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Thursday, March 31, 2005


Sunlight in Manhattan

Tuesday evening I ate in the oyster bar under Grand Central station (a pretty good place if you feel like a few mollusks) and went on to the Upper West Side. I was still feeling low-energy and I figured that the Upper West was a low-energy neighbourhood. I was right. And how. (I'm told I may be the only person to have ever voluntarily gone to the Upper West in search of nightlife. I didn't find any).

On Wednesday, for the first time since I arrived here, the sun shone. There is something wonderfully depucelatory about the first sunny day of spring, especially when it's a day like yesterday when the sky is solid blue, the air is still cold and the sun shines brighter and clearer than you've ever remembered it. In the sunny patches of the street it was actually warm.

I spent the day failing to do touristy things. Went to the Empire State Building: two hour line to get in. I think not. There is almost nothing that can motivate me to stand in line for two hours if I can possibly avoid it. (I'd do it for a large sum of money, of course. After my succession of Sucky Jobs I've become hardened to doing vile and degrading things for economic payoffs).

After that, I went down to Battery Park. The wait for a ferry to Liberty Island was, you guessed it, two hours. (Bad trend developing here...) It seemed like a pity to spend such a wonderful day indoors, so I figured I'd go on the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan island. However, I got to the pier around 2.30. The last full cruise leaves at 1.30 (who knew?). They do shorter "semi-circle" cruises, but I couldn't be bothered. Instead, I went down to the Brooklyn Bridge and got some shots of the skyline.

In the evening, I met up with Jack (a friend of Mybrotherthelawyer) who just recently moved to NYC. Over steaks in the hokeyly Aussie Outback Steakhouse, we talked about his impressions of the city, which were nearly all good. (He did complain about the rents. He's just about to move into a three-bed brownstone apartment in the Village, sharing with a friend, and between them they can just afford it. This from an executive at JPMorgan).

Ten pm came rolling round. Jack, who had to be in the office at 7.30 the next morning, went home. At his suggestion I headed off to check out the Lincoln Center. The results of that check deserve their own post.

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