Holiday 2011: New York Part 1 – The Returning Champion

A few weeks ago I took myself and my beau across the United States to New York City. This is the second time I had been to the city in two years and marks it is one of my newly found favourite places to visit. As before, the place was bustling with a new heart beat, a new rhythm and most of all, I was there with a different kind of companion. This meant that dinners were dates, days were relaxed, and tempers, when frayed, were done out of heart felt reasons rather than just being annoyed. So, it was a good trip.

The strangest feeling I had though was this sense of returning to somewhere that I felt like I’d never been – the city is so alien, even to someone living in Texas, that it feels like from a different time or world. It is, for wants and purposes, a different country – the North East of the US is something so different from “the South” as where I live is called, and eve again more different from the North West and the West Coast. These differences are more apparent the longer I stay in the state of Texas and, also, the more I travel around.

We did a few things that I had done before – we climbed to the top of the Rockefeller Center but this time was not accosted by security guards and lightning strikes. It was a much nicer day and a more relaxed photo opportunity compared to the relative tightness that the top of the Empire State Building is. This time we didn’t brave that particular building, instead choosing to go and visit a few museums.

The most interesting was the visit to the Bodies Exhibition – this is a biology lesson taught through the preservation and displaying of actual bodies and body parts from real specimens. For the most part it was fairly rudimentary, punctuated with the squeals and laughs of teenaged school children who had entered not moments after we had bought our tickets. Their exclamations and fights to be cool amused Connie and I greatly. The only section that was fairly uncomfortable was the section that had around 12 foetuses that had been still born, perished in the womb, and displayed to show the creation of each and every single one of us. The thing that I took from that was the size of a baby that is terminated at 24 weeks, under abortion legislation, is quite amazing.

We then went to the Museum of Sex. Videos of sexual encounters from old movies to real life porn, with some scenes from mainstream movies, as well as anime porn, BDSM and the sexual encounters of animals, it was a mixed bag – quite interesting for me but not so much for Connie who studies sexual interests and found it to be quite lacking.

We also visited the Museum of Modern Art and saw Connie’s favourite painting of all time, Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It was good to see it with some significance this time. Also, we went to Ground Zero and into the NBC Studio Tour – some of the cultural references were lost on me, having lack the growing up experience of most of the tour and living with Saturday Night Live which was obviously placed on the tour as the centre piece.

We also messed about in the Metropolitan Museum of Art but, in a true testament to how much Connie is meant for me, instead of wandering about looking at the art we watched a museum security person try to scratch her crotch by subtly walking in a funny way and commented on the other patrons pretending to understand the difference between art and Art.

The highlight of the trip though was our secret show – a secret only to Connie. On the Friday night we went to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was amazing. Simply amazing. I’d gladly see it for a third time.

So all in all it was an amazing weekend. Cemented my love of New York City and confirmed that it takes around 5 to 7 days to get a hang of the Subway and road layout... and I think I have it down to a tee. But, occasionally, it’ll fuck you up, like when I wanted to see the Flat Iron again but we ended up walking directly away from it.

Coming Up: New York City Part 2 – The F Word