big apples

January 12-15. 2000

Brancusi SculptureI made one of my infrequent pilgrimages to NYC during these past few days to visit some of my friends. I stayed with, and hung out most of time with my friend the wild koba, herein known as Dave, an interesting boy who I met on RDTRN last year.

My Dad volunteered to drive me down to Philly to take a bus because it was a lot quicker to get NYC from there. We had a series of misadventures before I finally left. I had insisted that Gary drop me off in North Philly and let me take the train into town and have him avoid the city traffic, but he insisted on driving me right to the bus station. We parked next to the bus station on Filbert Street, and went in to buy my ticket. When we came out there was a parking ticket on the car's windshield. Gary was not happy. Since there was time to kill, we drove around the area trying to find a parking spot in vain, all the while, Gary getting more and more agitated. He finally gave up and parked in a lot charging $7 an hour. Ouch. Then we went to get some lunch in Chinatown. We ate this very nice place, with delicious, cheap food. Gary broke his tooth on the food. Arrgh. One would have expected him to be boiling by now, but he was surprisingly calm and collected when he saw me off at the bus station.

I arrived at Port Authority a full 15 minutes early, so I waited around on one of those skanky little benches for Dave to show up. He finally arrived, and we went back to this place, got some food and then watched some videos, including Dream Theater's "Images and Words". Who knew those boys would toss around their hair that much? heh heh. I also made fun of James LaBrie for being such a drama queen. But they're still all pretty hot, especially Kevin Moore. Yummmm. Not only attractive, but he plays the piano like a bitch and likes Tori. *rar*

On Thursday, after sleeping in to a ridiculous hour, we went to a jazz lecture way downtown at a place called the Knitting Factory. I was afraid the lecture was going to be long and boring for me, since I don't know a lot about jazz. But, if anything, it seemed too short, lasting barely an hour. It would have been good except the lecturer, Rashied Ali, John Coltrane's last drummer, was simply not that good a lecturer. I got the feeling that he had a lot of good ideas but just didn't know how to communicate them very well. He was an excellent drummer, of course, and that part was very entertaining, but when it came to question and answer session, it was at times very slow and awkward.

Next, I had the pleasure of dropping by Dave's school, New York Law, for him to pick up books and check his grades. After helping haul the books from there to the subway to his apartment, I was even more determined never ever to get crazy enough to go to law school. It was freezing cold that day, and it snowed off and on.

Thursday night was spent at dinner with some fellow RDTRNers, including the lovely Venice, and John, who I had the distinct pleasure of meeting for the first time. We went to this very trendy place on the upper west side called "Ruby Foo's" that made me feel like a complete lump because everyone there was hip and cool and I was not. Oh well. The food was expensive, but extremely good. I had this excellent tea that Venice recommended called "Passion and Envy", and some duck nachos. I'm developing a real taste for duck these days. The dessert was probably the best part, I had this weird little pastry with strawberries and cheesecake ice cream that was really good. Dave's dessert looked like a Brancusi sculpture (see at left), and I told him that, but of course he had no idea what I meant. "What...it looks like a Vancouver sculpture?"

Dave had to go to work in the morning on Friday, so I slept in and then amused myself with the one channel on his tv. We were planning to go to the Steinway Factory in Queens to get a tour, but when we checked the website, and then called them, we were informed there were no longer any factory tours. Which I was very disappointed about, because I would have loved to see how they make pianos. *sigh*

So we decided instead to go up to Times Square and take pictures. Dave had a camera he had inherited from his parents that he wanted me to show him how to use. I tried, to the best of my knowledge, but it's been a while since I picked up a camera. So a lot of his questions were met with an "I don't know" from me.

Well, yesterday it had been cold. Today was downright brutal. With the wind chill it was something like 20 below zero. We tried to take some pictures (I only took about four, all together). I took pictures of buildings. I took pictures of Dave taking pictures. But we didn't last long outside, and soon we ducked inside Virgin Records Megastore to get warmed up. I couldn't resist buying a cd, of course.

After being in the cold, we went back to Dave's place and took a nap. It took me a good twenty minutes to thaw out after being out in the weather. It was crazy. We got up a few hours later, and went uptown to see "Fantasia 2000", something I knew I wouldn't have a chance to see anywhere else. We arrived at around 8 pm to see the 8:30 show, only to find it was sold out. So we bought tickets for the 10:30 show ($12!! yikes) and found ourselves with some time to kill.

Barnes and Noble was down the street, so we went there. I drooled over the blank journals, a really nice hardcover version of "To Kill a Mockingbird", and a book with Joni Mitchell's lyrics and poetry that I ended up buying. From there it was to a nice little diner for a late dinner. They had a very good Brownie sundae.

As for Fantasia 2000, I have no words. It was amazing. I loved the first one, of course, because it combines two elements that move me the most: art and music. The only complaint that I have about the first one is that the animation is somewhat old looking and outdated. However, that wasn't the case with the new one. The Sony Imax Theatre, where it was being shown, was amazing. Stadium seating, with seats as comfortable as armchairs, and not to mention the eight story screen. Wow. I hadn't seen an Imax movie since I was about 14, when I was on the school trip to Florida. I'd forgotten the incredible impact they have.

The choice of music was even better than the original Fantasia, which I felt was somewhat old school classical music, like Beethoven. There was Rhapsody in Blue, using the caricatures of Al Hirschfeld (whom I really admire). That was probably the highlight of the movie for me. "Pines of Rome", the one with the flying humpback whales, was also extraordinary, but very Disney in its characters and story line, which at times, to me, can be really annoying.

Since we slept in very late on Saturday, there wasn't much more to do that day but get some lunch at McDonalds and see me off at Port Authority. It was a rather boring and long 4 hour journey back home, changing buses three times, but I arrived in Lancaster in one piece, and arrived home late and very tired. And I still had to pack everything for leaving for school the next day. Yay.

music: Renaissance, Prologue
food: dried mango and pineapple
read: The Last Battle, Book 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
sight: new scanner
song lyric:
say a prayer for the souls of the fallen and the last of the good straight girls
-Susan Werner, Last of the Good Straight Girls