I think I can safely promise a relatively very short blog post.
I know, I know, I should be doing this daily, but I’ve either had too much to do or been absolutely buggered, so now I finally have some free time, sitting on-board Delta Flight 1529 to Las Vegas; you have to pay for their in-flight wifi, but the Gmail app seems to work without having to login and pay!
Half of Day Eleven [I really need to stop putting these days in title case, but it’s too late now] was spent driving to Pittsburgh to a cousin’s place, and in wondering how to kill a few hours with my cousins, I suggested the movies, because I’m slowly falling behind on my quota of a 100 movies for this year.
The local cinema was pretty much empty for our 3D screening of Toy Story 3 [is there some way to apply italics to Posterous posts via email], and the tickets only $9. You hear that Australia, with your $22 tickets, you bunch of assholes? There were also free refills on popcorn and soda; god bless your obese ways, America!
We saw the trailer for Avatar: The Last Airbender during the first movie, and thought, “screw it, how bad can it really be, let’s go watch it”.
You saw the tweet reviews; take a bow, M. Might Failamalan, you’ve just won Worst Movie of 2010.
I can’t remember how many times we refilled the popcorn, but it was enough to make me sick, let me tell you!
And that was pretty much that. Did I mention the air in Pittsburgh was particularly green?!
Day Twelve, and after another long drive and crossing the border, we got to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls [apparently the Canadian side is a lot better].
We arrived at the Maid of the Mist, and as soon as I saw the thing, I was left breathless. It really is one of those things where pictures and videos does it no justice. Just the sheer size of the thing and how it came about inspires awe.
It got infinitely better when we took the Maid of the Mist boat ride, which takes you right to the centre of where thousands of gallons of water come raining down rapidly from two cliffs, creating mist that rises miles in the air. You’re given a raincoat, but that doesn’t do much when it’s windy as hell and you get to a point where water is coming down on you from 270°! I was thoroughly drenched, but on a 35° day, it was perfect.
Hopped on a cable car that again gave a different perspective of The Falls, and then off to stay at yet another relative’s house, this time in Ottawa. Or was it Ontario? /shrug
Day Thirteen. Driving and eating. Seriously. Well, sitting in the passenger seat, but still, very painful and a good chance to catch up on sleep. Why the hell does it tire you out so much, anyway?
I had a day in New York left, so I thought I’d make the most of it, got up relatively early on my own devices, created some sort of plan of attack for the day [I think that’s the first bit of planning by me this entire trip], and headed out to the city one last time.
It was primarily museum day. I headed out to the Upper East Side, home of Gossip Girl and The Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art]. Ok, I was partly going there to get that Gossip Girl badge [which I failed at >.<], but also because of my renewed faith in museums thanks to Washington.
Clearly The Met had about one percent of the interactivity of the Smithsonian, but it was nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable, especially the Picasso [that crazy kid! I want some of whatever he was smoking] and Egypt exhibits; I really, really want to go to Egypt now!
At this point, I was thinking, “Is MoMA [Museum of Modern Art] going to be that different?”, but @amandamli’s perennial insistence dragged me over the line, and boy was I glad.
Is it any different? Even to my untrained, uncultured eye, hell yes!
I think the thing that’s still most striking to me, is how everything is laid out, as weird as that sounds. Wall upon wall of white, but it’s not just paintings and sculptures hanging off them. The space in each room seems so well utilised, making you notice each individual thing, but also appreciating some sort of collective message. I dunno, this is what I got out of it for some strange reason.
There was also a much bigger focus on audio and video [the “modern” I guess], especially the ‘Days’ exhibit by Bruce Nauman [sp?].
It was basically a room laid out with directional speakers, projecting different voices repeatedly reciting the days of the week. It was this chaotic sea of voices, but as you went closer to a certain area, you could hear a particular voice. That’s it. But anyone that walked into the room, including myself, instantly started smiling! I took a photo of the actual description, but it’s on my camera in the overhead compartment and I can’t be bothered taking it out.
Similarly, there was another room, filled in complete darkness, with a sofa and a projector displaying blurry black & white images, with a piano playing in the background. I think I sat there for a good ten minutes, as it was strangely mesmerising and soothing.
And of course the mic and speakers they have set up in the main hall on the second floor, where anyone can scream / sing / whatever into! It produced varied results throughout the day, but was always greeted with laughter and applause from passers by.
Sigh, there was also this other quote about paintings and sculptures that was very profound, but yet again, sitting on my camera.
There was one thing that left me very disheartened last week; the Carnegie Deli cheesecake owning me. I could not leave New York without conquering this beast, so after a short visit to 30 Rock [i would have probably gone up the observation tower if I had time], I headed there to claim my revenge.
Success! With no plate of nachos and Thai food inside me this day, the cheesecake fell deliciously by the wayside!
So I guess that guarantee at the top of the post has failed -_-
I’m definitely going to come back to New York, as there’s still so much I feel I haven’t seen, but it is indeed a magical place, and one you should devote a good month [at least] towards.
Now to see what Vegas has to offer…