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61. October in Prospect 63. Blackout Ben

October 2nd, 2020

NYC '19

NYC 2019 Friday 5th July Lu. Flight cancelled, Iberia didn’t know. Left ≈ 11:30 Booked onto 19:50 Standby for 16:15 —> NOPE Slept @ airport Legroom seat 1. Aquaman (6) 2. Darjeeling Ltd. (7) 3. Whiplash (8) Taxi 2 333 Lincoln Rd. 11225 (PLG) Met John P + Mol back from MidTown Saturday 6th July Walk around Prospect Park - Race - BBQs - Lake Brunch @ Pelspie Breakfast tacos + Chocpie Meet Will @ Witney Chelsea Market, Highline Margs @ Rancho Taquiea (Big) x2 —> Pens for me. Tuesday Pens + notes for gang. Heading back to A Train Flight is at 21:30 —> 9:30 UK woo! Monday 8th July P+Will —> Spice - mediocre —> Met. Camp Instruments - loads of guitars etc. Abstract - Pollock + Rothko Icelandic Film Will left —> Grand Central + T Square -> 33st Flying Cock w/Mol. P left —> 8th st Wine Cellar (Keira) + John + Paraic —> Home. Tuesday 9th July Mol to work Starbs. Me to Battery Park, Wall St Shake Shack @ Fulton St Washington Sq. Strand + Papyrus Q Train to 333. Saturday Back 2 333. Few drinks In to Marie’s Crisis - piano bar + Kiah + pal Next door - live jazz KL Fell asleep in subway station Home @ 3:00 ish. maybe? Sunday 7th July (up at 1pm) Brunch @ Salom’s Hour -> YUMmy quesadillas! In to meet Will -> Grey Dog Chelsea Good business meet - Team - Structure - Inspo woo! —> Times Square wander around - Paramount hotel :) Back 2 333 Asma Khan ep. Chef’s Table 5 Guys YES Supper Club + sleep The latest (but one) of my America trips was this 2019 week in NYC, living at 333 Lincoln Avenue with Molly and Paraic, which was delightful. None of them have yet matched that first time in New York. The magnitude of the buildings, the sheer volume of people and energy flowing through those wide, high-flanked avenues. The steam coming up through grates over the subway, hot-dog stands and police cars stitched out of the movies. Time Square all lit up and blinding, the noise of the place, the horrible smells that wafted out of a garbage pile, the people, the people, more and more people everywhere. Then Brooklyn and those lazy rows, the houses with their stoops built up, socialising in the street, a community on every corner. NEW YORK BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY. I remember it well, it is so engrained in my memory the image of that brightly lit, strange smelling, oppressively warm place (of course, I have only been in summer). I have the jacket I bought there, but the shoes I wore out. I have friends there still, and many who have been and come home. I wish I had done a J1, there was really nothing to stop me. I could have lived and laughed and loved with some of my nearest and dearest but instead I… what did I do? First year I was just happy to be home for the summer, 2nd year I did a four-week Shakespeare course. In 3rd year I did The David Fragments, in Dublin then London. In fourth year I did The Last Five Years. So each time I did have an excuse, but really I should have just sacked it off for the adventure. Though I did manage to go to America every year… 2016 August 24th - September 3rd - NYC with Molly (Paramount Hotel) 2017 August 14th - 24th - Round trip through the Western states, watching the Eclipse on a riverbank in Corvallis, Oregon. 2018 August 2nd - 9th - NYC round 2 (See: 28/8/20) 2019 July 5th - 10th - NYC long weekend in the middle of rehearsing for the Camden Fringe (woop woop what a pointless disaster that was). (See: This one) 2019 December 6th - 11th - VEGAS BABY - Seeing the gang in Utah with Ryan and Dad, lots of fun, though Vegas a little old pretty quick, when you’ve seen one enormous hotel and casino, you’ve seen them all. Neat shows though, and of course so much amazing food, and by amazing I mostly mean large. The most unforgettable of those dishes was at IHOP on one of our last days, we stopped for breakfast on the way out to see the Hoover Dam. I had Waffles Fried Chicken, or, two enormous pieces of fried chicken, on two enormous waffles, covered in melted cheese and topped with unhealthy amounts of blueberry, raspberry, and maple syrup (syrup was my choice, the rest was as described in the menu). I didn’t finish it, but it was delicious, and I will now die at least three days younger. I’ve always said, maybe in these writings I already have, that would never live in New York without a very good reason to be there. It is a not a place I could relax and live a quiet live, nor a place I would wish to be bored or unfulfilled. It is not, in short, a healthy city. Rather one that drives people to their ends, for better and for worse, and fires them like human cannonballs towards whichever trajectory it has picked for them. In this manner the great become greater or are destroyed, while the lowly are projected into the heavens or beat downwards and down they stay. I read an article about how well paid the bin men are in NYC after a rubbish strike left the streets piled high with black sacks, and everyone started taking notice. An enviable world where class action works, where the many can come together in union and enact social change. I need to get back into the urbanism I was reading this time last year, it was truly, in parts, inspiring. A lot of what Richard Sennet talks about is applicable to New York, mostly because that’s where he was/is based, and where his idols lived and worked. Central Park, the Grid, social demonstrations, Battery Park, the Highline, useful and useless, big and small, change and rearrange is all there. Each year I went back there was less in parts and more in others, and the people in the streets lived there.

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