Let's start with a monkey. It didn't start with a monkey of course, it started with a very late night arrival, a collapse into bed, then a venture out the next morning for breakfast - brioche french toast, pumpkin pancakes, lots of syrup. But we'll start with the monkey skeleton, just because he has a certain je ne sais quoi to him that I find appealing.
New York, New York.
Syrup drenched breakfasts, bottomless coffee, orange juice that tasted of California. The American Museum of Natural History, dinosaurs and taxidermy elephants, zebras, penguins, a flamingo mural, the aforementioned monkey. Art students spread out on the floor sketching old bones, the twist of an antler, the lines of a hoof. Drinking fountains promoting NYC tap water. Times Square, billboards, bright lights, shops full of Hershey's and M&Ms. Jolly Ranchers from a news stand - remember those? Macaroni cheese in the East Village as the heavens opened, soaking us. A jet-lagged collapse into bed. Breakfast at Cafeteria, Mexican style for me. Union Square in the drizzle, a farmer's market. Radishes piled high, tubs of salad leaves, maple cotton candy, flowers so vibrant in contrast to the grey skies. Honey and cider, baked goods, cookies, muffins. Crates of apples, pears. Bunches of tulips. A silver Andy Warhol, raindrop diamanté covered. Barnes & Noble Bookstore, familiar titles, cover images so different (why is this?). Giant inflatable rats advertising pest control - on our final night I see a live one on the subway, huge, understand why they might be a problem. Grilled cheese sandwiches, pickled cucumbers, cherry cola, ice cream floats. Bar stools, collections of Coca-Cola bottles dating way back. Lightning hitting the Empire State Building, steam rising from vents in the sidewalk.