Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring
These are a few kinda faggoty things.
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I am feeling sad
I call up the vet and then have the dog killed
and then I don't feel so bad!
The first time I was in NY I hated the place. Well, I mean, I was kind of in awe of the big-lights, big-city thing, but when you come down to it, New York is smelly, it's way overcrowded, the people are often ridiculously arrogant and air-headed, and that whole 'beautiful mixture of global cultures harmoniously living together' stuff is a crock of shit if ever I heard one. The 'beautiful' part is right, because there's a lot of babes in NY, but as far as different cultures getting along. Nah. They all hate each-other :-). Buuuut, you know, New York grows on you like a foot-fungus after a while..
Newark Airport, New Jersey. That was my arrival point in the USA - where I was supposed to have spent the rest of my
summer working at a place called Six Flags in New Jersey. That was before they
told me they hadn't enough jobs and I'd have to find some other means of employment even though
they'd recruited me all the way from the UK to tell me that, naturally. A months later I realised this
whole "Yeah just bring more than we need we'll figure out what to do with it later" ethic was
just one of many unusual parts of the American way of thinking.
I wasn't the only one in the shit, and whilst people found managed to find other jobs, or alternatively, and rather sadly even had to return home to their countries, needless to say Six Flags, and America - since that was what Six Flags represented for some of those guys who went out having blown $500 of their parents salary on an air-ticket - made a few of enemies that day. I was saved, and after few desperate phone calls, I managed to find a buddy who'd let me crash at his place in San Jose (otherwise known as Silicon Valley) California, but my flight wasn't for a few days so I spent that time milling around the Big Apple.
And Jesus, is that a Big Apple!! 12 million people en bloc compressed into what to me seemed familiar to London on a slightly larger scale. French pattiseries, Swiss jewellers, Korean fast-food, Irish Catholic churches, Italian Coffee Shops. This is New York. Like they say, no one is actually born in the Big Apple, but don't expect the special treatment for being a foreigner like that one you get in Japan. Yes my friends from the minute you get off the bus the only greeting you'll get is "Hey will ya hurry the f*ck up and get out of my way already??". Those New Yorkers turn being rude, sarcastic shits into an art-form..and they're proud of it!!. What can I say? In some ways the place really was NYPD Blue in the flesh. I can't speak for everybody though - I did meet some very good people in New York, people with morals, ambition, and great charisma. Let me remind you that New York is one city that has a population that is 40% foreign born, and those people coming from other countries in particular are usually very friendly, hard-working, good people - not to mention interesting -, every one of them with some tale about how they crawled through bushes for twenty miles to cross the Mexican border, nearly getting shot by farmers in the process, or stole away on some cargo ship all the way from China, just to get to NY, just to claim their piece of the American dream. Yep, they're not the ones who're assholes..it's their kids. I don't know what it is about big cities in America, but they breed a certain kind of people, filled with such superficiality and condescension as must surely piss off the rest of the nation. Possibly that might come from the frustration of constantly having to repeat themselves to every John and Jill who can only speak the 5 words of English they learnt after jumping off of some banana boat incoming from Ecuador, but it's no excuse for rudeness in my opinion. Mind you, if I had a penny for every Japanese guy I've met in England who's told me about the times they've been given the cold-shoulder by British in the same University classes....
I was only in NY for a few days the first time round, and just as
a day-tripper. I managed to see most of the sights, and especially liked Central Park,
or Poser Park as I think of it now, as there were so many muscular guys with their tops off there I thought I must have entered a Village People
Reunion concert. And yes ladies, I know they're handsome, but I hear they're all gay.
I got to see the Statue of Liberty too, on the ferry to Staten Island. Well, I would've seen it I not been standing at the front of the ferry, and been distracted by two hot Japanese girls standing behind me. They stood right next to me and I just couldn't help myself.
"Hmmm, is this your first time to see the statue??" I said with a mammoth smile.
"Yes, we are tourists".(did I mention they were both hot!)
"Err, chotto kizuitan desu kedo, anata tachi wa nihonjin desho? (Sorry I couldn't help noticing but you're both Japanese right?)"
Oh hell yeah had I noticed they were Japanese before I'd even said anything. They looked startled, a look I'd seen a thousand times.
"Suuugooi! Nihongo jouzu desu ne!(great!! You speak good Japanese!)"
So we started chatting, and before I knew it, the ferry had already gone past the Statue. Oh well, I thought, you see it in enough movies..I prefered instead to find out what Ayumi and Keiko were doing in NY, and hopefully, what they were doing for the rest of the night.
When the ferry docked, we stepped off together, but it was a little ackward to chat them up - they'd just met me after all, and I didn't feel comfortable asking them out. Oh alright..I admit it, I did ask them out, but they turned me down. Had to try though, eh? I got that "You're cute and everything, but come on, we just met you.." look from them. Probably if I'd been with a buddy I would've got some sugar, but there you go, golden rule #1 is that one guy should never try to pull two women he doesn't know. Especially not when all the Japanese guide-books do is tell you that NY is full of nutters and that you shouldn't trust anyone.
Let's talk about those nutters. If there is one thing which I really loved about NY,
it's those hilarious crazies that seem to perpetually occupy the New York subway. (Oh and yes, it does look like the movie The Warriors, and no, you can't jump over the toll-gate anymore). Christ knows where those mad bastards come from,
or what rock they crawled under from, but damn are they entertaining. Whereas English lunatics generally tend to sit on a bench chatting to themselves and dribbling, the Americans want to let everyone else in on the act. Funniest guy I saw was some old dude who I came across whilst waiting for one of the downtown trains to arrive. He was pacing up and down the platform like a mad man, screaming to himself.
"You f**ckin rock un roll generation!!, with your f**ckin' shit music and your fancy clothes!! ohhh you thiiink yooouurr sssoooo daaammn sseeexxyyy!! You're not hot, you're not happening..", pretending to strum his air-guitar and hum rock-and-roll tunes and the like. It was hilarious. He walked - no danced - past some 20 something lady, and was like - straight to her face I swear -:
"You b*tch you don't even look good in those raggety-ass $2 clothes!!".. I was positively pissing myself with laughter inside, it was like something from a comedy show. The guy seemed to have a line for everyone. To some black chick with huge bangles for ear-rings. "You hip-hop lookin' hoe..ya ain't even no Saturday hoe either, not even a Tuesday.". - taking it in turns to rip-up their clothes or hair-styles "Look at this Johnny-Depp wannabee muthf**ker!! You got the hair but you ain't got the looks!" - I still laugh even to this day when I think of that guy doing his little Johnny Be Good air guitar and pretending to head-butt the wall.. That guy should be doing stand-up, I don't care if he's mad, he's funny. Luckily the train came before he got to me, and I made my way into the heart of New York. Manhattan.
As far as night-life is concerned, NY is the dogs bollucks (good). But it'll cost you your rich aunts inheritance to enter some of the larger clubs. To be honest the twenty dollar entrance fee scared me off from going to the larger establishments although I did check out a few places that were bar/nightclubs, with free entry, and smaller dancing areas. I had wanted to check out some Japanese/Asian style clubs, but most of those places are like, if you don't come with an Asian person they wonder what exactly your motives are for going there. Ten to a hundred says that you can find the hub of New Yorks AAA community there every single Friday night though.
Irish pubs in particular can be funny. I remember some Irish guy who'd been in NY for awhile telling me about NY, as I'd just arrived, and saying "You know, it's loike, some American walks inta the baar, and he sez to me, 'Top o da mornin tew ya!' - an Oiym loike 'Fer foks sake gimme a break eh? "..hew can yew be Oiyarish?" he ses. You is over 4 feet tall un like, whar's ya fockin leprachaun hat and clothes o' forest green and shoite. Shoudn't ya be dancing some merry fokin' jig or somethin'??'" ..alright, he was exaggerating, but I knew where he was coming from. Every time I spoke in the US people assumed I had come straight from London and expected me to have bad teeth (can someone please explain where that rumour comes from?). But anyway, the funniest thing happened next because some huge Yank walked into the bar, slapped his hand on the side of the top and said, I swear, exactly this "Hi there, oh!! top-of-the-morning-to-ya, is that right?!!". It was one of those comical examples of real-life perfect timing.
Irish bars are full of posters of Irish cottages, serve pear cider and beers I've never heard of, and neither have the Irish. They're always newly re-furnished, don't have a dart board, and require tips when you buy a drink. So in fact, they're nothing like real Irish pubs at all. It's like when you play the M.A.M.E emulator on your Intel 3. Sure you can play Space Invaders and appreciate it, but nothing quite beats having that huge wardrobe of a cabinet and chunky buttons that you can really whack in it's place. I wouldn't even dare walking into a 'British Pub' in the States in case they'd freak since a 'real' English guy was in there. Actually I tell a lie, I did walk into a British pub in California, and it was exactly like a British pub..but come on, how am I supposed to bitch about Americans screwing everything up when they do something perfectly like that? shit..I'm British, it's my right to whinge.
Times Square at midnight on a weekend has to be seen to be believed, it's that busy. You probably can't find a bigger congregation of the varieties of people the world has to offer anywhere else on the planet. It's also even better than Campden Market for picking up nice and cheap goods that are I quote "Off the back of a truck buddy!!". You have to laugh when you see some guy run up in the street and dump a bin-bag full of sunglasses they're trying to flog, desperately looking around as though they were being chased by a copper, and telling everyone they bought the glasses at discount from abroad. But who am I to complain? I picked up some nice Raybans for 10 bucks, so.. It's definitely a pleasure to walk up and down the main drag of Times Square 3 or 4 times, eating nuts from the stall and people-watching. It's just gotta be done.
NY has the benefits of other big cities in that if you know the city, then you know where you can get bloody cheap food, but naturally, if you follow the tourist trail, you're likely to burn a hole in your wallet just getting a burger. It's just a matter of stalking the backstreets to find the cheaper places, like any capital. I once went into this Italian place near Columbia University (where I stayed for a night, and incidentally where Utada Hikaru is now studying) and you could buy a pizza large enough to feed a horse there for as little as $2.50.
The second time I came back to NY was after I'd been in California for two months.
This time NY really grew on me, I can even say I fell in love with the place, and finally grasped what Woody Allen
was talking about when he showed how crazy he was for NY in his interviews.
It's a nice place to be man, and if you need to chill and get away from it all, you just
go to Central Park.
This time round, I was staying with my Spanish hombre Luis, with a host-family in Queens. I was worried about living in Queens as I'd watched Coming to America, which had depicted the place as a real shit-hole. In fact, it was a great place. There wasn't a white guy in sight apart from me and Luis, but it was alright, I only papped my pants when I walked past the black gangs after midnight. Seriously, Queens was alright, not too expensive, and not as dangerous to live in as you might imagine. In fact, NY isn't all that dangerous at first impression despite wat the movies make the place out to be, I'm sure you gotta watch your ass if you walk into the wrong neighbourhood, but nobodies gonna shoot you in broad daylight. The host family were nice, an expat from Honduras, who was smart and easy going. I even made a friend of the son of the family I was living with, a little black dude who used to do break-dancing and make me laugh when he nagged me saying "The way you talk is so cool Kris, it's like a robot, how do you talk like that!!How do you do it?", before I slammed his head DDT style into the blow-up bed we'd pulled out for our WWF Challenge bouts. WHOAH!!TOP OF THE ROPES!!!
Yeah, NY is a real charismatic place, and living there? I could dig it. I dunno how I'd feel after 6 months in the place, but , yeah..I could dig it.
Was it better than Sapporo though? No way dude..thats my Sapporo.
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