Harder than a full time job
Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
188Trip End Ongoing
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Next on the list was the Museum of the Moving Image, it was over in Queens, but as I was close by I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to check it out close up. The Subway stop I needed was a bit of a hike but it meant I saw a bit of Brooklyn. I then had the problem of navigating in Queens which although it uses Avenues and streets as well it took me a while to get my bearings. Luckily there's a place called Manhattan not far away and it has a pile of tall buildings so I used them to guide me in the vague direction until I was in the right area. Anyway, it was rubbish. There wasn't much in there of interest other than seeing a load of star wars figures and Bill Cosby's sweaters. Aaah, memories. So, another bit of a waste of time. I thought I'd try the museum of television and radio to see if that was any better. So back on the subway to Manhattan and another disappointment. It's not really a musuem, more of a library. So when I got there I was given a list of screenings and told to visit the library. I got in the lift and headed up to the fifth floor where I was met by an odd but polite woman who asked me what I was wanting to see. I told her I didn't have a clue what I was doing as I'd appeared in a blank corridor with nothing but an odd woman for company. I had to get out of there, so with her telling me I had to check out the library ringing in my ears, I managed to get back in the safety of the lift and tried level 2 as there was a showing about the superbowl. Again I came out of the lift to be fronted up by a weirdo but got past him in to my own private cinema, as no one else in one of the greatest cities in the world would be stupid enough to want to go in to watch repeats on an afternoon. I'd made it there though so I was determined to watch something so I stayed about 10 minutes and watched the start of a programme about Superbowl advertising. Imagine a dull Dennis Norden (shouldn't be difficult) talking about adverts then seeing them. Not even particularly funny ones. I left.
Not the greatest of days but it's not just a full time job, I'm doing overtime. I'd met a lad out of the hostel and we'd both said we fancied trying to see an ice hockey game and that night the Rangers were playing the Islanders, a local derby. We didn't have tickets so thought we take our chances amongst the touts or scalpers as they're known here. Anyway we couldn't actually find anyone to start with so I wandered off to join the usual ticket queue and a dodgy looking bloke asked if I was looking for tickets. A smarter scalper would have spotted where I was stood. Anyway, he first asked for face value which was a bit daft so I offered half and eventually we settled half way between that. I get the feeling I could have got away with less but no matter we'd got decent seats. I'm not even sure if it's illegal as there's a website called msgticketexchange where you can buy season tickets seats for games they can't make. He was really shifty though and was pushing us to put our hands in our pockets. "c'mwon, you want the cwops to get the tickets, I'm a knwown skelpa". Funny. The game was really good, just like on the Playstation! The advantage of playing it meant that I knew the rules so could follow what was going on. The Rangers had a few early penalties against them so started out in defense a lot, but took advantage of a couple of their power plays and eventually came out 4-2 winners. The atmosphere was good, the crowd were getting behind the team and had a lot of shouting agaisnt JP at the end. No idea what that stood for, but never mind.
By then it was dark. Still no rest, I went back up the Empire state to see the views at night. It was freeeeeezing up there with an icy blast but worth it. I then wandered back to the hostel but via the Rockefeller centre to see the skaters. The rink is actually quite small and a bit rubbish. There's a free one in Bryant park that looked as good and yesterday I saw another one in Central Park that looked a lot better. With a final detour through Times Square to see the lights there again but with a camera it was time for bed.
But not for long! After the farce of day 2 I needed to be at the queue for the statue ferry early so I was up and out by 7.30. Unheard of for a jobless bum. I got my ticket for the Statue and then got my freebie ticket for the ferry and joined one of the many queues I'd be in. First the queue for tickets, then the queue for security, then the queue for the ferry. Once you get off the ferry, then the queue for the queue for more security, then finally I was inside the statue. The second security check was a weird one. You had to stand on a spot and air gets blown at you. Not sure what it was about but it seemed very secure. And excessive, was the assumption being that you'd made a bomb in the time it took to get from the ferry security check to the many many more queues. Once inside there's a wander around a musuem about it's construction then on to the 156 steps up to the pedestal. Sadly you're not allowed to the very top, but the park ranger said that anyone over 6 foot used to have an uncomfortable time. I had a wander around, enjoy the views on the various levels and then hoppped on the ferry to Ellis Island. I was hoping to see if any Lecks had turned up but didn't really want to spend the time so had a scoot around and got on the next ferry back to Manhattan.
I bombed it right the way up to the middle of Central park and went to the Guggenheim museum. More modern art. Excellent! No sculptures here though so no traditional modern art fun to be had. The building itself is worth a visit, but unfortunately was covered in scaffolding. The main exhibition was by Richard Prince and called spiritual america. It was a few different things, photos, marlboro man cowboys, muscle cars and crap gags. I really liked them, some because they were crap gags but also they were cool paintings. Some were just typeface on a plain background, others were stencils over a painting, others were stencils over the top of painted cheques and some stencils over random pictures that were painted over. Unless you walked up to them you couldn't see what was underneath, but the colours and patterns made were cool. Not forgetting the crap gags, can't beat em. Cameras weren't allowed apart from on the ground floor so I can't show you unfortunately. Maybe a quick google image search will sort you out.
As it was another sunny day here (I've been very lucky) I thought I'd have a wander through central park so strolled down through it including through The Ramble, a bit near the lake which looked like a maze. I only took one wrong turn that took me to the lakes edge which wasn't a bad effort. After an hour or two I was at the south east corner of the park and so had a look inside the tiny zoo. That was plenty for another day, if only I'd not bought cheap tickets for a Knicks game.
I think I'm addicted to US arena sports. The Knicks are in a bit of bother at the moment, similarly to the Bulls. They had managed a couple of wins after a losing streak of 8, but that was ended sharply by the Celtics who dished out one of the biggest defeats in Knicks history. So they werent in form and I was expecting some booing. They lived up to their promise and quickly fell behind and at one point were 15 points down. At half time only a beat the buzzer shot that got a cheer stopped more booing. But somehow they got it back and managed to scrape their way back to a 1 point lead. By then the crowd were cheering and shouting, a much better atmosphere than the straightforward win I'd seen in Denver. Right at the end they managed a turnover and got another one to give them a 3 point victory. Cracking stuff.
Now for today. The 3 day pass is finished and I've blasted the main sights I wanted to see so I'm having an easy one. A nice gentle wander I think, although I'm sure after the amount of pavement I've been pounding it won't be long until my feet are hurting again.