… Where dreams are made of…
New York means a lot to me. Or rather, the idea of New York means a lot to me, either way making it to that concrete jungle has been an all consuming notion for the last few years. Yesterday, I went to Rockerfeller centre for an art tour and of course to go to the top and fight other less discrete tourists for gratuitous amounts of photographs. After hearing that I was Australian, one of the security men took a shine to me and struck up a conversation as I waited for my accidentally private tour guide.
“Why’s you want to come to New York?” he asked.
“Well… it’s New York,” I answered, as though it was obvious and he laughed and agreed with me.
I don’t know what it is about New York exactly, sure I love the theatre and musicals, I love architecture, I love the amalgamation of different cultures and the vast diversity of food. Ultimately, I love the hustle and bustle of a big city, one that famously never sleeps. I don’t do the countryside. One person’s serene quiet and tranquility is my boring nightmare with jarring animal squawks. I’ve always preferred the sounds of human interaction; honking and laughter, traffic and shouting. But there’s something about New York that feels like home. Walking down the sidewalk (not pavement, not nature strip), and trying to join the locals in some of the most daring jay-walking I’ve ever seen, it feels welcoming and wonderful.
It’s been three days and I’m running out of words that mean ‘amazing’.
During a somewhat hellish plane ride over the Pacific, I made it through two and a half films and struggled to sleep the rest of the time – Friends with Kids; quite enjoyable and possibly Kristen Wiig’s first dramatic role, Rock of Ages; when Russell Brand is the best actor in a film you know there’s a problem, and I quite like Russell Brand. It did make me realise that I haven’t seen Tom Cruise in a film in long, long time. I only made it halfway through 50/50 because seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt going through chemotherapy made me unreasonably sad, and it didn’t help that his character was incredibly nice and altogether too accommodating to his awful girlfriend, played by Dallas Bryce Howard, who is just too good at making me loathe her (see: The Help).
I made fast friends with my seat mate, a rather lovely woman and fellow Melbournian named Kate. We had dinner last night in the East Village at a place called Peels. It made me laugh at first, obviously being well versed in another Peel, the rather seedy infamous Melbourne gay nightclub, I was a little perturbed by eating there. It was amazing of course, just like everything else here.
My first day in the Big Apple I woke up bright and early at 5:30am in order to make it up to W 57th & 10th av, aka the CBS Broadcasting Centre where Anderson Cooper’s daytime talkshow, Anderson Live is filmed. I had to be there by 7am and as I couldn’t figure out the Subway, I decided to walk the whole 27 blocks and 2 and a half avenue blocks from my place in Chelsea. I left at 6am before the sun had risen and walked rather cheerfully past the US Mail trucks and at least three Dunken Donuts stores and two McDonald’s in the brisk chill of the dawn. I say brisk; it was 3 degrees Celsius.
Forty-five minutes later and I was lining up to see Anderson Cooper! I love Anderson Cooper. He’s a silver fox and I love his post-coming out, non news persona; he’s basically a bitchy, GaGa loving queen. This was brought out to the fullest by his co-host for the day and fellow fabulous homosexual, Andy Cohen. They really are the all-male version of the Today show’s Kathy Lee and Hoda. Minus the wine. Cohen let slip that he and the Coop met after being set up because they were both in news and into dudes. The silver fox made it clear that nothing happened and after one phone call he knew it wasn’t going to happen. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
After the taping I made it to Central Park, Columbus Circle and walked down Broadway through the theatre district. It’s genuinely quite beautiful, but I came to a different realisation. Black guys like me. A lot. I’m pleased by this. More to come on this front, hopefully.
Then I made it to 5th avenue, a shopping strip of epic proportions, none so great as Saks, 5th avenue.
Well. What can you say about Saks? It’s overwhelming. I could only make it through the ground level without hyperventilating. You know the new Bourke st Myer in Melbourne? Quite nice isn’t it? Yeah, times that by a thousand and then you might come close to imagining what Saks is like. In fact, today I’ll try to brave it again, and this time I might make it past the beauty counters to the actual clothes.
Until next time, my loves!