A day, one full day is all I’ve given myself to explore this mad metropolis.
Yesterday, I was completely overwhelmed with the enourmity of it, I could barely focus… it is just so huge. Today I’ve set myself an itinerary, something by which I can slow myself down, focus my attention, actually see what I came here to see and maybe have some fun.
Im up before the crack of dawn, I’m going to hit The Top of the Rock, the viewing deck at the top of The Rockefeller Building. Walking down 7th Avenue, the traffic is already crazy, yellow taxis like rats scurry about hustling up any crumbs they can find, I cannot deal with that right now, it’s just me and my pair of blown out Chuck Taylor’s, we’re going to do this thing on our own. Times Square is underwhelming, bright lights, screens and neons, not even nice neons, it’s like a big money extraction machine surrounded with cheesy tourist restaurants, Bubba Gumps, Red Lobster and such… not my thing but hey, let’s tick it off the list and move on.
I arrive at The Rockafeller Tower before the doors open, there’s already a line of eager beavers from all over the world, selfy sticks are waving, shutters clicking and we are only standing in line lol. I wait patiently 10-15mins for a ticket, turns out there’s a combo pass for $50 that gets me into MoMA too, great! That was on my to do list too 🙂
We head to the top and as expected, the view of New York City is mindblowing. Myself and around 30 eager beavers are the first batch of tourists for the day on top of this iconic landmark. Stoked 🙂
I’d originally planned to go to the top of The Empire State Building but she’s such a beautiful thing, I wanted her in my photos of the skyline. Along with the Chrysler Building, the most impressive architecture I’ve seen this far. Turns out it was a great decision, she stands tall and proud above the city, Lady Liberty in the far background, Brooklyn Bridge to the left. Wow… so stoked I bought that Samyang fisheye lens last week off FB for $200!
Its been a good hour, I’m really just enjoying the serenity of being above the chaos, watching from overhead in a strange almost voyeuristic way as the city continues its morning commute down below. The people watching is great up here, giggling at a handsome South American guy with perfect hair and designer stubble pouting before his GoPro on the end of a three foot long self stick, we must be up to a hundred pouty expression by now lol.
An American family bursts through the doors with a bunch of loud obnoxious boys that look like they’d had one too many Chuck-E Cheese’s. the peace and quiet is over, time to head off and keep exploring. I spend a little time on the upper north deck before leaving, admiring Central Park and The Upper West Side, a particularly pretty part of town.
Im heading back to the hotel for a short break and stumble upon the NHL store which lures me in like a mosquito to a flourescent light at night. A few hundred bucks later, I’m out of there… probably should have a cheap breakfast after that!!! A $2 bagel from a food truck fills the void and gets me back to the hotel. Wow, feet hurting and I’ve barely begun… maybe I do need to hop in a cab or figure out the Subway.
I’m rested, cleaned the pigeon shit off my clothes and are back on the street for another round. Headed for Rattle n Hum, a craft beer bar I’d heard about, not far from my hotel. It’s close enough to midday already, time for a beer.
Rattle n Hum is tiny, non descript from the street but inside 40 rotating taps from all over the world, wow!
I tuck into a Singlecut Bon Bon TNT double IPA to ruin my palate before I begin. Going by it’s name, I’m guessing it is made with Aussie hops but holy shit, they don’t taste like that back home. Wow!!! Cloudy, velvet mouth feel and oozing sticky tropical fruit, this is one crazy good beer. The staff aren’t as friendly as other places but know their stuff and are quick with a suggestion.
I order a Kale Caesar with chicken for lunch, tastes fantastic! Made with really really good cheese… always love that! An Alagash One T sour from Maine to wash it down… happy little Vegemite.
Off to MoMA I go! I spot a huge iconic building to my right behind some construction, looks to be Grand Central Station, I take a detour to check it out. Stunning architecture! I cannot believe this is a train station. Beautiful. Again, the little fisheye saves the day.
From Grand Central, I venture up a few back streets before eventually coming across MoMA. It’s pretty crazy, there’s people everywhere… The wait to drop off my backpack at the cloakroom is nuts!
Anyways, eventually I get in… There’s some kinda odd exhibits on the lower floors, one dedicated to refugees and what it means, another on furniture… I couldn’t figure out if this was some artist taking the piss… Just to see how many people would stand and ponder a coffee cart in a white room.
I had high hopes for the Nan Goldin exhibition, turns out it was basically a collection of shitty snapshots of someone’s debaucherous life of drug abuse and screwing anything that walks… And calling a show of their cocks and needle use art… Call me an uncultured swine but to me, this is trash.
Upstairs the rooms are split into collections, acquisitions made by the museum over specific periods.. It’s here things got interesting for me, rooms full of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, a Jackson Pollock the size of a living room… This place is insane!
Another room, another collection… Wait! Is that a Van Gough? Holy shit, there’s a bunch of them and rooms full of Picasso’s. I didn’t know what to expect coming here but damn! This is off the chain!
A few hours spent getting my culture on and I’m off again… My legs are shot from all the walking.
An hour later, still walking…
I stumble upon a craft beer cellar Sarah at District Taphouse told me about yesterday, sweet! I duck in for a peek, the place is tiny! Kinda like a hallway with no lights, fridges line the walls and a small bar with 6 or 7 taps. I’m shattered, if I have a boozer, I’ll fall asleep on the bar, so I grab a couple of take home fans and hit the road. I’d heard about Pipeworks brewing, particularly Ninja Vs Unicorn, unfortunately there was none but I did pick up a Blood of the Unicorn and a Double Daddy from Speakeasy, another I’d heard about but never tried. I won’t lie, they both tasted old and pretty boring but then again, I did drop in to District Taphouse again and have a Cascade Pumpkin Smash which is probably one of the best things I’ve tasted… Ever! Of and I couldn’t help myself, I had to have another Hill Farmstead Harlan… What if I get there and they don’t have any, I’ll kick myself. To my delight, this one is on the house… I guess I’m a nice guy… Or maybe a tipped very well last visit lol.. Any which way, being known by name at a new place in New York City is pretty cool… I don’t even get that at home unless Joel is on at DTC.
I’m finally back at my dingy shithole of a hotel room, rest up for a bit, maybe check out the Empire State Building later..
to be continued…
woke up at 3am… Oops.
Jet lag, you suck… I want to sleep!
No sleep, meh, I’m gonna pack my bag for Burlington.