New York

January 29, 2007 at 6:02 am (general)

We were pretty proud of our efforts on arrival in New York. I hadn’t really gone to sleep the night before because that is what I do when I get excited, especially if I know I got to get up near the middle of the night. I’ve got used to that though, every exciting/stressful/big (and not so big) event type thing I have done has usually been preceeded by little, if any, sleep the night before; interviews, exams, marriage, holiday, christmas… So we got up early, and were the first people to walk on the snow, and got our four and a half hour bus to New York. We passed through the Bronx, and Harlem, and then arrived in the middle of Manhattan. Immediately in a new place you look for what it is like, what is different, what is the same, what is it like? I loved what we saw of New York. It had a real city feel, it felt vibrant and proud, and sort of tough.

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Time Square

Our hotel was near ‘Koreatown’, and we shared a bathroom with the other guests, and a little family of cockroaches, which was okay because I didn’t think to much about the time I found a cockroach nest in the back of a second-hand fridge in an old flat, or the vision of the pile of eggsacs which still pop up in nightmares. We had a view of the roof of a building and the high walls of all the other buildings. It was nice though, and had a TV which was a novelty, we got to see all the advertisements for pharmaceuticals which could treat anything from heart disease to your legs feeling a bit funny before you go to sleep, which is evidently a medical problem treatable by a course of drugs…

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Little Italy meets Chinatown

We had planned our days out a bit and did everything we had wanted to do – we got student rush tickets to Les Miserable on Broadway the night we arrived, which reminded me of the lovely Sarah Lee, and Josie Burdon because I somehow remember them singing the songs… We marveled in Time Square; walked the whole length of the island, wandered and ate our way through little Italy and Chinatown; by Brooklyn Bridge where Will Smith was shooting a movie; passed by the WTC hole; rode the ferry to Staten Island by the Statute of Liberty; and ate dinner in Soho. We met some friends from Cambridge for a coffee, and visited the MET and MoMA, of which MoMA was my best. Seeing some of the paintings I had loved in real life was a highlight. MoMA also gives you a little thing you can listen to which explains the paintings. It was interesting to hear an explanation of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, though the room with a light going on, and then off, was a bit of a stretch.

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Appreciating some art. 
We road a lift to the top of the Rockefeller Centre which cost a right pinky (Mark gave up his)  but was worth it, and saw the place where Diego Rivera’s painting would have been. Winter really arrived while we were there, it got down to -15C with a wind chill of minus a million. We figured out wearing two scarves was a useful way to not freeze the inside of your nose, and that making a list of the ten people we’d invite to hang out with for a weekend (anyone in the whole world, but must be alive), and the ten worst people is a good way to pass a long bus drive home.

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Snowed under

January 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

At the moment I am spending 6 hours a day reading for class (3 hrs) and then attending it (another 3). And then the balance writing a paper for that class. It is on the Federalist Papers, which are the arguments the ‘founding fathers’ published in the papers in 1787 to convince New York to ratify the Constitution. Pretty interesting stuff; the most famous ones are 10 and 51, for the arguments about the separation of powers.

Not much else to say really. We are going to New York in a few days, which should be fun.

Apart from that, I enjoyed this write up by Russell Brown of Dinesh D’Souzas book; watch the interview with Stephen Colbert.

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