Saturday, 29 August 2009

New York Day Five

This is it, time ticked away to bring us to our final full day in the Big Apple. By this point we had been on 4 tours of the city, winding through the streets, and now, it was time to take to the water! Our main reason behind this was so that we could get a good view of the Statue of Liberty without having to queue for hours, and because the tour went around the whole perimeter of Manhattan. We sort of forgot about the fact that it was hot - really hot - and we would be on this boat, in the sun, for three hours. Ouch.

It was all very scenic and interesting, but the most memorable part of the tour was our guide, and even now his name has been seared into my brain - Malacky Murray. I shudder. Perhaps it was him that made the three hours really feel like three hours. Murray is a 6 foot-ish, sunglasses wearing, moustache-sporting, ponytail-haired, relentlessly-speaking creature of a man, who - without fail - mentioned his new book 'Unique New York' and the fact that it was now able to buy from Amazon, at least every twenty minutes. He also credited New York with about seven wonders of the world - the Empire State, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island...a fairly big tree...forgetting that maybe the pyramids or Great Wall m
ight like to get in on the list too. Oh, and the fact that New York was the greatest city in the world - he liked to tell us that a lot too.

Old Malacky was full of wisdom, he felt he owed it to his audience to help them 'Find their genius' - as apparently only 15% of people ever find their true talent. Everyone who designed or built the Brooklyn Bridge had found theirs, that's why it was one of the great wonders of the world...? Firstly, the statistic - how it was calculated and how you can quantify it just baffles me. Secondly, how gutted would you be if it turned out that bridge-building was your life talent? Any aspiring poets or future presidents would be very disappointed. But, then if you are in the 85% of people who don't 'find your genius', it's okay, because according to Malacky 'you are who you make people believe you are'. He repeated this several times too. And I can't even be bothered to argue with his strange logic any more, I'll just hope he smoked something very strong before he boarded the ship. Anyway, he certainly made an impression!

After the boat trip we headed to Hard Rock Cafe for some lunch, trying not to dribble over the iconic band memorabilia, and then went back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out. We had to prepare for Broadway, yea
h! We had to prepare for...The Little Mermaid! This was my favourite Disney film as a child (I really wanted to be a mermaid, but not ginger) so I had very high expectations, particularly as to whether or not the songs would be carried off or not. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it - Ursula could have been a bit more scary, but I suppose there were small children in the audience - the original and new songs were all great, costumes were amazing, and the sets all looked great. I won't go into too much detail as it might be brought over to London. And I was SO glad they kept in the song where the French chef sings to the fish as he cuts them up, 'hehehe hohoho'!
To cap our day off
we went to a diner that I had been to on my previous visit called 'Ellen's Stardust Diner'. It was set up like a traditional American diner, but it isn't really the food that people go there for - i
t's the staff. The diner's employees all work there whilst they are waiting for their big break on Broadway - and what better way to practice, and perhaps impress a prospective casting agent who happens to visit - then sing to the customers? This is what they do, all the time you are in there the microphone gets passed to every member of staff who chooses a song from a musical and performs it, often climbing around the restaurant as they do. The great, and sad, thing is that they are all incredibly talented. Great entertainment for us, the humble customer, but sad for them - that they are so close, yet still so far for their dream that you can feel they are so desperate for. And the worst thing is, you can sort of tell who is and isn't going to make it. Sure, any of them could at least make it to some sort of chorus role, but those who aren't the lean, classically good-looking types - there aren't many casting directors who would make them the face of their production. Of course it's the same in so much of the entertainment industry, it's just that it isn't normally singing and staring you in the face while you're drinking your milkshake.

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