It's hard to say what the best part of the trip was. It was a blur, a lot of it. People, buildings, people, sun, the food, shadows, beer, wine, the faint smell of gas in our apartment. We stayed on the Upper East Side - a bit tonier in some ways, a bit rougher in others, than the East Village or Brooklyn's Park Slope, the neighbourhoods I've stayed in before.
We walked. We walked and walked. We walked so much my shin seized up and I was limping.
We saw the Met by mistake, we walked the MoMA till our eyes were too full of beautiful things to take in any more.
We cut through a glinting Central Park, blanketed with snow under a blazing sun. A warm spring sun. I tried to wash the taste of the worst breakfast ever out of my mouth with swigs of the worst tea-like substance ever bottled. I bought a smoothie to wash that away. We left the tea chilling in a snow bank near the building where John Lennon was shot, where Yoko Ono lives.
Seeing Yoko Ono perform Monday night - the eve of her 77th birthday - was surely one of the highlights.
She is bananas.
Not in the ululating way, which I far prefer to the lyrics she was singing. The first couple of songs I sat there, listening to what she was singing with my arms and legs folded up as many times as I could make them. I knew my body language was parlaying the fact that the lyrics were making me want to tear something up into tiny little bits. I could feel D.Jack noticing, and I kept trying to unwind my limbs and facial muscles so that at least one of us could have a good time without worrying that the other one wasn't.
But then finally, finally, the music took over. She ululated more and spoke less and the tension I had eased out of my body stayed out. And then Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon came on stage and they played skronky guitar while Yoko wailed about mulberries. And I loved it with everything.
We drank a bottle of really good wine while eating tender noodles. We drank bubbly wine after. We walked up and down Broadway looking for J. And lo, I am here to give you these two tips:
- there is no 1087 Broadway in Manhattan
- always check what borough you're supposed to be in, since, maybe, perhaps, there is a club playing raucous riot grrrl covers in the deep depths of Brooklyn instead of pigeons cooing in the park that should rightfully be where the music is
We were tired a lot of the time, tried to fit in naps, or at least rests every day. I always forget how tiring it is just to see things. To soak up the reflection of all the light reflecting off all those buildings, the new faces, tones, voices, the cars, the honking, the honking. How the sheer masses of people in New York, particularly, make my head swim and my brain use up glucose faster than I can produce it.