Thursday, 25 June 2009

New York Part One

I can’t believe that up to 4 days before flying to New York, I was considering canceling my trip. It’s been an incredible journey, with so much to do, and left me only with the desire to return to take in more of what it has to offer . In the past 2 weeks, I’ve had very little sleep. Functioning on pure adrenaline, roaming the streets of Manhattan in the early hours of the morning and spending the days enjoying the parks, museums and the company of great friends.

I will have to do a separate post about the 140 Conference. Although I understand that in the world of Twitter and Tweeple, posting about it more than a week later is utterly redundant. Especially considering all the other conference characters have already posted pics, videos and blog posts. But I will anyway!

The Holiday first though. Starting with my first touristic visit, ironically outside New York/USA territory – the United Nations headquarters. The place is, unfortunately, as bland and unimpressive as the organization it represents. It was an interesting experience to walk through it, and see where all the big talkers of the world congregate, debate, discuss, condemn and support. The most important chatter room of all, the UN Security Council, was closed for renovation. The highlight of the tour is the display of gifts given by different countries to the UN. The most impressive of all, the UAE’s gift:

100% pure gold wind tower, representing clean air and sustainability. Irony at its best.

Bryant Park – a 2-minute walk from my hotel.

Guys & Dolls
This was the only show I got to see on Broadway, at the Nederlander Theater – and although i’’m not a huge fan of musicals this was quite the performance. And the fact that it was closing on June 14th motivated me to take the opportunity. Starring Oliver Platt as Nathan Detroit and Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) & the Metropolitan Museum
Ok, let’s get one thing straight, and no offense to art connoisseurs, but some of this stuff is utter B.S. Someone please explain to me how piling up torn pieces of blank white paper is art. If any form of self expression is art and worthy of being exhibited at the MoMA, provided someone offered an elaborate explanation on the context and the intention of the artist, then I wish I’d saved all my doodles from my student years. Of course the works of Picasso, Salvador Dali and other genius talents takes your breath away.



The Apothecary
I wish I had a picture of this. Jen discovered this obscure little cocktail lounge in the backstreets of China Town. So we took a cab, got to the right address, got out in a quiet, dark, deserted alley and looked around for a big loud sign that says “The Apothecary” or “Bar”or anything conventional like that. Instead, a little incomprehensible Chinese man kept pointing at the “Gold Flower restaurant”screaming “bar , bar, you want bar, here bar”and we just stood there looking at each other and thinking, “nope, definitely not." Until Jen & Fadi walked up to us, laughing at the out of towners for not knowing about this 'discrete' policy of cool New York bars. So yes, Apotheke, as it turns out, is a super lavish cocktail lounge that hides behind the red Chinese restaurant sign.

The End of Part One. More when recovered from jet lag.

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