North America 2009

AftermathAfter

Posted by Martin 2009-09-15 12:38:09

After having been home for as long as I was away, I have finally finished my journal. It's available in Swedish as a downloadable pdf.
Parallell to that, I put some photos up, and they now have funny, informative or at least existing captions. Head on to napix.smedendahl.se to check them out.


Leaving New YorkUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-08-02 07:21:31

As planned, I returned to the Staten Island ferry with a bigass tele lens. This time I got some closer-up shots of Lady Liberty, and headed thereafter north to Noho, Soho, Nolita and other acroyms. Unheard of music was shopped at Other Music, whisky and stout were drunk at Whiskey Ward, as was I. Met a lovely Tennessee girl named Micha and her friend, and I stayed at the WW longer than expected. However, I had a prior engagement and sauntered on to meet Cristina for dinner on this my last night in New York. Afterwards, it was time to discover some new local musical talent at Mercury Lounge. The last band on stage called themselves Nightmare of You, and they were so good that I paid the ten bucks for their CD. An hour later I was back in Harlem for my last night on this trip.

As it clearly takes a lot of time to go to JFK, I went up, packed my stuff, checked out and went to the Apple store to buy iPhones for my cousins and/or their husbands. No such deal, though, as they could only be purchased with a two year contract with AT&T.

And then, the three hour subway/train ride to John F Kennedy Airport, and here endeth the journey.

The Hands that Built AmericaUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-08-02 07:17:59

New York is a city of museums and galleries. I spent a good many hours at MoMA (where hangs the most famous painting by my favourite artist, Dalí) and the Met, and also in a bunch of art galleries in Chelsea, including, but not limited to, Andrea Rosen, Greene Naftali and Paul Kasmin.

As the sun started to set, I took the ferry to Staten Island. Quite a few photos were taken of the NYC skyline and/or the statue of liberty in sunset. And with a well formulated plan to return with a bigass tele lens next morning, I left Lower Manhattan for a Senegalese dinner in good ol' Harlem.

Blue in the faceUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-07-28 21:28:49

...that turned green, eventually. But more on that later.

The general location of Harvey Keitel's smoke shop in Smoke and Blue in the face was explored this day: Planet Brooklyn. As I wandered around in Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, I realised how different Breukelen is from most of Manhattan. The people, the architecture, the city planning... it has a more intimate and less constricted feel to it. And on Tuesdays, the admission to Botanical Garden is free, so obviously I went there, and to its neighbour Prospect Park. As I sauntered on in the hot, sunny New York summer, I figured a trip to the ocean would be nice. And some time later I walked the famous boardwalk on Coney Island with an ice-cream cone in my hand.

For those who don't know, Broadway shows cost an arm and a leg and it takes years of planning to get the tickets you want. Enter TKTS, who provide unsold and returned tickets to current day's events. Most famous is the TKTS booth on Times Square, with its billions of people waiting in line for hours. Less famous is the one in Brooklyn, where I stood in line a mere half hour, and got a ticket to see Shrek – the Musical. And it only cost me a leg. Some of the actors were brilliant, esp the Lord

Farquaad performer and the actress portraying Fiona. The story was the same as in the first film, and the humour similar. It was therefore a quite enjoyable show, but the main reason I went was that when in NYC, you have to catch a Broadway show. And hence, the Brooklyn blue turned ogre green.



Singin' in the RainUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-07-28 21:25:18

Before I went to check out my hostel's free and very generous brekkie buffet (bagels, muffins, brewed coffee, OJ, cereal) I packed my daypack with rain gear, just in case. After about three hours of hiking in Central Park I kinda regretted carrying all that extra weight, a regret I would soon not have.

I met Cristina for a picnic lunch in Central Park, and then we started exploring downtown.

Madison Avenue, Grand Central, Chrysler Building, Madison Square, Bryant Park, Flatiron Building, Union Square and Washington Square were all visited and looked upon and/or within. However, the walk from Central Park's south end to the area around Bleecker St (around 55 blocks) took longer than expected, due to the frequently added seeking-shelter-from-the-heaviest-rain breaks we had to do. But all in all, the sunny/cloudy/rainy sky offered some great light for photography and a lot of ground was covered. Also, Cristina splashed around in the fountain in Was. Sq. Like a happy happy kid.

Back in NYCUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-07-27 04:58:36

The last day of the Canadian Pioneer trek consisted pretty much only of driving. As we left Maine we drove through five states before reaching our destination in New Jersey, making it a total of seven states in a day: Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. And then back to New York.

After checking in at my home for the next seven days, I took the subway to the Village for a last night out with Mark and Mike. It became rather late, so I used the following day to relax a bit; planning my upcoming week, strolling the neighbourhood and writing postcards in Central Park. Just as I returned to the hostel, a thunderstorm hit the city.



The Cider house rulesUS of A

Posted by Martin 2009-07-25 15:03:48

In Acadia, it poured. Fortunately our tent was more or less waterproof, and when morning came, the rain conveniently stopped, and didn't return until the morning of departure. In between there was plenty of time to explore Maine's largest national park. Hiking, swimming and whale watching was on the agenda. Steve's tele lens came in handy as Sedge the humpback popped out of the water every now and then.

Continuing down New England we arrived in Portland, Maine in the afternoon, where we, instead of camping, bunked up in Eddie's mate's house. Supposedly Portland has more bars per capita than any other American town. Therefore, take out Thai and Indian and some serious barcrawling ended our last night as a group.



Les Colons canadiensCanada

Posted by Martin 2009-07-22 05:30:08

The deeper you go into the state of Québec, the less English they speak and the more French. In Québec City, it's pretty much only French, which gave me a chance to practice my 20 year old school knowledge. It's a neat little town, full of cobble stone paved alleys, 18:th century architecture and loads of small eateries and pubs. The olde city is surrounded by a great wall, giving it a slightly European medieval feel. As the sun shone down and the open air restaurants called with their cool beers, it felt doubly annoying that the Québecian ATM:s seem to reject my VISA card. Fortunately, walking and looking is free, as is taking photos, so I enjoyed the Gibraltar of America, as Charles Dickens dubbed the city, to its fullest.