airport and plane ride.
i had no trouble with security at the airport this time. i had two hours before my flight left, so i munched on my sushi and read "chelsea horror hotel" by dee dee ramone until they started boarding the plane.
the book made me rather paranoid about sleeping at the hotel. his mention of "mealie mealie bugs" really freaked me out. oh, and his claims of what is swimming in the tap water. my normal, well rested logic would've laughed at this. but give me three hours of sleep and **poof** all my sensibilities go out the window!
the plane ride was smooth. i love to fly. i'm sure i've mentioned it before, but that moment when you first leave the ground is my favorite feeling in the world! the light lunch was less than desirable... when you mark vegetarian on your plane ticket order, that usually means no turkey, right? i made do with the bread and cheese, after all it was only an hour and a half trip. and i had an egg & cheese croissant waiting for me in my bag anyway. luckily the seat right next to me was out of commission, so i had plenty of space. the guy next to me was a little irritating, but he calmed down once we were in the air. it was fun to fly over lake michigan. i was able to recognize landmarks all the way across michigan. then it got too cloudy to see the ground anymore. i landed in newark around 4pm.
nj transit train and first nyc subway ride.
jesse was there waiting for me and we hopped a train into penn station and transferred to the subway. it was rush hour in manhattan, so finding our way to the right spot was somewhat difficult. we eventually found it and i was surprised at how quickly we had arrived at our stop. we didn't even have time to look at a map to make sure we were going the right direction! needless to say, we were deposited practically at the front door of the chelsea hotel.
ah, yes. the chelsea. she was just as impressive as i had imagined. like a lady with runs in her stockings... just trashy enough to make her sexy. her facade commands the attention of anyone walking down 23rd street. her gothic architecture and wrought iron balconies severely contrast the rest of the neighborhood. once you walk through the heavy glass doors into the lobby, you immediately feel the heavy presence of the place. the lobby is covered wall to wall with spectacular art by current and former residents. the front desk is of heavy wood and very old fashioned. we checked in and boarded the elevator. we smashed in with a fella we would later see taking pictures all over the hotel. we got off on the 8th floor and found our room. we were in room 812.
when you walked into the room, there was a little hallway leading in. the bathroom was on the left and then another small hallway into the main area. there was a kitchenette and a queen bed. the fireplace had been walled off but painted smartly. checkerboard tile accented it nicely, along with a jesters chair and funky curtains. the walls were sponged with yellow paint. honestly, it reminded me alot of my apartment at vikke's house.
we settled into the room and then decided to explore the hotel. we started by walking up the wrought iron staircase
all the way to the top.
there was a skylight at the top with a warhol-esque mobile hanging down from it. the fella from the elevator was taking pictures of someone. they were very serious about whatever their project was. i wish i'd had the guts to ask. then we walked down the stairs,
stopping at each floor to investigate. the stairs were in the center of the building and two wings extended to either side.
there were probably at least 40 rooms on each floor. i made sure i found leonard cohen's room, as well as dee dee's and janis'. room 100 (sid & nancy's) was gotten rid of after the murder, so there was no point in even looking for it. there is art hung in the stairwell from the bottom floor all the way to the top floor.
i especially enjoyed the art by someone named hawk, who we thought was possibly connected to ethan hawke, who lives at the chelsea.
we eventually made it to the lobby and sat for a bit. it was the best place to people watch. a VERY pretty young fellow was painting a picture, people who looked like their dogs were going for walks, and everyone was watching everyone else for a clue as to what they were about. it seemed everyone had a purpose, something to add to the aura of the hotel. is it something they gleaned from her walls, or is it something the hotel absorbs from the artists?
someone was shooting a film while we were in the lobby. i guess that means we're immortalized on celluloid? again, i should've asked what was going on... who knows, maybe i'll be in the theatre and see jesse and myself on the big screen? watch for us in that richard gere flick...
east village - cbgb's, st. mark's place, caravan of dreams.
(i still have to upload pictures from this part of the trip)
we decided it was time to go out into the city. we took the subway south to the east village and wandered until we found cbgb's. we were both far too tired for a show (raw power and eye hate god were playing), so we kept walking. we found our way to st. mark's place and wandered in and out of overpriced wanna-be-punk/goth stores (much like the clark & belmont district of chicago has become). we didn't find anything we wanted to buy, so we went in search of caravan of dreams.
we found the restaurant easily and were seated in the perfect spot (next to a fine young gentleman). i had quite a headache by this time from lack of sleep and too much stimulation. i ordered the anti-fatigue tea and we split an appetizer of fresh guacamole & salsa. they brought us salads with a dressing made with some sort of nut oil. i loved it and will have to recreate something similar at home. my entree was a fresh ravioli primavera with brussels sprouts, rutabegas, and tons of other veggies. jesse had the caravan burrito. for dessert we split a piece of banana almond butter pie. everything was completely vegan. i committed a vegan faux pa when i was asked if i'd like anything to sweeten my tea. not thinking, i said i'd like some honey. the waiter was very gentle in reminding me that the place was vegan. i opted for the maple syrup. it was the most expensive meal i've ever had in my life (nearly $50 for myself alone) but i must say it was the BEST meal i've ever had in my life. we spent a good few hours enjoying our meal. there was live music and the service was impeccable.
more chelsea people watching and times square.
(times square pics still need to be uploaded)
with our bellies full, we stumbled into the street. i'd decided against the korova, with my headache and weary feet. instead we caught a cab and rode back to the hotel for more people watching. while sitting in the lobby, i was nearly accausted by a crazy guy flailing his arms about and blubbering gibberish. but at the last moment he careened out the door. later on that night we saw him doing the same thing to someone on the sidewalk. i took some aspirin and once that started to sooth my throbbing noodle, we went for a walk. we had no destination in mind, just sort of wandered in one direction. after a bit we ended up smack in the middle of times square. one word to describe it: overwhelming. talk about sensory overload. there are tv screens as tall as skyscrapers flashing and blinking hundreds of advertisements all at once. i honestly cannot remember one product that was advertised. we both kind of shut down and i went a bit delerious. i needed to sit and rest a moment, so we ducked into a little oriental food shop. in the same night i experienced both the absolute best meal of my life and the worst. ack. this stuff was geerooss. slimy cabbage and bloated rice. i barely ate any. we decided to walk the fifteen or so blocks back to the hotel. we passed madame tussard's wax museum and saw an incredible likeness of samuel l. jackson. he's pretty hot up close :)
with heavy eyelids, we made it back to the hotel room and fell straight into bed. i didn't even have time to fret about the mealie mealie bugs. i even slept too hard to remember my dreams.