New York Minutes

Happy 2008! Here’s hoping you all had happy holidays! I’ve had a crazy few weeks, so apologies for the long silence. I did the New York thing, had visitors staying over New Year and even got to tell one of the Lone Gunmen from The X-Files that his fly was undone. Now I’m back at my desk, trying to catch up with my work, and it all seems like a glorious dream…

If you’re bored and want to see my New York photos (which are rather good, even if I do say so myself, particularly when you bear in mind that they were taken on my cameraphone), feel free to look me up on Facebook – I’m the Jayne Nelson with the TV as her profile picture. Go ahead and friend me! If you don’t want to, I’ve sprinkled a few of them among this entry.

While I won’t go into too much detail, I’ll still summarise my trip here, mainly because I don’t keep a diary and this will help me remember what I did in years to come. Feel free to read it. Or feel free to go to instead. I won’t blame you.

Sunday 23rd December

Arrived in New York in the evening utterly exhausted. Managed a stroll around Times Square (I may have squeaked a little) before falling into bed.

Monday 24th December

Decided to walk everywhere as it was a wonderfully sunny day. Wandered up to Central Park, saw the Dakota Building and Strawberry Fields, the church the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man destroyed in Ghostbusters (Venkman: “Nobody treads on a church in my town!”) and Dana Barrett’s home (otherwise known as Spook Central).

Next was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I had my picture taken with a study for Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon On La Grand Jatte” (one of my favourite paintings ever).

A stroll down Fifth Avenue to the Chrysler Building followed (now one of my favourite buildings ever), before I took the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty (she’s totally wee and didn’t come out well in my pics) and then sailed right back again once the sun had set (so I saw Manhattan by sunset and by night).

Finally, I walked through Times Square on the way to my hotel and grinned like a loon the whole way.

Christmas Day

Had my photo taken in true Hiro Nakamura style in Times Square on Christmas morning (“I did it! Ya ta!”) by two bemused British tourists. They were busy waving to their relatives, who were watching them live on the Times Square webcam back home. They got a text asking “Who’s that with you?” as they took my photo. I told them to text back that I was Kylie.

After that, I took the subway to Brooklyn so I could see the Brooklyn Bridge by daylight, then back into Manhattan, where I got off at City Hall, seeing the Woolworth Building and Ground Zero (creepy as hell).

After a short rest, I started queuing for the Empire State Building (always book in advance like I did, or you’ll queue for three hours or more – I ended up queuing for 90 minutes and that was bad enough). I got to the top as the sun set, which was beautiful, and then watched the lights of New York come on one by one – even more beautiful. I stayed up there for hours, before finding a nice cup of coffee in a magazine store around the corner, where I had a long chat with an Egyptian archaeologist who just happened to be working there (don’t ask). When he enquired what I did for a living I took an SFX off the shelf next to him and showed him my column picture. I love it when you can do things like that…

It was getting late by then, so I went back to my hotel and went to bed because goddamn, my feet were hurting.

Boxing Day

Pancakes for breakfast! And another stroll through Central Park, this time stopping off at the Museum of Natural History (bigger than London’s, but not quite as impressive) and the Boathouse in Central Park for a lovely meal. Then I wandered down to Central Park Zoo, where I bonded with some colobus monkeys, and took a cab back to my hotel in Times Square. By this time it was evening and starting to sleet, so my investigations of Rockefeller Plaza weren’t quite as fun as I’d hoped (and it was hellishly busy), but it still looked pretty.

Then, on the advice of SFX‘s Nick Setchfield (thanks, Nick!) I went to Radio City Music Hall to see their Christmas Spectacular, which was, rather unsurprisingly, very Christmassy and very spectacular. The Rockettes were a force to be reckoned with, although I was so scared one of them was going to fall over and break an ankle I almost didn’t enjoy the show.

Thursday 27th December

I was up in time for an 8.45am tour of the NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which had me sitting in the Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Conan O’Brien studios, although I’ll remember the tour more for the fact that the TV screens were all displaying the news that Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated. (It was being reported from the very building I was standing in, too.) After that, I had a lovely stroll down to Grand Central Station and discovered they were playing waltzes across the concourse and it really was like that scene in The Fisher King.

Next, after a gorgeous meal in a cafe in Pershing Square, I walked down to the Flatiron Building and then past the Empire State Building for a final time, although it was rather prettily lost in mist and rain.

Finally I almost missed my plane due to traffic – even though I left Manhattan THREE AND A HALF HOURS EARLY – but I did manage to save the ass of an Israeli businessman in the same boat, which is another story entirely.

I slept for an entire day when I got home, mainly to rest my poor feet, which still aren’t used to this walking lark. But I didn’t care, because three months ago I couldn’t even stand up thanks to my sciatica. With that in mind, this trip was the best holiday ever ever EVER.

And that’s my trip to New York in a very large nutshell.

As for New Year’s Eve – the fireworks by the London Eye were amazing, but with 700,000 people in London that night, the trip home wasn’t. I live half an hour away and it took four hours. Holy mackerel!

Oh yes, the Lone Gunman. Dean Haglund (Langly) performed a series of one-man improvs at Trafalgar Studios last week and I went along with a friend to see what he was getting up to. Think Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets The X-Files and you’re there! What a nice chap. And oh, so funny. He’s touring in the spring, folks, so make sure you catch him!

I think this post is long enough. Bye.



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5 responses to “New York Minutes

  1. neil h

    It sounds like a super holiday – I think a trip to New York is edging up my ‘things to do this year’ list!

  2. Lerxst

    Hi Jayne – glad you had a great time! I hope Ground Zero has improved since I was there in 2002. Viewing the site itself was both shocking and moving. But less impressive were the people jostling to take photos as if it were just another tourist monument; and worse, were the street vendors. Some were trying to sell ‘souvenir’ booklets of 9/11, and others had clearly taken the tacky plastic models of the Twin Towers that they sold pre-9/11 and just added stickers to the bases with legends like “Remember 9/11”.

    I know people will try to make money out of anything, but even I thought that was getting low.

  3. GoldAnne

    WOW JAYNE!!!!
    fantastic sounds wonderful ,amazing pics so glad you had such a super time,

  4. Jayne Nelson

    Ground Zero was almost deserted so there were no souvenir stalls (thankfully). Of course, that might have been because it was Christmas Day rather than because they’ve all given up being so crass. Sigh…

  5. Lizwc

    I can’t speak with jealousy and wonderment. And your photos are so beautiful… I need to go to New York!!!

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