Monday, September 11, 2006

Snaps # 1

I'm introducing a brand new feature to pumphouse from now on...
called Snaps #
These will be photos I have or get hold of that are significant because of
some story or sense of occasion...
I'm doing this to 1. share my story and 2. to build up a memoir of stories for talks, input etc.

I suspect like these first pictures, the deeper meaning won't be immediately apparent
but will be about me putting pics out there and continuing to reflect on what they mean to me. This may well only ever be expanded upon in other places!!

Sometime I'm sure I'll have a timely reason for including them in this blog!!

Today you'll see 3 images:
All from November 2000 Thanksgiving in New York and it was friggin' cold...
One is me in one of my favourite places in the world 'Times Square'... what it says about me is this is not a bush track, the Grand Canyon, or Koscuisko... its a cold footpath at the centre of the pop culture universe... the US culture I like many have a love/hate relationship with...

It's vibrant, trashy, alive, as significant as hearing someone speak Chinese, the royal jewesl in the Tower of London, some leaning Tower in Italy etc etc... but that's just me...

I think I bought about 12-15 t-shirts on this one short trip. We followed up our 1998 Autumn visit with a 2000 winter before starting a family... it was about -8 degrees C.

Another is Simone and I at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for which our visit was timed.... we headed to the naerby McDonalds for lunch and stayed in NY long enough to see Destiny's Child at the switching on of the Christmas Lights in Rockefeller Plaza...

Another is the famous Soup Kitchen suggested by Late Show staffers as a good place for a story to the writers of Seinfeld!! That's right... I'm the customer with the Triple J radio backpack paying for my soup from the guy who inspired 'The Soup Nazi'.

It is exactly like the show and he is not impressed, especially with the banner on the wall advertising Kenny Kramer's [The real Kramer] Seinfeld Reality Tour where the bus stops off on the way round. It was a spin out to have been past two years earlier on the bus tour when the shop was closed and then to come back and buy soup from the 'Soup Nazi'. Everyone in the line is talking about the impending ordering and their memories of the Seinfeld episode [even wishing others with complex orders luck] and then standing in virtual silence within earshot of the front counter. The shop is virtaully a hole in the wall with big stoves, two assistants and the boss tasting and serving up soups at a fair rate from about 11.30am daily!!

You stand in a line that stretches around the block, we were early but, people do wait an hour... you order and step to the right, you pay and then move off with your brown bag of thick soup in a milkshake container, your bread and piece of fruit!!

I got bread!! Cop that Costanza!!

The beef soup was enough for breakfast and lunch!!
The poor woman ahead of me had bought soup for herself and a sick friend and their partner and she got flustered ordering different soups....
I was waiting for "NO soup for you!!"

Everyone knows what each person in the exchange was thinking BUT nobody is game to comment!!

I recommend a visit to the Soup kitchen in the cooler months [he shuts up shop and holidays in Italy in summer by all reports]

This and our previous trip taught me about the charm and attraction of the city of New York. It's busy, open all hours and full of trashy pop culture, characters, theatre, sports, merchandise and TV HQs for all kinds of networks and programs.

Our summer visit took in a successful stint at the front of the Letterman Late Show standby audience where 20 people didn't turn up and we got to see John McEnroe and Chrissy Hinde perform!!

We certainly visited the World Trade Centres, the Empire State [playing Midnight Oil on my walkman in our 9th week away from Oz], saw the Lion King on Broadway, the Met, Starbucks, Tower Records and Barnes and Noble at the neginning of the Cafe in a bookshop trend...

Statue of Liberty, Statton Island Ferry, a game at Yankee Stadium [I've been a follower of baseball and the Yankees since childhood], NBC Store, Planet Hollywood, NBA Store, Macy's, Tom's Diner and even Flushing Meadow and the New York winter Rugby Sevens!!

Staying at the Westside YMCA was a unique way to meet New Yorkers [and to have one shot by Police whil we were on our way back to the building to get jumpers for the baseball game that night!!]

Stood outside NBC over breakfast and met Al Roker and Mat Lauer...

There's so much more... Central Park, Wolman Rink, SOHO, Tribeca, Ranch #1 Chicken...

The metling pot of cultures and lots of evidence of getting most things about multiculturalism right is palpable... and the bagels aren't bad either!!

They know how to do a celebration and the Police are like no other I've seen [and are pretty much exactly like most US shows you see... except a heightened sense of not overstepping whoever is in charge and an almost obsessive need to delegate that authority to someone else until its time to pull out a gun... I kind of get the whole "NY's finest and bravest" as they call the Police and Firefighters!!

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