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marku: new york, USA - 2003-06-06

dombascian adventurer

23.11.02 12.15 pm- Home
Well, nerves are starting to kick in. I'm packed, sacked, jacked and ready to go. Smashing Pumpkins are playing on the stereo, I'm triple checking everything in my mind, tickets-check, passport-check, underwear-check, podgy little horse-check, cds-check. fuck man. I'm leaving for New York in five ours. Oh Shit...
13.30- Heathrow
Standing at Heathrow, Terminal 4, Goo Goo Dolls live set the already charged scene. Standing by the Check In screen. A strange well-travelled couple sit next to me. Dad told me this would be simple, but he didn't say scary. For some reason the Christmas decorations give me a huge sense of unease. I keep flicking between the check in info and the TV in WHSmiths. They have a special on Kylie...a nice arse and New York- perfection.
An ugly kid in a Slipknot hoodie is parading near me. His parents obviously have no clue what kind of stuff slipknot are into, they just bought the hoodie to stop is whining. That's whatís wrong with this world. Make it easier by spending money. That kid'll probably attempt suicide in the next 3 years cause "no once understands him". Fuck this culture
Whenever I'm in an airport I get reminded of the scene in Dogma. Ben and Matt are talking about heightened emotions in this place. How much love people show. A couple just kissed and cried in front of me. They'll probably fuck 3 different people while they're apart. But at this moment, it's perfect
Two cops just passed me and gave me the "what the fuck" look. Two rent a cops, beer bellies, receding hairlines, and walkie-talkies. You gotta love fake self-esteem.
The WHSmiths TV just told me that "Atomic Kitten will star in a TV show about their meteoric rise to fame". The only thing meteoric about it is that it will soon crash and burn.
14.01 Still Here
Everyone seems to be stopping right in front of me to say their emotional goodbyes.. Kinda touching. It's nice and all, but Iím glad I don't have that. Going on a trip that could be the best time of your life, and miss someone so bad that you want to go home. I like being alone. I don't have to please anybody or miss anyone, just enjoy myself. I moved to a different scene cause the departures line became came dangerously close. Saves confusion this way. The Pretty Young Girl next to me thinks I moved to be next to her. If only she knew that I KNOW her kind. Smiles, winks, nice words and a cold spear through the heart. Not today honey, not today. Saying that though, I'm as horny as fuck
Pretty Young thing has a manly cough
14.47 Sitting outside WHS with a fucking nice Costa Hot Chocolate.
Done the checking in thing. Took under a minute when I got to the desk, and that as with me asking dumb first flyer questions. I'm appreciating the Hot Chocolate a lot, one cause it's nice, two cause I'll be living on Starbucks for the next week. This old guy in Costa was getting stressed in Costa cause they guy behind the counter put too much chocolate powder on his cappuccino, then someone "stole" his free paper. "I DONT FUCKING BELIEVE IT". Man, what a tough life he lives. I pity him.
Near 5'o'clock- On the plane
Thanks to many movies, I am prepared for any flight. The Final Destination 'Shit before you fly' will hopefully keep me in good sted. Pretty Young Thing is on the same flight as me. Some good movies to watch, some cd's to listen to, a book to read, I should be ok. The Pilot's name is "Marko Rimm". I trust this guy.
It's only now starting to hit me. I'm alone now. I'm on my own. Fuck. That was a shocked Fuck by the way, not a worried fuck, or and angry fuck. Writing can never portray the various types of fuck. When I get to NYC I have to find a room for the night. That could be scary
5.15 Take Off.
We've just watched the safety video. Hilarious. I love how calm all the people are while they face certain death. They showed the movie with the inflatable cots for babies. It looks like a plastic gas chamber. Screw putting your kid in that.
About 8pm ish NYC time
Landed, baggage claim ok. The customs guy looked like he wanted to kill me. Got a place to stay. "The Holiday Inn Express". $149 FUCK. More than I wanted to pay, but thatís the way it's gotta be.
Probably about 9pm. In My Hotel Room
It's pretty nice in here, clean, but dull. Massive bed. Harry Potter's on the TV. Showered and Masturbated. Now in Depression. I don't want to be alone anymore. I miss the feel of someone. Shit man. My whole ideals out the window.. Fuck. I better sleep. I have an intense headache.
24.11.02 7am
Stop and start night of sleep. Dreams of a giant chicken, an annoying businessman in my room and Johnny Bravo. Still depressed. What was I thinking coming alone? re packed, showered and changed. I better go soon.
8am ish Taxi
the nice lady at the front desk got me a taxi, it's nicer than my room last night. Leather seats, TV, nice one. Seeing New York through a taxi cab window...
8.30am Central Park Hostel
Got here, cost me $55 though. Check In's not for a few hours. The owner Tony stored my suitcase. I think I'll go exploring. I'm pissed off. Here less than one day and already I've spent $200. Central Park is 2 seconds away, I think Iíll go there.
9am- Central Park
Ahh, now this is better. I'm sitting on a bench, next to a pond, watching ducks play around the reflected sunlight. Got some schmooove tunes on the headphones. Just had a moment with Tracy Chapman. I'm here, and I feel a lot better about it. I took a stroll around a bit of the park, it's nice. A group of Girls are staying at the same hostel as me. I think they're from Eastern Europe cause they keep breaking into song. (Mark's guide to foreigners- Eastern European Girls randomly start singing all the time). Some of them are very nice, Plus I love accents "Oh, Maark, ow does you say I be loving to be wid Ewe?". Hopefully I'll be ehem, bunking with them
DAMN IT. Check In's at 2pm, not 10.30am like I thought. Hmmm, let's explore some more.
I have no idea what time it is- Harlem
Fuck (scared fuck). I thought I was coming back the same way I came, but I've ended up in a very scary looking part of Harlem. Hopefully my Ramones CD will help me through this situation (sings) "Sheena is A Punk Rocker, Sheena is...A punk rocker..."
Back near the Hostel now. My Bag is killing me. I still have all my toiletries and CD's on me. My back is in pain. I was in Harlem for quite a long time, but I don't know how much longer I have till check in, so I think Iíll wander in the other direction. Onto Eve 6 now, the Ramones did help.
Probably near 2'o'clock.
I'm fucking knackered. I'm having to sit down every 5 minutes. I better go back towards the Hostel.
2pm. Central Park Hostel part duex, or maybe even trios.
Checked In, My spending total is now very high, but I don't need to worry about where to stay anymore. The room is simple, but nice. In a six bedroom with a strange Chinese man. I've laid down on my bed and it another batch of depression. I'm just another loser, just another fuck up. Just another tourist.
I almost fell asleep, but I got myself up, changed, and I'm gonna go to Time Square. I've been told that I have to get a 'Metro Card' and take the Subway. "It's really easy" I'm assured. I've heard that one before.
3.15pm The Sub Way
Got the card, cost me $17 but that gets me everywhere for the whole week. A Nice middle-aged man and his kid helped me out with the trains and where to go. Seems simple enough.
About 3.45pm. Times Square.
Okay, THIS is why I came to NYC. The place is buzzing. I had my Discman on (System of a Down helped with the depression), but I had to turn it off to soak up the atmosphere more. Just wandering around, everything looks great.
5ish Applebee's
Having dinner. Time Square is the Kick. Checked out MTV's headquarters, WWE's the World, Gonna try to go there for Raw tomorrow, will cost me $11. There are about 100 beautiful girls in a guide group. All with red jackets saying "Performance Team" on the back. God Damn it I'm horny. My Burger is nice, so is the waitress.
A Bit Later
Rollins, You've fucked me up man. I've always respected you, and found you hilarious, but I think I take you too much to heart. I'm sick of being alone. I'm sick of just pleasing myself. I want someone.
The Waitress (Kerri) keeps waving the desert menu in front of me tempting me with the chocolate fudge cake, but I'm full already. My thoughts are full with memories of Lisa Matthews. How could I be such an idiot to give her up? She was so perfect. Too good for me, and she wanted to be with me. And I fucked it up. My regrets are starting to destroy me
6ish- Walking round Time Square some more
Still amazing, gonna come back tomorrow, my back's giving way.
7pm- Subway
The Subway system seemed simple. To get here, I took the A line Downtown to 59th street, then the 1 line Downtown to 42nd street (time square). So I just need to get the same ones, only Uptown. In theory...
Got on the wrong train, ended up further away
AHA, got to 59th street. That's where I have to change.
Damn it, got the wrong one again, back at Time Square.
Now I KNOW I'm on the right one.
Fuck. I am on the right one, only it's the express and not the local, it goes right past 103rd (my stop) but doesn't stop.
Back and forthed a bit longer, but made it in the end. Back at artificial home. Got some water, gonna go to bed soon.
8.30ish- My room.
My room has an amazing security system. You can't open the door. I went to the bathroom, showered and changed, then, tried to open the door- nope.. went downstairs, got another key, and after a good 10 minutes, I got it open. Now I'm listening to FLC, and going over everything in my head. I better sleep now.
25.11.02 Early morning
After another night of off and on sleep. I'm laying in my bed, thinking about her again. The Chinese man (who I've named Theodore) was bustling around for a good hour, but has now left. The only thing I have planned today is to watch Raw, So I don't know what to do till then. Better get washed and dressed.
Turns out the only thing wrong with my door is that I'm an idiot. I was turning the key the wrong way. Theodore showed me the way to do it.
Put on my Curious George T Shirt, Iím gonna try to find a nice place for breakfast. I think Iíll try 59th Street, the station was pretty big, so in theory, there's a lot above ground as well. Once more onto the subway.
10.10- Subway
Ryan Adamson the headphones. mmm...New Yorky
10.30ish Time Square
I decided to come here instead. They have a lot of things. Got a Starbucks on 39th Street. Now Iím just wandering
Found a nice Cafe for breakfast. The Europa. Had some pancakes. Very filling and nice. I think I night go to an internet cafe in Times Square (wow, trippy, I'm there right now writing this. wow). Seems cheap and cool in there (it is very nice). Then I might go to 34th street, Macy's and all that. Miracles and such. I saw a bus that went o Coney Island which I nearly got on, until I realised that I had no idea what was on Coney Island, only that FLC sung a song about a girl who lived there. I think I'll go to Ground Zero tomorrow. I saw it on the underground map, and it seems right. Statue of Liberty and Empire State building after that, wow, I am a tourist.
1.43pm. The Internet Cafe
The keys on the computer keep sticking. It's annoying, so sorry if there are no h's written or something.
3.35- Outside TRL
Don't ask me why I'm here. I was bored, had four and a half hours to kill, so it seemed like a good idea to stand with a group of 50 or so young people screaming at a window. I think Snoop Dogg is up there. A Big Giraffe just looked at me funny from across the street (and I'm not joking). Mum wanted me to take tons of photos but I don't want to look stupid...ah what the hell I look like a twat already...hey wait a sec I have my bright green and pink jingle hat in my bag, if I'm gonna look like a moron, lets go hog wild
4.00- Still here
This strange fat girl just walked into our big horde. She is one of those over the top all American girls. Seemed nice at first, but upon closer inspection she's a freak. She stood next to this lady and her little girl, and started talking to them, seemed nice at first, but then she just kept going, for a good 20 minutes. Freakaziod.
4.20 Still here
About 30 of the red-coated people have joined our TRL escapade. They have pom poms and scream loudly. WHO ARE THESE STRANGE PEOPLE?
About 7pm WWE's The World
Well I got my ticket and wasted a few hours. Watched some guys do street dancing they were quite funny except that they were very rehearsed with everything they said. "If you like what you see, give us some money If you don't give us money, we will chase you" all in time. But it was good clean fun. Red Jackets were everywhere I looked. If I werenít so insecure Iíd probably ask them what the fuck is going on. I so desperately need human contact. I miss Kate. It's never bullshit with her. Got a few hours till Raw starts. Mick Foley (WWE's Mankind) is here. I would go up and say hi, but he's with a family, so I don't want to disturb. I hope I make the right decisions with the tube tonight. I donít want to die tonight (despite what my brain keeps telling me), it's gonna be late getting home after all. I've decided to go to Ground Zero tomorrow. It won't cost me anything bar food and drink. There's still Macy's, Statue of Liberty, Empire State building to do (touristy stuff for mum that is). Thoughts of Lisa still circling through my head. If I was still drinking, this would be a good time to go crazy. Jim Morrison once said "Hold onto your depression learn from your depression". So, what am I learning from this? I don't want to be alone I'm sick of the only sexual contact I have is Ďehemí scoring an own goal (what a great metaphor). The trouble is I'm too fucked in the head to be with anyone. I would screw with their mind, and I know it. I don't want to fuck with anyone. So I suffer alone. Try to fight off these thoughts. Times Square was cool again today. I really like it here. You don't realise how big everything is till you see the stuff here. You see a Mall back home and say "wow, that's pretty big". Then you come here and thatís the average size of a Starbucks. It makes you feel so small. I guess thatís why NYC people are so in your face and larger than life, if they don't act that way, they'll get engulfed in the shadows. Become nothing. FUCK. I've waited years to come to New York now I'm here I'm to into my depression to enjoy it. Fuck me, I'm useless
26.11.02 Subway
A new person has joined Theodore and I in our room. They turned up about 1am, and in my dreams, they were Coral from Real World New York, then a big fat African Woman, then one of the Red Jacket girls, but that one was for other reasons. But when I woke up, I realised that it was a weird German looking guy (Mark's Second tip about foreigners- German men are usually Quite Hairy in strange areas, and have a confused look on their face, even in sleep). Before I came here, I imagined my dorm mates being hot French girls, or a really funky Canadian guy, or something, not a strange Chinese guy and hairy German guy. But, no offence to Theodore he probably didn't want me as a roommate, he probably wanted a sexy and timid Asian girl he should show the town too. I know Theodore, I know...Anyway onto Ground Zero. The subway is becoming easier now. I'm starting to understand it.
About 10.30 Ground Zero
I'm sitting next to a fence outside the site. It's a strange scene. Hundreds of people have flocked here for photos (me as well, Iím not dissing). A Woman passed me and told her friends "Oh, It just makes me want to cry". The only thing I want to cry about is the fact that there are 20 stalls in my sight that are selling 9.11.01 merchandise, hats, photos books, postcards. Making money off such a tragedy. It's fucked up man. Those people didn't deserve to die. That's not right. Maybe America was in the wrong, but those 2000 people don't deserve to be only remembered as a plaque.
All the Red Coated Honeys are out in force again. I dare not say hello in fear that I might Spontaneously combust or something.
I don't really know what I expected to happen when I came to WTC. Maybe feel emotional? Maybe cry? Just be in ore of the combined sadness of it all. None of that really happened.
Across the street there's another big building 'Brookes Brothers'. I wonder what the people in there feel like? I wonder if they feel lucky to still be here? Shit man.
11.15 Dunkin Donuts
Walked around the other side of Ground Zero. There was this massive wall where everyone put messages. I wrote two. "It's not right and I will never understand it" simple, to the point pretty much how I feel about the whole thing. And the 'You'll Never Walk Alone' lyrics. That song means so much to me, and makes a lot of sense in this context.
The Hot chocolate is very chocolaty and the jelly donut is very jelly-ey
I think I expected to feel better after WTC. Realise that all my worries and depressions are nothing compared to such a tragedy, but I didn't. I think I expected to find ZuZuís petals, but I didn't, they're still gone.
I find that I'm getting depressed whenever I stop. When I'm walking around I'm fine, as soon as I sit, or stand Things start to get me down. Start hating it all. It's stupid, cause I really like it here. I simply miss being with someone, but going home, or anywhere else will not stop this feeling.
Okay, my task for today is to speak to a Red Coated Honey. I choose to except it
3ish- Empire State Building.
I'm looking down onto New York right now. I can see the Statue of Liberty. It's very cool up here. I've completed my task, I had a quick chat with a RCH, she was gorgeous, from Florida ('gorgeous' being used as verb, it wasn't her name think her friends called her Madison). She told me about the parade I should go to Macy's to get the best view. There are 2000 RCH (and probably about 100 Red Coated boys but they don't where red coats- surreal) here in New York for the parade. Christ, that means that if you put 5 RCH in every Starbucks in New York you would still have enough to create a good size human pyramid. Wow. She was impressed that I was from England. The accent does have some use after all
4ish- Bryant Park.
This palace is great, I walked through it yesterday but nothing was around then. It's this funky little park on the outskirts of Times Square. The Christmas Lights make the scene just a little bit greater. I wish I hadn't used up all my photos, but then again, NYC from 86 floors up was worth it. The walk from Empire State Building to here was accompanied by Frank Sinatra. My Depression has changed to acceptance and happiness. I wonder if thatís what happens to all depression in the end? Maybe that's why WTC wasn't so great; everyoneís just accepted it now. Who knows?
On the way here I saw a good 7 Bell ringing Salvation Army people. I wonder what the money you give them goes to? Attacks on other charities? Salvationers would easily conquer with all the military training they possess.
I'm gonna go to Statue of Liberty tomorrow. Seeing it really inspired me up on Empire State.
I'm very glad to be here, but I could never live here. This place would crush such a simple guy like me. I think life plans are now changing. Cites are nice and all, but I think I want something a bit more natural. Africa, Asia, somewhere more simple (gives a faint smile, it would be a laugh, but I don't think the guy at the table opposite (who looks like BB king) would like it), searching the globe to find acceptance, to find a reason to be here.
"Jungle Love" by Morris Day and Jerome just funked up my headphones; I can't be sitting down when I listen to this tune. I'll try to get back here tomorrow, this place is nice.
5.20 The Internet Cafe in Times Square.
Walking here I listened to Kid A by Radiohead. Man, that fucked me up, 'Everything In It's Right Place' just works in this place
7.05- Simply Pasta Restaurant
Damn, this place is snazzy. I asked for water, I get a blue tinted wine bottle with mineral water with a dash of lime. Nice. The waiter thinks I'm dumb, he bought over some bread with this veggie crap all over it, I thought he must have the wrong table, so I asked what it was, he looked at me for a second, then simply said "Bread". I weakly smiled back and went back to sitting silently. This place is the kind of place that funky jazzy New York hipsters would go for a night out.
Had the food, it came quickly and was very nice. I would love a desert, but I have to watch my spending. In Virgin Megastore I found Cibo Matto and Janes Addiction albums for only $13 each. If I decide to buy them, I'll do it at the very end of the trip, I don't want to run out of money. I think I'll leave once I've finished the water. Go back to the hostel, read and wrote a bit, and maybe get to sleep early. I want to go to the Statue of Liberty tomorrow, and also probably go around the part of Central Park I haven't visited yet.
I paid for some of the meal and tip with the mountain of change that occupied in my wallet, the waiter looked annoyed at this, but it was a good 40% tip. He didn't deserve it, but I was sick of carrying it around. And he should be greatful damn it.
Writing by Candlelight is so peaceful, the way it moves the shadows around, it's sleepy light drenching the page, it's beautiful. I might have to come here again to eat. It's not too expensive, good atmosphere, nice music, and above all, good food.
I'm glad I came here alone (contrary to other entries). Just to realise I don't want to be alone. If I wouldn't have come here, who knows how much longer I would have stayed that way. But still, saying that, it's great not having to please someone else, or do what others want to. I've wandered around and got lost so many times, and liked doing it, with someone else here, it would have probably turned into an argument. If I would lie to be here with anyone, it would either be Kate or Ed (no offence to anyone else). Kate and I would just be cool here, have a laugh with everything, I like being with her no matter the surrounding. Ed and I would just have a blast, complete piss taking of all that is New York.
The couple next to me seem to be out on a date (I'm guessing this by their body language, clothes and voice etc). The guy is talking and I'm picking up a few things in each sentence. He keeps telling the girl about his friendís escapades- his abortion, miscarriage, and a case of herpes. The woman looks unimpressed, I hope for her sake that he's paying.
Walking to this restaurant, I had 'Aqueous Transmission' by Incubus on the Headphones. Weird contradiction of sight and sound, perfect Asian Calm mixed with bustling New York mayhem. It was great
I can't remember my last ZuZuís petals moment. Would I class Survey Woman as ZuZuís petals? I was quite happy before that moment, so I guess it doesn't count. Going further back, it would have been my Ash "how can I be angry about something I have the power to change?" moment, again, not totally Zuzu. Vanilla Sky got to me, but nowhere near as much as 'It's a Wonderful Life'. The last one might actually have been the Orlando child experience. That was great moment. Well, Iíve finished my water. I better go
About 9.30 The Hostel
Sitting in the TV Lounge, listening to Black Sabbath, the Wedding Singer is playing away on the TV. A Strange foreign man flicked through my CD collection and didn't know who the Beastie Boys were. He obviously wants human contact too, as he keeps walking up to everyone and trying to start convosation. I don't like his hair and glasses combo, so I won't oblige. The Wedding Singer always remind me of Florida, the second time there. I remember watching it with mum and Abbie in the lounge. That was great time.
I think my depression might have been a result of my choice in music. I think I need less of the System of a Down type and more of a Ryan Adams, Frank Sinatra vibe. More relaxed and happy. Though System of a Down help me out on the subway, you always need a glint of psychotic menace in your eyes to scare away the homeless people.
On every corner, there seems to be a restaurant selling 'Broiled Steak'. I don't know what Broiled is, but I don't like the sound of it.
Strange foreign man has a friend. Black Sabbath cover the convosation, but I'm sure it's riveting.
Well, I'm tired, so I think Iíll take my water, have a shower, get into bed and sleep away. Good night Black Sabbath, goodnight strange foreign man, good night strange foreign mans friend, good night wedding singer, good night diary, good night eat me beat me lady, good night all
Probably about 1am- In Bed
Got woken up by strange German man, who turns out...actually, Iíll just write the convosation we had-
Dorm room Door Slams- BOOM. Mark wakes up and looks around bleary eyed to see Strange German Man
Strange German Man (in Scottish Voice)- EH MATE, ITS FUCKIN' SNOWING
Mark- Really? wow.
Mark- Yeah I know, it was cold when I got back about 9ish, and it was cold then
Mark- Hell Yeah (sticks out hand) Mark
Mark- Crawley, near London
Mark- well mate, I'm tired, I'll check out the snow tomorrow, night
It's really coming down as well. it's great.
About 11am- Starbucks on 5th Avenue
Got up about 9ish, it was still snowing a bit, so I took a long walk around Central Park, it's totally cool in there
I really wanted Ed to be there with me. Him and I would have a blast in Central Park. There was this statue of 'King Jingello'. That would have kept us entertained for hours, hell, I would trust a king called Jingello. The I imagined us trying to conquer the castle in the south of the park by the big lake. With little hats and all, it would have been great.
While walking down one path, I noticed a Squirrel, so naturally I shouted out "SQUIRREL", the jogger behind me was scared.
I can see why the pimps and dealers come here and night, it's very nice, thought I can't imagine a Crack head really appreciating the foliage
By the Lake were tons of benches, all with the little 'In Loving Memory' plaques. They were all pretty similar. "We will forever miss Victor Borelli, he loved sitting by this lake so much" "Always in out hearts, Alice Morello will stayĒ but right in the centre of them all was one that simply said "NED". I miss Ned too
After Central Park, I wondered down 5th Avenue, wow, expensive, but great. FAO Schwartz is amazing, the Lift is a giant robot, 3 floors of amazing toys, NYC Always goes all out on this kinda stuff. Walked past some massive stores, Tiffany's, Prada, Disney (which is also great) and the Avon headquarters
There were no RCH's in Central Park, which was disappointing, but once I went into civilisation, they were in hordes again, I missed them
Well, I've just about finished my Starbucks (I needed it, it's freezing outside), now I'm going to find Battery Park, and Statue of Liberty will follow.
1ish- Ferry to the Statue of Liberty
I'm on the top deck with a pack of camera wielding Japanese tourists and a very annoying American family whose kid is telling his parents to photograph everything "Mom, take a photo of the police, that seagull with some shrimp in its mouth, our seat, the sea, the sky" Revolver- BANG
I can see the Statue, I'm looking forward to seeing it up close, it symbolises so much of what I believe, tolerance, many cultures together, its great. Even if it isn't always true, it's nice to see it
Seagulls are whisking past, very graceful. I wonder if they get jealous of exotic birds. Maybe they want to live in the jungle, eating fruit and having bright coloured feathers.
We just got told that barbeques are not aloud on Liberty Island. Damn
1.15 Liberty Island
Looking up at it. It's beautiful man. It doesn't seem like New York. It's so old and graceful. It's not amazing technology, it's not bright and flashy or trying to beat everything, it's just itself.
Goddamn it some Americans are dumb. I just walked past a fat couple who said "I wonder what the date on the Plaque means?" Jesus Christ
3.41 My favourite Internet Cafe
A really annoying English couple are too my left. They have just arrived and they are getting angry with a friend down the phone cause he doesn't understand their dumb instructions. I don't think I'm looking forward to being around people like that again
5.30 In line to see the Lion King on Broadway
I've walked past it about 50 times, and I had nothing to really do tonight, so, I'm in the cancellations line, if someone gives a ticket back to them, I can re-buy it. I've been here for a while now, had a funny over the top convosation with a funny over the top American family. The Jewish mother in front of me is getting more stressed by the minute. the daughters are getting annoyed with her, I'm not surprised, I would hate to live with a family like that. "Ow, boby, it scho cold out here, you schure you don't waana come baack tomorrow?", it's funny in a way. I wish Iíd have bought a belt with me. My trousers are coming down. I hope I do get a ticket, it'll be cool to see it. The parade starts at 9 tomorrow, I hope I'm up in time. I'm looking forward to seeing 2000 RCHís dancing, cart wheeling and pom pom it down the New York streets. The world 'Boing' comes to mind.
7.30- The New Amsterdam Theatre, waiting for the doors to open.
I got ticket. the guy came out and said he had a single ticket for $100, I said that I couldn't really afford that much, was there anything cheaper. He looked disgusted at me. He went back inside, then after a few minutes, he returned and told me they had just had one come back for $30. "Sold" I exclaimed, and felt like I dick for saying that. I got talking to a cute girl from California while in the queue. We talked about the cold, her hometown, the wonder that is Crawley, September 11th, what we'd seen while in NYC. She was really nice to talk to. Her sister was hot, she wasn't bad, but destined to be told "I like you too much as a friend". How cool is this? A New York show. It was kinda worth standing in line in the freezing cold for 2 and a bit hours.
Latish- Back at the Hostel
Lion King was great, very Africany. Some parts were just amazing, if I would've directed it, I might have done it a bit differently, but then, I'm a surrealist. The woman playing Rafiki was really cool. My favourite part of the experience though, was when they did their usual sound check, the bongo check was very funny. Bongo's rule man.
Greg, my snowy Scottish buddy seems to have left, in his place is a new Japanese man, younger than Theodore, can speak more English, but pronounces Thanksgiving "Daygibon", it kept me amused.
I'm trying to program my brain to wake me up about 7am for the parade. Seeing that would just about satisfy my tourist urges.
I've had a great time with all of this, despite the early depression
28.11.02. 7.43am- 59th-Columbus Circle
Woke up about 20 minutes ago, getting the tune to the parade. On the platform to my left are 500 cheerleaders, all in bright yellow outfits, all with pom poms. I didn't see any RCH's last night, so my guess is, that last night they cocooned and have now metamorphosed into yellow pantied cheerleaders. Oh you just have go to love evolution.
All the women on the platform are giving evils mixed with giggled laughter, all the men are staring catatonically.
Damn, they're leaving, stupid journal, you wasted a good 4 minutes of looking droolingly at gorgeous cheerleaders. I hate you
8.30 Standing on the corner of 42nd and 39th, waiting for the parade
Well, I made it here, the place is packed. All the first in liners (crazy ass fools who woke at about 3am to get here) have the good seats, but my standing place isn't bad. An annoying American family rustle in front of me. Squeaky mum with glasses, children destined for incest. The dad so obviously doesn't want to be here. He probably only came here to 'protect' his family from the terrors of the subway, any way to try and feel like a man. He keeps complaining "It's too cold, my legs hurt, why did we come here, I need a beer, out view isn't good enough, no I'm not moving". I really wish he would shut up. This is why I don't see kids in my near future. I like enjoying myself and doing things that I want, Right now, I couldnít do things "For the Kids" just yet. I'll have kids when I'm ready to devote my life to another.
Last night in the queue for Lion King, there was this little girl who screamed on demand every few minutes. "I WANNA SEE IT I WANNA SEE IT MAKE THEM LET US IN FIRST DDAAAAADDDDDDDYYYY, I WANT TO BE FIRST ITS NOT FAIR I WANT TO SEE IT DDDAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDYYYYYYY" then after a few minutes "I'M COLD DDAADDDDDDYYYY, I DONT WANT TO STAND ANYMORE, MAKE THEM LET US GO IN, I WANT TO GO HOME ITTSSS COOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLDDDDDD". The dad kept turning to back to us and giving us the "Kids huh? What you gonna do" shrug. he never said anything back to her, he just let her scream and kick away at him. If that was me I wouldíve handled it a lot differently. "SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU LITTLE FREAK we SLAP are SLAP going SLAP to SLAP wait SLAP here SLAP until SLAP we SLAP see SLAP the SLAP show GOT IT? NOW PUT A SOCK IN IT BEFORE WE TAKE A TRIP TO THE ADOPTION CLINIC AND YOU KNOW WHAT- THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS. I WISH WE WOULD'VE HAD AN ABORTION."
And that's why I'm not ready for kids just yet. One day, yeah, I want a little Mark to carry on my legacy. but I would make sure my kid had style. He would rule the playground, and not in a bully way, in a Shaft kinda way. Each trip to get milk and cookies would be accompanied by a wah wah pedal and 20 screaming 4 year olds.
The boy in the family is really bugging me too. He has obviously seen too many Jim Carrey movies, and is trying to do all of them at the same time. I could not live with a kid like that
An NYPD truck just drove past, all the crowd cheered and waved at them, they had big smiles. Once again, you gotta love fake self-esteem.
9.40ish Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Turns out I'm in the "Quiet Section". No performances happen down the one block that I'm on. SO it's kinda boring. A few balloons have passed, a few big brass bands, and the 1000 yellow cheerleaders. The black girl behind me is really bugging me. She is not talking, she is shouting EVERYTHING to her friend next to her. "Is that Toby or Joe? That's Joe isn't it? It is Joe, not Tanya IT IS NOT TOBY. It's is so Joe, Oh My God, How Can you even say that, It is obviously Joe, he's gonna come, and I'm gonna be like Hey Joe, and you're gonna be like, Oh, Its not Toby, It is so Joe" SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID WHORE
10.10 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2. This time on a different street, where they have noise.
It's better here. This really funny Black guy is making jokes about everythingís, he's hilarious. JESUS CHRIST- about 1000 girls (probably some of the remaining RCH's) all dressed in Bright Pink, Green and Yellow Lycra are walking down the street in the parade. DAMN.
he he, Kermit the Frog just came down here. he he
This is great, the last 500 or so RCH's all dressed in Raggedy Ann Costumes doing a tap routine are in front of me. I love girls that can dance. I really am a seedy old man arenít I? Ah well, so be it.
11.30ish Starbucks
The parade has finished. I can hardly feel my face, I'm hoping the very bitter Hot Chocolate will help cure this. Just talked to a nice family from New Jersey. I'm finding it easier to talk to people out here, at first I found it very hard, but now, Iím just starting convosations with strangers. Nothing too scary or serious, just "So is this the first time you've seen the parade" type of stuff.
1.04pm The Internet Cafe aka, home
Times Square was so packed, I just had to get in somewhere, I donít want to spend too much money, and this place is very cheap, plus ITS FREEZING OUT THERE. I'll surf for a little while longer, then maybe get some food. I hope there will be somewhere to eat, People have told me that everywhere is closed on Thanksgiving, but from the look of Times Square, a lot seems to be open. It was strange, the parade crowd was full of mainly foreigners, and very few Americans. For a countries celebration, they seem to be tame. The girl I spoke to in the Lion King queue told me how much she loved the Queen. Itís weird how much Americans love her, but at least she did know that the queen doesn't actually do much, just sit and look pretty. I need to sort out how Iím going to do the airport thing. My flight is at 9am. Check out is about 2pm, so I might have to spend the night wandering or something, get up their really early, and just take it as it goes. We'll see how it goes. I don't really know what to do today either, I'm trying to restrict my out going money. I've walked around most of the interesting parts of NYC, and it's too cold to wander today. Oh, I'll find something
5.45 Applebeeís
I've just finished watching two films (and only paying for one, I am a naughty boy). Adam Sandlers "8 Crazy Nights" which was half amusing, some stupid and surreal moments, so I was happy, everything youíd expect from the Sand Man. Then, as I came out, I noticed that "Treasure Planet" (the new Disney flick) was about to start, so I grabbed a Coke and went in. So, if I die tonight, I'm going to hell. Treasure Planet was actually really good. It kept good to the original (or at least, close to the Chipmunks Special of it that I remember), the animation was excellent, the normal clever Disney parts, I was very impressed. After that I was hungry, and was impressed by Applebeeís before, so I decided to come here. I found out from the waitress that Yam's are sweet potato. You learn something everyday
Going back to Treasure Planet. It bought up two things in my mind, which I will now depict to you in literary form.
1. I don't read enough. Treasure Island has been done by just about every company, and in almost every different way. Muppets, Disney, Chipmunks, Simpsons to name a few. This means that it's probably a great book. One of the many that I have never read. So I would like to start reading more. I bought "The Beach" with me, but I haven't even touched it. Not that I didn't want to, I was either doing something big like looking at the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, mentally undressing a RCH, or I was writing about doing those things. So, if possible, I would like to read a little more.
2. I want an adventure, That's pretty much what the story was about, having an adventure, finding your place in the scheme of things, finding out if you can actually do something great, or just talk about doing great things. New York has wet my appetite a little more. But I don't think cities are the way to go for adventures. In a place like New York City, you can't really adventure too much, if you do, you might get shot, or at least you run the risk of ending up in a pretty bad situation. I would love to go to Chicago and Seattle in America, but I think that would only be a long weekendy type of thing, something to do with a good friend. A new mission then- to one day write an African journal. Maybe an Asian one too. Somewhere with more nature. I just want to see what I can before I get eaten up by modern day oppression.
The lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls sung two songs in Treasure Planet. I really liked them (I think that guy has a great voice), so Iíll check Virgin before I go home, see if he has an album out of something.
My waitress is Irish, short angry and scary, but in an amusing way. I'm once again just waiting to finish my water, then I'll leave. I have to pack tomorrow. I'll try and find an alarm clock or watch type thing to wake me up on time on Saturday. I went to Port Authority Bus Station and got times for Buses to JFK. There are a few early morning ones, so, I should be alright.
The music in this place is great. Incubus 'Drive' is playing right now, two songs ago, Michelle Branch 'Goodbye To you'. It's good to dine with music you love.
Well, so far, I haven't had a song for New York. Ryan Adam's and FLC have accompanied me quite a few times, System of a Down are my Subway friends, but those arenít amazingly great memories, the subway, and 'Don't Walk' signs. Tracy Chapman 'Fast Car' in Central park was a good moment. Well, I guess you can't really know until one day, you hear a song, and you think "wow, I remember when...". So, I guess we'll see when we get home.
Journal- thank you for being here for me through New York, without you, I don't think Iíd have made it very far. You're the friend I didn't come with. Cheers.
Back At The Hostel
Went to Virgin, the first thing I saw when I got in there was System of a Down's new album, so I had to buy it. I listened to it on the way home, and still now. First impressions are very good, though it doesn't seem to have a hook. A 'Chop Suey' or 'Sugar'. But it's a very solid album, very melodic, excellent.
I think Buffy's 'Drusilla' is on the front cover of Playboy. I might have to check that out tomorrow.
The basic plan for tomorrow is- Sleep in, wake up, wash, dress, pack everything up, get clothes needed to change into, make sure everything is fine, then probably say my last goodbyes to a few places, this all depend on time. I'll go to Times Square, go to my favourite Internet cafe and use up the little bits of credit I have left. I 'm not too sure what I should do, store my things at the hostel, do my day things, then spend most of the night at the internet cafe, surfing, reading, writing, then get an early bus. It'll be a good 5 hours there though, that's the trouble, it's a long time. I'm just worried about waking up so early. If I find a good watch with alarm facilities, I'll sleep it, if not, I'll just have to do an all nighter- BRING IT ON
I don't really want to sleep, but I don't have anything to say anymore, so my writing will just be rambling, which could be fun, but right now, I'll say no to it. So, goodnight to you all, see you for more rambling tomorrow.
Oh, by the way, there are now 5 people in my room, including me, Theodore, the other Japanese man, and now two others, I haven't met them, only seen their sleeping bodies towered high, interesting.
11am- Central Park
Sitting on the same bench I came to one my first proper day. It's colder than the first, and things weather wise seem more bleak. The ducks seem to be adjetated. Maybe they've finally started believing in God, and are angry that he makes them sit on freezing cold water all day, who knows. A plumb family just walked past me, they looked very scared when I went into my bag to get my pen to start writing "What have you got, a Gun? Drugs?" Nope, just a pen to write about you pathetic little people. They took photos of each other next to the trees. I suddenly realise that in all of my 50 something photos, I'm not in a single one. I don't really like the touristy photo. Your Big Fat Arse covering most of the thing you stand next to, broad grin on your face and a 'shoot me' look in you eyes. I've decided to do the 'Stay Up All Night and Get the Early Bus' Idea. I tried to sleep in, but not to much avail. I packed up, managed to break one of my zips on my suitcase, but it'll hold. I've got about 45 minutes until I can check out. There was no point in going somewhere big and coming back, so I came here. So, my plan is- Check Out at 12, then go to Ground Zero again. I think that, as much as I love 'em, the RCH's kinda ruined my first trip there. They're all Cheerleaders and such, they couldn't help being happy, even in a place like that. I'm not complaining, I love those gals, they rule. I think I just need to see it sad.
The Oreo cookies I had for breakfast were amazing. Can you get Oreo's in England?
A Man with a Leaf Blower just ruining the ambiance.
Central Park is weird in a very cool way. it's so serene, so beautiful, full of trees, lakes and animals, and has a big fuck off road going right through the centre of it.
The Leaf Blowing guy is pissing me off, so I think I'll find a different spot.
Now on top of a Big Rock
I see the homeless people up on the rocks here all the time, so I thought that Iíd give it a try.
American people are really cool, but they can't name for shit. In Central Park, there is a big old lake called "The Lake", there's a pond, called, "The Pond". I mean, come on guys, use some creativity, I would have called it maybe "Lake Debungo" or "The Lake of Awakening", something cool like that. "The Lake" just doesn't do it for me.
While walking up to the big rock, I saw a squirrel and said "SQUIRREL", looked the other way, saw another Squirrel, said "Squirrel", looked ahead, and saw another, around me were about 15 squirrels surrounding me. It was scary, maybe this is the start of the squirrel revolutions that Nostradamus predicted.
I take back what I said a few entries ago. I think I could live in New York. But not for a good few years. You need a thick skin to be here. I'm not even close right now
12.30ish Dunkin' Donuts near Ground Zero
I got to Ground Zero, but I had to leave almost strait away. The first sight I got as I walked out of the subway was an American Family smiling broadly as someone took photos of them next to the memorials. HOW FUCKED UP ARE THESE PEOPLE? Do they have any idea what occurred on this site? Do they know what the messages and memorial are about? THEN WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY SMILING SO HAPPILY? God damn it. People were laughing and joking while writing messages of sorrow on the wall. It made me sick to see it. I heard one of them exclaim "Well, that's enough of this, who's up for a Burger King?" I had to escape. So, I sit here with a ton of other people, all of us trying to get warm after the terrible freeze of outside.
I'm just so angry about what I've just seen. Every time I have a half decent expectation of people, they let me down. This is why I came alone. I wouldn't be able to stay calm if my travel buddy smiled and joked while we looked down onto that modern day tomb.
Anyway, I don't want to stay angry, so I better change the convosation.
I think I might see a film today as well. Some new ones will probably be out. That'll waste about 3 hours, the Arcade will use up about an hour, Statue of Liberty, well, just Battery Park, look at it from afar, get some inspiration, at least an hour too. If I have any money left, go to Virgin, buy Cibo Matto and Janes Addiction albums. That's 6 hours. Then the Internet cafe for ages, just stay awake until 5am for my bus to JFK. I think I'll go to the station ala bus quickly and see if they have a place for me to store my luggage, cause I don't really want to travel back to the hostel for my luggage at 2am.
The place is thinning out a bit now, I still have my Hot Chocolate to drink, but I could take it with me, nah, I'm comfy here.
I've seen quite a few 1-800 numbers around, quite a few good ones, 1-800-BANKRUPT, 1-800-DONTDOIT, 1-800-TIGHTTEENS, but my favourite so far has to be 1-800-GOBUNNYGO. I wish we had 1-800 numbers in England
All the Families in here are having a war over the pushchairs. All of them just leave theirs in the isle, about 4 or 5 fit in an isle that can hold 2 at most. it's like a maze to get out. I just like to sit and watch.
Does Sign Language have different languages, is there a separate one for Spanish or Italian?
Canal Street
It's hilarious watching people on the subway. When the train starts or stops, it does so with quite a bump, so many people fall over. Today, on the way here, an English Woman with Elderly Highlights got thrown across three gangster guys who were sitting down. She giggled it off, but you could tell by her eyes that she was petrified and embarrassed as hell. Kept me Chuckling.
Statue Of Liberty
Man, this is excellent. It just started to snow, the sky is immensely grey, but jets of orange wave behind the Statue. I had to buy another camera so I could get some photos of it. It's one of the best things I've seen while I've been here. Americans don't realise how lucky they are to have something like that statue, something to symbolise everything their land is based on, Truth, Freedom. In England, we have nothing
On The Subway
The announcers Voice is echoed badly over the PA, it makes him sound like God, Kinda Symbolic when you think about it. I'm returning to Times Square at the moment, check out a few last things.
Probably about 5pm. AMC Cinema
Got a ticket to see 'Frida'. I have no idea what it's about, only that Selma Hiyak and Ed Norton are in it. So far, I have never seen a bad film that Ed Norton is in, so, history says it should be good.
I wandered around the Port Authority Bus Station, looking to see if they had a place for the luggage, the answer was no. So I guess I'll have to return to the hostel at 4am to get it. Damn, but, there you go.
The people who go on the escalators in America are even worse than the English ones. Every single one of them just stands there. I hate that so much, I'm not in a rush or anything, but hurry the fuck up.
A Screen near me is playing trailers of upcoming movies. Man, do they look weak. There seem to be no new ideas anymore. The one that's on right now is for "National Security", two rent a cop guys get tangled into a really big police operation. It stars Martin Laurence and the small dumb looking white guy from many a bad comedy. It's just a remake of one or two million other comedies exactly the same. Granted, it'll probably have a few laughs in there, but nothing original or clever.
I think everything, music, television, films all need a, I don't know, guiding light I guess. Something to push them into the right direction, a new direction, beyond the same horror movies with only a few jumps and a weak storyline, the same comedy movies with no reason, only a guy getting hit in the groin 5 times, the same love song by another throw away boy band, the same sit com about a white girl in a magazine office. WE NEED SOMETHING NEW
11pm The Internet Cafe
the film was good, excellently directed, really clever and different. Ed Norton was only in it for 2 small scenes. Thatís why I love him as an actor, he is a premier actor, top of the bill, but he still does small roles if he likes the part. The whole thing was really good. It was a film that, at the end, you didn't really know any more, you hadn't grown, you had just watched someoneís life. I liked it.
When I got out, I realised that I had no more money. Well, only $10. so I went to an ATM. No funds anymore. Fuck. So, I've had a Snickers, but my stomach feels like hell, I've still got 6 hours to waste. I'm saving the $8 I have left to get something to drink at the airport. Tiredness is kicking in, I think I should be able to survive it. It'll help me sleep on the plane, fingers crossed.
Iím just using up my last smithereens of Internet credit here, writing a few thoughts, trying to waste time
2.16 The Hostel TV Lounge
I had a genius idea. Go back to the hostel, and wait here in the warm, with comfy chairs. So Far, it seems like the greatest idea since my fantastic washing machine door holder invention (ask me about that, it was great). Iím reading the Beach, which, after 65 pages, is pretty damn good. In about two and a half hours, Iíll get my stuff, go to the subway, and get a train to Port Authority. My hunger switches between the sickly and exhausted kind. I have another Snickers bar in my bag, but I donít think sugar is the way to go. I need a cup of tea, thatís for sure.
About 4am ish
I just got up to go and leave. On my way out, I got talking to an Australian guy (no tip for foreigners here, everyone knows Aussie people), I told him that I was going to Port Authority, he told me not to bother, and produced a Subway map from his pocket and directs me to get the A Train, and go directly to this stop, and a bus there will take me to my terminal. I didnít think that train would work cause it looks about 7 miles from the airport, but, the guy seemed trustworthy, and on my trip so far, its been all about trusting random strangers. So, Iím gonna stay here, read a little more, and probably doze off a bit.
I would hazard a guess at 6am- Subway
I ended up sleeping/dozing for about 2 hours, the little beeping alarm thing kept me from totally going off into sleep. My eyes are blurry. Iíve just got on the train, and Iím listening to heavy guitar based rock to try to wake me up enough to ask the lady if Iím on the right train.
The guard at the subway stop was annoying and kept telling me the wrong things, when I followed his oblivious ramblings; he raised his voice and changed his mind. I donít need that this early.
Sitting at a Little red Table in the food court at JFK International Airport, Terminal 7, gate 6.
I got here fine, glad I trusted the Aussie guy. The woman on the subway helped me out. Come to think of it, all the people Iíve met here have been great, New York, youíve been good to me.
A Woman at the table in front of me has the nicest arse I have ever seen, though itís possible itís the delirium cause from lack of sleep.
Why Oh Why did I decide to stay up all night? Granted, I dozed for two hours or so, but I feel like silly putty right now.
The arse is tempting me ĎSqueeze me, tease me, hold me tight, stroke me poke me, then take a biteí...wow, that wasnít supposed to rhyme, hidden talent.
Well, I guess I should give you some parting gifts of Wisdom for any other wannabe travellers out there who might be thinking about a little jaunt over top NYC. Well, here we go-
Go on your Own. I know Iím a walking contradiction, but I do think itís better when you are alone (though I have no basis for comparison). Alone you can make the decision. You donít have to do something you donít want to do; you donít have to cut short something you are enjoying cause your companion wants to do something else. You get a great sense of independence from it. The only tough part is eating. Eating Alone is never fun, but just do what I did, get a Discman, write a journal. Good friends who never let you down (until your pen breaks and batteries run out).
Getting from A to B. I would strongly recommend the Subway. A Metro card will cost you $17.99 for a week, and will get you everywhere you need to go. Itís a little tricky at first, but after the second time you pretty much understand. The thing that got me into most trouble was the express local thing, cause sometimes it doesnít tell you which type of train it is. But, if you do get stuck, donít ask the angry gang members, donít ask the strange foreign man, donít ask the an wearing the bin liner, ask the nice middle age couple, or the smiling subway attendant, or the cool looking traveller, they know what youíre going through.
Places to go. The obvious ones are, well, obvious. Empire State building is very cool, Statue of Liberty is fantastic; spend a few hours around central park. There are so many cool little places youíll find though, Bryant Park was my favourite, Little restaurants are great, I never travelled out to Coney Island, The Bronx, Queens or anywhere like that, so give them a go, and tell me all about them.
Safety- donít believe the hype. Not once did I truly feel unsafe. Once or twice I thought ĎShití cause I was standing next to ten guys in gang clothing, or the time I got lost in Harlem and lots of people where looking angry. But nothing very bad
Eating. Applebeeís was nice, a typical American type place. I really liked Simply Pasta; the feel of it was great. There are a million KFCís, McDonalds and Burger Kingís, though I never ate there (I donít eat that crap anymore), but they are there if you want them. Amazingly, I ever found a diner, but Iím sure there are a few around.
Where to Stay. My place, the Central Park hostel was nice, very clean, safe, nothing at all bad (Tonyís a funny guy), I walked past a few other hostelís, Jazz on the Park, The Chelsea Star, both looked good, but a bit more expensive I think.
Well, my stomach Cramps are getting intense, I better go.
Back at Heathrow
Plane journey was fine, I slept through most of it, had a strange dream that Cyclops from X Men was giving my nipple twisters, but all was fine
At baggage claim, two young children played a game called ĎCatsí. From my basic observation, the rules where as follows- the boy played ĎDaddy Catí, the girl played ĎMummy Catí. They each took turns saying ĎMeowí for a good 10 times, and then pounced on each other. It was a great game.
Heathrow is damp, but what did I expect from England.
Iím waiting for Abbie to pick me up. Dad told me to go to where he dropped me off, but thatís the drop off point, the pick up point is below it. So the question is, will she go by the rules and go to Arrivals, or follow Dad and go to Departures? I better go between the two.
Well, Iím glad to be home. At the same time as missing it really. I want to see a few people again; I want to prepare for Christmas. But, hey, what a time
I think Iíll have do something like this again soon. It felt great just being myself, never having to deal with anyone elseís shit. Well, back to reality. Goodbye New York City

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