27 February 2011

A short, delightfully bitter Capuccino

A short, delightfully bitter Capuccino, and a gentle brioche in the lobby of the ACE hotel; I'm really here for that Stumptown Coffee. The lobby, where I'm sitting, is dimly lit, full of people and the sounds of conversations in an enormous space. Lots of faces highlighted by laptops, brass and black, lamps. A few people trying to read in the darkness. I think I can vaguely here some music behind the echoing conversations.

Yesterday was good, today too; Yesterday started early, then a couple of Aikido classes leaving me feeling glorious. Some drifting through streets, ate the biggest salad I've ever eaten (and I'm a big salad eater, but it nearly defeated me), found a way to get some more money out of my UK account (struggling with my US bank account...), and then coasted my way downtown to explore east village.

Simone's bar, wifi and whiskey!
A bar called Simone provided me with a space to do some programming, eat about 50 olives, and eventually make my way through the biggest measure of Macallan I've ever been poured. A little light-headed, and stuck with my programming, I swayed out to find ramen noodles and lots of green tea. Then I wondered streets following my favourite style of walking random. I came across a charming and swanky little hat shop, villagescandal, walked out with two very different hats that I actually really like, and a complementary scarf. Feeling way cooler I wondered past closed subways, eventually finding a way to get back home. A few hours programming later and I had sorted out a serious chunk of my quantum robot machine - essentially routine programming, but demanding as I wrapped my mind around some friends code.

Time Square today

And now a plan is needed for today... Aikido, or walk in the sun to time square and then central park...

25 February 2011

Man and parrot outside Murray's Bagels
I'm moody today; woke up on the wrong side of bed, on the wrong side of afternoon; struggled to make my way out, anywhere, to just do something. Doing something ended up being getting a bagel, watching a man and his parrot, then a coffee at Grumpy's; which is how I felt before the coffee - it was a good coffee. Going for cocktail and book reading in a bit, or perhaps to see True Grit. The big city blues today are finally wearing off today, as the evening arrives; and as I watch the lights of seemingly infinite cabs make the ant-like way down 6th avenue towards me.

23 February 2011

sighting masonic temples, fortune tellers, and lovingly made burgers

Simultaneously lost for words, and overwhelmed with things to say. Here's a sprinkling of sights...

View from living room window;
masonic hall is the middle building
One thing I noticed today is that the building 1 block away - it is basically in front my of living room window - seems to be a masons guild, it's a big building, openly advertising that it is a secret society...

I realised yesterday, while doing a random walk-about, is that on pretty much every block, there is a fortune teller. I can choose from a variety of palm-readers, a fair sprinkling of tea-leaf readers, also astrologers, people who speak to the dead, and many many more. I guess a there must be a lot of demand for them... there's almost as many places helping you speak to the dead as there are phone shops trying to make you speak to your mobile phone.

There is something else that is on every block as well: a fitness club, usually second floor. One sighting today: a line of men on running machines. I find this alone strange, a line of people running on the spot, going nowhere. But what I've not seen before is that each person had his own 30 inch TV, in front and a bit above his machine. They all showed different channels. The guys were all running, but with their head craned up to watch TV. I guess something shocking must have come on the TV and distracted one guy: he stumbled, falling hand to the floor; but what amazed me was that he was able to keep watching the TV even as he fell over. The running starts and stop, but the TV watching is eternal.

I spent a good part of the last few days wondering about Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Midtown today - Fiona gave me a collection of New York City Walks; I took my first of these walks today. It was a fantastic architectural one, this is a very impressive city to be in. It's heaped with diversity and there's a totally unashamed attitude to the architecture here, it says "I'm a big f-off building; what you gonna do about it?". It would make a building like Appleton Tower seem like a lost and shy garden shed.

After today's exploration of New York Aikdio, a very friendly experience, I was left with some appetite, and decided to try indulging in local burger. I've never seen a burger made with such love and attention... the way the onions were carefully caressed, the cheese gently layered, and bread rolls precisely placed - it nearly made me cry. Truth be told, I enjoyed watching the burger being made a lot more than eating it - feel kind of heavy and full now...

And it's time to do some washing; turn out I'm not getting my stuff until march; I only brought enough cloths for 3 days... (and luckily one Aikido gi, and my dancing shoes)... I guess I'll have to do some shopping, New York seems like a good place for that... ah yes, must go and get my Aikido Gi now...

21 February 2011

Just arrived to my flat in New York, a 17th Floor on 6th Avenue, the centre of Manhattan. Rather like a hotel; white clean dry walls; it's about the size of my old flat, but feels a little smaller; my stuff isn't here yet, but I am, well, a little tired, kind of emotional. Outside it's just slightly snowy, police sirens sing from the street below, when they pass regular horns holler at each other. Outside my window I can see three large cylindrical water containers on the roof off the building opposite...

Eyes feel kind of heavy... guess I'd better find some lunch, and maybe buy some more cloths...