Saturday, October 18, 2008

Confessions of a stay at home tourist.

If there are no pictures or videos in this post, blame Joe, since they are all trapped inside his camera.

Last week, my good friend Joe came to visit from Los Angeles. It was his first time in New York City, and I took a couple of days off to play tour guide. I wound up having a great vacation of my own. Even though I'm from NYC, there are activities here I have never done, and probably never would have, had I not been showing an out-of-town-er around.

I was surprised how many NYC facts elude me. For instance, I still get my bridges mixed up (Joe, I hope I pointed out the right ones along the way), and there are buildings, even iconic ones, which I don't know the backgrounds of. With that said, our adventures went a little like this...


We went to check out Banksy's new exhibit in the West Village. It's a "pet shop" of sorts, but I highly recommend exploring this link (opens in new window) to get a good idea of what it was all about. I had a great conversation with the "shopkeeper." I asked if he was an actor. He told me he wasn't, and that he simply answered an ad for help wanted at a pet store. When he showed up, he was greeted with, well, you'll see when you click. I was curious if he had started to grow into his "role," and start messing with people's heads a bit. I was happy to hear he had.

Next, we walked around the last of the cobblestone streets of the West Village, and stopped in for some Mediterranean pizzas at Moustache. We made our way up to the MOMA, and charmed our way in to the sold-out Van Gogh exhibit. Although I don't know how much more modern you can get, in terms of art, than Banksy's Pet Shop from earlier in the day.

All the walking around the museum was tiring, so we took a rest on the Great Lawn of Central Park, checking out the crazy roller skaters along the way. Some Red Bulls helped us get to the top Rockefeller Center for an incredible view of the city at sunset. More Red Bulls (now with Vodka) and then off Wo-Hop in Chinatown for dinner before hitting a club, where our charm reemerged to get us in at a discount.


My buddy, Ilya, lent Joe a bike and we rode through three boroughs in one day. We went across the Williamsburg Bridge and back, then up to the Queensboro (59th Street Bridge). We passed by the U.N. along the way, and took in Mies Van Der Rohe's Seagrams Building. Once we crossed the bridge into in Queens, we got some drinks at an outdoor bar and wobbled our bikes over to the waterside park for incredible views of Manhattan. We finished up at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for the longest running improv show in the country (world?)


Highlight of the night came after some Sushi in the East Village, when Joe got up on stage at Rock and Roll Karaoke at Arlene's Grocery and sang U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday with a live band to back him. The Lower East Side hipster crowd went wild.


His last day here. Not too much time before his flight out, so we just rode bikes down to the South Street Seaport.

If you ever want to have someone visit you, invite Joe over. He's fun.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

Saw the Bansky exhibit tonight and thought it was terrific. Thanks for posting the Wooster link. -Ari