New York Diary: Part II.
When In New York.
I feel pretty good today even although I only had about 4 hours sleep.
We all did a power of walking yesterday and today, like tomorrow, will be the same.
New York street traffic is pretty ruthless.
Everyone knows exactly where they’re going and they are in a hurry.
That suits me fine.
Like I said, this is my 3rd time in this City and I know my way around better than I know my way around back home in Glasgow!
Matter of fact, we’d constantly get asked for directions and we got pretty good at pointing people the right way.
Ever stood at the foot of the Rockefeller building and looked up?
You can’t see the top of it for clouds sometimes!
It’s dizzying and for some reason unknown to me, we all thought that it would be a pretty good idea to pay 80 bucks and go up onto the roof and look at the city.
I don’t usually have much of a problem with great heights but tonight I do.
Hayley does too.
We’re up on the roof of the Rockefeller building.
They call it “Top Of The Rock” and frankly, It’s fucking terrifying!
At the top of The Empire State building, there is a big wall and big iron railings on account of all the folk who used to go up there and jump off it.
These days, you feel pretty safe and secure up on top of the Empire State.
I wish I was up there right now because the Rockefeller is a sheer drop only surrounded by one thin looking layer of clear plexi-glass.
It’s real windy up here tonight and Hayley and I feel the building sway.
Its better that a building this tall sways a lot rather than not at all.
New York twinkles from up there and it feels good to be young and alive etc…
All the same, I’m glad when we finally get back down to the street.
Fuck doing that again anytime soon.
My folks and Hayley planned their trip out.
They had designs on shopping like mad people possessed and that is what they did.
They shopped like Paris Hilton on cocaine!
I can’t stand shopping.
I hate it.
I don’t care about what’s in or out.
I don’t care whether it’s designer or vintage.
If it’s black and I need it then I’ll buy it but even then, I don’t care.
I only buy clothes and shoes when my existing ones fall apart so I left them to it and off I went again.
I hadn’t even thought about what I was gonna do in this city.
I don’t tend to plan anything out because I like not knowing what will happen every day.
I pounded the streets again tonight and ended up outside of Madison Square Garden.
Elton John’s playing tonight and you can’t move for people trying to sell fake tickets at 20 bucks apiece.
Over I go to Hell’s Kitchen which is maybe my favourite part of the city.
It’s laid back. Not as laid back as the village but just enough.
The village doesn’t really have the edge that Hell’s Kitchen has.
I wrote down a list of locations where notorious mobsters were murdered but I’ve forgotten to bring it.
You can meet a lot of interesting characters walking around Hell’s Kitchen if you’re not careful.
In 2002 I quickly learned that if someone comes up to you and starts telling jokes then walk away because he’s gonna demand money when he’s done.
If someone comes out of the blue at you and says “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?” then walk away because that question won’t be a question.
It’ll be “Gimmie money!”
If you get involved in any sort of conversation with anyone in any street then be prepared to be asked for money.
These days, I find myself in-step with most other New Yorkers;
On my way to somewhere in a hurry with no time for anyone who tries to stop me.
Walk fast enough and you probably won’t even be approached but stop for a second to light a cigarette or tie your shoelace and you can forget it because there will be 3 people standing around you wanting a piece of you.
Tonight was the night I got lucky and found The Tempest.
The Tempest is a bar on 8th Avenue.
It’s right beside this big Post Office:
It’s not hard to find nice bars in New York but it can be really difficult to find the kind of dives that I like.
The Tempest doesn’t look like my kind of place from the outside.
You could easily mistake it for some touristy Irish themed bar which inside, it definitely ain’t.
It’s a dark, Rock & Roll dive.
I ended up getting pretty friendly with quite a few people in The Tempest.
The sound of Dr. John singing “Such A Night” led me to this bar.
In here you can hear The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath & Sinatra records and like I say, it’s pitch black inside.
I ended up going to The Tempest when I couldn’t sleep at night because it stayed open to 4am and when it closed I’d get invited to hang around inside which was great.
After hours, Chris the bartender and Bob the bouncer would tell me where to go to find the best live music in the city.
They’d also point out characters on the street and tell me which ones were okay and which ones I should avoid.
Chris and Bob pretty much clued me right in about New York and it made my stay a helluva lot more interesting.
I got introduced to a guy who managed a recording studio across the street and one night at 4am about 5 of us all got invited over for a couple of drinks.
I sat down and played a black Baby Grand piano!
I’m not a very good piano player at all but who cares.
When in New York!
Too much wild turkey later and I went back to the hotel in the drizzling rain for my 3 to 4 hours sleep.
That particular part of town was deserted on that night and I decided there and then that I was gonna do this again on my last night with the soundtrack to “Taxi Driver” in my ears.
I knew it was a good idea to put it on my mp3 player!