Posted by: TomA | 5 June 2007

Days 37 & 38: New York

For our first full day in New York City, the torrential rain of the night came to a climax and eventually ceased, leaving behind it a week of warm and rather sticky weather. An exceptionally cheap week-long subway ticket in hand (imagine if the London Underground had those…) we set off to explore the Big Apple. Becky’s first destination (being the NYC fiend) was 5th Avenue for the endless streets of scarily expensive boutiques. Didn’t end up entering many: FAO Schwartz was as creepy as you’d imagine (with requisite dribbly children running on the electric floor piano thing); the Apple store flashly hidden under the street; others your typical high street fodder.

Further walking brought us to the New York Public Library, with a healthy police presence for the New York Fashion Awards running at the time. Surrounding streets were full of limousines waiting to pick up/drop off the “well” dressed; those we spotted included Oprah Winfrey and Tommy Hilfiger. But meh, who cares.

Highlight of the day turned out to be desert – in the form of rice pudding. An entire café dedicated to around 30 flavours of rice pudding, all fantastically stodgy; we gorged on rice pudding, taking what we couldn’t finish to nibble on the subway home.

 

Greenwich Village was as uninteresting as expected, full of touristy t-shirt shops and dull looking cafes, so we headed on to Soho and Tribeca for a more interesting selection of retailers and food stops. Becky found plenty of shops she loved, though very few things she actually wanted to buy in the end.

The afternoon brought an instore show by Monster Bobby at Other Music, at which The Pipettes joined and performed as well. I hadn’t expected the (actually very small) store to be quite so packed with Pipettes fans, to the point where it wasn’t actually possible to see a thing during the show. Even more unexpected was the fact that the actual show they were playing later that night was sold out when we turned up, though we managed to buy tickets on the door even so (a strange definition of sold out perhaps…). We unfortunately got there to late to see Marit Bergman (who replaced Monster Bobby at this show only I think), saw Smoosh perform almost entirely their new, awful album (bland, repetitive and far too serious for a group with an average age of about half mine) and none of the fun, naïve and quirky debut, before The Pipettes came onstage. A strange set saw them play a lot of their new material and the majority of the later hits, though none of their best early songs. A couple of the new songs were painfully bad, making me cringe on more than one occasion, though the Americans seemed to lap it all up gleefully. Perhaps I’ve finally got tired of their shtick…

 

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