Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New York Travel Story Pt.3

I woke up fairly early on Sunday morning to sharp pains in my right knee and hip from the previous nights attending the shows.  I would also notice that Andrew didn't make it in again from the night before.  That is too bad because I wish I could have spent more time with him than just a few hours on Friday afternoon.  Kenneth was still sound asleep, so I quietly made some coffee and cleaned up Andrew's apartment and did the dishes before we set out on a final day in the city, albeit as a tourist.  To anyone who is staying at someone place while traveling, doing something as small as doing the dishes as a way to show gratitude goes a long way.  Don't be an asshole.  By 11ish everyone was up and pretty much ready to head out.  On the way over to Liberty Island we decided to drive over the Brooklyn Bridge.  A note to tourist:  getting on and off this bridge can be quite confusing and awkward.  For some reason, the city planners didn't think of a good way to build on and off ramps to this bridge.  My advise would be to park and walk it instead of driving on it if you want to check the famous bridge out.  Eventually we would make it down to Battery Park, but we then ran into a serious problem... parking.  After driving around for maybe half an hour we eventually found a garage to park in.  The thing that pissed me off most about finding the place was that a cop was too lazy to mention that off-street parking was close by.  Whatever, we got a spot and walked over the super long ass line to get unto the ferry that stretched from the water all the way to the street.  Before I got in line I had to piss so I walked over to the public restroom.  There is always something super fucked up happening in public restrooms in major cities, and this one lived up to the expectations.  As I walked in, some dude in the stalls was dropping all kinds of bottles of something and then nervously walking out.  He was probably shooting some junk or some shit.  I had drank too much coffee and I had to piss badly so I can easily overlook some sketch and walked over to the end urinal and took a piss like any normal person would.  About halfway through my piss, a small Asian guy walked right up to the next stall over to piss as well.  Immediately I thought this was weird since normally, dudes don't piss side by side if other spots are available.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see this small Asian man looking around the stall divider at my dick.  Like I said I had to piss badly, so it was taking longer than I wanted it to especially for the situation.  I listened while he pissed and heard he was done.  But instead of zipping up and leaving he kept looking.  So in my mind I though, fuck it, take a long look creepy man, too bad you peeped someone with the Irish curse, take a long look.  After I was done, I zipped up and left without saying a word or even acknowledging anything was happening and found my place back in line.  Back in line, everything was moving slow as fuck.  This is because in our post 9/11 world, if you want to go anywhere you have to first go though airport style security.  I would say after about an hour and a half of waiting in ling and ignoring the vendors and sidewalk performers we were on the ferry to Liberty Island.  It was a mild day maybe of 40 degrees, but sunny, and not windy at all.  A good day to be out on the water.  We chilled on the back lower deck and watched Manhattan island get smaller and smaller as we ventured out, standing by two kids for some reason smelled like sausage.  It was pretty damn funny.  After a 5-10 minute ride we were unloading like cattle onto Liberty Island and decided to walk around the statue clockwise to avoid all the tourists.  After a couple photo snaps we walked into the gift shop.  Oh yes, the Liberty Island gift shop and what a joke it is.  If you ever want to experience the most fake, canned, and embarrassing presentation of Americana, just go to the Liberty Island gift shop.  Not only was there all things red white and blue up the ass, but they were blasting some bullshit USA #1 pop-country.  It took about a full 3 seconds to turn around and get the fuck out of there.  By this point we were pretty damn hungry, but the cafe was super full of people so we said fuck it and waiting to catch a ferry to Ellis Island.  Ellis Island to me as well as many Americans is a special place.  For many of us, it is the place where my family heritage as Americans began.  Ellis Island was left to ruin before being restored in the early-80's and I am glad that it had been.  The museum is really nice, allowing visitors to access their records to piece together family heritage.  It is something I would like to do in the future when I have more time.  The cafe here was much less congested because everyone ate on Liberty Island.  They even offer a veggie burger for those with an alternative diet.  I got a coffee and went out to the patio area facing New York City.  For some reason, there wasn't anyone out on the patio but because of that it was super quiet and relaxing.  Out of everything I had done and seen on my short trip, this moment was the most relaxing and enjoyable for me.  Being around so many people had really put me into a hyper mode of environmental awareness, but to have a moment to sit down in quiet with a spectacular view of the city was quite nice.  After a short while we caught the ferry back to Battery Park and by that time it was getting close enough for me to head to the airport to catch my flight home.  The drive from Battery Park to La Guardia was pretty shitty as far as traffic goes, but we eventually made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  On the way there there is a huge cemetery with very tall headstones that mimmic the city skyline in the distance that was striking.  At the airport I gave Kenneth much thanks for hanging out the whole time and driving everywhere.  I would have had a pretty stressful time getting around and seeing things without him.  Surprisingly I was able to get through airport security much more quickly than I ever could have imagined for New York City, especially for wearing the same dirty clothes that stunk like beer and piss, and not combing my hair or shaving the whole trip.  The flight back to Omaha went just long enough for me to finish the book I started reading on the first flight out, and was happy to be back home.  My trip to New York ended up being well beyond my expectations for what I expected to do while I was there and it was a great time.  I wouldn't mind going back to see all the touristy spots like the museums and such and possibly catch more punk shows, just not anytime soon.  

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