reporting with patience and fortitude from times square …

15 Sep
Times Square, just like the movies!

Times Square, just like the movies!

Much of my weekend centred around the infamous intersection of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue – Times Square. An honest coincidence – in my mission to discover more of New York City I found myself visiting several places that happened to fall around the gawdy and bright tourist-strewn streets.

I could not get away from the lights fast enough ...

I could not get away from the lights fast enough ...

After a week from hell, which I described to my family as having left me half-comatose, I felt that I really needed some down time away from school and the terrible effect it is having on us (I am going to call it the ‘J-school blues’. Symptoms include bleary eyes, an inability to focus on one topic during conversation, jittery hands caused by overdoses of coffee, carpal tunnel syndrome-induced tics, poor concentration when politicians start talking, an inability to decide what to eat for lunch, and a desperate need for alcohol come Friday afternoon).

Delicious vin and even deliciouser fromage at Mat's

Delicious vin and even deliciouser fromage at Mat's place

Spending Friday night at The Delancey was fun (ignore the bad reviews, the place is fabulous on a Friday nights and has wonderful margharitas … except why the bouncer refused to let us up onto the half empty roof garden after a foray in the bathroom was beyond my comprehension). But after what the week had done to me, what I really craved was some time alone.

Yes, that IS what you think it is!

Yes, that IS what you think it is!

Most of you will know that I am compulsively obsessed with organisation, and getting up on Saturday morning I decided I needed to do three things: a) watch a movie, b) do some bargain basement shopping and c) see something I hadn’t seen before.

Upon making a map and prioritising these three ativities in terms of geography and timing, I found myself at Times Square a few hours later making a trip to the AMC Empire theatre to watch Vicky Christina Barcelona (brilliant!), phoning my beautiful sister from a Starbuck’s near the square, and buying a beautiful, mint condition Zara dress from the Salvation Army on 46th street for $8. (And a Boy Meets Girl top – brand new with the tag still on – for $7).

The day was an (epic) success and was topped off by a “vin et fromage” hosted by the charming Mat Katz at his obscenely large apartment (Columbia Housing!!) on 114th street. Wow, do I sound a little bit snobby or what?!

Unable to wake up properly this morning, I got up really late after about 11 hours of sleep (an unheard of luxury for j-scohol students), lounged around in my pj’s for ages and then finally got my act together and travelled down to Times Square once again to visit the Patience and Fortitude lions at the Mid-Manhattan Humanities NY Public Library.

Humanities Research Library, mid-Manhattan

Humanities Research Library, mid-Manhattan

The library is absolutely beautiful, with tons of collections and an atmostphere that makes you feel as though you are soaking literature in through your pores by just walking through. It is also supremely organised and the Rose Main Reading Room has offered thousands of New Yorkers the opportunity to better themselves through reading and research.

To my credit, I made up for the 11 hours of sleep by getting a good 4 hours of reading in, thought up a few ideas for my education story (the next assignment due, sigh) and one idea for a Master’s Project and ploughed through a good part of my to-do list. There’s nothing like the quiet and competitive stares of other library visitors to get you racing through the course material. Wow, from snobby to nerdy in one quick leap, it’s astonishing.

Me with some old bloke.

Me with some old bloke.

I sat down for a few minutes in Bryant Park, a weird sort of haven in the middle of industria complete with tables, chairs, greenery, a piano for public concerts and tai chi and knitting classes held on most weekdays. My head nearly exploded after having to read a 15 page, 2005 New Yorker article on John McCain and for about a split second I wondered what it must be like to lead the life of a neo-conservative Republican. It’s hard to think these thoughts in a park in the middle of Mid-Manhattan.

Bryant Park, just down the road from the library.

Bryant Park, just down the road from the library.

The Main Rose Reading Room at the library.

The Main Rose Reading Room at the library.

Jax attempts to conquer the New York Public Library system by taking over far too much space in the Reading Room...

Jax attempts to conquer the New York Public Library system by taking over far too much space in the Reading Room...

... but is soon pacified from thoughts of war by staring upwards at the beautiful ceiling.

... but is soon pacified from thoughts of war by staring upwards at the beautiful ceiling.

And now it’s off to another week of madness and possibly crazy adventures that will either run me into the ground or prepare me adequately for a life as a intrepid, gauntless and possibly ulcer-ridden reporter!!

Before I go, I have to share with you one of the funniest and truthful satirical sketches I’ve seen, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live … On that funny note, au revoir and all my love to the people I miss every single minute.

Tina Fey returns to Saturday Night Live to play Palin

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/palin-hillary-open/656281/

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2 Responses to “reporting with patience and fortitude from times square …”

  1. Tumi September 15, 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    Hey
    I was listening to XM Radio – Oprah and Friends – and I heard Gayle King – Oprah’s BFF – talking about the Obama-McCain thing at Columbia. She is going to be there. It sounds like it is really going to be awesome.

    It sure sounds like you guys are working super hard, though I am glad you are taking time out and just taking things easy. It is good to take time away and come back refreshed, than slaving away and not getting as much done.

  2. Michelle September 16, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi Jax

    It’s amazing how much American culture has permeated our lives, to the point that some of the photos you show on your blog were almost as familiar to me as if I had been there myself – from all the movies I’ve seen (I’m thinking Sex in the City, sans the library: )

    I love your blog and wish I was there with you, it sounds like you really are conquering Yonkers!

    However now that you are in the US of A do not think you can slack on your English Grammar, please answer me, what is “gauntless”………..I think you have invented a new word…unless you are trying to run the gauntlett (hee hee)

    Ah family, your best and worst critics
    Go forth and conquer some more (and take lots of photos while you are at it!)

    Love Shell

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