Thursday, August 5, 2010


On Monday I and my brother went to NYC, as Irvington NJ isn't that far. Walked a few blocks to a dingey bus terminal which, even though as it was a ratty part of the city, I expected merely a glorified bus stop, actually did look like a terminal. We waited for about  twenty minutes, keeping ourselves entertained by the furniture shop across the street which was inexplicably using President Obama's face to advertise its 50% off sale. It seemed hilariously incongruous to see our President hawking a discount on cheap furniture.

We caught our bus and shortly thereafter were deposited in the heart of Manhattan, land of the $5 hot dog, dizzying skyscrapers twice the height of those in DC, glowing billboards, giant posters for The Expendables on seemingly every corner, and fast food joints decorated with more glittering LEDs than a nightclub on TV. Did I mention I'm a wide-eyed tourist? At least I know what side of the escalator to use.

We wandered down 7th Avenue, gawping at everything, stopped by starbucks for a free drink, went into Ripley's Believe It Or Not lobby and gift shop  (I was lured in by the whirlpool and because it was free), I commented on fashionable shoes in a window, fingered an over-the-top dress (it was strapless AND short AND ruched AND made of lace), nearly getting ensnared by an enthusiastic saleslady offering to let me try it on. She was seemingly oblivious to the fact that at an American size 16, not a single item of clothing in that shop would likely fit me. I don't know what she was thinking but hey, she was just doing her job. We stopped at a fancy city two-level Borders with the idea of sitting down, but the place was filled with other tourists with the same idea. There were still books to look at though, so we stayed for a while.

We walked back to Times Square and went into the Hershey store, then I showed my brother the Longacre Theatre where I and my sister had gone to see the revival of Talk Radio twice a few years ago and where I'd seen the play's lead Liev Schreiber on the street. Then we went into the M&Ms store. I've seen the LED display several times but never been inside before. Lots and lots of official merchandise and yes, actual candy too. I hid from a big yellow walking M&M (I'm allergic to giant walking character things in costume). As we walked out, a barker called us 'lovebirds'. I was almost taken aback, but replied simply 'Not lovebirds'.

No trip to NYC is complete without a stop at Roxy's Delicatessen. New York is famous for its cheesecake and I'm sure Roxy's is why. Their cheesecake comes in about 15 flavours plus plain, each decadent slice big enough to easily satisfy two, so we split one, commenting on the caricatures of famed New York City personalities lining the walls as we savoured our dessert (yes, I remembered to tip the waitress).

Having finished our cheesecake, we walked a bit more, sat down beside the fountain by Radio City Music Hall, then made quick trips into L'Occitane across the street to smell half the things in the store, and Brookstone, where a clerk urged us to google our own email addresses.

Our last stop was Bryant Park. We'd actually gotten a bit turned around on our way back to the bus station, probably helped by me gawping at the fancy architecture of the local skyscrapers, and found ourselves near the park. Before, Bryant Park had simply been a collection of syllables that got uttered a lot on the final episodes of Project Runway, along with 'New York Fashion Week'--call me dumb but it never really registered that there was likely an actual PARK, just stark white buildings with runways. That's how my brain works sometimes.

The bus arrived back near our hotel with more than enough time to spare before RAW (our wrestling show) came on. As we both had to get up at 3:30 the next morning, and anticipated not sleeping well, we turned the show off after a few commercial breaks and went to bed. Tomorrow was my audition day!

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