New York part Deux

On the way to the internet cafe a nice old woman wished me Merry Christmas. She also had lipstick applied down to her chin, but she was quite polite. Other observations:
  • Jaywalking is mandatory. You WILL walk when the light says walk, and you WILL dodge between cars when traffic is only mildly slower. You'll do this or you'll be run over by the people behind you trying to do the same.
  • While there is no higher percentage of really thin women here as compared to seattle, they all smoke. I'm guessing they figure traffic will kill them before smoking does, but it's still odd. Smoking isn't nearly as shunned here as on the west coast.
  • Every other dog apparently must be a pug. I swear! In the park, a lab, a collie, a retriever and 4 pugs. It's probably a size of dog vs size of apartment thing.
  • While the subways are clean and all, the express lines on long stretches can easily rival Space Mountain. Rumbling through darkness with trusses wizzing by; I have no idea how people can manage to read when you're thrown about like that.

And now a few pictures from the road. I had to drop them on my laptop and then bring them down here by floppy. $1.50 a floppy from the "Computers We Is" shop around the corner from my hotel. It was only $4 for a big box of them at CompUSA, but I didn't need a big box. Ah well.

A view from the empire state building towards downtown Manhatten. If you look (obviously at the larger version of the photo) you can just make out a stubby black building with an american flag on it's side. It's about 1/3 of the way from the right hand side of the edge of the picture. That building is standing next to the hole where the World Trade Center towers used to be. It's actually a brown building, just covered in black canvas while it's face is rebuilt. Also, if you look at the general skyline, the twin towers were easily twice as tall as any building visible in the picture, and those are some tall buildings.

I went down to see the hole (it basically just looks like a construction site now) and helped some people take some pictures. I instinctively said "smile" before snapping their pictures. I felt pretty bad about that for a while.

On a lighter note, within the observation deck of the empire state building there is no shortage of crappy merchandise. I so wanted one of these little guys, but at $16 a pop I figured I could find them cheaper on the street somewhere - or at least be able to haggle them to cheaper on the street. I've yet to see another one of them but I keep looking.

The Flatiron building. Yeah, that's about all there is to it, but it's still kind of cool. Subject of probably 1/3 of all of the street art I've seen (not counting post 9/11 tribute stuff).

Japanese Tourists! Actually the first I'd seen on the trip, many this particular group could not get enough of the brass bull (later they were taking pictures of themselves under the back end of the bull). I love the look on the guy's face holding the bulls horns. They were all really nice people though, a heck of a lot nicer than the smaller group from Generic Midwest State which came through a little later.

Woohoo, the set of the daily show. This is post show filming, which took all of the 30 minutes the show actually runs. I was in the audience for the Wednesday June 19th 2002 show, though you won't be able to hear me or anything. Sorry Moni, I know you wanted me to shout monkey, but given that they told us on no fewer then 6 seperate times not to shout anything that was more recognizable then general laughter or applause I didn't think I could get away with it. Center are the stage manager and her assistant. The guy playing the music for during the breaks was apparently quite stoned, but still spun a good mix.

Yay, I'm on the stage. I tried to get on the couch, they would have none of that though. More on the show; the warmup commedian was quite funny and Jon Stewart was great. A woman gave him cookies which he promised to eat ("of course I'll eat unwrapped food from people I don't know, hand them on over") but wer're pretty sure the interns finished them off before the show was over. Jon also prefers the Klondike bar to the Chipwich.

Stupid Gugenheim museum, closed while I'm here. I got a couple of nice shots of the outside though, kept picturing Will Smith chacing aliens up the side of the building though, maybe I'm wanting to see Men In Black II a little too much :)

Central Park, this is Turtle Pond, a little to the left of this picture is a stage for Shakespeare in the Park. All I can say is Seattle needs one of these. Huge buildings and lots of traffic just end and people can play and lay on the grass. It was really nice. I stopped for an hour on the way to the Natural History Museum and then another hour on the way back. My legs are still killing me from yesterday but it was nice to rest regardless.

I've got about 70 pictures so far. A few too many from some places and a few I wish I'd managed to get (none of the people I met in line at the daily show). Given the rate for internet access in my hotel ($0.30 per minute) vs the rate down at the empire state building ($5 an hour) I find it well worth the 5 minute subway ride.


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