So the temperature had been plummeting all day (it’s amazing the temperature variations between days here, sometimes 15’ Celsius) and in the afternoon it started snowing. Well I’ve been in snow before – on a mountain, which seems like the natural place for it – but seeing snow swirling down in a kaleidoscope of wind driven patterns against a backdrop of skyscrapers and five-story high apartment buildings was quite different, especially at night as it’s all back-lit by the high ambient light levels. It was fun! And made the air taste so fresh and sweet; especially compared to normal city air.
New Yorkers are all ‘Yeah it’s pretty at first but after a couple of months you’ll want to slit your wrists’ though, but that still couldn’t take away from the feeling. It reminded me to go out and buy some Christmas cards post haste. What sort of white mischief were you expecting?
Unexpected extra piece of New York action
The apartment building opposite ours clearly didn’t treat their smoke alarm with the appropriate respect (we disable ours when cooking)
There are sirens going all the time (some of them, I think the ambulance ones, sound like Muslim women keening and wailing as they slowly die of a gut wound; which is a bit disconcerting), and plenty down our road, so at first I didn’t realize that some fire trucks had pulled up outside our apartment. Shit! What’s going on?! We haven’t heard any alarms going off! But lo, it turns out it was for the building on the other side of the street to ours. We jumped out onto our fire escape to observe the action as fire-fighters shot their extendable ladder right to the top floor and had a guy up there on the roof within about two minutes. My girl exclaimed a little too loudly “I want to see flames! I want to see flames”, as she jumped up and down on our thin landing (it was very exciting) which apparently wasn’t quite the appropriate reaction according to the five firefighters pow-wowing on the street below who began glaring in our direction.
Tip: Firemen don’t always appreciate the sentiment behind the phrase “I want to see flames”
Luckily, there were no flames, or even much in the way of smoke, and it was all over in the space of ten minutes. Still, shit goes down in New York…
Less exciting, but no less stimulating
I also had the pleasure of attending the Museum of Modern Art once again, this time with a couple of friends, as we waited in line to check out the Tim Burton exhibition. I love this place – it’s so stimulating and inspiring, although it can get a bit overwhelming after you’ve been in there for a few hours. Anyway, an amazing exhibition, made up mainly of Burton’s elaborately twisted world as expressed through his drawings, some simple, some incredibly intricate, along with props and costumes from his movies.
MoMA main entrance hall with Tim Burton accessory
Not long after me and the same two miscreants made our way to Madison Square Garden to see the New York Knicks basketball team (sucking really hard all season, in the middle of ‘rebuilding’) take on the
Orlando Phoenix Suns (edit, team mix-up – hat tip: Damian). I’m sure there’s piles of much more purple prose than mine describing the place but golly, that’s a cool venue. One of my teenage guitar heroes Steve Vai came out and kicked out the Star Spangled Banner to start things off which was most epic. Then the Knicks managed to take it to the Phoenix for the first two quarters, but fell off in the third and it was practically all over by the fourth.
It’s true, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house
Finally for Thanksgiving, which is as big as – if not bigger than – Christmas, I thought I’d check out the annual Macy’s Parade, which winds it’s way from the edge of Central Park down to the Macy’s department store in midtown. Some of the balloons for this are around four or five stories high and the floats are pretty off the hook too. There was an official crowd of around two million people there last year, but I’ve no idea how many were there this year.
A smurf looks hungrily over Times Square