Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A holiday, a holiday, the first one of the year...

Chaps, I'm in New York City. It's very exciting indeed. There's a whole different tube system to navigate and I can't smoke anywhere, but the queer bookshops stay open until midnight and as soon as I stepped out of the airport a gentleman informed me that I should shake it like a milkshake. Which may even not have been rude.

Oh, and contrary to what I've been told, you CAN get a decent cup of tea here.

Whilst I'm here I'll be working on various writing projects and visiting long-lost family members from th Russian/Jewish branch. My bag is so full of random bits of heirloomified tat that there's barely room for my knickers, and I'm going to have to wash them every day or two in the grotty little sink in the grotty little hostel where I'm staying. I love travelling.

In short: Gone fishin', back soon. If anybody has any tips for where to get pleasantly lost in this massive strange place, please share them!


  1. I can't believe you just quoted Mattie Groves! Brilliant!
    Have a great holiday.
    Catherine Redfern

  2. Oh you so are so lucky! First, you take the piss out of us straight white geezers and then you piss off to somewhere new. God I'm dibbling with envy. I wish I was on the road again.

    The smaller the quantity of undies the better. Actually you find that after two years the undies disintegrate and are not replaced .. really it's no loss. It's when your sleeping bag stinks to high heaven and you find yourself sleeping under picnic tables in the rain that you wonder is it time to give up the ghost.

    I hope you're not going to return to boring London and wax on about half chewed dog meat.

  3. Col Bloodnokk (ex MI5)17 June 2009 at 12:44

    You are very lucky to be able to afford one .
    This bloggin' lark must pay dividends.
    How do you get started ?

    Since I was (forceably) retired from the service I don't get out much. I am allowed out at Christmas and important events like Ma Thatcher's birthday.Please let us know how you get on with the Yanks.
    Never could stand 'em meself.

  4. You'll probably have heard of it already, but definitely check out Bluestockings on the lower east of Manhattan -

  5. Have no idea if you're remotely interested in art, but as an artist i'd immediately home in on MoMA and the modern art section of the Met!!
    Have fun!!!

  6. I would recommend having a ramble over the bridge for a shop at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. It's for a good cause.

  7. Depends on how long you're in New York... :-)

    Personally, I'd walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I'd also visit (the) Century 21 department store - just to see the crowds, if nothing else - and take in Wall St. Take a peek at the WTC area - its across the road from Century 21. Get your photo taken sitting on the Bull on Lower Broadway.

    While you're downtown, go to the Tenement Museum. And then go have a late lunch somewhere in Soho, or dim sum in Chinatown.

    I'd also visit the museums as Josie suggested (MOMA is free on Friday nights; line up early. That line gets long!) Both the Met and MOMA are worth seeing. For a gentler, but no less interesting place, definitely check out the Brooklyn Museum. They have a fabulous collection of Rodin's, an Albert Bierstadt that's a personal favorite (5th flr, if memory serves; the picture opposite, of Niagara, is also a favorite. And the one of the ), a primitive art section that is definitely worth seeing, and a furniture collection that's as comprehensive as it is exemplary. The Park Circle is worth looking at, and the Brooklyn Library (just down from the museum) is a sight to behold. I used to love walking home, passing that view! (The wind howling up Union St was another issue altogether...)

    Speaking of the Brooklyn Library - they will probably have a lot of material you could use in your quest. A lot of Russians settled in Brighton Beach (worth going to see), and Brooklyn has a large Jewish population.

    DO THE CIRCLE LINE! At sunset. It's an unforgettable experience. And: it's a wonderful cliche: GO TO THE TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!

    You could also do the Staten Island Ferry. Ellis Island is good, but the lines are long. Same for Lady Liberty.

    Ah, you could spend a lifetime in New York! If you don't have that much time, get a good guide book. (Time Out is not a substitute; although that's good for what-to-do-at-night.) Brooklyn's Park Slope, especially in 5th Ave, has a hip night scene. A quick search of some blogs might reveal places to go, and people you could meet. (It has an almost legendary queer/lesbian scene.) Just be careful around there, though - it can be very dangerous away from the trafficked areas.

    I was going to be in New York City, this weekend, but I had to postpone my trip. I miss NYC. HAVE FUN! :-)

    Carolyn Ann

  8. Oh, I just remembered: the Met used to be a "suggested donation" of about a zillion dollars. I think it still is, but you can simply give them a dollar, and they'll let you in.

    To echo Josie, it's definitely worth seeing.

    Carolyn Ann

    PS Now you've got me started on thinking about New York City! :-)

  9. I said it already, but I'll say it again - happy holidays! Good luck with the book also.

  10. alex grey's chapel of sacred mirrors is worth an hour or two if you're into mind-scarringly intricate psychadelic art: -

  11. Colonel Bloodnooky

    Yes there is plenty of money in having a popular blog. The top traffic blog, Guido Fawkes, makes over 5 thousand quid a week on adverts. Of course Penny Red is not quite in the same traffic league but it may explain exotic holidays with brand new knickers in tow.

  12. Ditto on the tenement museum. Also, they sometimes show movies in the drained swimming pool in McCarren Park, between Bedford ave and Nassau in Brooklyn, on summer evenings. Marvellous.

  13. The Real McCoy19 June 2009 at 13:01

    Instead of wasting money having a holiday in America, the world centre for the very worst kind of exploitative capitalism, why didn't you donate it to some worthy charity, e.g., Shelter or present it to a dosser sleeping in a doorway and actually do some good with your coin? What a poseuse and champagne socialist you really are, Penny Red, just under the skin. (I'd consider changing your nom de plume to Penny Purple or Penny Blue ASAP if I were you.) Still. Very comedic all in all. You and your sober little posse of "lefty followers" make me want to piss my pants with laughter!

    "Down with the military and economic tyranny of America! But the weather's nice and I'm having a lovely time. Wish you were here!"

    Give me a fucking break!

  14. Oh dear, it seems the Real McCoy does not believe in family. Or was so eager to post something nasty that he or she missed the part about visiting relatives.

  15. Well she could have written or phoned them, Vanilla. I hope you didnt fly to the heart of the beast, Penny btw as our poor planet isnt doing too well ecologically incase you didnt know. Have fun on your holiday as millions starve for the privilage!

  16. Writing or phoning is not quite the same. Yesterday, I saw my pregnant cousin-who-lives-in-Australia-now for the first and last time during her pregnancy. Yes, she and I are both on ... a well-known social networking site that does not need me to advertise it.

    I am pleased I saw her in person, and patted the bump (and suggested Rose or Rosanna for a middle name if it is a girl). I didn't think Vanilla stood a chance ...

    I'm not defending high carbon lifestyles, but my cousin really loves living in Australia. She and her husband are so happy there.

    Penny's lifestyle does not sound nearly as high carbon as that of, say, the Beckhams. (Although I did recently query Penny's claim that Victoria Beckham was promoting misogyny. Oh dear, so complicated!)



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