new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 9

And now for the final instalment; I’m showered and ready to sleep, need to wake up in 5 hours to catch my bus to JFK, so now’s a good time as any to update on the past 3 days:

Friday night:
I went to the Bowery at 8 to get tickets for the gig but was super early so went to walk around. Found Little Italy which was really prettily done up for Xmas, but stupidly forgot to take photos. Walked around Chinatown for a bit also. I realised I’d been walking around in the open for over an hour when I realised I’d lost feeling in my face cos of the cold, so then I went back to the Bowery Ballroom.

The first band, Blacklist had already started, and they were a super emo band with the requisite floppy hair and skinny ties. Somemore the song titles were like “When Worlds Collide” and “Flight“. OMFG lor.

2nd band, the Giraffes on the other hand, are responsible for my best time in New York so far. They’re like blues-metal, kinda Rob Zombie actually. Loads of hardcore shredding and swigging Jack Daniels onstage. And they were funny! Also, during their set I totally noticed 2 girls checking me out. Like for reals.

But then I went to pee and realised my fly was open. Cannot help lah. Giraffes were so good I had to rock out with my cock out.


Check out the Christ pose. So appropriately seasonal somemore.

3rd band were the Cloud Room of Hey Now Now fame. Meh. Pretty boring. The guy really sounds like the singer from Simple Minds, which are like a subpar U2.

Finally were the headliners, A Place to Bury Strangers, allegedly New York’s loudest band. Ok only lah. I’ve seen Mogwai play before lor. Clothes will flutter one leh. Not to mention the time I caught the DJ set by Justice, which had my ears ringing for week. APTBS actually sound like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, yet another Jesus and Mary Chain-esque band. But they did bring on a hot blonde for vocals on their last song. Hot.


Check out the fishnets. Hot.

Saturday:
Supposed to be a sunny day, so I decide to finally do Brooklyn Bridge.


Marvel of engineering, yes. But the wind was freaking cold.


Here I am on the Brooklyn side, looking back to Manhattan.

It was too cold out, so I only spent like an hour walking around the area near the bridge and then took the subway back. Did some last minute gift-shopping for a bit. Decided to queue up at the 5th Ave Abercrombie & Fitch to see what the fuss was. Cos there’s always a queue outside. Quite a madhouse inside, just loads of people grabbing essentially very basic collegiate shirts and things. But then got half-naked male model wearing only jeans. Maybe thats why. And I noticed all the female sales people were Wonderbra’d to the max. Like seriously up there. Good marketing strategy.

After going back to the apartment to chill for a bit, I took the subway to the Rose Center’s Hayden Planetarium to catch Sonic Visions, a light show set to music mixed by Moby. That really should have been my first clue. It was pretty bad. It started great with Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place“, but it kinda went downhill from there. Worst part was when he mixed in Spiritualized’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space“, one of my all-time favourites, but ran it for only 30 seconds, with shit visuals too, I might add.

Then I hightailed it back to Brooklyn to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch Electroma, the new Daft Punk film. It was ok, pretty artsy, with an excellent soundtrack. There’s one really funny shot involving female nether regions that you don’t really recognise until it starts zooming in, but then suddenly, there it is!


Outside after the show. Williamsburg’s obviously more slummy than Manhattan, but quite happening at the time, which was close to 11pm.

Sunday:

Had breakfast with Andrew at this quaint French dessert place. Super sweet macarons, man.


Had a chocolate crossiant and raspberry macaron.

We walked to his office in SoHo, then I went off on my own. Decided to go to the New Museum in Bowery.


Lovely building but the exhibition was a total waste of time. Serious waste of 12USD. I was in and out in 3omins, plus paying admission, gift shop and peeing time. Stupid abstract collage sculptors. Can really smoke lor.

Decided then to make my pilgrimage to Strawberry Fields at Central Park, which is an area dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. Thought I’d walk up since it was my last day in the city, so walked freaking 70 blocks. Which in Singapore parlance means gan far.

Interesting sidenote: there was this anti-torture protest across the street from Rockefeller Plaza in front of a church, with a big NO TORTURE banner and people in Guantanomo orange overalls and black hoods ala Abu Ghraib. Overhead this out-of-towner American couple asking each other, “Who’s being tortured? What’s this about?”. Serious disconnect with your country’s politics, people.

But then again, there was one of the costumed protestors shouting out, “Who would Jesus torture?!” over and over again, which totally spoiled the effect.

So anyway, I make it to Central Park and walk another 20 blocks to Strawberry Fields, which was actually quite amazing compared to the rest of the park.


Central Park is great, but Strawberry Fields is really prettier than all the other parts I’ve seen.


Above us only sky…

Pilgrimage done, I do my ultimate last-minute gift-shopping and meet my hosts back at the apartment to go for my farewell dinner. Went to this really nice, but kinda expensive Italian place in the West Village.


That’s Beh, Andrew’s housemate.


Andrew and I. Note my beanie hair. Also, my camera kinda sucks. Autofocus kinda screwed liao. Everything’s blurry.

And now I’m back, packed and ready to go. Really glad to finally be heading home, really. Oh yeah, also I stupidly miscalculated and will actually be home on Boxing Day cos of the time difference. Sian, man. Next day go to work already.

In any case, goodbye, New York – I love you but you kept bringing me down, but I love you all the same. If I don’t update in Bangkok while on transit, as they say in New York (or actually just the Giraffes):

Merry Christmas,

Happy Holidays,

Happy Kwanzaa

and Hail Satan.

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