Saturday, August 08, 2015

The Goodes

Oh dear, the natives are getting restless. We had better do a bit of smoothing. Tick, done that. So many made an effort to approve one of our indigenous. Good thing, hey.

Interesting to me is how vindictive some media commentators have been but don't they have point?

This damn boong footballer is acting up and not playing the game as suits us whities.

I have thought about this Goodes business for a few days, heard much, read much and I have really struggled to understand what it was about. I have supplanted a white person in my mind and thought about if a white footy player became a bit antsy and was booed. Doesn't help.

I did not want to believe that the constant booing of Goodes is pure racism. There is something else behind this, I hoped.

People just don't like him. He is too aggressive about his Aboriginal identity. He is not content to be a well rewarded native for his sporting prowess.

The cynical me thinks he has set himself up well for the future as a commentator on racism.

Yes, much speculation about what I don't understand.

I am oldish, not particularly wise, but what I will say is the Goodes abuse was appalling. I had vaguely good thoughts about Aussie Rules sports spectators, but that has well and truly gone and Australian football spectators have shown themselves at their most base.

You may want to read Pant's take on the matter. 

Day 21 US, 11/07, NY, Empire State Building

It is Saturday and we peaked early last night and as every night in our cool flat, we slept well. We will beat the crowds to the Empire State Building. We walked to Times Square, just ten minutes or less, and caught a train on the Not Quite Right line, that is we took an N or Q or R train to the station nearest the Empire State. Being such an old building, I never thought of it as being especially tall, in spite of seeing photos of it. It is very tall. Melbourne's tallest building is Eureka Tower at 297 metres with 91 storeys . Empire State is 443 metres with 102 storeys (and higher ceilings, no doubt).

We left the subway at Herald Square and even just after 9am it was busy and there were queues, very fast moving queues. As I mentioned once before, America deals with large crowds very well. Around and around and up we went in the queue system and finally we were on the observation deck.

More art deco than you can absorb.

This is the reward and it was breathtaking.

This gives you an idea of the layout of Manhattan. We are roughly midtown and this is looking south to Lower Manhattan and Downtown. The very tall building there is the new One World Trade Centre, built to replace the World Trade Centre. To your right is Hudson River with its far bank being the state of New Jersey. To the left is East River with its far bank being the New York borough of Brooklyn.

There she is, and I so wanted to see the flat iron building with my own eyes. I saw a nice photo of it the other day with trams passing it by, clearly several decades ago.

See the towers of similar buildings near to the East River? We were told they are City of New York public housing and there are 110 of these towers.

The Chrysler building in my opinion is more attractive, but you won't see the attractive exterior from the building itself. We had been issued with headphones with boxes, and you had to press buttons to get a commentary on what you are seeing. How much better were the boxes for Melbourne's David Bowie exhibition that did it all automatically.

It's impossible to count the number of art deco buildings. They are just everywhere.

Now I am looking Uptown, towards Harlem on the far side of Central Park. Beyond Harlem is the borough of The Bronx. I have been checking about Manhattan being called an island and there does seem to be some disagreement. Yes, it is surrounded by water, but the northern end is only a quite normal river, the Harlem River. Central Park is massive and if it did not exist, it would have to be made, I think.  

Meanwhile back on the ground....

R generally did not drag me into shops during our travels, but Macy's was irresistible.  I bought a shirt, discounted by 65% and then at the counter the pleasant woman who served me offered me a coupon that gave me a further 20% off. R did not miss out either.

One guide somewhere misinformed us that R H Macy and his wife drowned in the sinking of the Titanic. Not so. Macy had sold the business Isidor Straus, who along with his wife, did die when the Titantic sank.

Back to Times Square. These people dressed up as characters were everywhere, posing with tourists for photos and tips. They can be a little on the aggressive side. They caught me for a photo shoot. I only tipped them $2. Hey man, there five of us, as we walked on.

The timeball post to drop to mark New Year's Eve.

I can't recall why I took this photo.

More amusement at the Revlon screen. #loveison.

Finally defeated by a New York meal I could not finish at Scallywags, an Irish pub on 9th Avenue. There was some potato left.

I think we then walked back up 9th Avenue for a drink in the gay bar we had visited earlier and then back to the flat.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Day 20 US, 10/07, NY, High Line & MOMA

I worry about the security of wires more than clothes or grooming products when travelling.

The view from our lounge room at the side of the Port Authority.

From the none too clean bathroom window, clearly less accessible.

We are off to walk on the High Line, a lineal park sitting on top of a disused elevated goods line. This time I planned properly. We would walk to the northern end at West 30th and 10th Avenue, walk for a good distance along the line and leave at West 14th near to a subway back to the Port Authority. As we left the flat, police had taped off an area in West 40th. We learnt the next evening that a woman had been sexually assaulted in a lift within the Port Authority. While there seemed to be less cctv cameras in America than here, there were still quite a number and police had a clear photo of the alleged perpetrator.

Stacked car parking.

Stairs up to the High Line.

Some of the train track remains in place.

Looks a bit like a fig tree.

This was flowing water long here, great to cool your feet off.

Back down at ground level we wandered along West 14th.

The condition of some streets in New York leave a lot to be desired.

I saw more than one articulated bus. New York needs Boris Buses.

An appallingly gratuitous and sexist photo as an example of the excesses of advertising in Western media, never mind the effect on young fat and skinny kids who might strive and fail to obtain such a body. Albeit, hot isn't he. Ah, the memories of what I once was.

A mini flat iron building. Bah, I wanna see the real one.

I sniggered at the district name. My tablet in the flat gave our location as either Chelsea or the delightfully named Hell's Kitchen.

This was quite disgusting, not unlike Canada's dish poutine. I did not like it at all but R enjoyed it. I could see it being directly responsible for a heart attack.

The A line back to our flat for a rest in the cool and then off on the E line to MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art. It was quite impressive and absolutely huge. The helpful one armed lad at the desk told us it was a free evening if we were prepared to wait until 4.30. It was then a little before 4. We made a snap decision to pay and it turned out to be the right decision as we soon saw the queue for free admission and after 4.30, boy did it get busy.

You know I like art deco, and there is much art deco in New York.

These pieces by Otto Prutscher are exquisite. Who is Prutscher? Over to you Hels.

R gets very wary of me taking photos in public and usually moves away. I saw no signs that I could not take photos in MOMA and plenty of people were snapping away. I went to take a photo of a painting and a guard warned me off. I was puzzled and R was jubilant that I had been told off. I later learnt that you can take photos, just not with a flash, which I had no intention of using.

I suppose I was a bit crabby about the whole business, so when someone taking photos of his wife in front of a work I was looking at asked me to move out of shot, I snapped back at him, it is an art gallery, not a photographic studio.

This looked inviting but it was not yet dinner time.

Once back at the flat, I googled gay bar with our address and there was one not too far away, the 9th Avenue Saloon. We had a couple of drinks there, just sitting and watching other patrons and the bar staff. It was interesting to watch how people tipped. It seemed inconceivable that anyone would touch a tip left on the bar, even though un-noticed by the bar tender. I think I learnt more about tipping from observing in the bar than any time else. We dined next door at a nice Thai Restaurant, Yum Yum. After drinks in the bar and wine with dinner, neither of us recall terribly clearly the walk back to the flat but we agreed we had a fun time. Earlyish start in the morning.

Later edit: Hels did make mention of Prutscher in this post.