Looks like all my tortured metaphors linking ex-Sony chief Ken Kutaragi and the War on Terror have finally borne fruit. The madman behind the Playstation 3 is moving on, presumably because his console/Foreman grill isn’t selling so well. 1up.com recaps some of his more memorable (and loopy) comments.
Not much to report…..we spent the majority of our day shopping and wandering around the lower part of Midtown (around Macy’s, etc). A brief exploration of Bloomingdales revealed that we couldn’t afford (and really didn’t want) anything in the store.
We did, however, find a great Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from our hotel called Becco. For not a lot of coin, you get antipasto, salad and unlimited quantities of three daily pasta specials (though we had to tap out fairly early on what a trio of very upscale older gay guys sitting across from us termed a “carb orgy.”)
And today we’re hitting the MOMA, checking out of our hotel, and taking it easy before a red-eye flight back to Vancouver (ugh). Home is going to seem awful quiet after a week in this town.
An article in the New York Times (which I picked up in dead-tree form with coffee this morning, an experience New Yorkers regard as normal and mundane but I regard as print-nerd awesome) explains that the reason American Idol is the most popular show on television is the profusion of channels available to the public. SInce the networks face a shrinking market of viewers, they spend less on their programming, but still have the most eyeballs to draw upon.
Our forays into New York continued with a visit to the World Trade Centre site on Monday. While it was weird to look up and try to imagine the twin towers in an expanse of what is now blue sky, the entire site is blocked by a huge fence (and the site itself is essentially a construction yard), so it didn’t have the gut-level impact that I got when I stood at the Hiroshima bomb site a few years ago (note the much chunkier Freyburg in the photo.) From there we hit the financial district, saw the New York Stock Exchange, took the Staten Island Ferry (which offers great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty), wandered through Chinatown’s Canal St. (meh..), and ended up our day at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, an unfortunately named but otherwise great jazz club in Lincoln Center. The show at Dizzy’s, which overlooks Central Park, was one of the big highlights of the trip. Monday is the day Julliard students play (and cover is half-price), but these kids were insanely talented, and Mel and I were blown away by the music, the food and the view. Much thanks to Killahmullet for recommending this fine establishment.
Tuesday we took things fairly slow, with a wander into Brooklyn’s hipster mecca, Williamsburg. Since we were there around noon, all the trust-fund cool kids were probably still in bed sleeping things off, so the place was actually fairly quiet and relaxed. I also noticed the mean age of everyone on the streets dipped about ten years from Manhattan.
We headed back and stopped in at Union Square and Chelsea, before wandering back to the hotel. We were feeling pretty bagged, so we wound up our evening with a viewing of Blades of Glory at a cineplex on 42nd St. Will Ferrell can pretty much read off his grocery list and I’ll find it funny, so thumbs up.
So our hotel room looks out on an alleyway, and we get no outside light. After collapsing in a heap the night before, we woke up at 10 a.m. convinced it was 5 a.m. That was one of the more surreal moments of the day, which consisted of us wandering around midtown Manhattan and checking out the sights. We went to the “Top of the Rock”, which is an observation deck on the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (home of NBC) and offers an amazing view of Manhattan and beyond.
From there we wandered up Fifth Ave. and checked out F.A.O. Schwarz (meh) and Apple’s flagship store, where we had our first celebrity sighting as we witnessed Pat Sajak fiddling around with a Macbook. After walking back down Broadway we retired to the hotel room and then headed to the East Village to check out Otto’s Shrunken Head, a tiki bar recommended by a friend. It’s supposed to be a young people’s hangout, but last night was evidently rock n’ roll burnout night, since there were a lot of 40 and 50 year old gruff voiced, scene-weary fellas wandering around. Still a good time.
Today we’re headed to the World Trade Center site, and from there we’ll check out Lower Manhattan’s neighbourhoods.
after a bunch of airport boredom and a decent but long flight, touched down at JFK late last night, proceeded to check into our tiny hotel room, and wandered down the block to Times Square.
I was surprised that I wasn’t totally overwhelmed by the lights and crowds. I think the fact that I’ve been to Tokyo a couple of times might have pre-conditioned me to giant screens and throngs of people milling about, though the Japanese are a hell of a lot more orderly about it.
We’re off to check out tourist spots and neighbourhoods today; there’ll be plenty of photos and maybe even some video in a few days, so stay tuned.