Thursday, 13 September 2007

He Slimed Me

When reality sets back in we'll be posting some more pitures and video on our website over the next week.

Until then, I'm sleeping

"I feel so funky"

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

We Came, We Saw, We Kicked It's Ass

Whilst I'm not going to miss catching the elevator to bed, it's going to be hard without the magic bed that makes itself every day and the bathroom that grows fresh towels. We go for cocktails in Battery Park, where we can look across the Hudson and see Lady Liberty, this gp also a popular spot for bodies to wash up but it's all clear today. Today's highlight is seeing a shoe shine shop and a female cop with french nail polish. It's a cab ride past the trappese school and the badlands adult video store to pick up our bags and get a car to JFK airport. The driver insists on using his mobile, dialing the number on a business card that's headed with the words 'Accident Victims Hotline', I guess it's always good to call ahead. Despite this, we arrive in good time and get through security. The duty free shops are fantastic, when you've purchased goods they are taken for collection as you board the plane, someday all airports will work like this. We are in our airplane seats by 8.15, the planes battery however is flat, I'm expecting another American Airlines 777 to pull round the front and get the jump leads out. We have missed our slot and another 40 minutes is added to hour 2 hour delay. We are about to run to the front of the plane and threaten to start a sing song. "We have the words to ging gang gooley and we are not afraid to use them". New York isn't everyone's cup of coffee, if you don't like the cut and thrust of city life, you may hate it. The famous logo, I heart N Y, for us has been New York hearts us. I LOVE THIS TOWN!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Sunday, 9 September 2007

C'mon, let's run some red lights!

Last nights thunder came to nothing and we wake up to another sweltering day in the city, even the homeless woman with bags full of empty cans had a crop top on. My quest for amusing shop names continues, today it was a chinese restaurant called Wok & Roll. After a brief visit to the Manhatten shopping mall we return to our local store Macy's, any shop that has a floor called 1 and a half is cool by us. After droping off our bags at the hotel and a shake at the Tick Tock, we get a cab uptown to Columbia Uni for another Ghostbuster location. Then it's back to Time sq for a beer and to watch a re-run of the Italian Grand Prixi and some more great gift shops and the M&M store. When I go to a restaurant, use the restroom and the lights dim when I use the hand blower, I know it's going to be great food. Bella Napoli did nothing to change my opinion on this and we enjoyed what must be the biggest pizza I've ever seen, when it came to the table it had olives in orbit. It was back up the Rockefeller Centre to see New York at night and then on to Central Park for a romantic horse and hansome ride. To finish the night we walked down 7th Ave and found an Irish bar as Irish as key lime pie and watched New York Giants get wopped by the Dallas Cowboys. My purchase of the day has to be a Bada Bing t shirt. Time to go back to our hotel one more time before we enjoy our last day in this amazing city.

Einstein did his best work as a patent clerk

Call it karma,call it luck, I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we were destined to get thrown out of the university to go into business for ourselves.

shakes in the tick tock

Suzie flies the Billy flag

Saturday, 8 September 2007

did you want to talk about the weather or were you making chit cha t?

Another blazing hot, fast pace day here in the City that never creeps. We take the subway to Coney Island, all fares are $2; take that and shove it up your Congestion Charge Ken Livingston, in half an hour we are on golden sands looking out at the Atlantic Ocean. There is a good old American theme park here, we head for a very old rollercoaster called the Cyclone. The person who invented the word rickity, must have just got off it. Despite it's age, it's great fun and we move on to a ride called Dante's Inferno. It has little to do with the seven levels of hell with the exception of the last part where it breaks down and leaves us just above purgatory until the next car bumps us towards the last bend, Judas Curve. We then visit the New York Aquarium. Lots of bog standard fish and coral, boistered out with Sharks, Sealions and a Barber Shop Quintet. The most worrying thing, the cafe's best seller is fish and chips, we settle for slush puppies. Sue has a blue raspberry and I have red Cough Syrup flavour, we are tempted though by octopus shaped biscuits. We take a long lingering look at Astroland, the name of the theme park, despite having so much history here, it looks like the site will be redeveloped next year and New York will loose a vital part of it's history. We return to Manhatten's Tribeca area and have cocktails in Bubbles Lounge. Sue has a french 75, I go for the Kit Kat martini. We walk up to West Village and realise we must be blending in well as we have been asked for directions over the last couple of days. Something different for dinner, Sacred Chow vegan restaurant, then we hit the Fat Black Pussy Cat and move on to Rogue for drinks. On the way back, a new first, we see New York rats running across our path. It's starting to thunder now and a storm is brewing, Gozer is coming and we may have to cross the streams.

Coney Island

Paul & Sue ride the Cyclone.

where do these stairs go? They go up

After camera stops for the Public Library and Grand Central Station, we head for the Rockefeller Centre past a sandwich board man advertising a mens hairdresing salon. While not quite as tall as the Empire State, it has a better view of Central Park and of course the Empire State itself. For lunch it's Lindy's Diner which specialises in triple decker sandwiches named after famous celebs. I had an omelette, while Sue tucked into a Britney Spears. Some more Ghostbuster locations followed, and then it was a brief visit to the Dakota Building followed by some reflection in Strawberry Fields, part of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon. For the evening we headed for West Village and find Jeckyll & Hyde, bar restaurant. Lit by candles and decorated like a 1930's horror movie, I've finally found my home. I get fed vodka through a syringe, it doesn't get any better than this. We eventually escape the clutches of Castle Cholestral and find a comedy club, it's a bit hit and miss at first, Sue got the biggest laugh during the first comedians set, but as we get drunker, they get funnier. We end up at a blues and funk club called The Groove, saw a fantastic band, had loads to drink and we both made some new friends. At 2am it's time to grab a cab. "the kids love us"

Friday, 7 September 2007

Mr Staypufft returns to New York

your girlfriend lives in the penthouse suite, of spook central

Dana Barret's apartment, Zuul's entry to the city. For the film the top half of the building was a matte painting using gargoyales from the Riverside Church which is further uptown.

top of the rock

Rockefeller Centre.

We'll get back to yer

The New York Public Library, home to the opening scene and subsequent first ghost encounter.

this chick is toast

Up with the sand blasting shower to get the 8.30 ferry to Liberty Island. On board we have very salty pretzels for breakfast and manage to spill our coffee's, by the boat rocking as if we are about to take the great white whale. More security, belts off again and through a machine that puffs air at you to check for explosive particles. Liberty's original torch is now under the main statue, the thinking is if someone wants to pinch it they have to remove all the concrete flooring, the same way it came in. Great gift shop, selling Liberty hand torches and my personal favourite, Monumints. After a basket of crinkle fries we head off to Ellis Island and catch a 25 minute play with all the production values of a Blue Peter panto. Back on dry land we visit the National Museum of the American Indian and I spend a small fortune in books. We pass Wall St. and linger around Ground Zero. Our last stop of the afternoon is the site for the Ghostbusters HQ. The usual crew were out at a fire downtown, but the Crew there from Queens gave us a tour inside the station. We are exhausted and go back to our hotel for a quiet evening and to give our feet a well deserved rest. It's been really warm here and at last we feel we can enjoy the summer, just a shame we had to travel 3 and a half thousand miles to find it.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

We Got One!

Ghostbusters HQ- the working firestation of 8 Hook & Ladder was used for the outside shots of GB HQ. They also have the sign in the station that was hung outside for Ghostbusters 2.

Ground Zero

It's impossible now not to link New York with 9/11. The view and exhibition from Ellis Island made us realise just how the twin towers dominated the skyline. Nothing prepared us for the size of the site though, which still smells of smoke 6 years on.

I've had better, but not many

Another Ghostbusters 2 location picture. The Manhatten Museum of Art where Dana Barret works and the painting of Vigo is housed. We've also just been to the fictitious Manhatten City Bank from the first film. They hate it when you take pictures of the bank, but we got one and ran! You're never gonna regret this Ray.

higher and higher

A ghostbusters 2 location. The inside gets coated with positivly charged slime, to animate her and get her across to unite New York and defeat Vigo.

on the way to Liberty

We managed to get up with the alarm, catch the Metro and the ferry to Liberty Island. The cabs are still on strike.

something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore

We arrive at Rumsey Playground to wait for the guy who's bringing our tickets for the Arctic Monkeys and sit on some rocks watching the sound check. All of a sudden this guy who seems a cross between Dennis Hopper and Eddie Murphy keeps asking us if we need "good buzz", he eventually latches on to a guy near by us who's drinking white wine, who in turn gets booked by an under cover cop for drinking in a public place at which point Mr Good Buzz says "goodbye". We get our tickets and get in line and forget the local lingo and use the word holiday. This gets the attention of the person in front of us who originally came from Ipswich but has lived in the US for two years. We get chatting and when his wife and two friends turn up we get adopted by them under New Work adopt a limey scheme. I bought a beer and got asked for ID to check I was 21, read it and weep Martin! The Arctic Monkeys are fantastic and it's great to see them in a small venue, even the guy behind me singing a semitone out during When The Sun Goes Down can't spoil things. After the gig our new friends take us too their local bar, Sue goes off with the girls and Mat, myself and his friend Keith go to find another cab. We hail this cab driven by a Korean called Chan and get in, what follows is the conversation in the cab.

Keith "put the meter on".
Chan "there's no meter, its strike".
Mat "put the meter on".
Chan " its strike".
Keith "put the meter on or I'm calling you in".
Chan, holds up a clipboard" it's strike, no meter it's 10 dollars a zone each".
Mat "its a 5 dollar ride I'm not paying you 30".
Chan "it's strike it's strike".
Keith "I've got 12 dollars, it's that or let us out" .
Chan, waving at others trying to hail cabs "look there 20 dollars, 30 dollars, it's strike you give me 30"

The conversation goes this way for the first couple of minutes then a black limo pulls up along side us and starts pointing at us, my laughter at the cab baiting suddenly dries up, unknown to me Keith kept the door from shutting so we couldn't be locked in. At that point Keith opens the door, gives the guy the 12 dollars and we all get out and run down a one way street so he can't follow us, I look back and he's waving the 12 dollars at us shouting "it's 30 dollars, it's strike it's strike". We eventually make it to their local bar called Ryan's Daughter, the girls haggled their fare to 20 dollars and without incurring the wrath of the Korean Mafia. We stay drinking to about 2am and then head back to our hotel. We are making friends fast here and looking forward to an early start to The Statue Of Liberty, Sue has wisely set her alarm to the tune of Head For The Sunshine by Billy Wears Dresses.

look at all the junk food

After hand to hand combat with the shower, we realised there was a huge cut in cabs on the street. They went on strike this morning over gps and credit card machines becoming compulsory. So we walked to Time Sq. to find our tour bus, past the place where the explosive went off and the $ fight was taking place two nights ago, this time there was a "discussion" between a guy and a builder going on. We've decided there must be a conversion of bad vibe lay lines under the sidewalk here. Todays tour was uptown and Harlem. Our various tour guides up to this point have been very lightweight and fun, today however we have a cross between Jackie Mason and a drill sgt. None the less we have a very informative tour and see The Apollo Theatre and the intelligently named school :PS19 . Still it has a more friendly acronym than Brooklyn's College University New York. After lunch we headed for our trip on The Beast, a speed boat trip on the Hudson Captained by Mad Dog and Big Daddy. This is a must do for anyone visiting the Big Apple, which we both really enjoyed. Most amusing sign of the day goers to a guy in Central Park which says "money wanted for drink so I can get taken home by two women and get molested". After Coffee and Canoli we head up to collect our tickets to see The Arctic Monkeys who are playing in the park tonight.

The Arctic Monkeys in Central Park

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

good doggie

Our first Ghostbusters location. This is where Louis Tulley becomes The Keymaster.

The Beast

waiting for the beast

We are about to take a boat trip with Captain Mad Dog

Billy in Manhatten

KMFM- pahh! Next stop Radio City!

type something will you, we're paying you for this stuff

I knew it was going to be a great day, Outside the hotel this morning I saw a big American tanker. These are almost as hard to find in Manhatten as petrol stations (there are only five of these here). The shower in our bathroom is the sort usually mounted on armoured vehicles to disperse protestors, bettered only by the sink where the water runs out of the overflow. We then head next door to the Tick Tock diner for a pancake fest. Sue ops for the Tropical Health Shake, I go for the Route 66 malt, though neither of us have the nerve or stomach capacity to tackle the Elvis peanut butter milk shake, maybe tomorrow. Then we pop to the 24 hour pharmacy for essentials, will it be the Redman Chewing Tobacco or the Al Capone sweets, so many choices in the Big Apple. An easy decision is to take a bus tour of the city, we stop off at Pier 17 for some shots of the Brooklyn Bridge and some refreshment. After coffee and donuts we find a shop that sells all kinds of off beat stuff; a Leonardo Di Vinci doll fridge magnet, which Sue points out strangley has both ears. I love the Axis Of Evil finger puppets featuring George Bush and Dick Cheyne but eventually by the Edgar Allen Poe action figure, it's not often you get your favourite author in poseable form. We then have a tour of Brooklyn and get to see our first glimpse of The Statue Of Liberty before returning to the downtown Manhatten tour, after which it was a breath taking view from The Empire State Building. After a few drinks in Foley's bar we threw caution to the wind and headed for the Metro Underground System. It's a great deal more confusing than our own and even the NYPD cops on the station didn't seem to know how the subway map worked. With some luck we navigated to Little Italy for a slap up meal with what represents the last of the petty cash. One thing we realised in the restaurant, is that American Radio is awful and we have had to listen to Coming In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins 3 times since we arrived yesterday. Deciding not to play getting back to the hotel roulette, which is the Metro, cabing was a better option all round. We are now going to bed after a long but incredible day, one in which I bought a baseball which was then confiscated by the Empire State Security and so now am drowning my sorrows with a can of Tab whilst furiously writing this up on my mobile. Here's to another great day in NYC. Paul, Tuesday 4th 2007 .

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

empire state

We are on top of the world, overlooking downtown Manhatten.

downtown festivities

This is what I've come round the world to see, racial stereotypes!

take it to the bridge

we are ready to believe you

I really feel like I'm in the movie version of my life at the moment. We took a yellow cab to our hotel, driven by a guy who has the same capacity for english that Charles Kennedy has for a soft drink. We are staying at the New Yorker Hotel, on the corner of 8th Ave and 34th St. We have a fabulous view of the Hudson and Soprano's country, New Jersey. Just around the corner from here is The Empire State Building, that's when I realise I'm not in movie, in that version I'm stuck on a giant peach, impaled on the buildings spike. Macy's is also just round the corner, the basement restaurant looks like an English Tea Room and had Spurs v Fulham on TV. We opted out of tea and scones and had burger, fries and beer. We took a short walk to Time Sq and found American Gold- malts. These are like the Rolls Royce of milk shakes and are hard to find in the uk. We wobbled back to the hotel, saw some real NY cops, nearly got run over by a cab and saw three guys arguing over a 10 dollar bill which was lying on the floor. All of this paled though to the guy who came into the Restroom (that's a public toilet in English) on his mobile and kept on taking whist taking a dump. I can only hope he was taking to his girlfriend and not his Mum. After being awake since 1am local time, we start flagging around 9 and head to bed. It's just starting to sink in we are in New York City.
Ps. We are not sure if this has been on the news in the uk, but a small explosive device went off a few blocks away. No one was injured and Police have ruled out terror etc.

Monday, 3 September 2007

hey, anybody seen a ghost?

We've arrived at JFK. Americans love thier forms, great questions have been answered like do you intend to perform criminal activity? Fortunately we decided not to import insects and have made it too the cab rank.

see you on the other side Ray

Excitement level:- Christmas Eve to the power of 75. We had a great hotel room last night, after the excitement of finding a copy of the Book of the Mormon in the bedside cabinet, we realised you could see planes landing from our window. I rounded up everyone on our floor and suggested we held up score cards at our windows for the best landing, we just couldn't agree on which system to use, everyone else wanted 1 to 10 and I wanted the Skating type, 5.9 thing. Arriving at our airport parking I wasn't sure whether to park the car or dump a sofa. Being greeted by a polish Basil Fawlty made me wish I was doing the latter. We took a last loving look at our car and piled into the back of a transit van, bad suspension, grinding brakes and a driver with no concept of braking distances didn't dampen our spirits and we are now checked in and heading for departures. We didn't manage our bubbly, so who ever manages to count all the Ghostbuster references in the blog (some are quite subtle, be warned!) you will be awarded this prize. Here we go now!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

New York City - Cleaning Up The Town

The plan was simple, go to America on Concord.

It was made by myself and my Grandmother about 25 years ago. Like the amazing aircraft, she is no longer with us but for me it's better late than never.

This will be my first trip outside of Europe (I think we can discount astral projection at this point but hang onto that thought, I'll be asking questions later) and the first time Sue and I are having a holiday on our own.

The film Ghostbusters was made in 1984, I saw it 7 times at the cinema and one of our missions, should we accept it is to find the New York filming locations for this film - oh along with some sight seeing thrown in, just for jolly.

I'm busy practicing my "toff" English accent and plan to put this to good use over the next week.

Today we are going up to Heathrow for an overnight stay in a hotel and then we fly off at around 11 on Monday.

Just need to get the packing done and make sure we are free of sharp objects & liquids.


Paul & Sue