Betwixt the Coasts: From West to East in 80 Days Part 10: The Big Granny Smith - Cleavage or Bust?



You see I have no idea why that heading came into my peculiar addled or even appled head, it just did. But having arrived in the mad crazy busiest city on Earth at the maddest craziest busiest time of year (Thanksgiving/Christmas), the last thing I needed was to have to change accommodation after a few hours (for reasons of abysmal bed abysmal smell in room abysmal area etc etc…). Still we managed less than 14 hours in that place and were in a very decent hotel just off Times Square, the Heart of the Huge Golden Delicious, the Middle of the Massive Macintosh, the Core of the Crab etc etc (many more Appley Affirmations Available on request)….

The refund was later received. Phew.



So let’s get one or two things of my chest. Firstly: SMELL Everywhere across the USA there is one smell on almost every street (ok there’s a lot of a Uriney Pong in places too) …and that is CANNABIS. Lots of cannabis shops too …. Just everywhere… I don’t think EVERY State has approved this but certainly the ones I’ve visited….the streets stink of Pot, Marijuana, Blow, Weedy, Dopey, Mick and Tich (that last reference was for people who remember the 1960s)….

I’m not sure I like this. As someone who used to smoke ciggies occasionally until cancer struck, I can hardly talk (though fortunately I can do just that), but this constant aroma for some reason really irks me….maybe jealousy (for people who can still puff) but I think it’s something being inflicted on me. Without any choice….my jackets stink for goodness’ sake…



The second thing is this: Sweet and Savoury. For me? Nah definitely…not. My pal Clyde (hi Clyde!) said I SHOULD try the chicken and waffles with syrup and Mac and Cheese side. This is frankly a ridiculous combination of flavours. Each individually were/are gorgeous but together on the same plate (smothered in maple syrup) is to my taste IDIOTIC. Even at the breakfast scrum at my hotel, people are piling scrambled eggs on top of pancakes with fruit on top with vanilla sauce poured over the lot. I just don’t get it….it comes back to the “Box it up” culture here where there is almost a gluttony absence of culture mistaken for generosity in portion … and there has not been one meal I could actually finish here. Not one. It’s mad! It’s bad! It’s sad…..

CLOSE IT! !!!!!!

OTHER THAN THAT, the New York I love is still here….the Broadway shows, the enthusiastic chatty funny people, the excitement of day to day life, the hilarious bar staff jumping on bars to do dance routines….despite the fact it’s rather an artificial world here, and on every other street is the worst vagrant/street dwelling situation I’ve seen in the US ever…there’s heaps and heaps of garbage in the streets too, though there’s hordes of people (actual street staff) late each night grabbing it and disposing of it as quickly as possible….being NYC there’s constant deafening car horns honking, police car/fire truck sirens wailing and more skyscrapers than I can remember from my many visits here soaring up Blade Runner style into the Christmas Lighted heavens, escaping the ground level madness that persists throughout this magnificent yet malignant metropolis….yup this Big Apple is pretty sour in places….


CLOSE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Assorted images of this place: the huge coloured Christmas Tree (not being political here, the Trafalgar Square one has white bulbs), the 9 million (at least) 100 feet high UHD video screens around Times Square (there used to be one), the gentle beauty that is vast and at the heart of Manhattan (Central Park, oh and yup in London we have four huge parks in the centre!), the endless amount of people under endless amounts of scaffolding smoking blow 24/7, the thrilling standing ovations at the end of Broadway Shows, the disabled and aged folks being helped on and off any bus in the City…ramps lowered, people seeing the elderly are ok…, the snooty arty types raising little fingers at Art Museum cafes… (I had to force mine down!)…and the gorgeousness of hooking up with two sets of mates if only for a few hours each….
AND the joyfulness of old fashioned camp singalongs in The World’s Greatest Piano Bar (Marie’s Crisis)….

All this nonsense and there’s 9 more days to go on which I’ll report back with my final missive this trip…..

Still listening?

Oh by the way, when a credit card tab is ended (or opened) the first (and last) words you ever hear from the bar person are:

CLOSE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Pat Butcher was never so brusque!)




Now read this

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