Ages since I wrote a diary. I think I need to adopt a quick, lean diary format to try to ensure that one gets posted more than once every few months.
Went to New York for two weeks with work, thus having a weekend to wander around. Went for a walk around Ground Zero, through to Battery Park (where I lived for a few weeks in 1999), along to Wall Street and down to the South Street Seaport. Had a quick trip up to Central Park, watched some guys bouldering, and then went to Trattoria Del'Arte for some astonishingly nice pizza and a glass of wine. Finally rolled off Saturday with a trip to see Chicago, on the basis that I couldn't get cheap tickets for anything good. I was entertained but (as ever) relieved that I'd not spent full ticket price.
Sunday involved a trip to MOMA, which I rather enjoyed, having some rather conservative modern art rather than all the flashy and rather hard to understand stuff you previously found in Tate Modern (although I've not been since the re-hang). Annoyingly discovered after paying that I could have got in for free, but that's just my tight northern approach to life reappearing. Wandered down to see the Rockerfeller Center (nice wall motifs), Grand Central Terminus (pretty impressive), past the NY Public Library and through Times Square to catch the E train up to Central Park again. Had some chinese on the upper west side, then back down to Times Square Loews to catch Inside Man (slightly disappointing; I enjoyed the general feel of the film, the characters and the dialogue but fundamentally the "clever solution" that is present in all good heist movies just wasn't clever enough, and the deep dark secret wasn't that interesting either).
This was my first trip to NY on my own; I found myself with a lot of evenings with some expenses to have a nice dinner and then nothing else to do, and no energy to do it with anyway. Missed the gf initially; was too tired and/or busy to miss her all the time. It's very isolating working with semi-strangers and then having nobody to go home to, or to go out with. I met up with a friend from uni who is working out there which was good, but still rather temporary. The culture differences don't help either; there is something comforting about the familiar and being in a strange place is rather stressful, even if it's one that you think you know from movies and television shows.
Furthermore: US/UK toilets. In the UK, the toilet bowl has a small amount of water in the bottom, with a surface area of roughly the diameter of a loo roll. In the US, the water fills the entire pan, so that the water surface is not more than about five centimetres from your arse. This has two main results: there is very little splash, which is good, but it is possible to see in detail exactly what sort of crap you're producing. I find the latter a bit repellent; am I some sort of freak or is this a common US/UK issue? Also, the toilet cubicle doors at work had gaps of at least 2cm on each side, so it was quite easy for someone to walk past and watch you have a crap if they so wished. Dammit, is a little privacy too much to ask for?
A few days prior to the weekend I took advantage of the dollars to sterling exchange rate to buy a new lens - a Canon EF 70-200mm L IS. First thoughts were
- it's really, really heavy
- the zoom isn't as much as I was hoping for
- I can't tell if the image stabilisation is making that much difference
- but the image quality looks pretty sharp
It's still really, really heavy, though...
For a long time I've been considering just posting diaries with photos in. I have a large selection of images that I would consider worthy of punting out to the HuSi masses. Would anyone be interested in such a thing?
|< on visits | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >|