Tonight I listened to gaslight anthem all the way home and read, got home and my mum and dad were playing Pink Floyd really loudly, we had dinner and watched a Deep Purple documentary, and then they let me put on my Horrible Crowes DVD. Did that huge storm the other night change something in the water?!! I’ve just had a pretty nice evening at home…this is so weird! My mum even did her best not to look too bored when I said my usual bit (raging frothing unapologetic unrelenting adoration and admiration) about Brian Fallon’s lyrics and even asked a few questions! I said a bit about the book I’m reading at the moment (one of your own - about the moors murders) and she didn’t even sigh at the subject of trying to understand Hindley in some small and apparently impossible way. All in all it’s been a delightful eve!
things we have done today:
Got up. Had shower. Washed hair. Dave removed spider. Had toast and crisps for breakfast. Subway to Coney Island. Got pizza. Sat on the beach and tried to decipher the source of an argument going on between a group of teenagers several metres away. Walked around the rides a bit. Hordes of sea gulls. Man fed them and they swarmed. then k.w (??). WONDER WHEEL. Walked along the boardwalk and pier. Sat on beach some more. Got the train back. A guy called Paul started talking to me about my tattoo, showed me some of the photos he had been taking and said that if I was here for longer we could have gone for dinner. I liked his Bowie shirt.
Listening to Paramore before going to Long Island.
There are people who just start doing things on the Subway here like break dancing or some kind of dancing involving climbing up and down the walls and spinning about a bit. It was actually quite impressive. I also saw someone with a burned face coming round asking for money which was sad.
Yesterday we went to St Mark’s Place. I’m in love with that long street where all the amazing shops are. Especially the $3 mojitos we had, they were lush. Me and Talie had 2.5 of them each, and they kept topping up our water, what darlings. I don’t like how I can’t tell if whenever people are nice, its to get a tip. Maybe that’d why loads of people are pretty friendly over here, tip culture, its engrained. Or maybe they’re nice as well.
I got a tattoo. Dave designed the ferris wheel for me and we took it into a tattoo studio and they did it straight away. The man who did it wasn’t the friendliest person in the world, he was fine, but I absolutely love the tattoo he did for me.
Today we are going to St Mark’s Place and Coney Island I think, which I’m so excited for. Coney Island was Patti Smith’s favourite place when she lived here, her escape to fun, laughter and a more tranquil space than her every day life. I read that it was her’s and Robert Mapplethorpe’s birthday treat to go to Coney Island. I think it sounds so cute there.
"I should have trusted the rotten tomato" (I think I was since told this is a website or something, but at the time before this knowledge this sounded very odd!)
I just bought the most amazing shoes for $30! that’s about £21! For amazing shoes!! AND they were reduced from $250.00!
Right now we are in Talie’s tater tot place. They actually do a veggie hot dog here! This place is a sort of basement restaurant. Spoke to a fit man in Trash & Vaudeville, he was friendly and asked if we went to the Offspring show at The Stone Pony, I said we had, he said he grew up with Offspring and his friend’s band played inside afterwards, and we had actually seen them. They were called johnny something I think…I dont know, it’ll come back to me. American men are so much more instantly attractive than a bog standard englishman.
Trash & Vaudeville is by far my favourite shop. I fucking love that wall of famous people who have been in there and there’s a signed poster of MCR up there with a note from Gerard Way. I would have emptied my wallet on to the counter to get that! Not that there would have been anywhere near enough money in there! We might get mojitos later because they are advertised as being $3 each, so if there’s no catch, we are having them!
We also watched a bizarre display in Thompson (?) park.
Day 1 in New York
Yesterday on the train we spoke to the most adorable family. They had a kid and she was so sweet in her push chair with these enormous brown saucer eyes and little wisps of hair in bunches. Her tiny little nails were painted pink, her mother defended them to her father, “its cute! she likes it!” She looked so happy. Especially when he Dad scooped her up out of the pram. There was a little boy there too, he also the man’s son, but he was French and visiting from Paris. The father told us how he used to tour with Jay Z a long time ago and how he has met Beyonce loads of times. Talie gasped, “she’s a goddess!” and we talked about meeting musicians we admire and how its difficult to know what to say. He said, “Jay Z is friends with (*cool famous people I didn’t recognise the names of”), what have I got to say to him?!?” which I thought was funny, and we all agreed was how we felt in those situations. He said he wouldn’t trade the family life he has now for anything. He used to live in New York and spend $4,000 a month and just sit around eating donuts. He also used to live in Richmond in Surrey, but moved to America for University, met his wife and had his kids and now he lives in Jersey but he said he would love to move back to the UK. I said, thats so funny because we come out here and think we’d love to move here. New Jersey public transport is so annoying, though. One train every two hours on week days! To the coast! IN THE SUMMER!!
Point Pleasant was beautiful. The houses were absolutely amazing and I wondered if anyone lives there in the winter. When Hungry Heart came on while we were drinking our beer and looking out over the beach, it was such a pinnacle moment. It all came together perfectly for these three minutes. I can never even get mad at the rain here because of all the Jersey Rain references in songs i love. Although yesterday in Asbury Park it was a bit gross, weather-wise, just that horrible light rain that soaks you (and your chips) (sorry, I mean fries).
I don’t even mind if there’s some things we don’t get to do while I’m here because just being here at all is unbelievable, everything else is a bonus.
I know now that what I need to work towards is saving to come back here. Its worked out well this time where Talie and Dave were here and wanted to do New Jersey stuff too, I just hope in the future I will be able to find someone who will also want to come with me here. I wouldn’t mind coming on my own but I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if I didn’t have anyone to experience any of the holiday with.
I think my cold is fading…I don’t want to jinx it though!
Coming in to New York yesterday was terrifying! I hate the subway with suitcases, I hate not knowing how to work our where to go and I hate ploughing through crowds to get anywhere. Its hard work keeping up with Talie as she’s now more used to getting through masses of people quickly, its definitely something worth adapting to! It was such a relief when we were all settled in the flat we rented through Airbnb. When we arrived there, we had to wait a short while for the owner of the apartment to arrive, he was running late and gave the place a quick clean before leaving us to it. He was really friendly and welcoming, and worked worked with various media related things and liked music. I think he said he owned his own company, too. The door between the living room (my bed) and Talie and Dave’s room is hilarious. the entire centre of the top half of it is missing, but the frame and bottom half is still there. To compensate, there’s a slab of cardboard taped over it. I love it. We unpacked a few bits and decided to go and get some food from the supermarket down the road, Everything was really close by, we got off at Kosciusko in Brooklyn and then it was two minutes to the apartment and shops. We decided to have pasta. Tonight we ate, drank wine and watched Grown Ups 2 for some easy viewing and just relaxed which felt absolutely amazing after struggling through the hordes of New Yorkers. (By the end of this trip, this grew to be something I actually quite enjoyed.) We pulled my sofa bed out and it had the most creaky springs i have ever heard in my life but I still fell asleep about two seconds after lying down. I was so happy.
We went to the tattoo place straight away but it was shut so we spent just over half an hour in shops. The Paranormal Bookshop was amazing and possibly the coolest shop I’ve ever been in, but I only bought a book about Cape May ghost stories. We might not have been able to go to Cape May this time, but I have heard that sometimes they do ghost story telling sessions in the inns there which sounds ideal. Now I can just read about them. The announcement just said, “the next station is Rahway” followed by “please mind the gap” and I really fucking do have to mind the gap here because its HUGE and I don’t think I’m physically built to carry a suitcase over gaps which warrant an announcement. I would LOVE to go travelling but I think I’d find carrying luggage around really difficult, especially if you buy souvenirs as you go along and just accumulate more. There’s still SO much more that I want to see here, though. Massachusetts, Cape May, I wouldn’t mind going to Point Pleasant fairground, seeing as we only spotted it as we were leaving Point Pleasant! There’s just so much to see here, I think if I moved here I would either live in Hoboken, which looked amazing, or Asbury Park, but right by the sea. In this imagined life, I am also very rich. We looked in a record store and I was going to get Born to Run on vinyl, but I was too scared of snapping it in half on our travels. I have got quite a few souvenirs now anyway.
As rose tinted as my experience of the Jersey shore always is, this time I have seen some of what I’ve heard others talk about. A certain sadness and lives resigned to living and dying in the same town, sometimes even the same street. The small town lives that unnerve me so much in the UK do also seem to be the same in some places we saw. Maybe people are similar everywhere. It been amazing getting to talk to locals and getting a glimpse into some strangers’ lives, and we met quite a few really interesting people.
Fire escapes down from balconies. Nice flats. Wooden. Garden terrace balconies.
Coney Island & St Marks
Long Island / return to Hoboken?
Hamptons / Montaug
1/2 of Wednesday
Museums - MoMA and The Whitney
(we didn’t really stick to this in the end for whatever reason but it was a good rough plan for us)