Print Story NY trip report
By stark (Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 04:35:51 AM EST) photos, pictures, photo, new york, NY, NYC, Hooters, Empire State Building, trip report (all tags)
It didn't start well.

When your driver calls you and explains he can't find a way of getting to your house, a certain sinking feeling tends to drag you down. Still, once I'd found his shiny black Mercedes at the wrong end of a one-way street round the corner, we were on our way to Heathrow. From getting out of the car to sitting down in the executive "but stressed businessmen need free beer" lounge took a mere fifteen minutes - quite impressive. The flight was relatively pleasant, the on-seat screen was quite neat, the selection of entertainment on said screen was resolutely uninspiring, the food was actually quite nice, and the stewardess was a miserable dried-up hag. Gotta love flying American Airlines. Found the car dispatcher chap, got the car into the City and arrived at The Carlyle. Room: fine, if not amazing - but the bathroom was a self-conscious person's nightmare, being mirrored on all four walls from floor to ceiling. Very impressive, although I don't like being able to see myself from multiple angles when having a crap.

Got up early the next morning, got some breakfast at the hotel and headed to the office. Nine hours passed relatively quickly, my boss flew in by about 3pm NY time and we left about late for a dinner at a nearby Italian. I'm afraid I can't remember the name, but there were two main features that stood out in my mind:

  1. The enormous and hugely tacky "sculptures" of bits of human anatomy - noses, eyes, and so on. It's a memorable experience when you spend your evening dining sitting directly below a giant tit.
  2. The main course, shared between three of us: a 48-oz Porterhouse Steak, sliced up and served around a bed of rocket leaves with a rather tasty balsamic dressing. Absolutely gorgeous - crisp and slightly burned on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside - very much an Atkins diet meal.
This was followed by a brief trip to Hooters, purely for the comedy value.

The one thing that hits you about New York is purely how much it is like your mental image of New York. It's very "New York-y". The yellow cabs, the smoke coming up out of the grills in the road, the skyscrapers, the street stalls grilling up everything from hot-dogs to halal; it's all very much as you would imagine it to be. And it's an exciting place to be; the place does seem to buzz with a certain energy and frenetic desire to move forward, to get ahead.

Wednesday passed quickly enough, with just enough time for me to get annoyed by the toilets in the office. Firstly, the cubicles have big gaps around the doors; I don't like having an audience (see above). Secondly, everything is automatic. Which is fine, but things tend to happen before you want them to, or last shorter than would be helpful, and generally conspire to piss you off. When you're spending five minutes trying to figure out how to get the fecking toilet to flush, you know that life could be made easier. USian bathroom designers: worried about hygiene? Either a) Get a grip, or b) install a floor switch. Sheesh.

Wednesday evening started at the Red-Eye Grill where I had a rather nice crispy duck salad followed by a half-rack of ribs, which I obviously didn't finish, only having a regular-sized stomach. Eating out with your boss is a strange affair; it's much easier when there's other colleagues with whom you can share the conversational load. I get on quite well with him, thankfully, but you're always slightly on edge, avoiding saying anything that will mark you down as someone who has undesirable traits. When you're both knackered due to work, stress and a touch of jet lag you both struggle a bit to maintain the flow.

Afterwards I had my camera, so decided to walk down 7th Avenue towards the glare of the screens of Times Square. The screens there are bright and more than numerous - you can't help but feel slightly overwhelmed. The boundaries of taste are stretched some way past their snapping point, but that's part of the gaudy fun; it's way over the top but makes you laugh rather than be annoyed by the ludicrousness of it all.

My boss was more than happy to get a shot of me with the Naked Cowgirl, and also now has the picture of her on her own as the backdrop of his phone.

I wandered downtown past Bryant Park, where a huge group of natives were watching the Yankees game. It made me regret that there isn't a single London team for football games that the entire capital could get behind (or more likely, complain about). I eventually found my way to the Empire State Building for some late-night tourism; it was quiet and the rows of velvet-roped lines made me think of Shrek as I bypassed them. The view is pretty incredible, and the accent of the "NY cabbie" character who narrates the audio tour was similarly impressive.

Thursday was enlivened by a sneak trip out of the office to Tiffany's (the gf had made it clear that she didn't expect a present, so I thought it would be nice to get her one), and finishing up the remaining space on my camera's memory card.

The final evening was spent at a place on the Upper East Side called Maya, which does magnificent Margaritas (we were working our way through quite a lot of the Especials), although the food didn't do anything for me; my primitive Londoner's idea of Mexican is fajitas and tacos, not a Tamal al Chipotle. Afterwards to a bar called "Becky's" which had an impressively large selection of beers and live "music" in the vein of Phoebe from Friends. Acoustic versions of Pink Floyd tracks are sometimes good, but mostly something to be avoided. Got a cab home very quickly...

Returning home from NY sucks, for a variety of reasons.

  1. JFK. What a miserable airport. Getting through security was bad enough, but to then discover I was at the gate, with no sign of nice "executive lounges" or other little comforts that I was hoping for. Stuck with the proles - outrageous!
  2. Jet lag. Gah. Three hours sleep really isn't enough; feeling like death seems like a reasonable punishment for defying the zones of time. Unfortunately I was extremely tired and miserable when meeting up with my gf later on that day, just before a five-hour drive up North. Perhaps not the best time for a long journey. We made up the next day.
  3. Not being in New York - it's a great place and hopefully one I'll visit again soon.
[I have more photos if you are interested.]
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NY trip report | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)
great article by cam (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 04:56:47 AM EST
The photo of the guy walking past the jeans mural is awesome too.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

Thankyouverymuch! (n/t) by stark (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:45:33 AM EST

U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Hooters. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 04:58:11 AM EST
We had one in Birmingham. But it wasn't that special.

I was somewhat worried when clicking on the picture following the words

mirrored on all four walls from floor to ceiling. Very impressive, although I don't like being able to see myself from multiple angles when having a crap.
that I'd see a photo of the aforementioned, but that turned out not to be the case.

I loved visiting New York. One thing that really impressed, and you don't get in London, was the breakdancers on the streets. They were unbelievable.

wasn't that special by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:24:31 AM EST
That's because UKian Hooters' get UKian Hooters Girls.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Given what the ones in NY looked like by stark (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:37:41 AM EST
and if this comment were true, I wouldn't want to meet the Birmingham Hooters girls in a well-lit alley.

(in other words, the ones in the NY bar were a bit rough as well)

Heh, maybe I'm just bitter that I didn't win the free sports top. They did have some posters on the walls of some rather attractive ladies who were visiting after I had left, though...
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
It seems you have a point. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:57:06 AM EST
There exist no hot brummy chixxors. Well, unless this comment gets indexed.

[ Parent ]
I reckon we could rationalise the London teams by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:01:07 AM EST
To four by merging the current teams:

West London Oligarchs: Chelsea, Fulham, QPR and Brentford

North London Nonces: Spurs, Arse and Leyton Orient

East London Psychos: West Ham and Millwall

South London Chavs: Charlton and Crystal Palace

Absolutely! by stark (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:44:12 AM EST
If nothing else, it would improve TV ratings immeasurably when the merged supporters got to know each other for the first few times...
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Really great photos. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:08:44 AM EST
Seriously.  I know NYC is one of those places where it is hard to take a bad photo, but your pictures are really, really well done.

Nice write up, too.  Can't believe that y'all had to share a huge steak between three of you, though.  That's only 48 ounces, man.  Around here, you don't get the steak for free unless you finish it all by yourself, and then only with the 72 ounce steaks.  You know.  The steak that'll kill ya, you eat it too fast.
The farmers always win.

Steaks by stark (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:34:18 AM EST

It was a lovely steak but I was expecting it to come with some fries or something, dammit. Also, I suspect it was supposed to be for two originally; we asked for it for three but still probably only had the 48-oz, not a 72-oz.  Careless, but there you go.

P.S. Thanks for the photo comments - I think I'm gradually getting better...
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
+1 excellent write-up by joh3n (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:23:06 AM EST
Would read again, an asset to Ebay, A+++++!


NY trip report | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)