Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dave in the Apple

So finally for all these trips to the US i made it to a place i have always wanted to go! New York. After an all to brief stopover back home in Bangkok I left once again for Germany (now even deeper into celebrating the World Cup) and then onto the East coast of America. Originally scheduled to stay for just 4 days I was asked (well pushed!) to extend my trip for another 2 weeks. This gave me the chance to call an old friend from Uni and arrange to meet him in Manhattan on Friday night. The plan was to go for a few drinks, some food and generally catch up on the last 4 years since Ric departed for LA and I went back up north from studying in Bristol together. We meet at the Phoenix Pub opposite Fox News and after a couple of pints headed across the city, over the East river and into Brooklyn. Ric has been living over there for more than 2 years and told me that the Williamsburg area has undergone a transformation since he first arrived, his girlfriend has lived there all her life and told me that 10 years ago it was a very poor area known for its social problems and street dangers. We went to a typical dinner for a late meal and then onto an impromptu art gallery followed by a quick visit to one of the artists workshops. This place deserves a post all of its own as I have never seen so many unique sculptures, artwork and 'installations' and had the freedom to walk around and really check them out.

The next day we woke up amazingly early to jump on the subway back over into Manhattan in time to watch England win very unconvincingly in their first game of the World Cup. After a wander around the Union square stalls and upto the Rockefeller centre we decided to join suit, buy a ball and go for a kickabout on central park. I am not sure what the American football players, baseballers, frissbiers and dogwakers thought of the two English guys booting a 'real' football up, down, into, over and across their paths but we certainly had a great time!

That evening on the way home we stopped in a nice cafe for a very expensive meal but sitting by the sidewalk in the fresh breeze watching New Yorkers walk by will stick in my memory for a long time.