Five New York experiences that make me want to go back
It’s been quiet at the blog recently and I feel a little bit bad about it. Not because I didn’t update; as a hobby blogger I’ve got the privilege to write for fun rather than out of duty. It’s not a job.
But blogging ethics tells me that I should have put up a sign to inform the regular guests of the café that this blog wasn’t closing down or anything. I was just gone fishing for a few days.
The “fishing tour” went to New York City, where I’ve spent a week that passed far too quickly. I’ve been inhaling the crazy every-thing-is-possible atmosphere (alongside with a lot of substances from cars and all sorts of disgusting smells that I’d rather not think of). I’ve stared at the skyscrapers in wonder, constantly with a silly smile on my face and Simon & Garfunkel’s entire production has been playing nonstop in my head as I’ve been strolling in Central Park.
I did pass a film team as they were shooting, but actually I felt as if I was constantly in the middle of a movie from the day I arrived. You’re so far away and yet so much at home because all the sights are so familiar, from the yellow cabs to the strange clouds of smoke that come up from the streets every here and there.
In this post I’d like to share a few of the things I did that are related to movies and entertainment and that I’d recommend you to do if you get to visit NYC.
1. A guided tour in the Radio City Music Hall
This is a place with a glorious past, claimed to be the largest indoor theatre in the world. Many are the film stars who have attended the grand opening premiers here throughout history. The theatre has been restored in a lovely way. We got to meet a member of the dancing group Rockettes, but most of all I enjoyed to imagine what had taken place here back in time. And I can’t wait to revisit Woody Allen’s Radio Days.
2. A visit to an IMAX theatre
In the far distant corner of Europe where I live, we don’t have fancy things such as IMAX theatre. In the city where I live, there’s only one classic theatre with a big screen left. Apart from that, it’s all about small locations in multiplexes. Some of the rooms are so small that the screens are approaching what people have at home. So I knew that I wanted to grab the opportunity to see at least one movie in a big format, knowing that it might be years before I got the chance to do it again. The movie in question was not one I would have chosen if I could (Jack the Giant Slayer). But this said: size does indeed matter when it comes to movie watching. My jaw dropped considerably.
3. A TV and film set tour
Many hopeful actors come to New York to try their luck. Very few can make a living that way, so they may end up as guides, which is lucky for us. The three hour long bus tour went ever so quickly with a showman holding the microphone, pointing out all sorts of places of interest. The only bummer was that there wasn’t enough of Woody Allen included in the tour. I guess he’s not as popular in US as in Europe.
4. A visit to the Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image is a comparatively small, but very enjoyable museum situated in Queens, far away from the crowds at Times square and the more famous art museums on Manhattan. In the permanent exhibition you can see a bunch of items that have been used in film recordings, such as costumes and models.
Among my favourites were the model of the Tyrell skyscraper from Blade Runner and the doll with the spinning head they used for The Exorcist. There are also a bunch of interactive experiences, where you can test out sound editing, making an animation and reading lines for a movie. I suspect that the intended target audience was teenagers, but I had no shame and did this myself and had a lot of fun doing so.
5. A night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Maybe I’ve watched too many Seinfeld episodes, but it felt as if my New York holiday wasn’t complete before I had seen some stand-up comedy. I ended up, not at some fancy, pricy place around Broadway, but at a small, crowded and utterly charming theatre in East Village, where tickets range from free up to 10 dollar a show. I watched something called Lasers in the Jungle and you’ve probably never heard of anyone involved in it. But you know what – the amount of fun isn’t decided by how famous you are or how expensive the tickets are. It’s settled by how good your writing is and how well you deliver it. Despite the fact that I’m so picky with humour that I sometimes suspect I have none, I laughed quite a bit. And I mourned that there is none such club where I live.
Wrapping it up
So what can I say? I had a blast.
My jetlag is slowly leaving my body, but my mind hasn’t quite landed yet. It’s still lagging, longing to get back to the place where many dreams are broken, but new arise every day, endlessly reaching for the world of miracle and wonder somewhere up in the sky.