Monday, January 08, 2007

Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.

For anyone (like me) who has yet to see this, this is the planned Freedom Tower, taller than the original Towers and made of glass.

Awkward pause.

But it sure does look cool. They seem to think they can have it up by 2011---uh, good luck with that. Perhaps even cooler is the planned WTC train station (2009): (I guess they weren't going for subtly).

And as you can probably guess, I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

And what a nice little surprise, we left New York about twenty minutes late, which would have made things tight...then we circled the airport in Charlotte (our connection) for an hour due to turbulent winds and their use of only one runway. No problem, I thought. If there's only one runway, everything else is delayed as well. Duh. But of the two flights that did seem to make it out, the one to DFW was one of them. I should add that we were not on it at the time.

So we got to spend the night in Charlotte, NC. How exciting. I do like Charlotte, Veloute used to live there. But I really wasn't craving to go back on my own, and certainly not to spend $52 at the Quality Inn by the airport. Got into bed around midnight and caught their 4:30am shuttle to get back to the airport and get our 6:20am flight. Lots. Of. Fun. But really, it could have been so much worse. They were still having Weather (and way worse to come tonight) and lots of flights were cancelled altogether. Ours left right on time.

Way more importantly, New York City was a blast. We got in late Wednesday (10:30pm-ish, just in time before the buses stopped) and my good friend and former Tokyo flatmate Drew met us at the airport. He's currently getting his PhD from Columbia but has lived around NYC a large part of his life. He was really the best guide ever--he knew lots of details about nearly everything.

Drew had to work for a couple hours in the AM Thursday, so D and I started out at the base of the island, at Battery Park. We got to see the Statue (the free view) and watch street performers...the park and weather were gorgeous, even for being right on the water.

The Husband. We take in the view, drink coffee and people watch.

And people watching brings us to the calming notion that we are not the biggest dork tourists in New York City.

These guys were all over Battery Park. They creep me out. They are TALL. Like 10 feet. This is a PERSON dressed up, eerily moving around. Like a really creepy mime that doesn't walk.

After milling about, Drew met up with us, showed us around Wall Street...

(Drew & D)

Everything on Wall Street was insanely guarded. Large dogs, the works.

Then he took us up to Ground Zero. I'm not going to post pictures (we've all seen it), and it was disturbing to learn they are still finding bodies.

Anyhoo...We had noodles in Chinatown (favoring a restaurant called Hong Kong Station, in which Drew has yet to see a single white person). I had incredible noodles, the likes of which I've not had since living in Japan. And since Chinatown and Little Italy are right next to each other, we finished off with a couple cannoli. However fantastic, I still think the ones in Boston might win out. But they were still amazing. Damn, just eyeing all the restaurants lead me to believe that if I lived in New York City, it would be a long, long time before I got tired of Little Italy.

("What happens if you don't like duck?")

(Drew in Chinatown.)

And then as if the day wasn't good enough, in the evening we went here (just D and I, Drew's wedding present to us):

and I met Julianne Moore (I know what you're thinking! Twinkies!)

Ok, maybe not. And I realize I look goofy as shit and you can probably see me drooling, but I just had to post these. She was incredibly nice, even signing my copy of Boogie Nights (while I apologized for the "theatre faux pas" it surely was) in addition to the play bill (she and Bill Nighy signed it, it's very cool). Aaaaaaand...

Bill Nighy! As D put it, I'm a smitten kitten. I wasn't going to bother him, but he offered to take a picture! And he stopped and chatted, he was positively the sweetest man ever. He could melt anyone--I was already incredibly impressed by the performance and then in addition, he was just the classiest person.

I'll post more about the play later, it merits its own post.

And just in case you don't believe this was really New York City. (No, I did not buy one.)

The bears lived here in this building. (This is in Times Square and is, infact from Friday, but we're not concerned with sequence here at Wine When Drunk From a Mug).

And see, just to tie the subject line in, here is the building from Ghostbusters, where the big final scene takes place. (And I would have never even thought about it unless Drew had brought it up!) This was Saturday, while visiting Midtown and Central Park.

This cracked me up...seems to occur in the really rich neighborhoods. Hmmm...

And towards the end of Thursday (after lunch but before the play), here we are in Washington Square Park. Look! Behind us! The Empire State Building that we didn't visit!

Ok, time to make dinner. And for some strange reason I seem to be jonesing (no pun intended) for some Sex and the City. Even D says he wants to watch more of it now. Haha!


alex said...

kyah! I have no words. I'm still flailing. back later with grown-up words bigger than "EEEEEEEEEEE!" what a fucking awesome trip.

Welcome home!!

Ellen Aim said...

Aw, thank you!

I try to think of Julianne anytime the impending doom of unemployment threatens to strike me down. :P

Anonymous said...


What a trip! You're like best friends with Bill and Julianne! That is so awesome! When are they coming to Texas?

But seriously, fabulous trip! You make me really want to go to New York (or hell *anywhere* we're so bad about traveling). And welcome back!

Ellen Aim said...

Thank you, it is actually nice (kind of) to be home. (More so having snuggly cats and our own house rather than the job/driving thing). God I miss subways.

It was a fabulous trip due largely to Drew. We didn't have to spend so much time trapped in the subways going, "Wait, where are we now?" I wish I had a good friend living in all the places I wanted to visit!!

Anonymous said...

Squeee! Squeeee! Squeeeee!

I don't know what else to say, but I have a huge grin on my face.

I also want that horn honking sign (not that it's a problem here). Hilarious.


It's so nice to have you back.

Oh. Glass? Okay.

You know what? I didn't like Charlotte. Don't miss it. Sorry you got stuck there! Ashville (Asheville?) on the other hand...

alex said...

Okay, I can be more coherent now. (Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy, SQUEE.) Sorta.

*high fives you*, the Ghostbusters bldg! LOL

Drew is so awesome. ;) Looks like you had a fanfuckingtastic time!

Ellen Aim said...

Vel: Ok, good, I actually don't even remember Charlotte. I just know I was there.

And as I was falling asleep I thought, "Vel is so going to reem me (ream me?) for not mentioning Les Halles." I MEANT to say that, like The Vertical Hour, it too merits its own post. SO. FUCKING. GOOD. And really not any pricier than you'd think. Bernaise. Steak. Digestif. Oh yes.

Alex: I'm just so delighted I didn't squee all over Julianne. Although I may have sounded vaguely stalker-ish. However, I'm going to choose to remember it as much cooler on my part.

Mob said...

That's so amazing, and the wife wouldn't even let me read to her about it out of jealousy, she wants to visit New York so bad.

If we do, can we borrow your friend? He sounds like a helluva tour guide.

Glad you two made it back and had such a great time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, I meant to say Drew sounds like The Most Awesome tour guide. What an awesome present.

I will be patient and wait for the Les Halles review.

*Squees* again at Julianne and Bill.


Anonymous said...

So, who's the dork in the photo with the glasses?

Bill Nighy - that's who!

Anonymous said...

shoulda said .. that previous comment was me.

doctorphibes, liverpool
(forget my head if it wasn't screwed on)

Ellen Aim said...

Something tells me I would have figured it out... :P