Recently a chance to travel to New York arose. I humbly and quietly accepted the chance. I believe my exact words were “Muh wuh Nuh Yowck??! YES ME WANT PLEASE!”
Now, as someone who’s kicked rocks around most of the West Coast for 30 years with nary a frolic into the East Coast regions, New York is just a land of mystery, city aggression, and the site of trillions of dollars of fictional property damage. Nearly every comic book, movie, TV show, or book has New York getting good and trashed.
And this a damn fictional shame. Because there is a so much to do. “Rockefeller Center got melted by a giant solar flare!” There goes all the cool NBC swag you could have bought. “Grand Central Station was demolished by a monstrous space eel being ridden by Thor and Hulk!” There goes a beautiful landmark where you can watch the heart of New York beat. “Times Square is being devoured by a rogue time vortex from the 8th dimension!” Believe me, you just want to sit there, eat some dumplings from the Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, and comment on how the Naked Cowboy can only safely work less than half the year, otherwise he’d die from hypothermia. “The Statue of Liberty was decapitated by a giant lice-secreting creature from outer space!” Okay, I haven’t been able to go to see the Statue of Liberty, but I think I found a good substitute at FAO Schwarz.
The biggest problem with being a big geek in the big city is not in finding somewhere I want to be, its how to get there. The subway system takes some time to wrap one’s fragile suburban mind around. When Bronx, Brooklyn, and Broadway were mostly Gargoyles to you growing up, its beyond difficult to remember which direction they are in relations to where you are.
Traveling by public transportation is a strange notion to one born and bred on the gasoline teat of California streets. I had my driver’s license by 18, and I was a late bloomer! But to not just hop into my car and drive where I needed to go was odd. Oh, and if you walked out the door with more than an iPod and no backpack OOPS! You messed up and all that stuff ways you down. It felt like I was relearning basic survival skills for the hiking in the Appalachians… in New York.
And the stairs! Oh sweet New York pizza, the stairs! Just grab any New Yorker’s thigh and after you wake up, you will recall the rock hard muscle therein. I am husky by politically correct standards, but I am straight up dead by actual physics standards. There is a great deal of walking in New York. I’m positive Stan Lee made up most super heroes powers by how easily they avoid all the human traffic below them. I know by Day 02 I was longing for a web line to swing or a FantastiCar.
My journey through the city was made much easier by the kind help of my friend Zoe (she’s got some internet juice under the handle “Bookish Belle“, click that link to check out her blog about being a geek girl living in Manhattan!). Zoe showed me around her New York, and what a New York it is! She even helped me find the very special temporary location for a particular Frozen Banana stand.
I’ve visited both Midtown Comics and Forbidden Planet. Both are excellent comic shops (second only to Comics Unlimited, of course). It seems that comic shops thrive a little better in the east. Which I’m glad to hear, but I’m always wanting more fortune for the stores on this side of the Mississippi. Going to Midtown and Forbidden Planet was fun, but last night trumped the geek high they could provide.
Last night I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness.
First off, the movie is an excellent movie. The execution was flawless, the acting top notch, and CG looked incredible. JJ Abrams knows how to make a great film. I actually think at this point, he can’t do anything less than his absolute best when it comes to movies of this magnitude. I really loved this movie. And will watch it multiple times.
My only complaint is that I saw most of this movie coming. Especially when you see what he chooses as his particular source material. I won’t go into a huge, spoiler drenched blog about it. I will say that if you can just go along with the flick… it can be some of the absolute best fan service in one movie that you will ever see. I mean, this movie is about giving the fans their cake, making sure they eat it, and then have pie as the second and third course. (I love pie).
My geek experience in New York isn’t even over yet. Including today, I have 3 days left to enjoy the East Coast. And its not enough. Going to New York illustrates exactly why most things are set in New York. The pulse of the city, the sheer life overflowing from its streets, and the scope of how man made it all is. New York is something built by humans, and in turn made humans. Its quite a town, and this geek is ready to put feet to pavement and see a little more of its audacity.