Thursday, 11 January 2007

I'm writing to you from Manhattan's Upper East Side

Very glamorous, I know.

So far I've been in New York for almost a week and I have bumped into neither Woody nor Bobby (as I believe Mr deNiro is known to his friends), I haven't witnessed a single shooting, drug deal or police officer eating a donut, and absolutely nobody, I mean nobody, has said "forgeddabbouddit" within earshot. I know I'm visiting out of season but frankly I'm disappointed.

The city seems safer than various glossy crime shows would have you believe, too. I was even on the 'subway' the other evening and an old lady (a 'broad') was sitting in front of me counting out an enormous wad of 'bills' and no-one else seemed at all bothered - I was tempted to mug her myself just to make the point that this really isn't a safe kind of city, but then I thought she was probably 'packing a piece' and would almost certainly 'bust a clip in my @ss' (as I believe the local lingo would have it) so I decided not to.

All is going well, but I think I'm starting to suffer from Tall Building Fatigue. I find myself wondering if it might not have been simpler all round if, instead of embarking on a vain, frivolous and expensive round of competitive skyscraping, messeurs Chrysler, Sears, Empire State et al had simply whipped out their w@ngers and taken a cold ruler to them. I miss the horizon.

Also, I'm starting to find it tiresome that almost every other street is called Liberty Drive or Freedom Avenue and stuff like that. It must have been particularly galling for the slaves who built them, too.

In fact, the septics banging on about freedom all the time is a bit embarrassing, especially given that what they're chiefly celebrating their freedom from is us. It's like a friend bragging about a new car or something. You start off murmering "Hmm, yes, it's lovely", then you just look for ways to politely change the subject.

Anyway, I'm off to Lima tomorrow - hurrah!


Some of you might be surprised that I'm in NYC, given that at no point in my vague and incoherent ramblings about my travel plan did I mention any intention of visiting the states, let alone the de facto capital. You might have been misled by the fact that for the last few years my stated opinion on the matter has been that I'd rather visit the US when it recovers from its collective insanity and stops starting these many unethical, unlawful and thoroughly unwinnable wars half-way across the globe. However, it didn't cost me any extra cash to stop off in New York on my way to Lima, so here I am.

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