Monthly Archives: May 2011

Dirty Boulevard

The streets are orderly but that’s about the only thing about NYC that is. Chaos Theory lives here. And She’s not even trying to hide her crazy. In fact, She and the whole goddam city is gunna shake it all about.

I spent my first day walking around laughing at all the nutbags, only to resemble one myself. I swear I was standing next to Woody Allen on a street corner, who was urging the pedestrian lights to turn white with an emphatic Brooklyn accent, “oh-Kay, oh-Kay!”

So, here are a few random observations about this vivacious city, which had me at hello.

You can appear in an interactive billboard ad in Times Square. However, there would be zero brand recall due to the bigger, brighter, more badass billboards that are EVERYWHERE.

There’s a lot of booty in NYC. Some of it – good, some of it – frankly alarming. And you can buy jeans that in that shape.

There are more delis than you can poke a pickle at. There are more pharmacies than you can poke a Panadol at. And what’s more, you can buy a 6 pack with your Zanax. (crib note: I find it disconcerting that my iPad knew that’s what I wanted to spell.)

New Yorkers are super polite, super friendly and super helpful. Expect to be blessed by pretty much everyone around you if you sneeze.

Male to female ratio in pubs, bars, clubs, parties, etc: much better than in Sydney. If you’re outnumbered in Sydney, you are in a gay bar. Or at the Commercial at Liverpool, near Campbelltown. If you are in the Commercial at Liverpool, and are still alive, you need to leave NOW.

Toilets and paper towels are for the most part very confusing.

If you so much as look sideways at a man, he will shower you in compliments. (The following must be read in any variation of a New York accent): “You got a gorgeous smile, sweetheart!”; “mmmhmm, nice ass’ girrrl”, etc etc.

All homeless people have got a story.

You can’t get a decent feed midtown. The coffee all over town is mostly rubbish, average at best. And they want to intravenously fill you with that shit.

Bartenders know their trade.

So, I managed to cram quite a bit in, in just one week:

Sunk beers with a Sergeant from the NYPD.
Had brekky with Naomi in a proper diner.
Walked the streets. Yes, almost all of them.
Cruised around Chelsea Markets. Saw a free short film in a pop up cinema.
Strolled around Central Park with Lea, we visited Strawberry Fields.
Did the Met (later i did the MoMa – my kind of museum).
That night, Charlotte took us to a warehouse party in Brooklyn.
Saw the Statue of Liberty (she’s purdy). On Statten Island, we fell into in a tiny jazz jam in someone’s house.
Saw the WTC site.
Got a massage in Chinatown.
Had an appletini in a salsa bar.
Bummed around Brooklyn. It’s gritty urban colorful cool. Had an amazing wood smoked salmon BLT.
I made my own muppet in the toy store where Tom Hanks danced on the floor piano in Big. I’ve named her Sassy and she’s staying with Angie while I travel.
I had emergency root canal.
Did the Top of the Rock, and then
last night Angie & Dave took me to some cool lil digs around the Lower East Side & surrounds. I was shuffle board queen in a studenty jazz bar, where you can get a $1 massage (!) On Naomi’s recommendation we went to a place that specializes in Mac&Cheese. We then rung a phone to get into an old prohibition bar called PDT. Gorgeous cocktails, lots of stuffed animals. And a no phone rule. Dave’s Old Fashioned had a bacon smoked ice cube.
Today I’ve been dodging the rain in Greenwich where Bob Dylan & Kerouac hung out…and finally I’ve found a decent cup of cawfee.

So, yes I’ve fallen in love. With a whole goddamn city. New York – I’ll see you soon x

PS, I’m now on the flight to San Francisco from New Jersey. Can I just say, I love the joisoy accyent.

20 May

Free Falling

I have always been jealous of birds… When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a pilot. My dad organized a joy flight in a Cesna at Camden, not far from where i was born.

Takeoff took my breath away… I remember our pilot letting me take the controls. We circled, climbing the skies. My little heart soared and sank again when he informed me I’d better be good at maths if I wanted to fly.

A few years later I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull. A simple parable about the power of spreading our wings, that really spoke to me on a very personal level.

When I was 21, I learned how to skydive & jumped out of a plane. Free falling would have to be the ultimate in utter abandonment. Your heart throbs in your throat, your head, your eyes.

You lose all sense of time & space. Your body, your self. The sky spins in all directions. I’d compare it to love or the first time I took ecstasy but it’s not even close.

For my 40th birthday I’d put hangliding on my wish-list. My workmates came good. After a few cancellations, the planets aligned and I ended up going last Friday. The conditions were perfect. It was a cracking day.

One step, two steps, jog, jog, run (screeeeeeem) – the ground snaps away fast from under your feet. And it’s just you, your pilot and essentially a big big kite. Instead of the sky spinning, it starts spanning.

Opening up. Your lungs expand. You breathe in deep and ex-hhhale. Mouth open wide, eyes open wide. Stretched across the sky like a Slessor poem. Or like the Sydney skyline I just left behind.

I’ve always been jealous of birds. Now I have no reason to be. Today, I am as free as they. I might not be piloting the plane I write this on, but I am certainly spreading my wings.

12 May