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Thursday, May 17, 2012

'Ere, whassat you say?

New day, new country. New continent, in fact! But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Where did I last leave off? Ah yes.

After having a horrendous time trying to post a simple parcel at the post office (seriously, I spent an HOUR in there getting dicked around) I made it to the Ground Zero memorial site. It's very nicely set up, very thoughtful and sensitive. In the exact spots where the twin towers once stood are hollows in the ground with water cascading down into a hole in the middle that you can't see the bottom of. Then there's the names of all the people who died surrounding each pool. There's one special tree there they call the "survivor tree." After the rubble was cleared away this poor little guy had been reduced to an 8 foot stump but it was still alive, the only living thing to survive. It's now got a prominent position in the memorial site. They're building the new World Trade Centre buildings around the site, which will eventually be a central courtyard for the complex.

That night I saw my final Broadway show, Newsies. Really great show, thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone loves a David and Goliath story about the little guys taking on the giants. This is about the kids who sold newspapers in New York at the turn of the century going on strike, and their battle against the newspaper giants. The majority of the cast seem quite young (mainly early 20s, and some who'd be no older than 15 or 16) and the dancing is amazing! It's a favourite to win all kinds of Tony. Awards next month, and it would be week deserved. I didn't think it was quite as good a show as Sister Act or book of Mormon, but definitely one worth seeing. 8/10.

The next day (Tuesday) in New York was POURING! And stupid me went out to wander the streets. Got pretty drenched, with occasional coffees in Starbucks to avoid the rain. Luckily guys on the streets were selling cheap umbrellas so I bought one.

That afternoon was probably the most stressed I've been on this whole trip. I had booked for a shuttle bus to take me to the airport at 2:15, which I thought would give me plenty of time before my 6:50 flight. Well, I waited and waited. At 2:45 I got the hotel to ring the shuttle company and ask what the heck was going on. They said he'd be there in 5 minutes. The rain was apparently delaying things. Well, he finally arrived at 3:15, an hour late, and then we had to go through standstill New York traffic to THREE other hotels across town to pick people up, and by that time it was peak hour on the freeway. (sigh) Internalizing my inner stress is not good, but there wasn't a single thing I could have done. I could jump and shout and make a fuss, but there isn't any way we could have rot there sooner, the traffic was just horrible. I would not have the patience to drive in traffic like that. I swear I'll never complain about the Monash again! By the time I got to check in my luggage it was about 6:05, 45 minutes before scheduled takeoff. And then there was a 20 minute queue just to get through security! Rrrrrrrrghghgh!!

But I got on my plane. True to form, didn't get a wink of sleep (although British Airways flights are so cool with your own screen and about 20,000 entertainment options to choose from!) I watched Chronicle (very cool), Happy Feet 2 (meh), a BBC doco on the queen's upcoming jubilee (fascinating) and the first half hour of Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince.

Which brings me here to London. So tired, but forced myself to wander around and get my bearings. London is another WORLD from NYC! It's so quiet! So dignified! So... "nice."

After an afternoon nap I went to Her Majesty's Theatre and met up with Jimmy who's been spotlighting there for a year and a half. It's so nice to have a familiar face to talk to after a week on my own. He gave me a personal backstage tour of the theatre, which has been playing Phantom of the Opera for 25 years now! Then I got to watch the show sitting at the sound booth! Awesome experience! Thanks Jimmy!!

Then I went back to the hotel and BOMBED. For 11 hours. Which brings me to now! London calls, so I'll wrap up now. Hope Australia's all fine. Catch ya next time, wherever that may be!

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