Jul 11, 2011

New York New York: One Day in Sentences

Subway schedule change. Took the wrong direction. Swear. Empty beer bottles on train. Totally filthy. 86th Street. Guggenheim Museum. Dots and lines on white canvas. Picasso, Gauguin, Cezanne. No staircase, I like it! Neue Galerie for Austrian and German Arts. No water bottles, sir. But I just want to go to the cafe (for the to-die-for pastries, according to Lonely Planet). Throw bottle away, went in, saw line to be seated. Came out.
Took the M86 crossing Central Park. Subway to American Museum of Natural History. Very rude African American ticketing lady. Had to crane my neck to see a show. Birth of A Star, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (is that why it's so expensive?). Meteorites, tectonic plates, dinosaur eggs (wonder how many people we can feed with a dinosaur egg omelette). Touristy museum stalls. Made in China. Overpriced food court. Artificial coloring and sugar. The Big Bang, narrated by Liam Neeson. If my parents brought me here when I was in Primary School I'd get a Nobel Prize now.
Subway to 42nd Street. Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. Dubbed the most comprehensive flea market in Manhattan. Baking under the merciless sun. Old telephones, (stolen?) Tiffany rings, $10 Levi jeans, Cultural Revolution posters, old Campbell soup advertisements. Found a Welch Allyn ophthalmoscope! Salesgirl obviously didn't know its value: costs NT$20000/RM2000 brand new. Chewed her off at $5. Not sure it's working. Will try out back home. $5 for an ophthalmoscope! My heart just flew across Brooklyn Bridge. Could not contain my joy. Salesgirl senses something suspicious. Leaves quickly.
Walk southwards along Hudson River Park. Capt. Sully ditched his aeroplane here after hitting geese in both engines. Gay couples. Topless gay couples. Gay couples with babies. Soon we will dominate the straight world!
Bus across to Union Square. NYU Territory. Very crowded Sunday evening. Strand Bookstore has 18 miles of used and new books. More like a graveyard of out-of-print and used books. Very interesting to unearth these treasures and pay just a fraction of their original value. I could spend all day in here. Couldn't find the book I wanted though. Picked up an out-of-print Becoming A Man by Paul Monette. I spent too much money today. Just across the street Barnes & Noble flagship store have 5 floors of new books housed in a Queen Anne style building dated back to 1881. I could stay here all day. Picked up another For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose. I'm defaulting mortgage next month.
New York - everything you can think of between the two rivers. Only if you have all the cash. Nevertheless, it is still the place of excitement and expectations. Where everything starts afresh and anything is possible. To quote: