New York Made Me Famous

So, this is going to be a pretty image-laden post, but bear with me, I only had a partial real day in New York City. By the time we arrived in the city the morning before, we stood in line all day, and immediately after the event, at around 11/12 at night, we went to check into our hotel, because driving all night and standing in the heat all day, and just the excitement of it all, it gets to be pretty tiring.

We stayed at the Belnord Hotel at 209 W 87th, which is really just a few blocks from Central Park. It’s a rather nice area, and it was perfect for what we needed it for. It was just me and my brother, and since it’s illegal to park and sleep in your car, we tried to find a hotel that was reasonably priced as well as being on the island so that we wouldn’t have to travel too far for our tourist day.

The place was gorgeous inside, very posh and swanky. When you walk into the lobby, it’s hard to imagine that it was only 89$ a night. It came up to 101$ after tax, and split between the two of us, it was really only 50$ each, as I’m sure you can do that math. Although, the more expensive part was parking. We parked at an underground place on the next street for about 16 hours and it ran us about 43$ in all, with a few dollars here and there for tips. Now, there’s a reason that this place is so cheap, for its location and whatnot.

This place was tiny and borderline claustrophobic. The pictures don’t really do it much justice. The hallway was wide enough to probably fit two of me in shoulder-to-shoulder, and the two of me’s would be touching the walls at both sides. An obese person would not be able to walk through here without grazing both sides of the wall. The bed was literally a foot away from each wall.

That being said, it was still very very nice inside. For the price, I was expecting motel-standards, but I felt so posh in here. It was exactly what we were looking for, I mean, we were just passing out there for 10 hours, and then off to see the city anyway. We weren’t going to spend copious amounts of time lounging in there. That, and free wi-fi, which is nice. I racked up quite a hefty phone bill due to my addiction to technology, social networking, and staying connected. Always had to tweet, me, and I paid for it. But I digress, it was nice to bunker down for a night and not have to pay with my first born. I was expecting having to pull our 2-300$ to stay a night. Thank goodness for the internet.

We checked out of the hotel at around 10AM to go about doing tourist-y things. For breakfast, we stopped off at Hot and Crusty, a bagel-y cafe-y place on Broadway and W 88th, and we had this chicken fajita panini. It was deliciously crispy and the fries, oh my, the fries. I’m not a fan of fries, but these ones were so golden and crispy on the outside, yet potato-y on the inside. Hot, warm, delicious. I think this ran us about 4$, which was amazing. I had always assumed New York to be so supremely expensive but this was not the case at all.

So, the only reason my brother came to New York City with me was to go shopping. We cabbed down from our hotel to go to Times Square and do some shopping. I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming, or crazy, or anything, but it was exactly what I expected it would be from what I see in pictures and movies and all that world-wide media stuff. It was loud, garish, and crowded.

We also walked over to do a little shopping on 5th Ave, I know, typical tourist stuff. I had the unfortunate displeasure of allowing myself to be dragged into the Abercrombie & Fitch store, which I can tell you is like that episode of the Magic School Bus, where Mrs. Frizzle shrinks everyone to go into one of the boys’ bodies while he’s sick to help fight the infection. Except instead of going into a sick boy’s body, we walked into the embodiment of the world’s biggest douchebag. Unss-unss-unss-unss. The music was loud and aggravating, and the moderately good-looking people working there, dressed top to bottom in A&F stomped around the floor in an attempt to stay in beat with the music. No, really, there was this tall blonde girl standing in the corner, saying hi to people coming in, and awkwardly moving herself to the beat. Worst job ever. On top of that, I already had a sore coughy throat, and the heavy scent in the air only aggravated it. Honestly, why would your store need that much douche-musk in the air? It doesn’t drive the girlies wild, boys. That, coupled with the fact that there was absolutely no ventilation in the store probably makes for a huge safety and security risk. I mean, imagine if there was just one spark of a flame, it would catch on all the gasses in the air and BOOM. The whole place would go up in flames, not that it’s necessarily a bad thing. There’s still the online store for all your A&F shopping needs.

/rant

It was rainy, which brought the whole thing down to a less surrealistic level.

Im soo good-looking that the New Yorkers simply HAD to have my face on a billboard. I brought my brother along in my fame lest he feel excluded.

A teeny tiny cop car.

These are simply the best nuts that Ive ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth.

A deliciously spicy chicken gyro that my brother got. Had a slight hint of curry powder in it. Very yummy. Me, on the other hand, made the disastrous decision of getting a knish, trying to be all adventurous and ordering something that I didnt recognize. Grosss. It was like a giant perogie, that should have been delicious, but it tasted all stale and rotten. Blargh. Maybe someone will someday change my mind on them by making a good one, but that was a misadventure that cost me 3$.

Whats this? An indoor ferris wheel???

And of course, the Canadian thing to do was to visit Tim Hortons while in the States. No one makes green tea quite like Timmy hos.

Not in Times Square, but still a cool storefront.

Walked past people of all shapes and sizes. ALL shapes and sizes.

I was surprised by the architecture in New York, especially in the residential districts. So fancy fancy. It had a Victorian-Neogothic feel to it, with the intricate moldings and large windows. So I went creep-mode and took pictures of peoples’ homes. If you saw me through your window, I apologize.

Like a scene straight outta Friends or Seinfeld.

So, after touring around New York City, shopping, till about 3 o’clock, we cabbed our way back to the hotel and drove our asses home. Farewell NYC, I will miss your White Castle, however crappy it was, I’ll still crave it. :(

NOMNOMNOM

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I Had An Appointment with the Doctor

Oh yes, this is what I did this past Tuesday. It was a hell of a drive. We left around 11:30 from Toronto, and arrived at roughly 9:30 the next morning in New York. My brother drove for a few hours, but I drove the rest, up until the wee hours of the morning. It was intense, I don’t know how I managed to do it. At probably around 5 in the morning, there was a crumpled up deer carcass in the road and I only saw it at the last second. I ran over that shit like there was no tomorrow, and the bones crunched beneath my tires. I squealed a small, “Omgomgomgomg” but none of my passengers woke up. When my tiredness threatened to make me fall asleep at the wheel, I thought about what I would do during the summer that would keep me up all night. TV shows. So, I popped in some Scrubs and watched some episodes to pass a few hours.

Anyway, we arrive at East Village Cinemas on 2nd and 10th, and promptly stood in line. However, right when we got there, we’d heard that Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill were there a mere 10 minutes earlier, handing out donuts to people in line. If my brother hadn’t missed our exit, we’d have been there right on time. Waahhh.

However, we met a lot of interesting people in line and had a big bunch of fun. Obvious Doctor Who talk, shootin’ the shit, lots of Starbucks runs, some exploration of the surrounding areas. Most of it, though, was standing/sitting/sleeping in line, sweating in the sun (it was 20+ degrees!) , and watching all the Amy Ponds walk  by. I have lots of pictures, but I’ll save them for the end.

So, we stood in the line for about 7 hours before finding out if we were actually going to be able to get into the theatre at all. There were originally going to be two theatres. The first one with the live Q&A session, and the second theatre would see it via a live feed. I heard some strange rumours, some saying that there were 250 people in the first theatre and 250 in the second theatre and others saying there was 400 in the first theatre and 150 in the second.

Well, when it came around to it, there were 3 theaters and we ranged anywhere from 350th to 450th in line. Lots of people were coming around and counting the line. The line that stretched all the way around the block, mind you. 3 hours later, at 7pm, we were let into the theatres and received a free Doctor Who hat. A Doctor Who hat that I will treasure forever. I’m going to pretend that Matt Smith breathed onto all of them personally. I’m not creepy, no.

We get into the theatre and the air was electric with anticipation. We watch the first two episodes of series 6 of Doctor Who and I think it was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Luckily, everyone was respectful and the cheering was kept short, stopping abruptly whenever a character began to speak. Now, I’m not going to give you any spoilers, but these first two episodes are the biggest mindfucks I’ve ever seen. So many new questions are raised, instead of answering any old ones, which is great. This is also the scariest Doctor Who episode I’ve ever seen. Scarier than both Blink and Midnight. The cast is amazing, and Steven Moffat is an absolute God. There were gasps abound, lots of shockers, lots of anticipation. The whole thing kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I can’t even express in words how far the premiere rocked my socks off, but I’m sure they’ve probably ended up in the UK by now.

Now, not only were the episodes great, but we watched the season trailer, showing flashes of what’s to come. I’m not sure if that’s available yet, but I’m pretty sure I gasped all of the air in that room and then my lungs exploded and then my heart exploded, and then I died, and then regenerated. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I cannot wait for the new season. Y’all are going to get blown out of your seats. We’re all going to scream. It’s going to be great fun. Honestly speaking, it looks like it’s going to be the best season yet!! I can’t wait to watch those episodes again, they were so good. It’s so difficult to write without saying anything, but that’s what it’s got to be like.

Some general notes that I’m sure you all know. They’re splitting Series 6 into 2 parts. The first 6 episodes airing starting April 23, and then stopping for the summer, to return in the fall. Steven Moffat loves to make us cringe and cry and have our jaws drop to the floor. During the Q&A, he was so ridiculously gleeful as he talked about the huge, incredible cliffhanger that he’s going to leave us dangling on come the end of the 6th episode. This is going to be insane.

Photos!

Amazing scarf that she knit herself!

Trying to shield ourselves from the sun.

As I was taking photos of New York architecture, in true Doctor fashion, this man comes running through my frame. I swear, this shot was not set up. As Chameleon Circuit put it quite beautifully, "Weve got galaxies and planets and moons and an awful lot of running to do."

Oh yeah, and I guess I forgot to mention. After the screening and the Q&A, we were ushered out of the theatre to the street. A few minutes later, two black cars pulled up in front of the theatre, and well, this was the best I could do.

Doctor Who forever.

PILLOW FIIIIIIGHT

Now, I always hear about these crazy things happening in Toronto, and I decided to say, “Fuck it.” I don’t need a partner to go to these things with me. I always found it more liberating to do the things I want to do without dragging an unwilling victim with me. Not to say I’m glad that I didn’t, but it’s nice not to have to worry about whether the other person will resenting me for being gay.

I digress. Giant. Pillow. Fight. It was a public event that I found out on Facebook, where anyone and everyone is invited to go come to Yonge-Dundas Square at 8pm on April 2, 2011, bring your own pillow, and unleash your fury at the next bystander unawares.

Not only is it a lot of fun, it was for a good cause, kind of. The event said that there were going to be trucks coming around and collecting the pillows from the fight to give to the homeless and needy. I didn’t see any, but I did see piles of pillows on the side with volunteers collecting from the other people.

Guy in a red spandex suit. Blonde pig-tailed girl in pink pyjamas. Asian dude with a big camera and striking a weird pose. Aahh, Toronto.

There were all sorts of people there. Mostly teenagers and young adults ready to get their freak on. At one point, I heard the unmistakeable fury of a battle cry. I look over to my left and there was this lanky boy, being carried on the back of his friend, with his fist thrusted into the air, clamped around a pillow.

“Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge!!!!!”

The whole thing was quite a sight to see. Yes, that's a giant fish.

 

As many people that were there to fight, there were many people, or just passers-by, who stopped to watch the spectacle. There were also photographers, with their external flashes, and ring flashes, and fancy rigs. Observing the observers. I’m so meta. Hahahha.

Here follows some footage of the fight. It’s as if you were actually there!!!

As well as the throngs of people lashing out at each other with padded sleeping aids, there was a percussive group called the Samba Elégua. They were loud, they were energetic, they were foot-stompingly amazing. They’re music permeated the entire square, and you can hear the beats from blocks away. The crowd that formed around them pumped with the music and you couldn’t help but smile. It felt like you were just part of one organism, throbbing, and moving, and living.

I’m not even high.

It’s amazing feeling like you’re one part of something greater. Living life in the midst of others. Everything you see, has been seen, is being seen, by someone else, in a different perspective and in a different context.

Either we’re alone in the universe, or there’s life out there, somewhere. Either way, it’s the biggest thing for our heads to be wrapped around. Alone in the universe. Think about it. In this gigantic universe, further than our technologies allow us to see. We are not a speck in the universe, our planet is not a speck in the universe, our GALAXY is a tiny speck of sand in the universe. We are so insignificant, but can we really be the only ones here?

And then if you look at the other end of the spectrum. What if there’s life somewhere out there? Either they’re out there, way more advanced than we are. What kind of technology would they have? Are they yet exploring space? How do they do it? What do they look like? Or maybe they’re as primitive as we are. Another level 5 planet on the other side of the universe, with a species just starting out and looking up at the stars, wondering if life exists outside of their planet. ALIENS. They are as alien to us as we are to them. We are aliens.

Anyway, that’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. Doctor Who helps stave off some of that curiosity, even if it is just fiction. Speaking of Doctor Who, the season premiere for the Series 6 is on April 23rd. However, next Monday, April 11, they’re doing a prescreening for the series in New York City, followed by a Q&A session with the cast and writer. Aka Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Steven Moffat are going to be in the same building.

So, excuse me while I take a short road trip to New York.

HELL YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

That’s right folks, yours truly will be in the same room as the Doctor. AHHHH!!!!

I will touch him. (Let’s hope they don’t read this before I get a chance to do it or else I’ll come off as reaaaally creepy. HA!)

It’s going to be great. I’ve never been to New York before so this will be an adventure and a half!!! I will of course blog about it. And hopefully have a picture with the cast. As well as have them sign my copy of Series 5, that my loving SO bought for me. BAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA. I am so excited.