New York (Part 2) – Blog from 2009

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DAY 6

Today was the first day we really explored Williamsberg. A real haven of arty types, hippys and hipsters. This place is cooler than cool, it’s fuckin’ Ice Cold! Seriously though, the shops here are not like anywhere else I’ve seen, everything is made in some super cool ethically perfect warehouse nearby, it’s all done with a great little attitude. There’s secondhand stores, book shops, and the cutest little places, with the cutest little waitresses and the cutest little cakes! It’s all good there, and a fair bit cheaper than manhattan – good times 🙂

NYC - Scott CliffordIn the evening we headed out to the saosin show – couple of local(ish) supports, but including Inner Party System who do impress, but from our lovely comfy seats we can see the sound guy doing additional vocals and effects – which makes you wonder how much of what’s going on is actually the band… Soasin were the only band I cared about though, and from the get go they were on fire. Tune after tune of awesome guitar licks and just perfect vocals, these guys are pro. An amazing encore is a great ending as well, epic repeated climaxes, finishing on ‘They sit…’ A real rock song that just makes you move. And then the second encore, for some reason the drummer doesn’t re-appear so the bassist switches over as they improvise crazy brutal hardcore and metal shiz then shred their asses off, after a few repeats the singer comes back out to growl and scream like some demented slayer fan. It’s all a bit retarded, but fuck me does it make you feel good to be there with them – it was a real special show!

Back to the local and then off to bed 🙂

DAY 7

  StreetsSo from our lovely barman at the Local, we head of to Coney Island to check out the fairground rides but specifically looking for the freakshow – a collection of screwed up people who can do freaky stuff, just like you’d expect really. It sounded pretty sweet so off we went on the epic metro ride south. About three trains later we come to Coney island – the metro trundles along by the sea front giving a great view of the amusements. It looked a little quiet, but we didn’t expect much for a drizzly day in autumn. But when we get out of the station it tells a different story. Big fences, tarpaulin over all the rides, half dismantled go-carts and parts along with the grim weather and total lack of people makes us feel like horror movie victims. Through the centre of the park, between the abandoned roller-coaster, the stationary big wheel and the deserted dodg’ems we wander… finding a few gems. Live human paintball shooting looks awesome and the old rickety pier is worthy of a quick stroll. Still, the place is somewhat lacking in actual content so we grab a quick (vile) coffee and head towards manhattan.

Stopping off to get directions on the way we head to a fabled Bikini bar. Pretty simple concept, it’s a bar, where the barmaids are all females in bikinis. There’s a stage with a pole at the far end, but it’s hardly made the most of. The girls are friendly enough, or greedy for tips, either way the conversation is a bit awkward, but we discover that all the girls there are eastern european. It’s not long before we’re questioning how much of this place is a front for a brothel. Mmmm eastern european sex slaves, how far we’ve come in the last 100 years!

Streets Finally we’re off to check out shimmys, or chavys, or slippys or something like that. It’s Andrew W.K.s club, a door in a wall and a room with a shouty indy(ish) band. It all looks like they spent a lot of time making it look cool but it mostly looked like the standard rock bar in every city in the world. At least it didn’t try to be be Irish! The band were good, but finished not long after we arrived, and the DJ, and ‘contest’ were a bit pants. It was all pretty quiet thanks to thanksgiving so we’ll forgive it that. We met some cool people there, and ended up getting an uber late night Maccies.

A good day, if a little slower paced than normal – skipped the local, and went to bed.

DAY 8

Hello Kitty - Scott CiffordThanksgiving! Wooo! So we went to see the parade, and saw many giant things floating in the sky! There was a pikachu, and Micky mouse, a Dora the Explorer and some more! It was quite interesting while there, not so great to talk about though! So from Times Square we went north to central park, stopping off in the Time Warner centre which is just a mall, but we bummed out in the samsung experience stealing plays on games and decks and sequencers. We even figured out how to work some of them! Back outside and into central park again, it was a good day for a wander, sunny but still bloody chilly! We looked at the ice rink, and nice as it would’ve been to go, (romantic too) it was a bloody rip-off so we bailed and headed to the Zoo.

Snow Leopard - Scott CliffordThe zoo was pretty awesome, we saw sea-lions dancing, polar bears snoozing and snow-leopards falling down hills. There are many cute animals in zoos, so it’s always worth a quick look. Small, but cheap this zoo seems very New York – focusing on the biggest and best stuff out there. Red Pandas are dead cute little things as well! I still need to see a real panda though. Best bit of it though, you get a free ticket to the kids zoo next door, so in we wandered to see turtles and bunnies, goats and pigs. Lols were had hiding in wooden rabbits and trying to squeeze into a turtle shell. If only we were 10 years younger maybe we wouldn’t have looked so weird!

Red Panda - Scott CliffordWe headed back to the hostel to take advantage of some free thanksgiving food, which was in fact awesome. Not much in the way of veg, so pure turkey it was! We met a lot of people around the table that day, including a few guys from a uni upstate somewhere, One a British guy, and two German girls, a Danish guy doing god knows what everywhere he could, another Brit traveling the world giving out hugs (hug it on/hug it through [Hug it Forward] – something like that – pretty cool concept really, raising money via hugging!), a chap from eastern Europe (I forget where) and a simply gorgeous french girl studying down south who was doing something in NY. After dinner and much talking we make a move down to the local where we discuss many things and bump into a rather delightful Australian chap. After quite a few drinks a few of us, head back to take advantage of the hostel hot-tub. It’s really quite fantastic to be chilling in New York, in a hot tub with friendly people. Even better still when the cute french girl jumps in next to you in her undies!

They say the greatest things in life are free. They’re not wrong! Bed!

DAY 9

Brooklyn Bridge - Scott CliffordBlack friday – the day after Thanksgiving is well known for it’s sales. We’d found this out earlier in the week, and to make the most of this, we saved all our shopping money till then. It’s not the most exciting day, but I enjoyed it a lot! Two pairs of shoes, red/black/white Nike highs and Black/White Reeboks Highs, a pair of Levis, chocolate, cuddly toys, another pair of shoes from a secondhand shop White/lime Nike Highs and a brand new snowboard! At 70% off I really couldn’t say no! I knew I’d have to pay an extra $50 on the flight back, but with all the other stuff I bought I would’ve ended up paying that anyway, it’s a good thing my tee-s all fitted in the box with the board as my bag was full of shoes!

When we got back after an interesting metro ride home we dumped the stuff got some food and met up with the Uni guys from the night before. After a quickie in the local we headed back out to Brooklyn again, Barcade and Crocodile bar and Union Pool were all hit, before heading back to jump in the hot tub again. But oh no! The tub was out of action – so back down to the local to finish the last night of our trip in style and in comfort. Having picked up a few of the others from the hostel, and met more in the bar it was a pretty rowdy night of giggles.

Sandwhich and bed.

DAY 10

ClockOur last day in NY, and we were feeling lazy, so we headed out to brooklyn, checked out a skate shop with a half pipe, and a massive (but too chic for us) secondhand store. Then we grabbed milkshakes and cookies and headed to the river shore again. While it was painfully cold and hard-to-stand windy it was good to say goodbye to Manhattan. It’s an amazing place to be – if you’ve never been I seriously recomend it! Meeting up quickly with the girl from Santos we hit one last secondhand store and got another pair of Nike Highs (all white) then headed back to the hostel to chillax before the flight. Chilling and watching Anchorman – what better way to relax.

And then we went home…

I love NY and will be going back at some point, soon I hope!

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