NYC: Give Me Liberty

Or give me something else. Preferably with a little side salad and some Russian dressing. Or American undressing with contours to contrast against these oh-so straight roads.

Today is the first day of spring and it’s early morning with the bright steep sunlight slanting in to light up the freshly swept sidewalks. There’s a mouthwatering smell of cinammon coming from one of the bakeries I just past and the florist shop opposite is a riot of color.

And art is everywhere here. Down on the subway on 14th Street I just saw a great piece of sculpture of a crocodile coming out of manhole on the platform and eating some little gremlins who are sawing at a pillar under the stairs.

Still, I’ve noticed now that the sidewalks do get grubbier as the day goes on. I’ve seen beggars on the street and the subway, just like home. I’ve even noticed some dog poop up around West 27th, but it is still rare.

There’s that grass is always greener syndrome when you’re in a new place, I guess and it does wear off. Nonetheless, the good here is a cut above other places and yesterday’s trip out to the Statue of Liberty was very good. You can’t help but be impressed again and again with the Manhattan skyline and you get a fantastic view of it from the tour ferry. I snapped off quite a few frames of film just for the hell of it.

Afterwards, down on Bleeker Street, I noticed a lot of shops selling the wide wide panorama view of that same skyline in wide wide frames, long and thin and covering all the major buildings seen from the Hudson River. I can see why so many films start with that helicopter view rushing over the water and then up over the skyscrapers.

Talking of films, I went to see the new Steven Seagal movie Exit Wounds yesterday. Apparently it took a lot of money in its opening weekend according to the TV reports. Steven Seagal really is very poor at acting, isn’t he? He can’t seem to help it and in this he makes Mickey Mouse look 3D. But then, Seagal IS superb at martial arts and there were quite a few places where he does that bone-crunching stuff he does best.

I’ve got to say Exit Wounds sucks badly. I seriously wonder if it will be released in the UK. Also I wonder if they do, whether the same bodies bouncing off cars and odd bits of violence will still be in or will be cut to protect sensitive British audiences. Somehow someone in Hollywood keeps greenlighting this nonsense which always gives me hope.

As well as mentioning the great box office this dross has done on Fox yesterday morning, the breakfast news also reported some local shootings, court reports and spent a lot of time on traffic problems. All of this was handled in the same fast-paced slick way that slid easily into a jocular weather report, a report on the latest swimwear and a lot of inter-presenter repartee.

It’s still funny what’s different here and what’s the same. I feel like I’m not noticing as much of those differences but other times they glare out at you. No wonder we think we’re communicating just because we speak the same language. Sometimes we are. Sometimes, though, we are an ocean apart.

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