Footnotes to the East Coast: Part 2 - New York

Sure, this might be about a week or more late, but stuffs been going on. Check the front page for updates too.

Anyway, finally, here is part two of the East Coast… hopefully this is long enough to make up for me being busy

  • Hotel rooms are very small in New York. I know everyone tells you this, and I know all reviews say this, and I know I only saw one hotel room, but I just felt it was relevant to say it again.
    It doesn't matter at all either.
  • New York smells. It's like every day is trash day, and apparently the only place for trash is lining the streets. A little rain on otherwise hot days makes matters worse.
    It's not like the worst smell ever, just q kind of constant background trash smell. It's almost like Rotorua, you get used to it until you hit really bad patches.
  • Maybe this is a cold weather city thing (now that I have made it to England I can confirm it is), but when it is sunny people go overboard. Sure, it was warm, but I didn't expect half the city to go to central park and strip off. It isn't a and thing, in fact it's pretty neat, but it was just weird at first walking through the park and seeing loads of girls in bikinis (or just under wear) and guys in Speedo's.
  • An important tip if you are wanting to go see some shows, but don’t really care what - People selling tickets aren't your friends. This should seem obvious, but what it means is that you can’t actually trust things that they tell you. For instance (based on nothing in particular…) if you approach them wanting tickets for a specific show, and they tell you another show which is slightly cheaper called “Newsical” is way better, you should probably tell them that you just want the tickets to the show that you already checked up on.

    See, they just want to sell tickets. If a show is good they know those tickets will sell themselves. So, if they get the opportunity to get someone who is keen to see a show to go to something shit, it works out better for them as that ticket would otherwise remain unsold.
    This might seem like an over the top explanation for this, but, ah, let’s just say it might come in handy.
  • For some reason I found it fantastic there is an Olive Garden right in the middle of Time Square. Actually, I think I found it fantastic that I overheard people getting super excited about the great Italian food they expected at Olive Garden because it must be a good place if it is in Time Square.
    (In saying that, getting free bread and butter at restaurants never gets old. I understand I have unusual eating habits and tastes, but is there really any evidence that we need any more sustenance than is offered by buttered white rolls?
  • Is all of New York just people walking around aimlessly?

    I mean, I know I am on holiday and that’s why I am there walking around aimlessly, but what about all these other people? Shouldn’t they have jobs?
    Is there a name for that feeling? I seem to get it anytime I am somewhere during work hours and there are lots of other people around.
  • As I was saying, there are a lot of people doing a lot of things in New York. One of the key things people do is talk loudly - especially on cell phones. At one point I was in a relatively nice clothing store on 5th Avenue (#humblebrag?), and while going up an escalator I overheard the following of a phone conversation:

“well it sounds like it’s going to the highest bidder, she thinks it’s an auction, her pussy is an auction, that’s about it”

Right then…

  • There are lots of good museums in New York, but, no matter how nice the museum, the people inside are still probably morons. I base this on the fact no one in the world apparently understands how to use a camera, and yet they all insist on doing so lots. Now, I don't expect you all to be photography experts (I know I'm not) but maybe until further notice just consider leaving your flash off, in all circumstances, it isn’t helping.

    This is especially true if you are taking a photo of something that is in a glass case, such as a piece of art. See all that happens then is you get a photo of your phones flash reflected back at you. Sure, that's what you may have wanted, but if that's the case, then why do you need to do it in front of everyone at a museum? Am I missing something

    Come to think about it, I have actually mentioned some camera tips at concerts as well
  • You know where else people are bad at taking photos? The top of buildings. I mean, again I’m no photography expert here, but I would imagine turning the flash on your phones camera on isn’t going to improve the photo you are taking of a city skyline at night. Probably?
  • Actually, while I am talking about how to use cameras, all tourists are the worst people ever.
    See, in New York I did a lot of mainline tourist type things...
Look at all the things that everyone does?

Look at all the things that everyone does?

… but what I didn’t do was actively get in peoples way and hold people up when doing these things. See, what I noticed was most people who wanted to take a photo would take a really long time, and generally would be standing in the middle of a walkway. I am not sure how it always worked out that way, but it felt like it did. This means that everyone else not taking a photo at that exact time had to stop and watch these people take a photo.
Slightly better but still annoying is people who take photos of a person on the other side of a walkway, and expect everyone to stop and let them do this. This is only less annoying because you don’t have to stop because there isn’t someone directly in your way.
It is actually why the selfie is a great method of photo taking. Generally if you are taking a selfie you can have your camera ready before you need to take the photo, and take the photo before people are backed up behind you (especially if you think about it and get a gap in the people traffic first). You can also then take photos right off to the side of paths because you don’t need a lot of room. Plus, if you take a bunch of them Google will make them do stuff.

Look - stuff!

Look - stuff!

  • You know what else is weird (was I talking about something weird? my segueing is getting lazy), other than in Time Square it doesn’t seem like many buildings have obvious advertising on them. Sure, there is advertising around the place, and buildings do have naming rights, but it tends to be at street level, and generally kind of subtle (kind of). It is actually surprising that more buildings, especially along the river, don’t have major branding on top of them? It isn’t like this would look good, but from a company point of view you think it would be a good advertising opportunity, right?
Where are all the ads? Don't most tall buildings normally have a brand name on them?

Where are all the ads? Don't most tall buildings normally have a brand name on them?

  • Finally (?) a serious question about McDonalds - do any of their sundae/milkshake machines ever work? It seems to me that anytime you ever really want a sundae at McDonalds the machine doesn't work.
    My favourite experience of this was walking into a McDonalds and having this conversation:

Me - Do you have milkshakes?
Staff - Yes we do
Me - Cool, can I have a chocolate shake?
Staff - No, the machine is broken

Train to Boston
You know all the stuff I said about buses the other week (well, the other other other week, at this point) well trains are something completely different. Sort of.

Trains give you loads of legroom, and though people still do people things (like being loud, or gross or stuff) you don’t notice it as much as it is kind of spread out. It is also generally smoother than a bus (which is good for playing video games).

I don’t have as much to say about the trains, which has to mean something.

Tune in soon(ish) for Boston. Plus, I might even review a few shows we saw.