Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If I was wise

If I were a wiser man I wouldn't be making blog entries while one or two vodkas past the line. I'm beginning to suspect that the bar staff in Manhattan pour with a heavy hand. Alcohol has never really been my intoxicant of choice, I get stroppy and feel leaden.

Blame Joe Allen- he has extra yummy vodka. [Sidebar link]

Sweet Charity was a qualified success, I might yet need to give it some thought. It was fun but it never quite ignited. Christina Applegate was delightful but it was far from a powerhouse performance. I will try to work out exactly what was missing when neural services are restored.

I had a very laid back morning here waiting for the Tony nominations to land in my email, ran an eye over the list and headed out for adventures. A couple of hours passed in the Hotel Chelsea lobby with breakfast and the papers provides for more fascinating New York watching than should be legal.

Startinf to feel very local, I put washing in on this block, had a shave and a haircut and then I just went on one of my walks.

I set the Empire State as my target and found it despite my relatively random route uptown. There are so many different experiences to encounter that I'm quite happy to drift where the breeze blows me. Lunch was something that involved barbecued lamb in pita bread from a street vendor. No real idea what- a relative of what we recognise as a 'yeeros' in Australia. I'm learning just to point and wave money- the outcomes are generally OK.

I was extemely surprised to find myself bartering over the price of belts in Spanglish. I didn't know I knew how to do that!

The Empire State itself wasn't especially exciting. All of the ground level approach was under renovation and torn up. The building itself wasn't as ornate as I had imagined. The Chrysler Building still stands as the more attractive building in my eye.

The presence of sercurity scanners etc made it all seem just a bit too ominous. I definitely didn't like the way that the elevators shook or the noise they made. Once I got up there I remembered that I really don't like skyscrapers and headed back to the ground after cautiously taking a few glimpses over the edge.

My wanders took me past the Museum of Sex, an interesting experience. I desperately wanted to re-curate the exhibition of early pornographic postcards along Foucaultian lines of analysis. Too many years studying in the humanities takes the fun out of most things, I 'saw' the perfect visual summary of Foucault's seminal We Other Victorians. The urge to clothe piano legs was strong.

Much more interesting was the collection of American 'stag-films' from the era before the mass production of pornography. The films offered a certain titillation in their innocence. The crude filming techniques and covert nature of the films made them feel truly 'naughty'. Genuine eroticism was totally absent.

New York is a city of contradictions, maddening eccentricities and an irrepressible self-confidence. I find it gratifying that I can survive and thrive but I am left wondering if a life lived at the butthole of the world amounts to a life wasted? My life might have been more outside the confines of Australia. Maybe I coulda been a contender?

p.s. beware of 'Ethel Mermans Disco Album'. It is every bit as uncalled for as it sounds!


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