- A woman in large purple harem pants with a gold necklace reading ‘RICH’, talking to her skinny and *very* tall gay friend who had minuscule tiny denim shorts on, barely covering his very long legs. They were waiting for Ms Harem pants’ boyfriend to buy a drink in a cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- A guy telling his friend on the subway, very loudly, how his girlfriend dumped him by saying ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ out of nowhere. He explained he wasn’t used to rejection as it was the first time he’s ever been dumped. His friend said nothing the whole time he told this story.
- $31 (about £20) for an all zones subway ticket for a week is very cheap.
- After some Wikipedia action, I worked out that Greater London and NYC have the same population, of just over 8million. But NYC has half the area, which explains why it feels much more high rise than London’s 600 square miles.
- Using the same turnstiles for entry and exit on the subway is a bit different from the London Tube.
- Subway trains have USA flags on them. For those who don’t live in London, Tube trains, do not have union flags on them.
- There were quite a few homeless people using the subway as somewhere to sleep during the day.
- A $1500 (about £1000) Miele vacuum cleaner in a very high end kitchen shop at the Lincoln Centre.
- Times Square was just as frenetic and light bulbey as I’d expected it. I loved the McDonalds with a lit entrance, for added glamour with your Big Mac.
- Watching a huge crowd of people take pictures of Strawberry Fields, the memorial to peace and John Lennon, Yoko Ono has put in Central Park, next to her apartment on Park Avenue West.
- Seeing people taking photos outside the apartment building where Yoko Ono still lives, and where Lennon was shot dead. This was both fascinating, and a bit macabre.
- The amazing variety of cheap and good quality food from all over the world. We hired an apartment in the belief we’d cook while there. We didn’t. We ate out all the time, which is a first for us, as we *always* cook on holiday. We ate Chinese, Mexican street food, burgers, enough pulled pork to start a piggery of our own, Italian, and lots more.
- The hire of rowing boats at $12 (£8) for the lake in the middle of Central Park was much cheaper than the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
- The Barnes and Nobel book store was a bit baffled when I asked for the gay fiction section and was directed to the ‘issues based’ section, including African Studies, Gay studies etc. No gay fiction there. I went to the romance section, and there was nothing gay there either L
- I became a bit obsessed with the taxis/police cars/towncars/limos. Chances are if you’ve seen a taxi/police car/ limo on American TV/film from the past 15 years, it’s one of these. And there was something about actually seeing them in real life I got a bit over-excited about. Once I realised all three of these were all a variation on one car, just with different dresses on, my obsession grew. I told you I was a car geek. I ended up buying models of the police car, limo and taxi from a shop in Queens as a memento of the trip! For those of you who are as into cars as me, here’s more on the Ford Crown Victoria. I'm not expecting many to look at *that* link, so I'll get my coat...
Are there any Brits out there who've been to NYC? Anything particularly special moments you'd like to share? Or are there any Americans out there who think my observations are laughable? I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Liam Livings xx