Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Giggedy Giggedy

Cooling off before Death Cab

You know, you wait bloody ages for a bus right, and then what happens? Three come along at once.

Well that's pretty much what this week has been like, except instead of buses, it has been gigs. Or giggedy giggedy's as I have taken to calling them. I might stop that. I get some funny looks.

This week, I went to not ONE, not TWO, but THREE, amazing shows.

First up was Tuesday whereby I went to Brooklyn to see Death Cab for Cutie at a great NYC venue, McCarren Park Pool.  It's this disused pool, used for shows and other fun stuff such as free cinema screenings and shiz. If there is a better idea of what to do with a disused pool in this world, then I certainly haven't heard of it. 


Isn't it cool? It has a great vibe, and also, as we were waiting for Death Cab, as it was outdoors, you got to see the sunset. Which is always one of my favorite things to do. It reminded of me of being at a festival. Super fun times in other words. Highlights of the gig for me have to be when they did Soul Meets Body, and Follow You Into The Dark. Sent.Shivers.Up.My.Spine. Really.

McCarren Park sunset = Better than you.

So the gig was going well and stuff and ting, but then.. THEN! The weather took an alarming and abrupt turn for the worse. In short, a mother of a T-storm was heading our way. And as we were outside, and the wind was picking up and the rigs that the lights were on were swaying alarmingly, the gig had to stop about 15 mins before the end. Shame.

But I did get to watch an AWESOME electrical storm over Manhattan. No pictures of that, because a) I have no tripod and b) it was raining so hard, and there was no frigging way I was getting out my camera for what would have been poor excuses for pictures at best.

Next up, was the very NEXT DAY. I went to see The Kooks at Terminal 5.

First of all, before I get into it all, have I ever told you guys, that I love you BIG TIME?!?!?! No? Well here:

I made this for you, because I love you BIG TIME. BIG.

Now you'd best appreciate that, because it was harder to do than it looks. TRUST.

And also, now that I've got that off my chest, I have officially done my good deed for one post, and can now spend the next 10 minutes going on about the thing that has been mostly on my mind since I saw The Kooks.

Would do anything for...

And that's not an exaggeration. Seriously, LOOK AT HIM!!:

Literally. My ovaries just skipped a beat. DID I JUST SAY THAT?!?!

Ok, maybe you can't see from that picture, but it was the best I could do when I was having serious hyperventilating issues from being so close to him. HE WAS WEARING A HAIR BAND FOR PETE'S SAKE!!

And for those who think he's not all that, you don't understand! You weren't there. That guy has serious charisma and sexy gee-tar skillz. And can rock a hairband without looking at all gay. Which is no mean feat. I don't think I can even do that, and I'm a GIRL!

Even his silhouette is TEH SEX!

I could actually just eat him. Swallow him whole... WHO AM I!?!

Aren't you crazy kids glad I pre-empted this disgusting display of obsession and admiration for a man I've never met with that lovely 'trip-the-hearts-fantastic' picture!? Yes, I thought so

And now we shall never speak of this again.

And FINALLY! The last giggedy giggedy (It'll catch on I tell you) of the week was The Fratellis on Friday at Webster Hall.

Webster Hall is a great venue, and I had lots of fun playing with my camera there before the band came on.  I think it was an old theater or something. Anyway, it's a lovely old building and reminded me of the ghost house at Disney. Therefore I played with the shutter speed on my camera, to make all the people look like ghosts. 

My friend Chris is on the left in red. And a ghost. Apparently.

And then The Fratellis came on and blew all the cobwebs and ghosts away with their cheeky Scottish faces. Oh and they sang songs too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

"Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out with the crowds;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,

"Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes you're out
At the old ballgame!"

A-Rod running to second base

I think y'all can guess where I've been this weekend. At the 51st last game at the old Yankee Stadium, before they move to the brand new one, like literally right next door.

As someone who has never been into sport at home, I have found myself really embracing some form of sporting activity throughout my time here. In winter, it was hockey.  "My" team was the New Jersey Devils, and it was so much fun following them through the season on TV, and even more fun going to see them live (which I managed to do twice).

I think in summer, my sport will be baseball. I never understood it before, and had heard reports from my fellow Brits out here that it "went on for ages" and was "pretty boring". But I was lucky enough to go to a Yankees game with my friend Heather. She is a HUGE Yankees fan, and knows everything there is to know about baseball. She explained every pitch, every team huddle, all the scoring, and to the untrained eye, what is "boring" is actually very complex.  There is always something going on behind the scenes. And going to the ballpark was such an amazing experience.

Spot the tourist.

I don't know what it is about sport in America that has got me so hooked where Britain failed. 

I love that they always keep you entertained; even when the pitch needed raking, the 'rakers' have a dance to the YMCA that they do (has to be seen to be believed!!).  Something that would be a mundane, boring maintenance activity has been turned into an event, something to look forward to.  

I love the national anthem at the beginning, and I love that in the 7th inning stretch it is tradition to sing 'God Bless America' followed by 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'. I have great affection to the unabashed patriotism, the national pride that everyone can identify with. 

I love the wholesome atmosphere, where young and old, male and female can come for a great afternoon or evening out.  Father's passing on family loyalties down to sons and whispering advice about the game, coaching them for their Little League games.

I know a lot of that can be applied in some cases to sport in Britain, but I can't explain it. It's just not the same for me. I stuck out like a sore thumb in that sea of navy and white uniformed Yankees fans, but I've never felt more welcome or more at home in what should be such an alien environment. I would feel more of an imposter in the stands at Highbury, which sounds insane, but it's just the way it is.

God bless bloody America, that's all I can say. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Yankees lost.  But I'll still be rooting for the underdog!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

Nothing like bare feet on grass. In Central Park, natch.

They say the best things in life are free.  Well, after the last adventure I had, I have had the interesting experience of learning the boundaries and limitations of that expression.

I have been left very out of pocket, and as an intern, there was never a lot in that pocket to begin with.  But never fear! Because I am in New York. And there is much to do in this city for free.  Like sit in Central Park, on a hot hot day, with painted toenails, and do the crossword.


And, rich or poor, seems I wasn't the only one with the same idea...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Where Dreams Come True

Wait a cotton-picking second... somethings not right...

Ah yes, New York, where dreams come true. I have to say, when I moved here, I came full of hope, aspirations and dr... 

Wait, I moved to NY right?? Is that me, or is that the Golden Gate bridge?

Huh. I'm sure New York was less hilly...

HOLD UP!!! Wait, there's something going on here, and I'll be a damn fool if I don't figure it out..

[insert bom-bom bom-bom-bom bom-pa-bom-pa bom-bom-bom here]

Oh YEAH!! Hot damn, I forgot. I haven't been in the NYC at ALLL!! For last weekend, I did in fact get on a wee l'il airplane, all the way to Flo-Rida... to have, what I can now safely say was possibly the BEST weekend of my 23 years on this planet. 

I went to, of course, WALT DISNEY WORLD. Not 'land' my friend, no no... THE WORLD. THE WORLD OF DISNEY. WALT DISNEY WORLD.

I had only ever been to the one in Paris before, and let me say, it just can't compare.  The rides are bigger, the characters are American like they are supposed to be, the staff are happier, the weather is better, and dreams actually COME TRUE.

Don't believe me? Well, here, behold! (Just look will you!)

Exhibit A:

It's a Mickey Mouse.. in firework form!!

Yes, this is a photo of the Wishes fireworks. Clear as a bell. I never take good pictures of fireworks.. and would you look at that. My dream came true.

Exhibit B:

He's blinking.. not asleep

I met my hero, Mr Potato Head.. But not ONLY that!!
Now, anyone who can even claim to know me as a friend for any length of time, must SURELY KNOW.. that my favorite Pixar film is Toy Story. AND MY FAVORITE LINE from said film is when Mr Tete de Pomme de Terre (no, I don't know why he's French now) says 'What are you looking at you Hockey Puck?!'
Well, when I met PotatoHead.. THAT is EXACTLY what he said to me!!! I kid you not! And he even went, 'You in the white..' and I was indeed wearing white.  
And LO! Another dream came true.

Exhibit C:

"Niagara Falls" in "Canada"

Anyone else who knows me, knows that I have always wanted to go to Canada, and to see Niagara Falls.  Well, I dreamt of this, and well wouldn't you know, Disney went and delivered.  There, in Canada, in Epcot, was my very own Niagara Falls.

I trust you are now convinced...

So, we only had three days in this world of wonders and dreams, so we planned our trip with something akin to military precision.  A colleague of mine at work had pointed us in the direction of a wonderful wonderful book called The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World which basically told us everything we could have possibly needed to know and more besides.  The best thing about this book though, was that it gave you a range of customizable touring plans in order to make the most of your time there.  For four young adults who had three (well, two and a half) full days there, we wanted to be able to do all the major rides and attractions in our three chosen parks (one for each day) with the minimum amount of time in line.  This book MADE THIS HAPPEN.  It worked like clockwork. In short: GET THIS BOOK if you want to make the most of your time there!

The sad thing about only having three days there, meant that our schedule was very tight, and left very little time to appreciate the exemplary attention to detail that was the Disney experience.  Everywhere you looked was a Kodak moment.  From the top of the Cinderella tower, to the wait in line.. there was something to marvel at, something to chuckle at, a character to wave at, a song to hum along to... there was just always simply something to make you smile. 

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band
I saw a needle that winked his eye
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an elephant fly

And... don't you worry Dumbo... I'll be back.