New York Diary: Part IV.

New York Diary: Part IV.
Drunk And Painted Green.

Going by what EVERYBODY told me last night, there is no way I’m avoiding St. Patrick’s Day in Manhattan.
I’m in the wrong place too.
5th Avenue – The very heart of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade!
Nah.
No way am I avoiding this.

Today, the bars opened at 5am and everyone is Irish.
They’re more Irish than the Irish today!
– Except they’re not.
Their Great Grandparents were maybe from Ireland but eating a bowl of Lucky Charms every morning is about as Irish as most of the folks I meet today are gonna get.

The parade is brilliant and everyone is drunk and painted green but 5 hours of standing in a big fuck off crowd like this?
Nah.
It’s jam packed here and after 2 hours I decide to get the hell out of there.
I head up to Central Park West and keep walking.
I’ve got designs on seeing Harlem but I get nowhere near it.
I walked up and took a left at The Dakota building where John Lennon got shot in 1980.

Across 72nd and down through Columbus Circle.
It’s nice and quiet up here and I’m wishing my Family were up this part of town with me when a funny thing happens.

Who do I spy WAAAAAYYYYY across the street at the foot of Central Park but my Family!
Crazy when you think I never told them where I was gonna be and I left them blocks and blocks away on the east side of the city on one of busiest days of the year.
That’s New York for ya!

My Sister told me of her trauma of meeting Elmo and how he wanted “Dollars!” before he allowed a photo!
Ha Ha!

The St. Patrick’s Celebrations continued all day and all night.
I was impressed by New Yorkers and their ability to drink.
…But only just.
I guess it’s easy with the teeny weeny glasses they call ‘pints’ 🙂

Today, the entire city took a day off.
Even The Empire State Building got in on the action!

Even the usually black Metlife Building was green that day and I still can’t work out how that was done.

Don’t try and tll me it’s always green because it’s not!

That night we walked around Times Square which is probably the most terrifying part of New York for me.
Neon everywhere and mobbed with tourists and rip-off shops.
Pretty to look at though 🙂

At 11pm that night I did something which I don’t think I’ll forget any time soon.
I walked around Midtown Manhattan listening to Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack for “Taxi Driver”.
That was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

When I was sure all the drunks would be drunk enough to get their asses home, I hit a few bars.

Frat Party’s.
I can’t stand these meathead frat guys.
I saw 5 of them all high-fiving each other outside an Irish Bar beside Madison Square Garden and when I walked past them into the bar they shouted “Hey man! Do you like Football!?” but I just glowered at them because I still had the seedy murderous music of “Taxi Driver” in my ears.

It was a pretty good bar to be fair.
It was called Molly Wee’s and you should stop by if you’re ever passing.
Abbey tried to teach me to dance that night.
Big mistake there.
I’m the World’s worst dancer!
I’ve danced girls full on into walls before and had to run away!
One of these days I’m gonna learn to dance.

I remember those frat guys coming into the bar later and shouting:
“CAN I GET A HEEEEELLLLLL YEAH!?” and straight away I heard a Glasgow voice answer:
– “Naw”.
It could’ve been the whisky I was drinking but it was the funniest thing I’d seen all night.

My 4th night ended at 4ish across the street listening to the whole bar sing along to Bob Dylan’s “Subtrerranean Homesick Blues”

I loved that and already I was dreading the homesickness I knew I was gonna be feeling for New York in a couple of days time.

New York Diary: Part III.

New York Diary: Part III.
Impossible In New York.

I didn’t exactly get up with a ping this morning on account of the 5 glasses of Wild Turkey I sank last night but I’m really excited about today.

Today we’re gonna take a cab over to Brooklyn, get some pizza at Grimmaldi’s, have some ice cream and walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Taxi’s in New York.
What can I say about taxi’s in New York?

You pretty much risk your life every time you get into a cab here.
Today was no exception.
This guy didn’t know how to get to Brooklyn and we had to direct him a little bit.
But for a guy who didn’t know where he was going, he drove like a suicide!
With his palm constantly slamming the horn, we got to Brooklyn in lightning time!
Heh heh.

Grimmaldi’s Pizzeria is almost under the bridge.
It has one of those “Best Pizza In New York!” signs outside.
Every pizza joint in New York has a sign like that but with Grimmald’s, It might just be true!

I wish I could eat pizza from Grimmaldi’s for the rest of my life.

I hardly ever eat ice cream.
I like it but I don’t have a sweet tooth.
However…When in New York!

The Brooklyn Bridge is so impressive.

It’s a great experience to walk across it and it had a great effect on me.

I thought of the people who built it and the work they put into it.
Looking across the Manhattan skyline in perfect sunshine is one of the best things anyone can do!
You realise that, although Manhattan Island is only 14 miles long and 2 miles wide, it really is the biggest place on Earth.
Understand?

After crossing the bridge we found ourselves at the site where the Trade Centre buildings came down.
The new structure is looking good and so far as I know, They’re gonna make it even taller this time.
Know why?
Because New York has balls.

I had a lot of time to sit and look at that building because my Sister and Mother disappeared into a store for (Wait for it) 5 HOURS!
Is this a record Ladies?

I didn’t mind because that was 5 hours of wandering time for me which took in St. Paul’s Cathedral, a graveyard, some deli’s and the big rusted iron cross salvaged from The Twin Towers.
Seeing a thing like that really hits you like a sledgehammer in the face.

Night fell and after more walking we went back to the hotel afterwards and took in some ridiculously funny TV.

If we had shows back home with titles like “Police Women Take Down” and “Hoarders: Buried Alive” I don’t think I’d ever leave the house ever again!

I maybe should’ve stayed in the hotel because tonight something scary happened to me.
Later on, as ever, I’m out on the street looking around and taking photos.
I spent some time in a comic book store below The Empire State building and drank some coffee in a couple of deli’s.
I’m walking along when I feel the need to pee.
Bad.

There are bars I could go to but I need to pee RIGHT NOW!
I spy TGI Friday’s on 34th Street.
I run in through the side doors and up the stairwell.
Apart from the stairwell I’m on, this building is deserted and all the doors to the bars are locked.
I look through the glass doors on every level of the building and see upside-down stools on top of dark, closed bar tops.
I run back down the stairs to leave through the doors I came in but they’re locked.
LOCKED!
I think it’s about 11.30pm now.

Typical.
I go to New York and end up locked inside of a building.
My first thought was to pee in the stairwell bin but I didn’t really want to do that.
What to do?
Easy.
I’ll just set the buildings alarms off and wait ‘till the NYPD show up!
I didn’t fancy doing that either.
I ran up the building again feeling hopeless when I saw a figure in the dark bar.
I rattled the locked door between us and said:
“HEY! I’m locked in here man!”
The guy said:
“Buddy we’re closed!”
Me: “Yeah I know that but I’m locked in this stairwell!”
Him: “You ain’t. Only one of the doors you came through is locked. The other one is open”

So I was back out on the street again feeling like an absolute idiot.
Ha Ha!
But there was no time to laugh at my own foolishness – I had to pee!
I raced up to The Tempest Bar and things were okay again.

Outside The Tempest that night, I met Kevin.
Kevin is about 46, homeless and tells stories for money.
He’d rob you blind if you turned your back but that aside, good conversation.

I also met Abbie and Brian that night.
– Pretty good people.

Abbey travels around and writes a great travel blog which you can find right HERE.
Take a look because she knows what she’s talking about.

I’m trying to think of tomorrow because tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and coming from Glasgow where every weekend is like St. Patrick’s Day, I’m trying to avoid it all as best as I can.

Apparently,
That’s impossible in New York.

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