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Monday, February 27, 2006

nyc: end

start of the last day here.
clearing out the hotel room, thinking about where i will go for those last few moments of touristy thins. chelsea galleries are an option as is moma.
will be doing one last run round of spending - not that i can spend too much as it seems that regardless of what my bank has said i can't use the debit card - it was refused in virgin last night. though even worse it might mean that my account has been raided and i have no money - now that would be harsh thing to come back to.....
i am sort of sad to be going, i want to come back. at the same time i am counting down the hours to getting back to london so i can breathe in the air of the greatest city in the world.
not sure i am looking forward to work mind, but have to take the rough with the smooth.
right lets get this hotel room cleared and lets get on the road for the next few hours of seeing the town.
with luck there will be a few more posts before i get on the plane.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

nyc: pic

nyc: skirts

one of the things i have noticed in nyc is the lack of skirts.
the other thing i have noticed in nyc is that people seem to notice the cold.
so nyc is not like newcastle in that the men stand in their ben sherman shirts with the tails out crushing their teeth together as they avoid shivering to death, it is not the city of women in shirt skirts suffering from cornedbeef legs the blue veins showing beneath the pale skin in an imitation of finest marble.
no indeed nyc is the place where people are nicely wrapped up it is the sensible city. i have had many odd lookks from people when i have been out in just my t-shirt. it's not that i am hard, it is just that it has not been all that cold (though it is getting a bit parky at the moment, and last night as i was feeling asleep at the computer it was downright frigid,
but it does mean that i have missed out on seeing the lovely ladies of new york showing a nice pair of calves, showing a shapley shin encased in stockings or tights. so i have had little to feast on in terms of legs and heels.
however the quality of tightly clad jean covered bottoms has been exceptional, in fact it would be churlish to complain given the amount of wonderous bottoms that have been on view to me, but complain i have. as a lech i want the whole experience, i want to spend time viewing women in heels, women in boots, women in short skirts, long skirts, tight skirts, loose skirts,,,, i just want to lech, there has been little oppurtunity.
in this new york has disappointed.
all the more reason to come back later in the year when i might be lucky enough to enjoy new york's finest in their finest.

nyc: pic

nyc: 500

my 500th post.
it seems somehow fitting it comes when i am in nyc and sitting just off times square.

here is to another 500 posts.

nyc: pic

i love coke and i love the mack truck.
together it is poetry in motion.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

nyc: knackered

need to go to sleep. i am in a starbucks, it is very late.
i have been on my feet all day. i am shattered, but i have had a nice meal in an italian with very pleasent company. i know i am in for a looooooong day on my feet tomorrow (well today) so i am going to hit the road and see if i can get home and sleep.
meantime in the starbucks i have seen them turf out a muslim looking women and for a black man to get involved in. it seems he like me only saw part of what had gone on and she was being thrown out because she struck a member of saff.
have had a bloke come in and ask who had left his cab running because it was a dangerous thing to do because it might be construed as a terrorist attack, no one seemed to care - though the cabbie was about to leave anyway. that was followed by a guy who claimed about the previous complainer and that lead to a monologue with him going on about lawyers and federal cases he is working on, he strikes me as being someone who is totally delusional... he is off again,

tine for me to, here is hoping the 1 is running or else i have a loooong walk.

nyc: pic

nyc: grid

it should almost be impossible to get lost in manhatten. the avenues run uptown and downtown. the streets run west and east. the exceptions are lower manhatten where the street look more like the streets in a london a-z, and of course broadway which runs at a diagonal across the city.
so with that in mind there should be no chance you can get lost, well that is all well and good as long as you are not me.
so far each night i have gone off course and ended up somewhere i wasn't planning to be, while it is a good way to see the city, but if you trhink you know where you are.
so i have gotten lost on everynight i have ended up getting lost. friday saw it getting to silll as i managed to end up several blocks, away from where i though, instead of being on 34th, i was on seventh avenue and west 23rd (where the chelsea art are based,,, abnd miles away from the javits centre where i was supposed to be....)
an hour later, some more walking, catching the subway i got to where i planned on being.,
the funny pary is that i got out of my regular station which gave me the option of walking down the 34th (my normal route) but i decided to do 33rd - it would be running parallell to the 34th, and once i got to the end i can just turn right into the javits, it was a plan. that all went wrong when i ended up going down 7th avenue,,,,,,

and please don't even get me starrted on broadway and its ability to make me walking in one direction (uptown) only for me to realise i am now approaching downtown.

the map makes it look so simple, but the city is readfy to screw with yoyu is something you should never underestimated.
you just have to love the city for that.

Friday, February 24, 2006

nyc: sleep

new york doesn't sleep. loads of shops are open all hours, and those that aren't either seem to stay open very long hours, of course there are exceptions to this and they are generally things that i want to be able to go, such as the camera shop i needed to go today - it closed at 5.30.
or the various galleries that seem to close for a couple of days during the week, even though they are paid galleries so they are losing money (the whitney and moma fall into this.

but right now i am in a 24 hour starbucks just by lincoln centre some 15 or so blocks away from my hotel.
i am shagged, it is nearly time to get up, but i am finding it hard to sleep, because i just want to be doing things, want to be experienceing things and you can't do that when you are asleep.

from the window where i am typing i can see a yellow cab and i can see the fog from the subway billowing out. the flags of the lincoln centre are blowing in the wind, i am guessing it is going to be very chilly out there. i am not going to walk back to the hotel i think i am going to catch the 1.
i am going to be pants tomorrow, when i am expected to be working....... ugh,

nyc: pic

Thursday, February 23, 2006

nyc: cops

have seen three colours of police cars so far.
while walking around times square i have seen two processions of police cars squealing in the street their sirens blaring.
there have been traffic cops out in the street directing traffic, on the lower west side i saw one traffic cop stop a police car while letting others go through.
the cops have great jackets and carry very chunky belts, which seem to have lots of things on them. although well aware of the fact that the cops carry guns what is odd is the casual way the guns seem to hang from the hips, they almost look like they are going to spill out and fall to the pavement.
several times i have seen cops get on the subway in order to go a few more blocks for their beat. everyone gives them the once over, but no one seems to concerned to see them. some of them have badges with various decorations on them. i am pretty sure no one knows what they are there for so the displaying of them is for the cops own benefit.
there always seems to be a cop on the beat.
when over on the upper east side i saw a couple of mounted police.


well i am here.
been here for a couple of days now. currently it is close to midnight, i am in a starbucks on broadway and 54th. i can see the ed sullivan theatre out of the window. if i was to walk downtown from where i am now i would hit times square in 10 blocks or so. from where i sit you can also see the bright lights of the square, they light up the area basking it in an stark neon glow, it makes the part of broadway that i am on look rather drab by comparison.

so after all the heartache of getting the passport, all the worry about getting here i have found myself wandering the streets quite happlily.

new york new york. it is a wonderful town.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


more and more i am beginning to think that david cameron has a very good chance of becoming the next prime minister of great britain. no not just the next conservative one, i reckon he may just have what it takes to beat new labour and gordon brown (assumong that gordon is the next leader of the new labour party).

cameron has not put a foot wrong. he has managed to avoid any damage from possibly doing drugs. he has benefitted from slip ups from the liberal party. and of course the fact that everyone hates tony blair isn't hurting him at all.

cameron has managed to steer a course that lets him support new labour when it suits him, picking is battles carefully. he has also let the tories know that change is necessary and it is not all going to be milk and honey for the conservatives - this change is going to hurt...

in short cameron has learnt from tony blair and the changes he made to the labour party to make it electable.

so there is cameron with his current photo ops with the bith of his new born son, arthur elwen. cameron is also showing he is a new man by taking his paternity leave, all the while saying he is still working.

hold on did i say elwen?
indeed i did.
apparently elwen is an english name that means "elf wise friend".
yes elf wise friend.

from this site it means old friend.
this one has it as friend of the elves.
this one has it as being old friend, while elvin as being elf friend....

(oddly all of them have jay as meaning someone from the midlands.)

but the best part of the story is on the bbc site

and for my money costs him the election.

"Newspaper reports have previously suggested that Mr Cameron's supporters play a game in which they imagine themselves in a political version of Middle Earth, with their leader cast as the Tory version of Lord of the Rings' Frodo. "

does that mean boris is legolas?

Saturday, February 18, 2006


two views of st pauls.


have reached 8000 hits.
blimey that last 1000 took forever.
but a big woo hoo to me.


closing in on 8am on saturday.
just over an hour ago i booked my hotel for the trip to new york.
i leave monday, arrive monday. i leave new york the following monday and arrive back in blighty on the tuesday. it does look as if most of the time i am going to be in nyc i am going to be working, and that sucks. but i can have a mooch or two around the place on a couple of days and then see if i can squeeze some stuff in during the evenings. the evening stuff is not going to make me a popular person, but hey whats new.
i just have to remember: the bronx is up and the battery's down and the people ride in a hole in the ground...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


watched the first parts of 24 last night.
jack is back.
(no cliff - don't say anything about what else has happened in the series.)

you can see echoes of previous series in the start of day 5, but they have started this one off in a rocking and breathtaking start.

bring on the rest of the day.

(tip of the hat to paul for supplying the first few hours.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


all i can say is that this trip had better be worth it. it is causing me untold grief. not to mention how much it is costing me. for those keeping score (and i know there are a few of you)i am being sent to new york because of work.

i have decided in my infinite wisdom to extend the trip and make a bit of a holiday out of it. so far so good. except nothing is ever easy in patworld. need a passport. that had it's ups and downs but has (hopefully, fingers crossed) been resolved.

shit i suddenly realise i should have a credit card. i don't have one the debit card has done me proud in the past. but hoots mon i may need the extra spendy bendy of a credit card. ok ok it is all last minute i know. but hey in for a penny in for a pound. i call my bank. well not so much the bank but the call centre of my bank. i use my usual tactics - look i know i am a bit of a tit but can you help me....

before they can even answer that a few security questions: address - hey i know that. score one for me. date of birth - easy. bullseye. how long have you been living at the address. there's your answer. spot on. are you in full time employment. a breeze. i am a winner.

so now i can get onto my request. i clearly state can i apply for a credit card online and get the card within a week? i stress i need it within the week or else it is no good to me. sure sure sure. time for the checks. date of birth (hey i know this one), address (and this one.... aske me something harder), inside leg measurement, favourite chocolate all those things asked and answered. i am on a roll, i am feeling good.
i am king of the fucking world.

my application has been accepted. wooo hooo.
i am king of the fucking universe.
see me roar.

the paperwork will be with you in a few days time and you have a cooling off period, please return the paperwork in the envelope provided........ so not getting it in a week. i am deflated, i am the hindenburg but without the flames i am crashing and burning.
i want to scream.

ok plan b. debit card should be ok as it is a visa card. get the overdraft applied and have it at a high level so that i have a security blanket in case something goes wrong (and "going wrong" are my middle names...). can i confrim your address and date of birth. they hadn't changed since the last time i was asked. now it might be me but i am not sure you are going to catch out a big time terrorist or money launderer by seeing if checking his date of birth, address, period of residence is the same if you ask 20 times. what it does is irritate the customer.

anyway i have been told i now have an overdraft. the plan is not to spend it.

as for the credit card who knows - i might apply for it, when the paperwork comes through, or i might treat it like junk mail.

what else can go wrong. what else can hinder me.

shit need to go and get a suitcase.

Friday, February 10, 2006


it is late, or it is early it just depends on your view.
i am listening to nine inch nails - trent is emoting into the night time and i am pretending that this multi-millionaire understands my pain, that together we share the same emotional trauma, then i realise that on balance there is little that is wrong with my life (but a big win on the lottery would be nice....)

i was going to mention that gorgeous george galloway's ebay auction has been sabotaged, the gorgeous one has jumped in and accused his political enemies of doing it, by putting in very very large bids of £150,000, when all they were expecting was a figure in the 10s of thousands of pounds (what who the fuck has that kind of money to spend on a dodgy old sweat top that 3g wore on tv..... )
as far as george is concerned people such as the new labour party, the tories, the usa senate, christopher hitchens are checking out ebay and putting in malicious bids. here is a man who had gotten caught up in his own press.
but as his aides never got back to me i consign 3g to the heap of my blog.

except it ties into the recent wikipedia controversy.
i occassonally use wikipedia, it's an interesting tool that can be useful in pointing you in the right direction in order to gaher information,
the interesting thing about wikipedia (19th most visited site on the internet - it comes a few places below my blog) is that it is run on open sources softeware this means that anyone can add to the wiki encyclopedia. and anyone can edit it. in this it is a great exemplar of the internet all this information out there and only so much that you can guarantee as being "true" (the bbbc and perhaps david icke being the two that spring to mind...)
so it was a bit of a shock to read that various senators in the USA have been "editing" their wiki pages. now you don't have to be a great student of human nature to realise that where they have been doing this that they have been doing it in their favour.
what is a little disturbing is that it has been democrat senators who seem to have been singled out for the dubious honour of trying to buff up their appearance.
still as it costs somewhere in the region of $15 miliion to run for senate you can see that once they get in they do not want to give it up easily.

in these times when we are all going on about the sanctity of the freedom of speech and a adjunctat to that would be the freedom of information, we are not only being bombard by more information than we could ever take in, but we are also being asked to try to sort out the good from the bad, the legitiamate from the puff piece.

makes my head hurt (it it could be the lack of sleep....)

Thursday, February 09, 2006


the passport saga has cost me cash, time and anxiety.
i am not going to be happy until the darn thing is in my hot sweaty hands, but it looks like its about waiting now.
was a bit shocked that there was nothing about occupation or distinquishing mark...
and supposedly the biometerics (if my passport is one) can be done from the shitty photos of me - yeah right.

one of the things i had to do was get a birth certificate. this has then got me thinking about my mum and dad. until recently i had no idea when they got married, now i know roughly when they got married - and i will get that certificate in march. luckily the wedding certificate has their birthdates on it because guess what i have no idea about their birth dates (so much so that on my mum's death certificate i had to tell them she was born around 1930.....) (i know i know what a shitty son i was ....)

anyway for a time i thought that i would need the birth dates of my parents for the passport application. just get the wedding cerificate i hear you cry, well it costs and it takes time. time i didn't have. so i turned to google. put in my dad's name and i get a bunch of americans. no good. add in another search definer and i get court cases at the old bailey. closer to home (and ironically dad worked near there) but the wrong time period.
the name was going nowhere.
so lets use my birth address.
now i knew that my parents had been involved in three pubs when i lived in the east end,
the victory - i remember it being a gorgeous pub, but i knew it was knocked down and not where i was born,.
the carpenter's arms - in cheshire street (not my birth address)
and the one i forgot, which is my birth address.
so do a google on 154 brick lane - up comes the two brewers. ah thats the one. nothing about my dad. blast. some guff about it being linked to the ripper (but then the local sweet shop could also argue it probably was a place where jack hung out...) oh and whats this...
well blow me down and knock me over with a feather trevor.
but 154 brick lane is now famous for something else.
oh yes it is coffee@ in brick lane. an establishment i frequent on a very regular basis, and have remained remarkably loyal to over the years. now it just feels very odd to know i have been going there all this time and i was born there.

small world.


dan flavin. hayward gallery. fluorescent lights. beautiful. go see it.
(he is a minimalist you see).

Monday, February 06, 2006


only in america would the rolling stones be censored during the superbowl.
these aging rockers are singing such risque lyrics that the nfl and abc had to have a 5 second delay.
bless the religious right for making it safe for me to listen to old blokes sing songs they made popular when i was still young!


as some of you may have noticed i am not big on kids. most of the reason i have a downer on children is to do with how their parents have brought them up (or more accurately) how they ignore them, and treat them either as a fashion accessory or just an inconvenience.
a parent has the two most important jobs in the world when it comes to children. the first is to socialise the child into the mores and norms of society so that they grow up to be pleasent members of the community. instead most of the parents i see around my local area are more interested in shouting and swearing at their kids, verbally battering them.

now i have been a stepdad and i have to say i never thought i would miss it, but i did. children have a way of looking at the world which is so different from adults that it is invigorating being around them (the ask the questions no one has asked before, well we know that is not the case mr teacher advert, because if that was the case then the teachers would be flumoxed and unable to answer this truly original piece of thought!) plus a child in your life means you have no option but to look at the world in a completely different way than you did before.

and i can sympathise with parents who break up and have to contest custody of the child.
but there is something that stops me from respecting the men in the father for justices cause.
why pat why?

well part of it is to with the second most important thing a parent does - and that is to embarass their children at every oppurtunity when they are of the age when being remined that they are little soldiers or that they wore spider-man pjs to bed in front of their friends is mortyfying. most parents have learnt this from their parents, and it is a learn process that they are happy to pass on to the new generation, who in turn pass it own. the embarassments that parents bestow on children may change of they years but by the end of it ll the children have come through it a little stronger than before.

the fathers for justice mob seem to want to jump over the teach your child to be a worthy member of society and just spend time humiliating them and setting bad examples for their children.
so there is your dad dressed in a saggy batman or spider-man costume. oh look he is on national tv because he is stuck up a pole somewhere, he is swinging from a crane somewhere....
and of course there are the egg throwers who have targeted ms kelly, and who would be the first to complain if she threw eggs at them....

i mean what sort of example is it to set to kids.


should be asleep.
i am not. have been listening to the superbowl (american football - very silly game, not like good old rugby. and while on the subject of the great game a few patriotic moments as we rejoice in the whomping of wales at the weekend. it is one of the few times when a team winning a game really means something...)
so i am not up to listen to the superbowl, i am supposed to be looking for the utility bills i need to take with me to the passport office tomorrow (well today) in order to prove i am who i say i am.
oh as if that was the only problem with this poxy passport thing. the application form is a nightmare, tiny little boxes you have to write in, can't go outside the lines, not sure i can answer all the questions, not sure i can get a countersignatory. oh the hell the hell.
already had 3 sets of pics made up. it's not enough that the picture be of your face, no that would be too easy. you have to have a pic that is so big, no bigger and no smaller. a neutral expression, which is not as easy as you think. oh bugger that set has a reflection on my glasses.... arrgh my head is too big in that lot...... better see if i can get another set done later, maybe on the way into work.

the worst of all of this is that i am not all that keen on going to new york. but have to get it sort to go.
still have a load of other things to get arranged before i am even close to ready to go...

right enough of this moaning time to go and see if i can find some utility bills (and do some more of the cleaning up.)

no sleep for me tonight.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


well jack is back. this week sees the return to tv of one of the greatest shows ever.
yes 24 is back.
the problem for me is that i will not be watching it as it is meant to be watched in weekly installments, rushing home to make sure that i am sat in front of the box ready to see what threat jack and ctu have to thwart and just how far will jack go in order to make sure that truth and justice prevail.
unusually jack is an anti-hero who is not afriad to break eggs in order to make his omelette. in a brave move on the part of the creators of the show the american heroes are not all portrayed as being nice people, they often have to make hard decisions and do the wrong thing for the right reason.
it is truly amazing tv. in each of the previous series the ante has been upped and then upped again.
those of us who have watched it love it. we appreciate the fact that it is ludicrous, but we allow this because the show is done with a panache that is so rare these days. for the time you are sat in front of the screen watching it all the plot holes and impossibilities are put to one side as you sit down and get drawn into the web of lies that always make up the working the counter terrorist unit.
if you have never watched it get yourself over to a tv screen for the first episode and prepare for a wild ride.

me i am without a workign tv so i am relying on my friendly pushers of dvds to come to my rescue. will i get to see it all?
the next 24 weeks are going to be tough, they are going to get tense, and things are likely to get ugly before they get better, but with jack's help (well actually jim and paul's help) i should make it through this tough ordeal.

stop looking at this go and make sure you know where you will be when 24 starts to screen on the box. don't miss it. total quality.

Friday, February 03, 2006


just come back from seeing munich a film that i have mixed feelings about, it is a worthy film with some very strong performances and effective set pieces, but it is patchy and overly long, consequently it weakens the impact of the film.
eric bana goes from being the devoted son of isreal to a hard bitten cycnical realist by the end of the film. his one weakness is that he sometimes seem to be mumbling (though that could have been the sound system in the cinema).
the film is strongest in the iinteractions between the characters, surprisingly the action is where the film is generally at it's weakest.
i have no idea how accurate the film is in terms of the portrayal of the events, speilberg has structured the film very much as if it was a robert ludlum book crossed with a james bond movie mixed with a documentary. so it is the zigs and zags that make it work.

the film is on it's firmest ground when it is dealing the the interactions of the characters. there are only a few occassions when the actions of the mossad operatives are questioned, there is one impassioned speech from a palestinian to eric bana's character (who he thinks is a sympathiser with the palestinian cause) who basically it is all about having a home, which is an echo of the talk of family that bana and his companions often talk about. it is through these interactions we learn about the characters and discover that in a sense at this "level" of covert operations that there is a lack of real morality - that people might think that they are doing it for the best of reasons, but soon these are subsumed in the mire that terrorism creates.

it's worth going to see, but i do wish it was 30 minutes shorter - i dread to think how long the directors cut is going to be.

the film of january was "running scared" - mad mad action with edgy mtv direction. witih an ott ice rink fight. magic stuff.