Friday, August 25, 2006

What else did I get up to in New York?

Yesterday when I uploaded some more info on my Thursday in Manhattan Island, I neglected to mention that I went to Planet Hollywood on Times Square. To be honest, I was expecting it to be a hell of a lot tackier than it actually was. Most of what I saw there was downright cool. The main gimmick that Planet Hollywood boasts is the huge collection of movie memorabilia, and they had some pretty cool props that I can't show you because I forgot my memory card that day! However, I am going to try and get some relevant images from Google Image Search, and hope that I don't upset anybody by doing so!


Here's the exterior, right next to a Virgin Megastore, and down the road a bit from a rather large Toys R Us. (which I never got a chance to go inside - I still toss in my sleep because of that)

Above the bar they had a large selection of prop weapons from the James Bond Films. Up close, they looked really plasticy and fake, so I got a kick out of that. They also have moulds of actors' hands mounted on the walls- seems I have bigger hands than Wesley Snipes, Will Smith, Bruce Willis, and a couple of other A-list celebrities whose names I've since forgotten.

They take your picture before you get your table, then come up to you when you're eating your meal with a couple of copies of the photo in varying sizes, as well as on fridge magnets and keyrings, asking you for $20. Apparently whatever doesn't sell is sent back for recycling, which is kinda odd. The people at the Empire State Building tried the same thing, but they super-imposed a cheesy background and asked for less. This was my first experience of New York snobbery, with Maureen remarking "This kind of crap is just for people from Kentucky or something" (may not be an exact quote).

I also neglected to mention that I got myself a Hot-Dog from a street vendor, which was one of those things I was excited about beforehand. So I approached the surly bastard of a hotdog-chef, and asked him for a hotdog with everything on it. He gave me a dry, plain bun and a pathetic piece of sausage meat, and pointed at the mustard and ketchup dispensers. It was fairly mediocre, but the taste may have been skewed by my salty tears of disappointment.

I didn't have time to do a lot of things I'd have liked, such as checking out Ground Zero, or going to Ellis Island, or finding the Seinfeld Diner.

My weekend was spent down in Baltimore, Maryland, as Maureen and her friends had to give a talk to the students going to Leuven. One way or another, it was an excuse for a load of crazy American girls to amass for drinking purposes. I also got to try out my 'modified' ID for the first time in America. The burly bouncer stopped me at the door, and requested my ID. I gave him my driver's license. He studied it intently for a moment before admitting he couldn't find the date of birth on it. I replied "Oh I'm sorry - it's an Irish ID. The date is right here - the eighteenth of the fifth, eighty-six". Whoops. I just told him I'm twenty. Furthermore, the date I just gave him varies from the date on the ID. I look up at him, expecting the worst. A cursory glance at his dazed stupor, I could tell I was OK. He waved me in. Success! I celebrated my successful infiltration of an American drinking establishment by ordering a glass of water - on the rocks.

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