Archive Page 3

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 7

Just a quick one here:

Last night (Sunday):

Eventually made it out (albeit in the nut-freezing cold) and had dinner at this pretty classy pizza place in Charleston. Gorged as we were, we decided clam chowder was in order so we drove to a Legal’s at Harvard to order takeout. Went back watched The Year of the Dog on DVD (not very good) and had our food and fell unconscious.

Today (Monday):

Woke up, surfed for a bit on the crap connection and Daniel dropped us (me and Weiyi, the other guy) off at the train station and I caught my connector to the bus terminal. Caught my New York bus at 11am and made it back to New York at 4pm. Chilled out for a bit, went to wash clothes at the laundromat (which was weirdly relaxing), came back to chill some more, had some pizza and went to Gotham Comedy Club round the corner from Andrew’s place. First act was terrible but it got progressively better. Basically just non-stop comedians from 8pm to 10pm. Pretty fun for not alot of money. Can’t believe the guys I’m staying with have never been. Its literally like a minute walk from their place. Gonna crash soon. Been a long day and Gills is taking me out again tomorrow night.

Photos:


Daniel the domestic goddess. Curry porkchops were pretty damn good. Muffins, not so much.


That’s the back patio grill. No BBQ in the near future.


Displaying my disgust at the cold in front of the house.


Me and Weiyi, who’s forever 21, and the only person I know who uses Mathematica.

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new york (actually boston) i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 6

 

At Daniel’s in Boston now. We’re snowed by 8 inches of snow. Looks like we’re just gonna be surfing, reading and watching movies today. Which is ok really. Walked around in town yesterday, Boston’s a little dull. And too damn cold too.

Just some highlights from the past couple of days. Photos later cos I’m having trouble uploading with the connection here.

Friday

 

  • Went to take a 3 hour round-island cruise. Not particularly exciting but at least it was educational. Had a good 5 minutes taking photos of Lady Liberty.
  • Went to check out the New York Public Library. Seriously gorgeous. Read a Castro biography for a bit. But felt a little pretentious after awhile.
  • Caught Aimee Mann’s 2nd annual Xmas show! It was more like variety show than a gig and she had musical guests; Ben Lee, Josh Ritter and Nellie Mckay. Also got comedian Paul F. Tompkins co-hosting. She also made a short 3-part film about trying to get celebrity guests for her show. Really funny, got cameos from John Krasinski, Emily Proctor, Patton Oswalt, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and alot more. It was super fun, especially cos the performers were having a lot of fun themselves.
  • Decided to take in the night view at Empire State so I went up at about 11pm, and promptly froze my nuts off. But the view is seriously amazing. Very touristy thing to do, yes. But well worth it. Quite breathtaking.

Saturday:

  • Time to go Boston. Wake up late obviously, and catch the 9am bus.
  • Made good time, reached in 4 hours, getting there at 1pm.
  • Daniel picked me up, along with the other travelling Singaporean, Weiyi, and we steadily ate for 7 hours at 4 different places.
  • Everything’s covered in snow and it’s cold as shit out, so there’s nothing really to do in Boston but to find somewhere warm to sit down and eat.
  • So I had smoked salmon for brunch, chocolate covered ricotta canoli for dessert, milk tea at a Taiwanese cafe, and lobster dinner at a Chinese restaurant.
  • We drove around looking for extra blankets and rented some movies at Blockbuster.
  • Went back, had some wine, and fell asleep watching Reno 911.

So far today, Daniel’s made muffins, curry pork chops and we’ve amused ourselves watching his landlord shovel snow and then Thumbsucker. Now we’re out of ideas and there’s just too much snow out.

Photo updates:


The one and only.


The New York Public Library has incredibly gorgeous reading rooms.


For all her depressing songs, Aimee Mann is damn bloody funny. Oh, and I used Gav’s Aimee MAN joke on one of my neighbours. Good one, Gav.


Made myself stand in the freezing wind on the Empire State Building observation deck and listened to Ryan Adams doing New York, New York live twice. Came to the conclusion that Ryan Adams is truly the best soundtrack to New York City. Even though he’s originally a country singer from Jacksonville. On an unrelated note, you can see that my nose is red in the picture. It was also entirely numb.


Daniel’s so proud of Boston’s North End. Zzzzzz…… Not alot of Boston pics cos it was just too damn cold and I couldn’t operate the camera very well with gloves on.

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 5

Today has been a total bum day. Was planning to do the Guggenheim, take a 3 hour ferry ride, then do the Empire State at dusk. But the weather screwed me over before even breakfast. And it didn’t even have the decency to snow properly, instead it was rain and sleet all day long. I”m like no problem, I can postpone the ferry ride, do the Guggenheim and do Empire State after 6pm, which is when it supposed to stop raining.

So I take the subway up to 86th, cross 3 blocks, up another block and find that the Guggenheim is closed on Thursdays and Xmas. Shit.

So I walk another few blocks in the sleet to the Met again, since I was planning to cover the rest of it at some point anyway. Not half bad, I rediscover the Arms and Armor section, which I totally dug from the last time and dug again this time round. Also, it was unbelievably lucky that I got to see a Damien Hirst piece that I’ve always been curious about, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. That at least was a huge treat. No photographs were allowed unfortunately. Just google it lah.

Some highlights from the Met:


Japan vs Europe. Basically Gundam vs idunnowat.


Rodin’s The Thinker. Little guy.


Very nice setup.


Yeah, I think that’s the original Van Gogh. Or maybe not. I wouldn’t know, really.


Mäda Primavesi by Gustav Klimt.


Spectrum V by Ellsworth Kelly. It was too wide for me to get it straight on.


Huge Jackson Pollock piece. Forgot to note the title.

So its still pissing cats and dogs when I’m done, so I decide to go to the nearby Whitney Museum, highly recommended by Gillian. I rather enjoyed it, especially the Lawrence Wiener stuff. He designed New Order posters!

I was done eventually at 430, with another hour and a half to kill before the end of the rain. So I make my way through the sleet to 34th and have dinner and wait for the rain to clear. I finish dinner a bit too quickly and so cross the street to a comics store and kill some time. I finally make it back out at 7pm and the rain’s stopped. I walk to where the line for the elevator up is and the sign says:

WAIT TIME: 0 min, VISIBILITY: 0 miles. DECK IS CLOSED.

So now I’m back and waiting for either of my hosts to get back so I know where to get my laundry done. Cos according to weather.com, tomorrow’s going to be sunny and I’m gonna do my tourist shit, goddamit.

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 4

Finally made it down to the American Museum of Natural History today. Been antsing to go since seeing the Squid and the Whale. Unfortunately, no more titanic struggle between leviathans exist, and its just the (admittedly impressive) Whale.

I did find a pretty big, if not very dynamically sculptured squid.

In any case, what I really loved was the Space Show at the adjacent Rose Center for Earth and Space. Bit of a plug here:

A spectacular immersive theater experience, Cosmic Collisions launches visitors on a thrilling trip through space and time—well beyond the calm face of the night sky—to explore cosmic collisions, hypersonic impacts that drive the dynamic and continuing evolution of the universe.

I was actually kinda moved watching it. Serious, you guys gotta check it out.

All in all, I spent about 6 hours at the AMNH; here’re some highlights:


At the lobby.


Caribou!


Moose havin’ at it.


Check out Rex’s little birdy arms. Awww….


Ahnighito, world’s 3rd largest meteorite mass.


They also had Saturn but I was really looking for Uranus. Hur hur.

So after the museum closed, I decided it was high time to do the tourist thing and went to take photos at Times Square and Rockefeller.


All this blatant consumption.


There it is, this year’s tree. Ok only lah.


Asked a lady to take my picture, but she cut off the top of the tree. Anyhow one.


Me at the rink. Seems like all New Yorkers do at Xmas is go ice-skating.


Looks pretty good at night.


Random shot of me and Taro the cat (our 4th housemate). He keeps jumping on me when I try to nap. He actually jumped off a 22″ CRT on a desk onto my chest when I was lying on the floor. But he’s really friendly lah. Not amenable to photographs though.

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 3

Just quick updates for this one:

Monday

  • Went to MOMA
  • Helvetica display was pathetic
  • Seurat exhibition was pretty interesting
  • Went to FAO Schwarz and bought my nephew a DJ Mixer Guitar thing. Was wondering whether to get a FAO Schwarz teddybear but I don’t think I should encourage attachments to inanimate objects.
  • They have that step piano on the floor like on the movie, Big and I saw the staff do a rendition of Chopsticks. Cool.
  • Walked around 5th Ave trying to look for replacement gloves (I lost one in the Met) and the place is terrible. Its all either huge brand stores or a couple malls like Macy’s and Bloomingdales, which I thought were very badly laid out and claustrophobic.
  • So boo to them and I went back to SoHo.
  • Bought pretty nice gloves, a sweater and a kicking pair of Vans. Good haul.
  • Went back and lost consciousness by 9pm.

Tuesday

  • Had a Walnut Raisin Cream Bagel in the morning with Andrew. Bloody massive thing.
  • Walked around 5th Ave for a bit again. Discovered Macy’s has wooden escalators. Interesting.
  • Had a cup of hot chocolate at Bryant Park while watching people skating on the frozen pond. Hot chocolate in winter is a genius idea.
  • Made my way over to the UN to catch a guided tour. Saw a minor accident between 2 cabs along the way and they were screaming at each other in thick NY accents. Felt like I was watching a movie.
  • Missed the first 5 minutes of my tour cos some Chinese guy needed me to translate to the cashier. I think the tour guide kept giving me dirty looks the rest of the tour.
  • Tour was boring, though we did catch bits of meetings in the ECOSOC room and the Grand Assembly. I noticed the seats in both rooms were properly upholstered and had translation earphones while the ones in the Security Council reminded me of the rusty, creaky seats at Golden Cinema along Beach Road. Do the 5 permanent members not want people to be comfortable so that they not attend the meetings?
  • So anyway, went back for a quick nap, but the cat kept jumping on me.
  • Went to meet Gillian! She had tickets to the world premiere of I Am Legend at Madison Square Garden.
  • No red carpet when we got there though, which was confusing for us.
  • We make it in and its like first come first serve, and the first seats we found didn’t even have a view of the screen. Win already.
  • Eventually we found seats at a bit of an angle but at least can see the whole screen.
  • Saw a tiny speck of Will Smith, but the black girl in front of me was standing up and squealing so I couldn’t really see much. It was amusing.
  • Movie’s not bad, if a little short. I like that he’s not very Will Smith in it.
  • Gills brought me to this cool, hidden Korean place with fried chicken, which was pretty fun.
  • Went back and watched a movie on my notebook and went to sleep.

Some photo updates:


Cute girl at Bryant Park.


Hot chocolate; best USD3.50 I ever spent.


The UN Building.


Security Council.


UN General Assembly.

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 2

So today was alot better, cos I think my jetlag’s wearing off and I’m somewhat acclimatising to the weather, or so I thought.

So lazy Sunday, woke up about 11, though couldn’t really sleep the night before cos of overnapping during the day. Andrew brought me to Chinatown for dimsum, not say very nice but still OK.

En route to Chinatown

We walked around SoHo for a bit, got quite a bit of interesting shopping but I’ll reserve my money for the factory outlets at Woodbury Commons next week.

Lot of cool shit here. They have the OLPC! But the trackpad a bit wonky leh.

Here we are at Washington Square Park near NYU, lots of very nice buildings in the NoHo area connected to NYU.

At Central Park by meself, the lake’s frozen over.

The seasonal Wollman skating rink. I spent a good 20 minutes here laughing at people falling down. Good fun.

That’s me trying to get the Bethesda Fountain in frame.

There we go; a nice couple took the picture for me. Bethesda Fountain’s the centrepiece of the park. Alot of movies feature it, and also I think Sandman #8, the part where Death and Dream are talking. I think.

So I reach my first real destination of the day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Freaking alot of stuff here. I barely managed skimming 1/4 of the place in 3 hours. For some reason, the current exhibitions have alot of freaky tribal masks, and they were all CALLING OUT TO ME. But I didn’t take any photos.

I took this cos it’s so freaking badass. Perseus slaying Medusa. Cool hor.

That’s the Tomb of Dendur; they moved the entire thing from Egypt and recreated it in the Met. It’s quite funny cos there’s a lot of graffiti on the tomb from the 19th century. Just Englishmen adventurers carving their names and so on.

Forgot the details but I think it’s the recreated bedroom from somewhere in old America. I took this picture cos at this point, I was freaking sleepy and was damn tempted to crash in the bed. Didn’t really take a lot of pictures in the Met cos half the time don’t know which are the permissible areas. Anyway, gonna go back at some point in the week.

Took this as I was walking along Park 5th Ave back to the subway. A fortuitous confluence of roadworks steam and evening city lights. Plus a tree. I love walking along Park 5th Ave, it’s so over-the-top unattainable and yet not ostentatiously so. Just architecture that is elegant to its core.

That’s the Apple Store 5th Ave. But seriously, all Apple Stores are exactly the same lor.

Here I am quaffing my first official NYC hotdog. So much pleasure the camera shake.

Last stop for the day. Got there too early, went to walk around and found a kickass comics store, Forbidden Planet. Went back to Webster Hall in the rain, stood in the rain for 30 minutes getting soaked before they let us in. Cass McCombs is utter shite. The most boring band I’ve ever heard in my life. I mean, I was damn tired at this point, but they were really awful. Jose Gonzalez on the other hand, was excellent. He played all my favourites, which unfortunately are all covers, The Knife’s Heartbeats, Kylie’s Put Your Hand On My Heart and Tell Me, and Massive Attacks’ Teardrop. I continued to doze off throughout the gig and snap back to awakeness, only to doze off again.

Still raining when I came out and my still soaked jeans steadily sucked away my body heat. Managed to make it back to the corner diner in pretty good time and had a jolly good meal.

Americans eat way too many chips.

And that’s pretty much it for this update. Til the next one then.

new york i love u, but u’re bringing me down: part 1

Thought I should sum up my first 2 days in NYC just for record:

That’s Andrew, my friend from secondary school. He’s obsessed with the burritoes at Burritoville. YES, that is HIS iPhone. This was just after I reached the city and met him.

That’s me the next morning, I’m on an actual NYC fire escape! Really right outside the window. Its bloody cold out though.

Bit of obligatory camwhore while Andrew does his errands.

Very not bad Chinese restaurant near Broadway. The waitress very cute. Supposed to go Brooklyn for a gig after that but I wasn’t feeling too good so slept the rest of the day away. Meanwhile, 13 hours ahead and half the world away, 50% of my friends were at Zouk Out. Happening sial.


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