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the crash
lost in a forest
amw
I'm thinking perhaps i should've visited New York first instead of last. This city (or Manhattan, at least) annoys the fuck out of me. It pissed me off the first time i came here and had to do all the tourist shit with J, it pissed me off the second time i came here and took M on all the same tourist shit, and this time around i stupidly went back to stupid Times Square because the hotel clerk suggested i could get cheaper Broadway tickets (i couldn't). Times Square is like all of the worst parts of Vegas with none of the good parts. I escaped to the west, since i've already visited the east and aside from Alphabet City it also sucked. The west side? Fuck, if i see one more bullshit tapas organic local heirloom tomato non-smoking overpriced Yelper hangout i'm going to punch some overpaid hippie in the face. What is this, California? For fuck's sake. After straight-up rock'n'roll bars in Indiana and biker bars in Texas this granola shit is fucking weak. Un-American, even! I think i need to go see Colbert and chin-wag a bit. Except that'd mean walking back through fucking midtown again, which i'm not sure my soul could take.

In all seriousness, Manhattan keeps disappinting me. It is SO not the place i saw in my head when i pictured New York City growing up. It's all tourists and chain stores and pretentious fucks with way too much money. I loved that surprise overnighter J and i had in Queens, i loved my weekend in Brooklyn, and this time around i'm laying over in The Bronx, which i hope to love just as much. I booked the hotel for a song due to it just opening this month and needing to attract customers to a neighborhood that has a reputation for being a ghetto. In truth, although driving here from La Guardia took me past a bunch of bodega thugs, really it's just a Latino neighborhood with a few sketchy blocks further out from the subway - not much different from where i was staying in Monterrey. Admittedly the hotel does stick out like a sore thumb - it's one of the nicest i've ever stayed at, albeit for a fraction of the price - but meh. I don't feel unsafe on the main street, at all. Enjoying my last two nights in a cheap king before the austere pragmatism of Germany...

My layover in Dallas was surprisingly entertaining. Originally i was going to go into the city, but when i arrived there last week and realized how far it was from the airport, i decided on an airport motel instead. Of course, still being in the Mexican frame of mind, i decided to take a walk in my sandals to see if there was anything on the other side of the freeway. After about a mile i hit cute little downtown Grapevine, which is full of tacky Texas shit and wine bars. I ended up at - don't you know it - another biker bar. What can i say? You can smoke inside, they serve no-nonsense American grub and they have cheap beer. Since i had no car this time, i drank way too much and monopolized the jukebox for an hour or two. Waking up this morning at 5am sucked, a lot. Which may have influenced today's crankiness. Whatever. Tomorrow i'm only going into town to see a Broadway show and then i am either getting the fuck out, or visiting Central Park, which remains awesome despite its surrounds. Plus dinner and maybe drinks with theda_b, which was kinda the whole point of the exercise, so yay!
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New York isn't the place is was when we were kids.There are still pockets of it, but they're hard to find. The last two mayors gentrified the hell out of the place. Times square used to be full of titty bars and $20 cheesecakes. Now it's $20 cheesecakes and Disney land. Bloomberg built a playground for rich kids. Then again, Mott Haven also had a lot more crack back then.

The East Village used to be the spot for dive bars, but those are dying off one by one. They were never really my thing, but I miss the crazy shit that just wandered down the street. The goth night is at a spot on the LES, which has also gentrified. There's still a couple of bars and restaurants in the area I don't hate.




I was probably being a bit overly dramatic yesterday - i do remember enjoying walking round the Lower East Side first time around, even though i was being hustled along to some other strip of chain-stores in Soho. It's much nicer to do these walks by myself. After the show this afternoon i'll probably head through the East Village again and see if i can trip over any nostalgic gutter punks on the way to dinner.

You know, i don't think it's that i need dive bars and crack addicts to have a good time. I just wanna see Sesame Street and delis and graffiti on the trains and burn barrels in the alleys. And starving artists that don't just look starving because they've been trying to sustain themselves on vegan tapas and $12 pints of organic microbrew.

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