I don’t know where to begin. I’m thinking that I should start at the beginning, but I’m worried that it might be too much of a cliché, since so many stories start at the beginning.
Whatever; here’s how it went.
Seen above is an interior view of the Acela Express, an Amtrak train. To get to New York from New Hampshire, we (my family) went down to Westwood, MA to Route 128 Station and rode the Acela roughly 3 hours to Penn Station in New York.
The whole 3 hours I knew that I was perfectly safe and fine, because the Advanced Laminated Safety Glass was there to protect me if any malicious raindrops were to attack the train while it was going at its top speed of 155 mph.
Before the actual Thanksgiving dinner, the majority of my relatives on my dad’s side met up with us and made lots of noise and got some funny looks and didn’t care, because when you see someone close to you for the first time since the last holiday season, you don’t tend to care.
My dad and uncle took me for a walk around the city since it was my first time in New York city (as well as my first time in the state of New York), and there were still several hours until the actual Thanksgiving dinner was to take place.
What you’re seeing above is a a shot taken in a method which I’ve dubbed “Faith Shooting”. (Sounds like something you would hear on the news about the war in Iraq, doesn’t it) This method is a mixture of stupidity and greed, two things that, while they are not difficult to find in New York (especially New York city), have nothing to do with what you would typically think of when you hear or read the words “stupidity” and “greed”. “Faith Shooting” (I’m going a little quote crazy here) is done when you are crossing a busy city street (specifically in New York city) and you need to get across before the light turns green or you *will* get killed, either by a yellow cab or a yellow cab going the speed limit. There are several factors at work: There is usually a group of about 10-20 people on both sides waiting to cross. Another factor is that in New York city, everyone is always in a hurry. Always. Also, in order to avoid A) Bumping into the people in front of you, B) Going too slow and causing the people behind you to bump into you, and C) Taking a picture that is 40% covered by the head of a stranger, “Faith Shooting” requires that you hold your hand up as high as you can while holding your camera, and snapping off the shutter in the general direction of what you’re trying to take a photo of, while walking at 8 mph across a windy, 30° busy city street surrounded by 2 dozen people while facing forward. That was the “stupidity” part. The “greed” part is not caring, if only about how awesome, at times, the photos turn out if you get lucky, like I did above.
Thanksgiving dinner finally arrived, and I was too busy eating my High Score of 5 pieces of Pumpkin Pie (1 of which was approved by my mom, 3 of which she was certain would make me sick, and the last of which was grabbed as we were leaving) to take a picture of anything accept this bowl of spinach. Enjoy the view.
Since my Aunt’s partment was so small (a.k.a.: Übercozy), the neighbors (where they were, I didn’t ask or care, I was too busy eating at the time) that my Aunt was good friends with let her use tapartmenttment as a food storage facility. All the while, Barry White (yes, that is the cat’s name, and yes, that is the best name ever) watched people come and go. Each time I came in he was in a different spot in the room.
The next day I woke up to the sound of my dad telling me that if I wanted food, I had to get up and leave for breakfast at Zabars, and since (somehow) I was starving beyond belief, I was up in 53 seconds and out the door. Afterwards we walked around for 2-3 hours. I came back and attempted to get the extreinconsistentstant shower to work. By “work”, I mean spout out water that maintains a temperature or water within 10 degrees of a given temperature that is equal to or greater than 32°F.
I failed to get the shower to “work”.
After my “shower”, we went and rejoined the rest of my relatives for what it seemed to be what my 1-2 hour walk with my dad and uncle had been an appetizer for; what my uncle called a “walking tour”. This was (although I don’t know why this was surprising, but it was) a tour, that consisted of the group (you guessed it) walking around New York city.
I need to make sure that this is made clear before I go any further: The reason that there is a photo of a bakery is becuase that was one of the 2 times that I deemed it safe enough to take out my camera during the first 4 hours of the walking tour. It is of what my uncle called “one of the last old-fashioned traditional Italian bakeries left”. It was in (you guessed it again) Little Italy.
The first couple hours of the walking tour were spent in ChinaTown, which was so unbelievably packed with people that it would have almost been deserving of me to have my camera stolen if I had been foolish enough to take it out.
I passed a black guy who offered to sell me a 14-karat-gold ring. My dad just said “No thanks“.
aswe As we were walking, there were a lot of billboards, but one of them caught my eye. We were in a rush, and it was across the street, which is why I only could get as close as I did. I’m almost proud that I managed to notice it, as at a glance it looks like just another billboard. Keep in mind also that this photo was taken with my camera at full 2.0x optical zoom, and I only had about 3-5 seconds to snap it and run.
We~We went into this diner that was so packed, there was a line to get in and a line to get out. The sandwiches were so big that to make them (which they did when you ordered, what a concept), the person behind the counter took a huge (what appeared to be) 40-50 pound chunk of meat and sliced every half-inch or so along an edge.
What you’re seeing above is an escalator view of (OMG) Macy’s. There were so many people (the photo doesn’t do justice to the scale of how crowded it really was) that there was actually an extremely organized form of a Crowd-Control service operating in the store, involving megaphones and velvet ropes.
As we were walking out of Macy’s, I couldn’t help but notice something shiny out of the corner of my eye…No, it couldn’t be…holy crap! (My reaction, an ellipsis representing approximately 1-1 ½ seconds). It was pretty cool, especially since my dad told me that we were (yet again, along with the rest of New York city) in a hurry and couldn’t stay but a few seconds.
About an hour to two hours later (after Macy’s), we came into Time’s Square. Epilepsy. ‘Nuff Said.
Partially due to the fact that it was getting cold (-er, it was already a windy 33° outside, and the sun was going down), we went inside of the “NBC Observation Center”. There we observed that the temperature was a good 40-50° warmer inside than outside what I had dubbed “The snowless blizzard”. Thinking of remembering being so near to NBC studios, I went up to one of the two walls that had the logo that you see so polished and gleaming in the photo above.
As I leaned forwards to take the picture, the security guard said “$200 per picture”. I looked at him, at first not hearing him, or at least hearing him and hoping that I had heard him incorrectly. “It’s $200 to take a picture.” I stared at him, “You’re serious, aren’t you.” I said, “You’re serious.” but he just laughed and said that he was just kidding and to go ahead.
Welcome to New York.
I’m glad to be home.