Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New York Day 4 – In Which There are Zombies, Dinosaurs, John Lennon’s Murder, and Other New York Moments.

Today was gorgeous – sunny and the perfect temperature for walking miles and miles, which was a good thing as that is what we did. We started out by heading to the discount ticket booth in Times Square but got distracted along the way by several fabulous things like this sunflower cake which I LOVED!


And also this park which was lovely. Great idea to put out all-weather ping pong tables.


I didn’t know pigeons where so thoughtful, leaving their leftovers for the rats. I can just see it.

Rat: Hey Pidgy, whatcha gawt for me today for leftovers?

Pidgy: Well I gatta piece a pizza here but I already ate the ah-lives and the cheese so it’s just the crust.

Rat: That’ll do nicely but the missus she don’t like pizza ever since that mouse tail incident last year. Ya gawt anyting else?

Pidgy: lemme check with Sal. Hey Sal! Ya  gawt anyting in the back for Rat? His missus don’t want the pizza.

Sal: I gawt a couple of hawt dawgs here but like I says yestaday, the buns a bit sawft with all this rain.

Pidgy: Sals’s gotta couple of Hawt-Dawgs. You want em?

Rat: Yeah I’ll take em. Thanks Pidgy and give my best to the little lady.

Pidgy: Yeah Thanks, Rat, and don’t fawget to take a bag of hospital waste with you to spread around. Oh and could you pull out a few more flowers for  me on your way out?

Rat: Will do, Pidgy. See ya tomorrow.

Pigeons. Can’t trust em as far as you can throw em.

Times square, I would just like to say here, is more accurately described as Times Strip, it being nothing of a square at all, and also several blocks long. In my experience, squares are square, it’s why they are called squares, but anyway what I was going to say is that I was super happy to stumble onto a promotion for The Walking Dead, which was premiering that night, complete with real live zombies (the promo, not the show. Those are actors, duh.)


This huge bleeding Zombie hand was pretty awesome, but not as awesome as the zombies:


Here I am, apparently checking out his zombie butt.


And here they come, presumably to eat my brains although they will need to be a bit quicker about it. Talk about slow. A sloth zombie would have been faster.


I also liked these guys, who were looking on and babbling away in Hebrew. Jewish men are so well dressed and have taken the whole hipster thing to another level entirely.

I then spent some time in the discount broadway ticket booth line-up before learning that evening shows don’t go on sale until after 3pm on a Sunday as there are matinees first. Great. “Go Early”, they said, “There will be lots of Tickets then” they said.
After determining that we would need to drop everything later and come back to Times Square, we set of for the rest of the day in fine spirits. Yep, everyone was super happy about that, let me tell you. Anyway, we walked it off, and made it to Dylan’s Candy Bar where it is possible to buy about 1000 types of different gummy bears, if that is something you might ever possibly want to do. As it turns out, I did, and so after parting with rather more cash than I had planned, I rolled out of there with basically a few bags of sugar. Whatever, it was fun. We grabbed some lunch and the plan was to walk to Central Park but instead we encountered the never-ending Spanish-Heritage parade which had blocked off a bunch of streets. It wasn’t what I would call the fastest-moving street parade ever, but that was ok as it afforded me some time to check out the amazing architecture of this part of Manhattan.


We soon made it to Central Park as the parade seemed to have finished, at least where we were.


I think these guys were part of the parade  but I could have been wrong. The thing is, in New York, most people look like they could be marching in some sort of parade any time or any place. In fact, you could pretty much be dressed up in a pink tutu, hockey skates, and a hat made of lettuce, and you would hardly get a second glance. I think this is why the concept of a parade in New York city baffled me a bit as it really wasn’t that different from what was happening the next street over where there was no parade.

But I digress, again.

When we finally did get to Central Park it was like taking a huge breath of fresh air, literally. I can see why New Yorkers love their park so much. After doing battle with street corners, traffic, puddles of dirty yuck water everywhere, and a whole lot of grey all day long, the park is refreshing and calming. Over here was a group of people doing some sort of interpretive country dance, just minding their own business, happily letting anyone and everyone join in if they so wished. Over there, a group of kids with skateboards looking on at the dancers as if they were planning on staying there all day. Birds twittered, trees swayed in the breeze. It was lovely. P1010766P1010767P1010773

We wandered around until arriving at Strawberry Fields, an area of the park across from where John Lennon lived. All my life I thought the song was perhaps referring to some lovely field of wild strawberries somewhere in England when in fact, I was totally wrong, it was about this corner of Central Park.

Today, you will find the Imagine mosaic, usually surrounded by tourists and folks with guitars strumming Beatles tunes.



After soaking it all up, it was only fitting to go across the street to pay our respects at the spot where John Lennon was shot in front of his apartment building. The building is known as The Dakota due to the fact that when it was built way back when, it was so far uptown that it was jokingly referred to as being ‘in the Dakotas’.

It was a surprisingly moving place to be. I don’t know about you but I remember the moment when my dad told me John Lennon had been shot. Having been raised on the Beatles, it was shocking to me as a young girl. I remember my dad being totally stunned by the whole thing. I think we listened to Imagine about a hundred times after that.


Rumour has it that Chapman, the murderer, had been to the same spot the day before to ask John Lennon for his autograph. Lennon had been so nice to him that he reconsidered his plan to go back the next day, but go back he did, shooting Lennon right by the door. He later claimed that the gargoyles and statues had spoken to him and told him to do it.


The American Museum of Natural History was conveniently located right next door so we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon there, which turned out to be about an hour, but that was perfect. Any longer and it starts to get a bit tedious, in my opinion. If you have seen the movie Night at the Museum then you will recognize many of the exhibits. We spent most of our time in with the Dinosaurs and I actually found it to be fascinating. Many of the skeletons are the real thing and many are complete.


Tyny-arms-asaurus Rex


The original Duck-billed Face.


Triceratops – my favourite.

After sprinting around the museum, it was decided that Zoe and I would go by ourselves to get tickets for whatever show was on offer, as the boys had tickets to the American Beatbox Championships that night at the Webster Hall. We parted ways and Zoe and I found the closest subway station and tried to head downtown but there was construction on the line so we had to go uptown first. At least I think that is what they said. It really is virtually impossible to a) hear the staticky voices at all over the screeching of the train and b) to follow what the heck they are even saying:

While waiting on the station:

Announcer: Passengers please note this important change mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah meah meah mwong mweap thank you.

Me: Did anyone hear that?

Announcer: Passengers are reminded that mweap mwong shamalamma ding dong mwah mwah olay biscuit barrel mweap. Thank you.

Me: Seriously what did he say? I don’t want to end up in the Bronx or Yonkers or somewhere like that.

It’s both better and worse when you get on the train. At least you can hear what they are saying but I defy anyone to actually follow along:

Announcer: Passengers this is an A train bound for Brooklyn, Brighton Beach, blah blah Due to construction on the line passengers will not be able to transfer to the L line at Lexington and 304th but will instead have to…”

Me: Wait, did he just say 304th? Where the heck is that? Where are we even anyway?

Announcer (continuing on): Get off at 487th street, cross to the other side of 75th and Mwah and take a B, C, or W train, cross back again to the original side, and take a 1, 2, or 5 train but only if the driver is wearing a lettuce hat…

Me: What’s this about lettuce now?

Announcer (still talking): Due to construction on the line at the place you really want to go to, you will not be able to take that train that you planned on taking and will have to instead take the x, y or z train, please remember to solve for x before you present your ticket to the man in the Yeti costume.

Zoe: We have to get off here, mum, and take the B train to Columbus Circle.

Announcer: If you need assistance, don’t bother asking any of your fellow passengers as none of them have a clue either. Only those passengers wearing headphones, sunglasses and chewing gum know what is going on and they don’t want to talk to you. If you are really stuck ask the crazy guy spouting the gospel and he will say a prayer for you.

Me: I’m so confused now. He said I have to pray or something?

Jacob: No mum, he said the crazy guy will pray for you but come on we have to get off here. Do you have your tin foil hat on?

We did manage to get to the office and bought ourselves some tickets to Mamma Mia!. I have never seen it and I knew Zoë would love it. We had some interesting seat-mates: I had four guys from India sitting beside me, and all of them sang along to every song, albeit completely out of tune, but with such joy that it didn’t matter. At one point the fellow next to me pulled out his phone and downloaded the entire soundtrack. All the singing in the first act obviously tired him out though as he fell asleep part way through the second act. Zoe had an elderly Korean man who looked quite baffled by the whole thing and must have wondered where the heck he was. He fell asleep quite early on in the production. Apart from those two, everyone else was very energetic and sang along at top volume. We loved it.


Fortunately when we got out, all the stores were still open and as it is so much nicer to shop when the boys aren’t waiting by the front door (men, take note) we had a great time.

It was another late night but we felt energized by this great city. When we crawled into bed later we were happily tired and ready for sleep.

Another long day of travel tomorrow but we still have time for a few last stops in the morning. Not ready to leave yet!

Thanks for reading,



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