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Friday, June 30, 2006
New York, just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and every-thang
A friend and I spent some time in New York City back in 2003. After wandering around Central Park that first day we inevitably wound up at Tavern on the Green. We were underdressed, two decades too young for the crowd and completely out of place among the restaurant's usual clientele of rich widowers living on Central Park West. After being shunned by the staff, I tracked down a kindly bartender who kept us supplied with booze.
We spent the rest of that late summer evening chain-smoking in the garden, which was allowed but heavily frowned upon, and making a mess. If memory serves, we eventually established a perimeter of empty tables between us and a conference of business people that arrived later on to dance to old jazz standards. Oh, and Richard Gere was there for some reason (or at least some guy who looked exactly like him).
With all due respect to the late Rodney Dangerfield, I'd like to think it was like a scene out of Caddyshack but, of course, it was nothing like that. At the end of the night when I went up to get the bill, I found that the bartender had given us a 50% discount. We had somehow consumed $150 worth of gin in a little over three hours. All things considered, this wasn't an accomplishment given their prices but it was the largest bar tab I'd seen up to that point.
"Welcome to New York City," the bartender said with a shrug before turning back to the bar. Maybe he was trying to be nice but I took as an insult- a "go back to Oregon, kid. You're too ugly, too slovenly and too poor for this town." True as that might be, NYC is the only place I've ever seen that I'd rather live in than good, ol' PDX. Of course, the Manhattan I saw was the Mickey Mouse-version. In five days I was only asked for change once on the street. All in all, the city felt more like an EPCOT-version of New York than the real deal.
Oh, I also took photos. Each of the ones included here has been tweaked in Photoshop and done up in black and white to make 'em look all artsy-fartsy. I think they're swell. I've included a few of them below. The rest can be found here. If you came here in search of black and white photographs of robot dinosaurs, 9/11 memorials and props from Beetlejuice, today is your lucky day.
I'm still infatuated with New York so I've decided to write a song about it here on the spot. Here goes....
WELCOME TO BLOG'S NEW YORK CITY SONG
It's a very big town
With a lot going...
(full orchestra kicks in, builds to a crescendo ala the Beatles' "Day in the Life")