Wednesday, 15 September 2010

NYC Baby

There's no denying it, New York is huge, unrelenting and very very American. After finally getting through border control (passport check, finger prints, eye scan and a whole bunch of questions), h and I booked a room at the JFK Inn (don't go there!) and tried to sleep through a night broken by intermittent death screams and police sirens. After what seemed like the longest day in history, we'd made it, we'd finally made it - but what was this 'it' that we had fallen into?

The next morning we headed to Willamsburg on the L train and met out trusty pal, Cal, who shoved us into the nearest diner and proceeded to deface our map with things to see and do. Back at her studio/warehouse/squat she took us out to the roof to admire the Manhatten skyline and started pointing out a few neat things like the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge.

Manhattan Skyline

Now, don't get me wrong, it's an impressive skyline. So why am I so underwhelmed by New York? Admittedly I have only been here 2 days and so perhaps I should say I am underwhelmed so far. I haven't even scratched the surface - but walking around I'm left with the confusing desire to feel amazed, but the true feeling is: 'what's all the fuss about?'. Perhaps I'm in shock. Has the jet lag killed all my senses, and turned me into a roaming zombie? Or is it all a little too familiar?

New York reminds me of London. A louder, smellier and substantially larger London perhaps, but still just another big city. Maybe it's because it's an English Speaking country. I didn't warm to Tai Pei much, a few years ago, but still I was fascinated by the people and city enough to enjoy the visit. Perhaps I'm more impressed by things I cannot understand, things that are removed from my culture. I feel like I've sat through this movie before. That's not to say that being here is easy, or a walk in the (Central) park. The best thing to do, I reckon, is to let it swallow you up a little.

It's impressive though how a city which at first seems so incomprehensibly big, quite quickly appears totally manageble. I like how New York works. The grids of streets and avenues. After a day here I feel confident enough to skip out of the grid knowing that it will catch up with me again in it's sensible and exhaustive style.


New York is like a group of small villages but, instead of being seperated by trees, they are seperated by looming skyscrapers. The most striking thing about New York for me though is how friendly the people here are. One Manhattan hotel porter looked up from his desk and greeted Henry and I flamboyantly: "Hello ladies!" He was one of the most helpful, friendly and just downright chipper New Yorkers we met. He was also the most embarrassed for a while when he realised his mistake: "I'm really sorry, a big mistake on my part. It's the hair, I think, oh I'm so sorry." People are just so goddamn nice. New York sure has one up on London in that respect.

Next step Alburquerque and The Fee reunited.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy the reunion and the upcoming gigs - sounds like the band have had a blast. I am looking forward to see the re-invigorated and amricanised version of the Fee when you get back to the City of Dreaming Spires!!