Tuesday, 7 October 2008

New York non-dairy...

Okay, going a bit blog crazy at the moment but I promised a New York diary and, well, I’m not going to do one. I started writing it on one of my lunch breaks last week but the first day alone was epic and that was just getting the plane! And who cares, really – people have been to New York before, and I certainly don’t have aspirations to be a travel writer (or even to travel again anytime soon, no further than Cardiff anyway). Plus most of the people who might actually care know me in real life and will be subjected to long stories and reams of photos in the near future. So as actual writing has started to take over and New York seems like months ago (even though it was only a couple of weeks back) I’m skipping the whole full-on diary thing and thought I’d just talk about my two highlights instead.

However, if you want to see photos with occasionally funny captions you can check out my facebook galleries here:

Gallery One

Gallery Two

And yes, even you non-facebook people can check them out too via the links above.

So, best thing I did in New York was go to Coney Island. For me it was the place I was most looking forward to, partly because it features heavily in The Warriors, one of my favourite films ever. Anyway, we got there far too early and it all looked shut which was rubbish but we hung around and went to the Aquarium and luckily stuff started to open later. We actually got to go on the Wonder Wheel which was excellent, and fair play to Andrea who agreed to come on with us despite the fact she hates heights:


video

We also went on the Spook-o-rama:


video

Not as good as the Brighton ghost train which you can see a video of here.

We also saw a good old-fashioned sideshow that was very cool – people setting themselves on fire and sticking power drills up their noses:



You can check out lots more cool stuff about Coney Island here:

www.coneyisland.com

I would recommend it to everyone, whether you’re a fan of The Warriors or not (it features in other films too – the final shot of Cloverfield is from inside the Wonder Wheel). It's kind of like a tacky English seaside town that remembers better days but where everyone seems really proud of both its former glory and its tackiness combined. I'm clearly not selling this at all so moving on...

Second highlight wasn’t so much about a place but more to do with the excellent company. It’s unfortunately not that often that I get to spend time with Andrea and my two brothers at the same time so spending the whole week together was very cool. The best part of that was the night we went out drinking. After searching for all the cool bars in the guidebook and deciding they’d all shut down we settled on this place:

Which was essentially a nice little pub with about twenty TVs all showing different sports. Despite the fact it was loud and there were shouty people watching the twenty different sports we decided to stick around. We were also sitting on a table with useful crayons, which we used to list the topics of conversation over the course of the evening:

We almost called it a night when Pete accidentally asked for the bill (not sure how when the rest of us has asked for more drinks – the waitress misheard, but then must’ve assumed that as Pete wasn’t drinking alcohol he was declaring that the rest of us we’re too drunk to continue and we just wanted the bill). Anyway, being polite English-folk we stressed about the etiquette here for moment – could we carry on drinking after effectively declaring we’d finished for the night? Then the bartender came over and gave us some raffle tickets for free, saying there would be a draw after the football game and we could potentially win a CD player. So then we had to stay, and etiquette be damned we bought more beer. Anyway, as the night progressed, the football game went on and on as American football always seems to and people lost sight of the prize so we ended up with other peoples’ abandoned raffle tickets. This is how many we had by the end of the game:

And guess what? I’ve never seen anyone quite as excited as Tim was when he held up his winning ticket and claimed his prize:


Those are my highlights. I’m now firmly back in the real world and doing pretty well. Am 50 pages into The Dark Room, my own script which I shouldn’t be working on as I have other stuff to do, but is also going really well. It’s interesting as despite the pages and pages of notes it’s developing organically as a script – i.e. there is no meticulous structure planning, I’m just writing it as it comes. Which will surely backfire at some point, but for now it’s working just fine.

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