I'm back from my vacation in New York and, I have to say, it's the best trip I've ever been on. I'm still a bit drained from the trip but I've come back feeling enormous hope for the future. It's been ages since I've felt that. I'm making plans about moving to the city. Courtesy of my brother, Scott, and his partner, Mark, I had a fantastic time. Here are some of the highlights:
-I saw a huge sugar-coated Sphinx , accompanied by smaller melting statues made of molasses (the blazing heat over New York was unforgiving to the poor small structures but their melting was intended by the sculptor).
-On a subway trip on that same day, a black street performer boarded the train and danced to a Michael Jackson song playing from a tiny boombox he brought on board. The dancer actually spun around several poles without his feet touching the ground and, in one acrobatic move, actually suspended himself from the ceiling of the train car using only his feet (look Ma, no hands!) to hold himself in place along the railing on top of the train. This created the impression that he was actually dancing on the ceiling, all the while keeping to the beat of the music and giving several passengers on the train fist bumps. Movingly, the dancer gave a fist bump to a small black kid, who was grinning from ear to ear at the performance, a welcome respite from the boy's mother, who had been yelling at the boy to sit down repeatedly. The dancer informed us prior to the dance that his performance was brought to us by "GEICO", who must be running some kind of savvy street campaign to bring in more customers. No Geckos were used in the performance but I did save money on my car insurance in 15 minutes or less.
-I went to Coney Island and road the "Cyclone", nearly managing to demolish both my spinal column and my stomach in one fell swoop. It was the first rollercoaster ride I've ever been on and it was insane (if not a bit stomach churning.
-My favorite part of visiting Coney Island was seeing the freak show. There I saw the first woman on the trip who captured my heart: Betty Bloopers. She was a slightly muscular, tattooed sword swallower who could breath fire. She had the grace of a ballerina and the attitude of a punk rocker. Lordy, I tell you, I wanted to marry her on the spot. And, given her talents, I'd never make the mistake of ever crossing her. Sigh. I shall always remember her.
-My least favorite part of visiting Coney Island? The actual beach itself. I anticipated seeing many a buxom bikini babe but got more weightwatchers than "Baywatch". The beach was filled with parents and their kids playing in the sand and the surf. Interestingly, I saw much more beautiful women on the subways and the streets during my stay in New York, including more than a few who looked like they stepped out of a fashion magazine. This made me fall in love with the city but still gave me some pangs of sadness and loneliness. But, Lordy, such wonders!
-On the subway trip back from Coney Island, I was sitting near a group of Columbia University students returning from the beach. The girls in the group were beautiful, including an Asian girl named Michelle, dressed in a nice, yellow short summer dress. I got the impression that one of the guys from the group was hitting on her, talking about John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charlie" and literature in general. They both were econ majors. Would they fall in love? Shoot if I know, as life in the city means meeting people only momentarily and never again. Anyhoo, she was holding for dear life onto a pole in the center of the train car but, due to a massive jolt of the train car, winded up spinning and landing her butt directly on my lap. Usually I have to pay for these sort of things. Wait, was that out loud? She leaped out of my lap and apologized for the incident and the Romeo that was hitting on her earlier turned to me and said: "Admit it. It wasn't the worst thing that's ever happened to you". I was about to ask for her phone number but then realized I don't own a cellphone. Damn myself for being such a cheapskate!
-I got to see an authentic New York crime scene , complete with real NYPD officers! Apparently, someone had tossed a brick into the window of a jewelry store but failed to break the glass. However, all of the windows on the second floor of the same building were smashed out completely. How this phenomenon occurred and why I never got to find out. Curses!
-I watched an episode of Adventure Time for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great style in that cartoon, too. I also watched Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Netflix. As someone who's transgendered, I found the film moving, hilarious, and thought-provoking. My brother was planning on taking me to see the show on Broadway starring Neil Patrick Harris but the show was sold out. Damn you, Doogie Howser! You've managed to escape my clutches again!
-I did manage to see a near Broadway show. I saw the musical Fantastix , which, apparently, is the longest-running musical in America. The performances were wonderful but, at the play, I saw the second woman who captured my heart. She played the character Louisa but she looked like a movie star princess. Lordy. This was her big performance outside of regional theater. I wouldn't be surprised if she was going places. Sadly, without me. Sob.
-I got to eat at a variety of places, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and got to do some drawing in Central Park. One of the best things about my time in New York, however, was visiting my brother's friends, Chaz and Jose. They are two of the sweetest people I've ever met. They threw a birthday party for my brother and the meatloaf, potato salad, and chocolate cake they served was the absolute best I've ever tasted. That's not an exaggeration. Those two helped my brother when he was down and out and, in a city like New York, that's a treasure, indeed. They're great people and, I'd be honored to have them as friends. At the end of the party, we released some balloons with birthday wishes to my brother. I'll never forget that moment.
All in all, my trip to New York was an inspiration to me. I hope to move there in the near future while working on my career in comics and illustration. Here's to the future.
Thanks for reading, folks.