feel like I am in New York now”. I thought it was just one square, but the entire street is lined and surrounded with billboards, signage, flashing lights. This is the reason that this bloody city never sleeps. There is so much light that it feels like it is day time. But, this feels like it is New York.
I give Damo my camera, and once the pedestrians get the green light to cross, Bec and I pose in the middle of the zebra crossing for a photo. Damo is pretty much in the middle of the intersection, and there are cars honking and tooting at him the whole time. He just casually stands up, looks over to the cars, and say “THIS IS NEW YORK!!”. We all piss ourselves laughing.
We’re laughing and have had a ripper night.
Its time to go home and Bed.
Oh, but Damo and I get some scotch on our way home. $15 for 700ml bottle, and its actually pretty decent.
Come back tomorrow,